3 Obscure Business Storytelling Books Every Leader Should Read Now

For some time now, storytelling has been understood as a powerful leadership tool. When storytelling is facilitated in a business environment, its main advantage is its potential to inform audiences in a quick and memorable way. As neuroscientist Paul Zak’s research shows, narratives help audiences “better understand the main points the speaker wants to convey, and are better able to recall these points weeks later.” .

However, storytelling can have an even greater impact. Since COVID-19, there has been a growing trend to seek a human-centered approach to personal narratives and organizational structures.As Popularity of Bren Brown’s Leadership Texts Boldly Relationships are an integral part of personal and professional prosperity. Brown explains, “Connection is what we are here for…it’s what gives our lives purpose and meaning.”

It is the culture of storytelling that can foster this kind of connection focused on purpose and meaning. His three books on the must-read list below are for readers who want to understand the full potential of creating storytelling culture. While these books are clearly not business storytelling books, reading them will give you a solid understanding of why storytelling is a game changer for organizations that want to empower people to connect, speak up, and think creatively. can.

This article presents three books that show how stories not only help share information in a memorable way, but also foster meaningful connections. Reading these titles together will help you understand how stories help you understand yourself more clearly, genuinely connect with others, and convey information in a meaningful and memorable way. A foundation is formed.

These books may not be available at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore, but they are all available on the second-hand market. If you’re interested in the power of storytelling in leadership and creating a culture of storytelling in your organization, add it to your must-read list today.

Career Counseling: Narrative Approach By Larry Cochran (SAGE Publishing, 1997)

Scholarly publications by Larry Cochran Career Counseling: Narrative Approach It opened the door for us to think about how the stories we tell about ourselves shape our career choices. This book effectively linked the power of storytelling to the world of business. By understanding how stories help us see and know ourselves, we can tell stories that create connection and cohesion in the workplace.

Cochrane’s theory took the field of career counseling beyond assessments and personality tests by letting people dig deeper and understand themselves through storytelling. It allows people to explore and understand the hidden networks of influence that shape them. Without these stories, we often rely too much on clichés and what others have said before to understand our trajectory. helps you to ponder and understand. Career Although she writes for her counselor audience, this framework can be applied to other areas of business her leadership and interpersonal awareness.

Why did you choose this path after years of learning different things? How should my team prepare to work with me as their new manager? Okay? What do you want people to know about me personally and professionally? These kinds of questions are questions that everyone around us wants to know, but nobody asks. Being able to create a story about her own career and her journey, and help other members of the team to do so, can help invigorate the process of connecting with each other and creating cohesion within the team.

try this: Use the IRS storytelling tools to create stories that answer the following questions: What previous experiences (not necessarily career related) have influenced the way you think about work?

Tell Me a Story: Narrative and Intelligence by Roger Schank (Northwestern University Press, 1995)

Artificial intelligence technology is back in the spotlight as OpenAI released a new chatbot that can answer almost any question. This groundbreaking tool is thanks to his Roger Schank, one of the pioneers of AI research. While he may seem like an unlikely source to learn about storytelling, in 1995 he Tell Me a Story: Story and IntelligenceIn this book, Dr. Shank explores how stories reflect our collective intelligence and influence how we relate to others.

While arguing that artificial intelligence must be based on real human intelligence, Schank reveals how humans are wired and embedded to store information in stories. For example, humans “index” stories to create relationships. When you hear a story about someone making an embarrassing mistake on their first day at a new job, it creates a connection to your own similarly indexed story that contains similar elements, even if it’s not exactly the same. An embarrassing mistake, your first day at work, or an important idea of ​​wanting to make a positive impression may remind you of your first day in high school or when you witnessed a colleague fail during orientation. Connected connections create empathy and strengthen relationships.

Dr. Schank’s insights into relationships, interactions and collective intelligence are astounding and important for business leaders to tell effective stories to create cohesive organizations and connections between colleagues. It helps me understand why. In addition to Cochran’s work, Schank found that stories not only help us understand ourselves, but also help us relate to others, understand each other, persuade, and make decisions together. is showing.

try this: Play “Story Bingo” as a team building exercise. For each member of the team he creates a bingo card with numbered squares. A number is assigned to each person. In random order, each person shares a personal, pre-prepared story. If the story reminds you of your own similar experience, you can cover the number squares belonging to that team member. Whoever covers all the squares first wins.

How to Get Interested: 10 Easy Steps by Jessica Huggie (Workman Publishing, 2013)

in the book how to be funny, award-winning artist and writer Jessica Huggie reveals the power of simple lines, circles and captions to convey rich meaning. This book forces readers to have fun, be creative, and express their thoughts visually. Adding diagrams to your conversations is a seemingly simple communication strategy, but the impact can be enormous. Simple hand-drawn Venn diagrams encourage participation in conversations and inspire new ideas and questions.

Encourage your listeners to think more by explaining your ideas concretely. They not only capture your words and tone of voice, but they use the part of the brain that processes visual information. , found that humans can process the entire image and its meaning in just 13 milliseconds.

The story and simple visuals are “sticky”. we remember them. With the right story and the right visuals, business leaders can convey memorable information and meaning to their audience in a fraction of a second.

try this: Visually represent your company culture. Here are some examples to get the juice flowing.

Use the ideas found in these three texts to learn why storytelling is a great tool for empowering teams to connect, speak up, and think creatively. But don’t take my word for it. Delve deeper into leadership storytelling by reading practice and other storytelling books, such as those on this reading list for innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders.

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