I acknowledge that I am not a great storyteller.
But I have also learned it is not how I tell a story; it is what I am saying.
Not long ago a friend told me about a time early in his career when I, more senior, helped him. I was telling a story and unbeknownst to me, it provided the spark he needed to get through something similar.
“You told me a story,” he said. “I was struggling with an investigation and the direction it was going, and you told me a story of a similar situation you were once in. It helped me a lot.”
I would later be intentional about storytelling. I better understood the significance.
It is powerful and can help people.
The guiding principles behind storytelling should be simple.
This is where I was.
This is what happened.
This is what I learned.
A person should walk away with a lesson.
Especially when talking to newer or inexperienced people you supervise or mentor.
Your experiences can help people. Therefore, your stories need to have a purpose.
The lesson is key.
Helping newer or inexperienced people should be about them making the decisions.
Sure, I could have told them what to do. As their supervisor though, it was my job to help develop these people into tomorrow’s leaders.
I needed to help them find the answers, but ultimately, I wanted it to be their decisions.
I am a big proponent of freedom to make decisions. This became part of my leadership philosophy.
I have found that this creates ownership. Accountability. Pride. And trust.
These things increase efficiency and overall job performance.
When it is purposeful or deliberate, your experiences can help people create their own future stories.
- Brian Townsend, Eagle 6 Training