3 Reasons Smart Leaders Tell Stories – How You Can Too

“We’re all stories in the end.” Steven Moffat

Tell your story even though every human story already happened. You are the only unique thing in your story.

People like you when you respect their stories. Image of an admiring dog.

3 reasons smart leaders tell stories:

#1. Build a platform where people meet.

You can connect in three sentences.

“Ben’s dying. 

That’s what Ben’s father says to the camera as we see Ben play in the background. Ben is two years old and doesn’t know that a brain tumor will take his life in a matter of months.” Greater Good

Every story you hear says something about the teller.

People like you when you respect their stories.

#2. Give advice without telling people how to live.

“Do not tell people how to live their lives. Just tell them stories. And they will figure out how those stories apply to them.” Randy Pausch

#3. Overcome reluctance in others.

Suppose someone belittles the value of text messages.

One leader said, “I can yell or bang on my teenage son’s door for an hour. But he’s downstairs in a minute when I send him a text.”

Ask a new acquaintance to tell you their best story. Image of two deer whispering to each other.

7 ways to harvest your stories:

  1. Recall places you lived.
  2. Reflect on painful experiences and failures.
  3. Remind yourself of joyful experiences and successes.
  4. Make a list of the significant people in your history. How is life different because of the people on your list?
  5. List important lessons you learned. What happened before those lessons? What was different about you after those lessons?
  6. Think about tipping points in your life.
  7. What stories are behind this sentence. “I’m so thankful for _____.” (Replace thankful with angry, excited about, or discouraged.)

Think about how life changed after you relocated, felt painful defeat, or faced fear.

Tip: Ask a new acquaintance to tell you their best story.

What story greatly impacted your life?