Communicating Through Compelling Stories

Many speakers and managers are masters of metrics and showing the payoff or pain points of campaigns, processes, or team dynamics; after all, we are a data-driven society.

However, if you want to create a behavior change in your staff or convince a client to buy your product, you need to hit an emotional note with your audience. You aim to craft a story that they can relate to and visualize the benefit of the change that you are encouraging.

Let’s say that I have an employee working in the marketing group, and he is late in getting out the department newsletter each week:

  • Most managers will take the direct approach to the conversation, “John, you are responsible for our weekly newsletter, and you have delivered it late every week for the last 3 weeks. I need you to meet the assigned deadline.”

He may start meeting the deadline, but he may have a slight attitude or even feel less appreciated in his role.

  • Another option is to connect with him through a thoughtful and mutually beneficial approach that evokes a positive and emotional response, “John, you are a great writer, penning some of our most compelling marketing pieces, plus you have designed a newsletter layout that has clever, ‘must-read’ headlines and eye-catching graphics. Our staff can’t wait to receive it each week, and that is due to you. How can we ensure that your valuable contribution to the company is delivered on time?”

Which conversation is most comfortable for you and the employee?

Effectively selling yourself is as important as conveying your compatibility with others and ability to relate on an emotional level. Marketing 101 is based around this — selling a product/service/brand boils down to how you connect to the consumer.

To sum up: good marketers make good managers make good communicators.

We are all crunched for time, and in our effort to be efficient, we may miss the nuance of telling a good story that connects with our audience and enrolls them in the journey. This tactic is all the more valuable in our remote work culture. Good communication is the key to productive remote work models.

Next time you have a conversation with a colleague or staff member and you are asking for change, take the time to think it through. Why is it good for the employee, the company, and you? Now create your compelling story.

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Kim Martin