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Change leaders tell stories about real pain points.

When organizational change is viewed by the employee population as arbitrary or conceived in an “ivory tower,” it does’t stick. Some will fully commit, but others will act with minimum effort compliance; and a part of the organization will simply disregard implementing the change, period.

Storytelling is an undervalued, under-utilized tool in a change leader’s belt. It’s the art and science of influencing and inspiring others; not just by telling great stories through various means, but being a great story.

Everyone loves a great story.The best change leaders invest the time to learn storytelling skills and develop initiatives that solve problems that matter to people, both internal employees and external customers. They ensure that changes will create and design things that improve situations, whether it’s better products, processes, or customer experiences. 

And when change leaders tell stories about real pain points, including how, exactly, they’ll make things better, something transcendent happens. Those hearing the story don’t just “get it” in their heads but “feel it” in their hearts. They see themselves in the story–which is what the best stories, whether in business, movies, books, songs, or sharing around the bonfire, have been doing for us for ages. 

This Medium article asserts that “the skill of storytelling to get employees buy-in on change” involves elements such as transparency, a sense of belonging, positive emotions, and authenticity. “Despite living in a world of technology driven change we have to approach it as human beings.”

Developing and sharing, with authenticity, the story of how you’re making things better is just one of many habits of successful storytelling. Furthermore, this specific storytelling habit doesn’t just help influence change adoption. It also sharpens strategy toward making positive use of disruptions like biotechnology, which many organizations are leveraging to improve people’s health, fight disease, and increase the world’s food supply. Healthier people equals a more available, engaged workforce responding to great stories of why forthcoming changes will make specific things better.

I write stories you can read in less than five minutes, featuring diverse professionals whose tips on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life. 

Get started today with building these three habits and growing them into strengths. Start with this blog, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive exclusive content each month.

John M. DeMarco is a writer, strategist, and executive coach based in Nashville, Tennessee.
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