Stories become a huge part of our lives from a young age. Growing up, many of us spent Saturday morning lost in the fantastic world of cartoons or insisted on story time before bed. As we get older, we don’t lose our love for stories. We still get lost in good books, enjoy a TV marathon on Netflix, or just like to sit around swapping tales with friends.
According to Swati Joshi of The Huffington Post, stories can also play an underappreciated – but critical – role in the way we do business. It’s easy to see how stories can affecting marketing and advertising, but they can also be incredibly valuable in leadership and sales. Joshi observes that “we feel closer to a person we have just met, once we have heard a story from them. After all, we conduct business with people, not brands of faceless companies.”
As it turns out, there’s actually a scientific explanation behind the allure of a good story. When we hear stories, our bodies have a hormonal reaction that directly impacts the way we feel. During a scene of conflict, for example, cortisol and adrenaline are released into our systems, making us alert and focused. But during the story’s happy conclusion, it’s all about the dopamine, which gives way to feelings of comfort and peace. Good relationships and characters help us to feel trust and empathy.
These are all emotions that can be valuable in business settings. After all, salespeople want comfortable, happy clients who feel trustworthy and empathetic in their relationships with the company. Learning how to tell good stories can help elevate those business connections and turn them into more meaningful relationships.
Storytelling workshops help teach your team how to harness the science behind stories and how to use that to your company’s advantage. Good storytelling is an art, but it’s an art that can be learned. When your team knows how to tell the right story the right way, they have an edge over their competitors who haven’t adopted this particular method of engagement, and that’s something that can prove invaluable to your business.