Need to Align Teams with Mixed Skills? Consider Storytelling

If you’re still dealing with the after-effects of the great resignation (and now #quietquitting), you’re not alone. Talent shortages and hybrid work have created massive shifts in how teams work and collaborate with one another, leaving many organizations now struggling with a talent pool with an uneven mix of skills and institutional knowledge. Getting everyone on the same page is never easy, with managers feeling the burden of having to upskill their teams with limited time in the day, and many L&D professionals now tasked with solving this through training and internal education programs.

So, how do you get new and existing employees speaking the same language while also building and strengthening team dynamics? The answer may surprise you: Create a culture of storytelling.

Yes, storytelling.

Good communication is the cornerstone of any healthy company culture, and storytelling gives teams a better way to communicate. Whether holding a brainstorming session, presenting an update, or writing an email, a culture of storytelling establishes a common methodology to share ideas and interact internally and externally.

In other words, it gives managers an effective way to bring their team into alignment – and also gain influence across the organization.

Anyone Can Learn This

Like any newly acquired skill, it starts with investing in your people.

While everyone enjoys a good story, most people don’t have the right skills to craft a great story, especially in a business setting. Many teams are especially challenged with how to weave mountains of data into a compelling story. With some basic understanding of the key elements of story fundamentals, along with training and consistent coaching, storytelling can become a shared language within your teams and across the entire organization.

Consider the workshop, Crafting Strategic Visual Stories. It teaches the fundamentals of storytelling with a practical, easy-to-use framework that will transform business communications into memorable narratives that drive conversations forward. The best part? Teams will discover strategies for adjusting their narrative to any scenario, including meetings cut short, a boss’s request for 3 to 5 slides, a diverse audience, a high-stakes email, or a virtual presentation. This will help boost their confidence and executive presence while literally and figuratively getting everyone on the same page.

Creating a Culture of Storytelling

Now comes the fun. Once employees are trained on the foundational principles of storytelling, managers can start weaving it into every aspect of the organization. This will take time, practice, and consistent coaching as you implement this mindset into your everyday operations. The result? Getting your team to speak in “story” can completely transform the way you do business.

Communicating at the Speed of Business

  • Storytelling breaks down information silos and ensures a shared vision within a team and across the company
  • Shared stories streamline everyday business communication, encourage collaboration, and drive goals forward faster
  • Communicating with stories makes organizations more agile while encouraging individuals to tap into their creative and innovative thinking
  • Storytelling skills improve executive presence by building confidence, and showing mastery of material when teams can pivot their story in real-time to meet diverse audience needs 
  • Storytelling training shows new and existing employees that you value their professional growth, which can help with employee retention and improve morale

Soft Skills are More Critical Than Ever

In an ever-evolving employment landscape, listening, teaming up with others, sharing thoughts, and communicating with colleagues is essential in our always-on, never done business reality. Building a culture of storytelling may seem a little out of the box, but the reality is that narrative has always been the driving force behind any company product, innovation, or strategic growth. Think of any great brand you admire, and chances are they have an amazing story they tell.

With the right training, storytelling can become a strategic business tool that leaders can use to align their teams, empower employees old and new, and equip their organization for the next level of success.