An important communication tip I can give is to learn to tell stories.
Life was never meant to be a mathematical equation, but a journey to be lived, a story to be told. A journey filled with uncertainty, sometimes laughter, sometimes pain.
There are many things in our lives that we can never explain or find meaning in a framework or a mathematical equation.
Is there a framework to help you when your marriage is going through the rocks?
Is there an equation to help us solve world peace?
Life, for the large part, is more like a story than anything else. That’s why a lot of us; we love movies of courage, romance, heroism; our hearts light up when someone starts to share his life story.
Yet, when the class teacher starts sounding off theory A, B and C, we quickly lose our attention.
John Eldredge, a famous author, once wrote, “Stories are the language of the heart.”
And indeed, as a leader, you must learn to speak not to the mind, but to the heart. It is when you speak to the heart that you begin to truly inspire and bring out the best in each individual.
Read about stories of great men and women of history, and when the situation arises, start sharing these stories with your people. (I have created a section Leadership Stories specifically for this purpose)
Sure, it is possible when you believe; but how about sharing a story of how one man succeeded because he believed? How about sharing the story of Frodo in the Lord of the Rings; how he went through all the trials and troubles to finally save Middle Earth from the evil Sauron?
You can be sure that it’ll touch people much deeper than simply telling them,” You need to believe.”
Don’t speak to their heads, go for the heart!
And how about your own story? What trials and challenges have you been through in your life that you can share? What things in your life can you share to inspire?
John Eldredge also said that to know a person, you have to know his story. Besides just sharing your story, ask your people about their stories.
How did they get here in their lives?
What were some major turning points in their life?
Learn about people, who they are, what they’ve become by asking them about their life stories. You’ll be surprised; people have been through more than what you might imagine about them.
For myself, after asking a few friends about their life stories; I’ve learnt that everyone does have a great story to tell.
Use stories for your presentations, your speeches, your pep talks. You’ll find that it achieves a much more tremendous effect to inspire your people.
Leadership Geeks provides you with resources that help you tell stories from biographies of great leaders, and stories from leadership themed movies as well.
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Articles on Effective Communication Skills
Learning to listen well
Good listening skills are an essential part of the communication process. Learn how you can become a better listener to your team.
The importance of accountability
If you have been a leader who has delegated work to your team, you would have seen the importance of accountability. You need to teach accountability to your team so that your organization can move in a single direction together seamlessly.
Learning to Praise
Praising people is an essential skill you must learn as a leader. Understand the importance and power of praise in building relationships in your organization.
In today’s world where everyone is rushing somewhere, it is important that you learn how to be present wherever you are. Communication is not just about talking, but it’s about being present wherever you are so that you can engage.
The Power of Stories
Theories speak to the head, while stories are the language of the heart. Learn how you can use stories in your speeches and talks to inspire, motivate and create lasting change in people.
How to resolve conflicts well
Conflicts are a common sight in most organizations. While it’s never pleasant to have conflicts, but sometimes it happens where people have misunderstandings or differing opinions; learn how you can manage conflicts well
Keeping that smile on your face!
“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.” Understand why it is so important to hang a smile on your face everyday.
Building Trust, the Foundation of Relationships
Trust is the foundation of relationships. Learn how you can build lasting trust between you and your followers that will help your organization a better place to be in.