Building Trust with Story

Do you want a simple way to increase the bonds of trust between you and your direct reports? It all starts with “Once upon a time.” Stories are a powerful tool to communicate, and one of the best ways to use them is to convey information about yourself. A well positioned story can help those around you, see who you are, what you value, and what kind of person you are.  Instead of telling people you value loyalty, tell a story from your life that demonstrates this. Instead of telling your staff that fairness is a high priority, tell them a story from your life where they can realize this themselves. A boss can tell her staff that she values integrity, but when she tells the story about the time a major client wanted her to fudge some numbers and how she refused, even though it meant losing the contract, integrity becomes a picture and no longer just a word. Stories also speed up time. As your staff learn pieces of your history, they begin to feel like they know you more, or have known you longer. Whether we feel we know someone or not is a key piece in building trust. Stories also have Ninja-like powers, sneaking into our brains and forming pictures and meanings that stick with us for a long time. Stories also arouse emotions, that, when paired with a thought or idea, form powerful new beliefs. Stories are especially valuable in building trust when relationships are new. If you have recently taken over a new team, then regular story telling should be part of your...