Story Telling As a Project Management Tool

Before the human race had words, stories in gestures and drawings were the base for learning and continuous improvement. Here are 7 ways that stories are still effective tools today.

1. Communicate Stories get the message across in concepts that can be universally understood. Whether it’s pictures on cave walls, parables, fairy tales, folk tales, or anecdotes, people understand a concept in the form of a story. They can “see” what you’re saying in your word pictures.

2. DemonstrateThe word pictures in your story make it easy for your listeners to understand your point. People get it when they hear about the fox and the grapes. They get the idea of applying negative aspects to something that seems too hard to get and how counterproductive that can be.

3. Educate When you present your points in a story you have many devices to help you illustrate the differences between the current situation and the anticipated change. A story with pictures can be that light bulb over the head moment for your audience.

4. Elevate Like an assembly worker who was startled to be called a subject matter expert and seemed to grow in stature, aligning the team members with the hero of your story inspires them to greater things. An awareness of their importance to the project gets commitment.

5. Motivate Deliver a very clear idea of where you’re going. Stories lead to morals or calls to action. They can change behavior for better or worse depending on the speaker’s motivation. A story with a successful outcome brought about by the kind of action you’re encouraging is very motivational.

6. Collaborate The common understanding and vision brought about by your story provide the foundation for the team effort. You’ve got everyone on board and ready to work together. They’re poised to hear and understand the call to action.

7. Activate Use your story as a springboard for the requests you’re going to make. You want some specific tasks to be completed to ensure the successful completion of a project. Make sure the story you select supports the action you want the team to take.

Conclusion: Your presentation will be more effective and achieve the results you’re after with relevant, clear, concise communication in the form of stories.

Got drama in your workplace? Drama comes from confusion and resulting dissatisfaction. Put a solid, structured business system and clear, concise communication in place and end the drama.

Joy Montgomery converts business requirements to system specifications, presentations, and documents in a way that strengthens teams – a friendly way. She puts you in a position to succeed with consistently satisfied customers and employees.

Author: Joy Montgomery