We all love a good story

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Storytelling can be a powerful tool when you want to explain how collaboration tools can help colleagues.

Stories are one of the most powerful emotional currencies we possess. They move people to feel, and they move people to act.

At work, stories take the form of narratives, conversations and anecdotes that connect us with the narrator and the subjects and broaden our pool of knowledge. When you share a story, you will spark a story or idea.

We use stories to make sense of our environment. They make us care. They provide a shared context for mutual understanding of events and issues that impact us. And they inspire us to change our point of view.

Ideally a good story around working with collaboration tools should communicate some form of causal resolution of a problem and also have the addition of meaning and significance for the audience.

When I speak to people around the capabilities of collaboration tools I generally don’t talk about what each feature or button does but how the enabling tool (and associated behaviour coaching) has changed the way people have solved an issue; or created innovation; or developed new engagement channels.

My favourite stories of how these type of tools have helped include:

  • Solving departure delays at Istanbul airport
  • Ensured passengers flying into Heathrow received their ‘Bloody Mary’s’ just the way they like them
  • Helping sped up the alterations to passenger wash bags
  • Safety lessons from drilling rigs were shared across an organisation within hours
  • How a banana ice cream maker could peel a thousand bananas at the same time

Obviously these lose much of their currency once taken outside the context of that particular sector so it’s beneficial to begin building a library of wins / case studies as soon as possible. They don’t need to be too details – just a good story. .

Often a new manager or colleague won’t know how these tools and behaviours may have made a difference, but peers and other leaders may have a rich store of anecdotes and memories to make the use meaningful.

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