For a fleet manager, stories can be more than just entertaining anecdotes – they can be a powerful tool to motivate technicians, change employee behavior and garner senior management’s support.
But what exactly is storytelling in a utility fleet environment? How do you tell a good story, especially if you’ve never thought of yourself as a great communicator?
In an interview I conducted with Paul Smith, leadership trainer and author of the best-selling book “Lead with a Story,” Smith said that storytelling is “a way of getting your message across without making your audience feel defensive, so they will be more open to what you have to say.”
How do stories make the audience more open to your message?
“A story activates a different part of the brain, where instead of being critical and analyzing, they’re just listening to the story,” Smith said. “It creates that open frame of mind in people in a way that data alone cannot do.”
The idea is that you can use stories to influence people without wagging your finger at them or telling them what to do. Stories allow the listener to arrive at conclusions themselves, making them more receptive to you and more motivated to follow through on your message.
So, what does storytelling look like when you’re managing people in a utility fleet environment?