Power of story in your workplace

Work , Storytelling , Inclusivity

Power of story in your workplace

You want us to do what at work – are you serious?!

The idea of sharing your personal story at work might raise all sorts of initial reactions, mostly negative: I can’t tell my colleagues about my personal life.I’d never want my boss to know that about me. There’s no way my staff can ever know that about me...

Did you know that one of the most powerful ways to develop empathy, build trust, and enhance relationships is by listening to each other’s stories? The What’s Your Story? Workplace Initiative is a national storytelling campaign aimed at creating connection between people, breaking down barriers, and helping us find our common humanity.

This initiative will not only develop your organisation’s people – it will develop citizens with greater social awareness and a deeper concern for South Africa’s future. Research shows that this kind of storytelling used in the workplace:

  • contributes to organisational learning;
  • increases understanding and empathy;
  • enhances trust and leads to higher levels of collaboration; and
  • leads to improved communication, stronger relationships, and increased productivity.

Four ways storytelling can benefit the workplace

The effectiveness of “What’s your story?” rests on four pillars of value:

  • Greater workplace effectiveness: Story-telling in the workplace leads to better understanding among individuals, improved communication, greater trust, and higher levels of collaboration.
  • A more inclusive workplace: The social cohesion that results from storytelling directly reduces prejudice and the potential for conflict. This creates inclusiveness, which allows the creative power of diversity to be harnessed in a workplace where everyone is accepted and valued.
  • Increased cultural awareness: Storytelling builds cultural awareness and intelligence in the company, resulting in greater understanding of markets, customers, and the communities in which we do business.
  • Developing better South African citizens: The insights gained from hearing people’s stories equip employees to be better and more effective citizens in the communities in which they live, play and work.

If you’d like to find out how your company or organisation can become part of the What’s your Story workplace storytelling initiative, email info@heartlines.org.za

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