7. Storytelling for Managers

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/7. Storytelling for Managers

7. Storytelling for Managers


We are pre-positioned to love storytelling. We enjoy the triumph and drama of a good story. Stories compel us and bring a level of understanding and commitment that can’t be achieved through simple words. Stories have the ability to motivate and inspire your team to dig deeper and reach higher when times are tough or difficult.

And when we take the time to go over the stories from our own lives, I guarantee that you can find those stories from your own experiences.

Here’s the process that I use:

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Welcome back to the smooth operator podcast. I'm your host, Adam Liette. Thanks for taking the time to join us today. So today, we're going to be talking about a subject that's very near and dear to my heart. And it's the idea of storytelling and the concept of that.

So Russell Brunson, he talks a lot about the importance of storytelling within marketing, and how it's a vehicle to connect with your audience. And if you've gone through any of the Click Funnels training, you'll there's so much of it about capturing your stories and use them to connect your audience with your audience. It's a bridge, it's a way to really just connect in a deep, visceral way.

In fact, it's been well observed that the greatest marketers and salespeople are also amazing stories, storytellers. That's not a coincidence. It's that natural love of story and that natural ability of storytelling that has enabled them to become very successful at what they do.

Now, I often think of my own job as more of internal marketing, I'm always selling to my team, the idea that they should follow me that they should follow the direction I'm taking them on that I am able to lead them in the right direction.

And I do it a lot through storytelling, we can use the same things that we use in external marketing and sales, internally within our own teams in order to increase buy and increase motivation increased follow through from our own team members. Because the fact is, human beings are pre positioned to love storytelling, we enjoy the triumph and drama of a good story.

Stories can compel us and bring a new level of understanding and commitment that can't be achieved without the arc in the vehicle of this story. Stories also have the ability to motivate and inspire your team to dig deeper, and reach higher, especially when times are tough, or difficult. And when we take the time to go over our own stories, the stories from our own lives, I guarantee you can find those stories from your own experiences.

So if you're starting from this, and Adam, I got no good stories, yeah, you do. Believe it or not, I would just challenge you to get out a pen, a pad of paper and come up with 30 stories that you can tell from your life, you can tell almost at a whim. If you keep writing for long enough, you're gonna find more and more of those stories within your past.

So a theme of the last couple of episodes is I've talked about really running your meetings and your interactions with your team, like a performance. This partially comes from my background as a professional musician, but it's a bit like the red pill. Once you see something and start doing something you can't unsee it. What I've seen is that the most effective communicators and team leaders are continuously telling stories as part of their presentations. It's part of their cadence and one of their go to strategies for connecting with their audience and with their team members.

I'll refrain from name dropping figures that I've aspired to model. But it shouldn't be too hard to think of a handful that you've come across and begin studying them and listening to their presentations in a different light. And I use free storytelling frequently within my own internal marketing, especially before we're taking on big projects or coming up into a major promotional period. And perhaps the most popular one on our team is the story about the wave of consequence, which I can recount at some point, it's a really good one. There are also several moments from both my military and business background that make for a perfect scene setter, and emotional pull for my team.

So revisit that list. And think of the ways you can use story in your team meetings to help set the agenda, inspire your team into action, and pull them through those difficult moments.

I have a continual list. I'm just constantly cataloging various stories I have throughout my life, and you should start doing the same. As you do this over time, you're gonna find even more. And then comes the fun part. It's working through the details of those stories and practicing them. Yes, literally practicing your own story before you deliver it live.

So there's a great movie from when I was a kid called Reservoir Dogs. I don't know if you saw that you have it. My gosh, that's a classic, you know, really brought that whole genre to popular culture. And there's a scene where Tim Roth is rehearsing a story about a drug deal that goes wrong so many times. And the reason he's doing this is because he's undercover. He's an undercover police officer trying to infiltrate this gang and the story is complete nothing. It's not actually a real story. But he needed a way to get by I ended that team, we have a group of guys sitting around drinking beers. What do you guys do? They do that they're telling stories, it's, it's part of what we tend to do as men. And when he's practicing the story, during the course of the movie, you see the various ways he's refining it and thinking of all the little details, making sure it's perfect. And when he finally does deliver it, it's it's a thing of beauty.

That's where you need your own story to be if you haven't seen the movie, or if you have even, it's well worth the time to watch it or rewatch it and see how well developed, he does this story. It's not just the words he's using, it's not just the flow of the story. It's the cadence, the tone, the delivery, all these things add up to how to be a good storyteller. And my secret weapon, when I'm doing this is my iPhone, I'll walk around my office with a story in mind, recounting it into my iPhone, recording it, getting a transcript picking through seeing where it doesn't quite work, seeing where I'm getting too wordy, or I need to put in more detail, or where I'm just clogging or you know, talking on and on without getting to the point.

And over time, especially if you tell your story to yourself 10 to 20 times, it becomes very natural. It B has a certain flow to it has a certain essence has a certain all the great things that we know about hearing something that's very compelling. And also what practice does is ensure that when you're delivering your story, you're in delivery mode, telling the story live and really just being in the moment. There's something magical to that it comes from rehearsal, it comes from preparation.

And when you do that you found you're living the story, you're delivering all the intangibles like eye contact and nonverbal communications, the hand movements, movements, the little little things that your eyes are doing. All these nonverbals are what put the final piece in to the impact you're trying to achieve when telling a good story.

So if you get to the end of this episode, and you can't think of any amazing stories that start with AI inspired, I steal them to be honest, and you can steal them yourself. Literally look up amazing business stories and tell someone else's story. It doesn't have to be from a person, first person point of view, but you can very easily steal a story. And basically use that as a scene setter for when you're you're working with your team. It can be something that inspires or motivates you matter of fact, now that I'm recording this live, I didn't prepare this. So here goes my own preparation.

I know it actually encourage you to make this a part of what you do, to find those incredible stories that are out there, like just do some Google searching and fire or read some good books, find some amazing business stories about people overcoming and achieving great success, and reward the whole story to be from your own mouth. What an incredible idea.

Even if it's not your own story, your audience, your team members will still be compelled, because who's the one delivering the story? It's you. You're the one who's giving them that content. And given that context. The one taking them on a journey. Instead of just reciting bullet points from a PowerPoint presentation. I think we can all say we're done with PowerPoints.

I know I am I don't want to attend another PowerPoint for the rest of my life. I do like a good story though. In some sense, you're also then utilizing the principle of borrowed authority when you are utilizing someone else's story. That's a whole can of worms not prepared to go full child Dini just yet that is coming soon. Like anything, storytelling can be overdone.

So it shouldn't be.

Everything is a story.

But what I tend to do is reserve my stories for when they had the biggest impact. And then when I know I'm going to deliver it, I deliver the heck out of them. It's, you can see it on the call, everyone is just like on the edge of their seat waiting for the climax of that story and waiting for the resolution. That's who we are as people.

That's how we are already wired. It only makes sense to take your communication style and mirror it after what your team is already expecting what they already respond to, and what will already push them into momentum. And so I'm a big fan of always leveraging the things that are known knowns and doing things that way. So here's the good storytelling.

I hope this was a good kick in the pants to start using utilizing this hidden secret. And I know when you go deliver this to your team, whether it be in a marketing meeting, or whether it be in a big product reveal launch. The storytelling that you put behind it is going to make a big difference. And it's going to help have the impact that you're seeking to achieve in that moment.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing