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Stories at Work – an Excerpt

Is there a way to influence people without pushing data and analysis on them? Is there an effective way to drive change in an organization? Yes, through stories. Stories at Work will teach you how to wrap your stories in context and deliver them in a way that grabs your audience’s attention. Read an excerpt from the book to know more!

This book is designed to take you from being a believer of the power of stories to a seasoned user of stories in business, first by introducing you to the various elements of story work and then sharing with you the process you can use to unlock this enormous potential.
However, to do that I must first shift a belief most people have about stories. Imagine that you are one among ten people sitting in a conference room waiting for a very important meeting to start and someone in the room says ‘let me tell you a story’. Pause and think about what would be the first thing that would go through your mind. Take a minute.
If you are like 95 per cent of the 1500-plus senior leaders that I have run into during my workshops, your first thought would be along the line—‘why is he wasting our time’, ‘it’s time to be serious’, ‘what an idiot’, ‘has he not prepared for this’, ‘how long will this take’ or ‘why do I have to listen to it’. Very few of you, the 5 per cent, would say ‘I want to know what he has to say’ or ‘I hope it is interesting.’ That is the barrier stories face in business.
Most of you who have been in sales, and many of you who have not, would have at some point in time in the past been told by your boss ‘Kahaani mat batao!’ (Don’t tell me a story), when you were genuinely trying to explain the real reasons behind why something didn’t happen. Most people label stories as being made up, something to be used for entertainment or something usually for children.
While this myth will surely be shattered as we journey through the book, it would be useful to introduce you to my definition of business storytelling. Story is a fact. What we will do is wrap it in context and deliver it with emotion.
You might ask, ‘Can’t stories be created or made up?’
Of course they can, but not in this book and definitely not in the world of business. ‘Can’t I borrow from mythology?’ Of course you can if you have a huge memory bank for mythological stories and know how to connect them to business. But not in this book. In this book, and in the work I do, we will stick to stories being facts. After all, the currency of business is fact.

Stories at Work will teach you how to wrap your stories in context and deliver them in a way that grabs your audience’s attention.

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