I’ve been in meetings this week with people I don’t know – even though we’ve been meeting 5 or 6 times a year for the past four years.
Our meetings have always focused on business, not each other.
This week we were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing something people didn’t know about us. Here’s what I learned: •JoAnne was widowed at a young age and started her own business
•Maria has 10 grandchildren with the 11th on the way
•Paul traveled the country in his 20’s playing guitar a heavy metal rock band
•Jerry is a fourth generation farmer and extremely proud that his two sons are fifth generation farmers
Their stories were fascinating. Sharing stories allows people to connect. They build bridges in our hearts and minds that enable us to communicate more effectively. Sharing stories becomes part of the culture of an organization. Effective leaders use stories to inspire commitment and attract community.
Why would you want to build a culture of storytelling and openness in your business? For starters, because they result in maximized productivity and profits and higher employee retention.
In their book Tribal Leadership, authors David Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright spell out the effects of a strong culture: •Fear and stress go down as the “interpersonal friction” of working together decreases
•Organizational learning becomes effortless, with the tribe actively teaching its members the latest thinking and practices
•People’s overall health statistics improve. Injury rates and sick days go down
•Most exciting … is that people report feeling more alive and having more fun
What’s the culture in your company? Do you know the stories of the people who work with you?
Why not Ask?