Influencing: The Art of Convincing Minds and Hearts
By: Richard Richards
I want to give you two quotes from contemporary authors I admire:
“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”
Jonathan Gottschall, Jonathan
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (2012)
No arguing with that!
“At the very least we can recognize that, in the midst of organizational life, there is a deep hunger for story of all kinds. As leaders, we cannot afford to ignore our basic human proclivity for stories and we can, perhaps, afford to be a bit more imaginative and daring in the types of story we tell.
Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership (2014)
And I completely agree with this, after developing the business storytelling skills of hundreds of people who need to influence, lead, sell or otherwise inspire and motivate other people – the heart and soul of the work we do at The Ariel Group.
We are wired to tell and listen to stories, and we need stories to help us understand and to inspire us to action. For this reason, stories are a powerful tool for influencing people, because they work on both our minds and our hearts. And both need to be convinced before I will change my mind, move to action or dedicate my time and effort to your objectives.
If you want to understand the science behind this, Alyssa Galeros Keefe of The Ariel Group has summarized the key facts in her article: Why Storytelling Works: The Science. Here are the headlines.
Stories and storytelling:
- Synchronize the listener’s brain with the teller’s brain
- Connect listeners to the storyteller emotionally
- “Light up” more of the brain than factual reporting
- Enhance memory
- Command human attention
- Can change the brain’s chemistry
- Affect behavior
To learn how to convince the mind and heart and influence people in whatever your role, check out our 6-week online course, Storytelling at Work. This not your usual online course – you will have the opportunity to apply storytelling techniques to business scenarios and receive personalized feedback from experts and your peers.
For a limited time only, we are offering a 20% discount on the course for those who sign up by October 4, 2015. Use discount code: Storytelling20
Links to Resources:
- The Power of Communal Story
- This is your Brain on Stories
- The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
- Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership