I was participating in a group discussion on LinkedIn about organizations’ resistance to communication and presentation training. In one of my posts I talked about how one of the other posts mentioned a very important component in dealing with the analytical left brain that is so prevalent in our work society – storytelling.
A well told story will deal with both measurable results and observable behaviors – the behaviors that led to the results – the behaviors that are the foundation for sustainability. When told well, the stories make tangible in the minds of the listeners both the results and the behaviors.
I was then questioned about the exact connection to measurable results. Here is my reply:
“Pick your own measures that have meaning, and recognize that results may not be the point of it all. The integrity and whole-heartedness of your actions may be the final measure. What we call ‘results’ may simply be moving outcomes that pass in front of us.” Peter Block
Results are measurable and a trailing indicator. That is only half the story at best. Behaviors are observable and a leading indicator – and just as tangible as measures. With results we are left to react and with behaviors we are challenged to be proactive.
The power of Story is useful not only in engaging a listener but in transforming what it means to be proactive. If we understand, and are committed to, the results we desire, then it is a must that we understand and commit to the behaviors required to get us there – both individually and collectively.
And this is where Story comes into play with measurable results. Instead of just presenting the measures, we begin to tell the complete story about ‘how’ we got those results – we put the spotlight, not on the numbers, but on the specific actions that got us there.