Storytelling is a learnable communication tool that every healthcare leader can add to his or her leadership toolkit. This article contrasts storytelling with other forms of leadership communication and explores the universal appeal and power of story in our shared human experience. It describes the benefits of leadership storytelling and suggests where healthcare leaders can look to find their own stories. This article also explores when leaders should tell stories to their employees and when they shouldn’t. It cautions readers against the 10 fatal mistakes that novice storytellers make. Finally, this article argues that stories that “show” are much more powerful than those that “tell,” culminating with a compelling, hypothetical, illustrative story a healthcare leader might tell his or her employees.
The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come . . .
– Steve Jobs, 1994
A key component of your job as a healthcare executive is to motivate your employees to strive for and reach new goals. One way to motivate them is to appeal to their intellect by sharing relevant facts, statistics, and advice from authorities. For example, you might tell your employees, “Here’s our biggest challenge/opportunity/obstacle, here’s what the metrics look like, here’s what others advise us to do about it, so here’s what we need to do.” Such conventional rhetoric is very familiar and comfortable for most leaders. However, Fryer1 suggests that there are two problems when a leader’s rhetoric appeals only to intellect. First, your employees will bring their own authorities, statistics, and life experiences to the table. They may argue with you in their heads while you are speaking to them and share their arguments with their coworkers after you leave the room. Second, Fryer says, “People are not inspired to act by reason alone.” Even if you succeed in getting your employees to accept your line of thinking, logic alone won’t be sufficient to motivate change that requires difficult, distasteful, or sustained effort. We’ve all experienced times in our lives when we know that we “should” do something logically but don’t because of inertia or because it’s too hard or unpleasant to do it.
Becoming a skilled and effective storyteller is not only doable but extremely worthwhile.
The other way to persuade people, and arguably, the more powerful way, is to unite an idea with an emotion. The best way to do that, Fryer says, is to tell a compelling story. As Fryer explains, “In a story, you not only weave a lot of information into the telling but you also arouse your listener’s emotions and energy.” However, while any intelligent leader can build a case using logic, persuading with story is more difficult. As Hazell2 says, “It might seem simple to tell a great story about your organization as a leader, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.” That said, becoming a skilled and effective storyteller is not only doable but extremely worthwhile. In fact, despite the epigraph that begins this article, Steve Jobs was not always a great storyteller. As Byrne3 says, “He made the choice to become one.” You can, too. And once you add storytelling to your leadership toolkit, you will be able to get your employees to rise to their feet amid thunderous applause as Jobs did his, rather than doubting, yawning, and ignoring you.
THE POWER OF STORY
Stories are a universally appealing part of the human experience, which explains why every culture has them. We are drawn to stories regardless of our age, ethnicity, gender, wealth, or nationality, and we loved them in our ancient past just as much as we do now. As the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP)4 says, “We tell them [stories] face to face and around campfires; through pictures drawn on cave walls and through song; to family and to strangers.” In fact, stories have been implanted in us thousands of times since we were young children barely able to understand them. We’ve heard fairy tales, read books, seen movies, attended plays, and consumed story-based songs, comedy sketches, and jokes. And whether we know it or not, we continue to engage with stories every day, from those adorable animal videos on social media, to the television ads that melt our hearts, to the biographies we crave about our favorite leaders and celebrities.
An effective storyteller often describes what it’s like when we must deal with difficult choices and opposing forces. For example, he or she may explore whether we should do what will benefit us personally or do what is right, whether to have fun now or to forego fun because of a greater need in the future, or whether to give in to laziness or to work slow and steady to win the race. Stories call upon the protagonist to dig deeper, work with scarce resources, make tough decisions, take action, make mistakes, and, ultimately, discover the truth. As Fryer explains, “All great storytellers since the dawn of time—from the ancient Greeks through Shakespeare and up to the present day—have dealt with this fundamental conflict between subjective expectation and cruel reality.”
In fact, the conflict between our expectations and reality is played out in a considerable number of our most popular stories. Taken to the extreme, this conflict threatens the protagonist’s very survival. Stories of expectations versus reality typically follow a pattern. Our fairy tales and fables, for instance, begin with a protagonist’s personal desire or objective—to marry a prince, to go to grandmother’s house, to win the race, or to see what’s at the top of the beanstalk. As Fryer explains, “Desire is the blood of a story. Desire is not a shopping list but a core need that, if satisfied, would stop the story in its tracks.” In “The Three Little Pigs,” for example, the protagonists’ core desire is to have a house to live in. However, there is an unavoidable conflict: on the one hand there’s a hungry wolf out there who likes to eat pigs, but on the other, it takes a lot of time and hard work to build a strong house. It’s much more fun to play. The story unfolds and the pigs face their cruel reality: the wolf is very strong, and flimsy houses do not provide adequate protection. The storyteller then leaves it to us to draw our own conclusion; put in the hard work or you may not survive. This pattern—the protagonist’s desire and expectations + conflict + actions + cruel reality—is the same pattern we see in many of our classic adult stories, too, such as Oedipus Rex, King Lear, Anna Karenina, and even most episodes of Seinfeld. Leaders can follow this pattern equally well when crafting stories to share with their employees.
A good story can provide the structure, order, and reassurance that employees seek in trying times by making their disconcerting ideas and experiences seem more familiar, predictable, and comfortable.
A good story entertains us but also helps us to connect with one another and with our shared traditions, legends, and universal truths. It can become engrained in our culture. A good story also increases our understanding and empathy, engages our emotions, and helps us to share our enthusiasm, problems, sorrows, and joys. A good story can provide the structure, order, and reassurance that employees seek in trying times by making their disconcerting ideas and experiences seem more familiar, predictable, and comfortable. It can also convince them to take action, trigger their imaginations, tap into their creativity, and help them to see and believe what is possible. As well, storytelling is a powerful leadership tool because:
- Stories appeal to all types of learners. In any group, roughly 40% will be predominantly visual learners who learn best from videos, diagrams, or illustrations. Another 40% will be auditory, learning best through lectures and discussions. The remaining 20% will be kinesthetic learners, who learn best by doing, experiencing, or feeling. As Smith5 explains, “Storytelling has aspects that work for all three types [of learners]. Visual learners appreciate the mental pictures storytelling evokes. Auditory learners focus on the words and the storyteller’s voice. Kinesthetic learners remember the emotional connections and feelings from the story.”
- Our brains process imagined experiences as though they are real. Neurological research indicates that our brains produce the stress hormone cortisol during tense moments in a story. Stories that make us feel care and connection can produce oxytocin, and the more oxytocin we produce, the more empathy we feel. According to Hazell, “Stories that captivate emotion and hope can literally change the way our brains process the world.”
- Stories stick. Good stories are easy to remember. As Hazell explains, “We remember rules and lessons best when we’re told them in the form of a story.” Research bears this out. Boris6 explains, “Organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found that learning which stems from a well-told story is remembered more accurately, and for far longer, than learning derived from facts and figures.” Similarly, Smith says, psychologist Jerome Bruner’s research suggests that facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they’re presented as part of a story.
- Stories are contagious. As Smith suggests, “They can spread like wildfire without any additional effort on the part of the storyteller.”
- Stories put the listener in learning mode. Listeners who are in a logical, critical, or evaluative mode are more likely to reject what’s being said. However, storytelling recreates in us that emotional state of curiosity that is ever present in children, but that as adults we tend to lose. Once in this childlike state, we tend to be more receptive and interested in the information we receive. If you doubt this, stop speaking logically, say the words I’d like to share a story with you, and watch what happens. Your listeners will put down their pens, open their posture, look at you more intently, and just listen, Smith says.
- Telling stories shows respect for your listeners. Smith7 suggests, “Stories get your message across without arrogantly telling listeners what to think or do.” Stories give people freedom to come to their own conclusions. As a leader, telling a story can be an extremely respectful way for you to explain to your employees what you need them to do without your having to issue orders.
- Stories connect the storyteller to his or her audience. Yellis8 suggests that stories can help listeners empathize with the storyteller. They also provide a way for the storyteller to demonstrate his or her empathy for the listener and to build a powerful emotional connection. As Yellis says, “Stories bring the teller’s emotions to life for the audience.”
- Stories are disarming. Although debate and arguments can be threatening, storytelling is not. BB & Co. Strategic Storytelling9 suggests that telling a story is like a “momentary cease-fire” in the most contentious of discussions, giving all sides the chance to pause, take a breath, and simply listen. As BB & Co. says, “In that moment, tempers can calm, and cooler heads can prevail.”
Storytelling may seem like an old-fashioned tool in this era of technology, but it is nonetheless extremely powerful. ASAP suggests, “Because we learn best from stories that we relate to emotionally, the most effective leaders . . . the most effective advertising . . . the most effective art . . . even, the most effective relationships embrace stories.”
WHERE TO FIND YOUR STORY
You don’t have to be a superhero to tell great stories. As Choy10 says, “You don’t need to have scaled Kilimanjaro or invented the next Google to tell stories from your life. Somebody who’s good at telling stories can make plywood or even paperclips interesting!” Material for good stories is all around you if you know where to look:
- Paint a picture of the future. Fryer suggests that you begin your search for a great story by analyzing your organization’s past. Then, project the future as a story. As Fryer explains, “You create scenarios in your head of possible future events to try to anticipate the life of your company or your own personal life.” However, while crafting your stories, don’t tell a beginning-to-end tale describing how results meet expectations. That is boring, predictable, and banal, Fryer says. Instead, display the struggles that you and your organization have faced in the past between expectations and reality, as well as those you are most likely to face in the future.
- Share a real (not imagined) failure. It takes courage to talk openly about our failures, and some leaders are loath to do so. However, a compelling story can often be found when we are willing to speak honestly and openly about what has gone wrong. As Fryer explains, “Ever since human beings sat around the fire in caves, we’ve told stories to help us deal with the dread of life and the struggle to survive. All great stories illuminate the dark side.”
- Share a mistake. If you don’t have a catastrophic failure or deep dark side to weave into your story, focus on the smaller mistakes you’ve made. Employees’ ears perk up when they hear their leaders speak of their mistakes and how they overcame them. They like to see their leaders as human and flawed, and they appreciate it when their leaders are willing to admit their errors, even dumb ones. As Thompson11 suggests, “By sharing relevant stories about their mistakes and struggles, and how they’ve helped others, leaders offer evidence that we can trust them to lead us towards some objective.”
- Tell your origin story. We all started somewhere, and how you or your healthcare organization began can serve as good material for your story. As Choy suggests, “People are naturally curious about how movements, causes, or companies got started.” Choy recommends that you reflect on how the past has influenced the present. For instance, Choy asks, “What has changed since the beginning, and what core values or visions have stayed the same?”
- Share your rags-to-riches or underdog story. This is not a story every leader can tell, because not everyone has had a rags-to-riches life. However, such stories, when true, can be very compelling. They can be especially effective to explain when you started to feel like you’d made it on your journey upward. As well, Choy suggests, “Reflect on how the ‘rags’ give you perspective on the ‘riches.’”
- Describe overcoming the monster. Many organizations have had to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Others have powerful examples of how their employees, founders, or leaders had to look a difficult “monster” in the eye and overcome it. Choy suggests, “These organizations are sitting on a goldmine! Their stories will inspire and motivate their employees, customers, investors, or donors.” Choy suggests that it is most effective to describe the setbacks and rebounds you experienced on your way to overcoming the monster. As well, she suggests that the storyteller reflect on what he and others have learned from the battle.
- Use everyday moments. A remark from a patient, an employee accomplishment, or even “a funny thing happened on the way to work today” can all be good material for a story. It can be especially powerful to highlight what an employee has done well, large or small, and to give credit where it is due.
WHEN TO TELL A STORY, AND WHEN NOT TO
Healthcare is not entertainment. Most of the time, employees do not need or want to hear stories from their leaders, and, in fact, telling poorly timed stories can do more harm than good. According to Shattuck,12 inopportune stories can become “a distraction and even disrupt a focused work environment.” However, although there are times when stories are not going to be welcome or effective, there will be key leadership storytelling moments when they most definitely are. Great leaders seize those moments. Choy13 cautions, “There can be harmful consequences if they [leaders] do not present a coherent narrative to their teams during these key moments.”
Times of uncertainty are arguably the biggest and best moments for leadership storytelling.
When will your stories be most effective? It will be in the big moments in your healthcare organization, when something important is at stake. Shattuck suggests that leaders reserve their stories for these occasions so they will have the greatest impact. Times of uncertainty are arguably the biggest and best moments for leadership storytelling. Choy suggests, “When your team faces uncertainty, they need you to tell them what you think is going on.” Is your healthcare organization about to go into a new market? Launch a new service? Reorganize? Merge? Be acquired? Is there going to be a change in leadership? Systems? Facilities? Has there been an unflattering story about you in the newspaper, or are you embroiled in a lawsuit that has gone public? Or is the country, city, or community going through a macroeconomic shift or battling an extraordinary health crisis? These are leadership storytelling moments when your team will crave your perspective the most. Missing the opportunity to tell a compelling story in such moments can create what Choy calls a “story vacuum.” Choy explains, “When times are uncertain and those in the know are not speaking up, others will rush to fill in the gaps with their own stories. This is fertile ground for rumors! People will be constructing a narrative no matter what.” It’s up to you whether you intentionally contribute to that narrative through storytelling or leave your employees to their own devices, Choy says.
Times of disappointment and failure also are great opportunities for leadership storytelling. Employees will be looking to you for inspiration and reassurance when their confidence has been shaken. As Kipman14 points out, there are many great examples of famous people who have failed on their way to success, such as Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jordan. Telling their stories of failure, perseverance, and comeback, as well as your own personal stories, can inspire employees who have been beaten down by disappointment and failure.
Finally, if you find yourself stepping into a new leadership role or a higher level of leadership, that, too, is a perfect moment for you to share a story with your employees. It is natural for the new employees you manage to want to know who their new boss is. They may be nervous about how things will change, loyal to a leader who has left, or skeptical about your abilities. As Grossman15 says, “Employees don’t want to follow leaders who they don’t really know and understand. You can’t get anywhere with your team if they don’t see you as a real person who’s not perfect but who has a real vision. . . .” A sincere, heartfelt story that reveals who you are as a person and what you foresee for the future is just what is needed in such moments.
HOW TO DELIVER YOUR STORY: TEN TIPS
You don’t need to be a stand-up comedian or a witty raconteur to deliver an effective story. A plain, simple, and direct style often works best. Denning16 suggests ten storytelling style tips:
- Be fully present for your employees. Storytelling is a performance art. You must be ready to deliver your story at peak performance at the appointed day and hour. When you open your mouth to begin your story, make yourself totally available to your employees. As Denning says, “If you are there for them, they will be there for you.”
- Put nothing between you and your employees. If there is a podium or table, come out from behind it. Don’t use notes if possible. Notes are a huge distraction and will signal to your employees that this is not a conversation but a one-way rehearsed lecture. Look at the employees when you’re telling them a story, not at notes or a PowerPoint slide.
- Tell your story as if you were talking to one person. Your voice should be the voice of dialogue, not of a booming lecturer. Give your story the rhythm of a conversation.
- Show interest to all of your employees. Don’t talk to one subgroup of employees or to one side of the room. Move toward your employees and look at everyone. Maintain direct eye contact as much as possible.
- Be rehearsed but seem spontaneous. Your story should not feel like a hackneyed set piece that you have labored over and delivered time and again. Speak as though the words are just coming to you in the moment. Denning admits, “The appearance of spontaneity is of course an illusion.” Nonetheless, the story should not seem overly polished and rehearsed. As Denning explains, “Even if you are telling the story for the seventh time, you relive it afresh in your mind as if you are experiencing it for the first time. You feel the emotions of the original participants yet again, and the audience will also feel these emotions.” Because the story is fresh each time for the storyteller, Denning says, it’s fresh for the audience, too.
- Keep your storytelling focused, simple, and clear. Use language that doesn’t draw attention to itself and avoid unusual mannerisms and striking gestures. If anything, tell your story in an understated manner. Your goal is not to make your employees think you’re a great storyteller, but to focus on the content of your story.
- Avoid hedges. Avoid disclaimers that you don’t have the time to tell the whole story, or phrases like “as far as I know.”
- Present your story as something valuable. A good story is a gift. Don’t rush through it and don’t apologize for taking the time to tell it. The time you spend on your story is time well spent as it may give your employees a meaning or an insight they may not have otherwise.
- Be lively. Vary the pace and tone of your story to keep your employees alert. Raise and lower the volume of your voice appropriately to convey your emotions.
- Adjust for your employees. If your employees laugh, dwell on the point for a moment or two longer to take advantage of their laughter. If your employees fidget or seem otherwise disengaged, move swiftly to another story element that is likely to be more appealing.
SHOW, DON’T TELL
It’s easy to make statements such as, “Never underestimate the power of a caring coworker.” While that statement is true, it is not gripping, exciting, entertaining, or memorable. As Peck17 says, “The point of your story isn’t to beat someone over the head with the idea, but rather to SHOW it through lots of vivid detail and an example that highlights your core philosophy.” For example, here is a story, adapted from Peck, that illustrates the impact of showing through story rather than telling through statement. Notice the use of rich description, the storyteller’s admission of feeling guilty, and the element of surprise:
Do you remember when we were completing our EHR data migration a few months ago? That was a very busy time for us, wasn’t it? Like many of you, I was putting in extra hours to keep up with everything. Then, at the end of a very long day, my mother called me to tell me that my grandmother had passed. You can imagine the pain of my grief. I loved my grandmother. But on top of that, I also felt tremendous guilt because I knew that my grandmother had been ill but I didn’t make the time to travel back home to see her or to say my goodbyes. I had also let my mom down. I knew that she spent that last terrible day in hospice watching her mother slip away without me there to help or support her.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, there was a relentless foggy drizzle that night that made visibility poor, so, of course, traffic on the way home was terrible. I realized while straining to see through my windshield that I hadn’t eaten lunch that day. In fact, a dull headache had already taken root. That’s when I remembered that I had almost no food at home and that I had planned to go to the grocery store after work. But at that moment, I had no energy, desire, or time for that. I didn’t even want to take the time to drive through a fast-food window. I just wanted to get home, eat whatever I could scrounge up, and book my airline reservations to travel home for the funeral. When I finally pulled into my driveway, I saw someone sitting on my stoop. “Probably another homeless person,” I thought to myself. I approached with caution and irritation. Could there have been a worse time for this? But as I got closer, I saw that it was Andy sitting there in the damp fog, with two bags of Indian takeout food beside him. He stood to greet me and wrapped me in a big hug. “I thought that you could use this today,” he said, pointing to the food. “Let’s go inside and eat.”
As you finish a story such as this one, you may be tempted to tell your employees the moral. In this example, it would be, “Never underestimate the power of a caring coworker.” But resist this temptation if you can. As Peck suggests, “Whatever your core philosophical statement, think about leaving it unsaid.” It is much more powerful to leave it to your employees to draw their own conclusions about your story. Unless you’re telling Aesop’s fables, which include moral lessons, choose your story well, tell it effectively, and leave the moral unspoken. Your employees will come to the conclusion you had in mind all along, Peck says, and feel so much more connected to you and to your story for doing so.
Laura Hills, DA, practice leadership coach, consultant, author, seminar speaker, and President of Blue Pencil Institute, an organization that provides educational programs, learning products, and professionalism coaching to help professionals accelerate their careers, become more effective and productive, and find greater fulfillment and reward in their work;100 Harborview Drive, #801, Baltimore, MD 21230; phone: 667-205-1152; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.bluepencilinstitute.com; Twitter: @DrLauraHills.
When Storytelling Goes Wrong: 10 Fatal Mistakes
Have you ever told a story that bombed, or that didn’t get the response you were hoping for? That happens to every storyteller and is part of the learning process. However, Biesenbach18 says, “If you want to keep it from happening again, you need to diagnose what went wrong. Chances are, you made one (or more) fatal storytelling mistakes.” Below, Biesenbach offers 10 mistakes novice storytellers make, and that you should avoid:
- Not understanding your audience: Whether you’re talking to one employee or hundreds, you must know your audience to ensure that your story is relevant. Do your homework. Who are your employees? What are their needs, concerns, doubts, and misperceptions? What angers or frightens them? As part of your research, assess your employees’ mood. Are they discouraged? Frustrated? Jaded? Cynical? What’s happened lately? Have they just gone through a round of layoffs? Are they feeling over-burdened and worried for their jobs? As Biesenbach says, “These are important things to know before springing some rosy, feel-good story on them or reminding them of their pain points.”
- Having bad timing: Your employees will be most receptive to your story when they aren’t distracted by other tasks. Choose a time for storytelling when your employees can give you their time and attention without feeling pulled in multiple directions.
- Being too generic: Your story should be about a specific character, time, and place. This is true even if you make up a story.
- Cluttering your story with extraneous details: Your employees don’t need to know the name of every minor character in your story or the precise date that every event happened. Avoid tangents and meandering. Separate the “nice to know” from the “need to know.” As Biesenbach says, “A perfectly good story can be ruined by too much detail.”
- Leaving out conflict: At the heart of good story structure is conflict, usually an obstacle that is preventing your protagonist from getting what he or she wants. Biesenbach suggests, “That’s where the drama and human interest lie. If there’s no conflict, the story is flat—there’s no reason for us to listen.”
- Creating an unrelatable character: Your employees need to be able to see something of themselves in the protagonist of your story. That character must come from your employees’ world or at least share values, traits, or struggles that your employees can relate to. Your protagonist must also seem real to your employees. Biesenbach says, “That means flawed in some way. Nobody’s perfect - even superheroes.”
- Trying too hard to be funny: The best humor arises organically from the everyday foibles and frustrations of life that we all experience. It’s based on truth. As Biesenbach suggests, “People are much more likely to laugh at your story about losing your luggage than at some manufactured setup and punchline.”
- Not practicing: Good storytelling requires practice. You need to tell your story over and over, to yourself and preferably, to others. You need to shape it, sharpen the turning points, heighten the highs, enhance the lows, and hone it down to its most critical elements. Then, you need to internalize it so you don’t stumble as you tell it. Practice will enable you to focus on your emotions in the moment, rather than on what comes next in your story.
- Leaving the story unresolved: Your story must go somewhere worthwhile; it must arrive at a satisfying conclusion. Resolve the conflict or if you can’t, have your protagonist learn something. “There has to be a clear lesson for the audience to take away,” Biedenbach says.
- Telling an overused story: Employees will be understandably tired of hearing the same old stories again and again. If you’ve found a story at the watercooler or circulating online, chances are that at least some of your employees have already heard it. As Biesenbach urges, “Be original.”
- Fryer B. Storytelling that moves people. Harvard Business Review, June 2003. https://hbr.org/2003/06/storytelling-that-moves-people. Accessed January 23, 2021.
- Hazell C. Leading through story: how great business leaders use narrative to inspire and lead others. Point Loma Nazarene University. www.pointloma.edu/resources/business-leadership/leading-through-story-how-great-business-leaders-use-narrative. Accessed January 24, 2021.
- Byrne D. Steve Jobs’ lesson about storytelling. Pulse/LinkedIn. July 31, 2020. www.linkedin.com/pulse/steve-jobs-lesson-storytelling-dave-byrne/?articleId=6694940202449956864. Accessed January 25, 2021.
- American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP). Learn what makes stories so powerful—and meet three powerful storytellers. ASAP. March 1, 2019. www.asaporg.com/what-makes-stories-so-powerful. Accessed January 25, 2021.
- Smith P. The leader as storyteller: 10 reasons it makes a better business connection. TLNT. September 12, 2012. https://www.tlnt.com/the-leader-as-storyteller-10-reasons-it-makes-a-better-business-connection/. Accessed January 25, 2021.
- Boris V. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning. December 20, 2017. www.harvardbusiness.org/what-makes-storytelling-so-effective-for-learning/. Accessed January 25, 2021
- Smith P. Lead With a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives that Captivate, Convince, and Inspire. AMACOM; 2012.
- Yellis N. Why stories: 10 characteristics of effective stories. Leadership Institute. July 10, 2014. www.leadershipinstitute.org/news/?NR=10570. Accessed January 25, 2021.
- BB & Co. Strategic Storytelling. Lessons from Lincoln on how to persuade with storytelling. BB & Co. Blog. February 1, 2013. https://bbcostorytelling.com/blog/lessons-from-lincoln-on-how-to-persuade-with-storytelling/. Accessed January 26, 2021
- Choy E. Why is leadership storytelling so powerful? Leadership Story Lab. February 14, 2020. www.leadershipstorylab.com/why-is-leadership-storytelling-so-powerful/. Accessed January 27, 2021
- Thompson S. Storytelling for leaders: craft stories that matter. Virtual Speech. November 9, 2017. https://virtualspeech.com/blog/storytelling-for-leaders-craft-stories-that-matter. Accessed January 26, 2021.
- Shattuck R. Why it’s important for great leaders to tell great stories. Forbes. September 26, 2017. www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/09/26/why-its-important-for-great-leaders-to-tell-great-stories/?sh=6afa447b6f99. Accessed January 27, 2021.
- Choy E. Don’t overlook key leadership storytelling moments. Leadership Story Lab. December 8, 2019. www.leadershipstorylab.com/don-t-overlook-these-key-leadership-storytelling-moments/. Accessed January 27, 2021.
- Kipman S. 15 highly successful people who failed on their way to success. Life Hack. January 20, 2021. www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/15-highly-successful-people-who-failed-their-way-success.html. Accessed January 27, 2021.
- Grossman D. Share stories to connect with employees. The Grossman Group. January 29, 2020. www.yourthoughtpartner.com/blog/share-stories-to-connect-with-employees. Accessed January 27, 2021.
- Denning S. The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative. Jossey-Bass; 2011.
- Peck S. 11 ways to improve your business and personal storytelling. One Month. July 12, 2019. https://learn.onemonth.com/11-ways-to-improve-your-business-and-personal-storytelling/. Accessed January 28, 2021.
- Biesenbach R. 10 fatal mistakes storytellers make. Biesenblog. https://robbiesenbach.com/10-fatal-mistakes-storytellers-make/. Accessed January 28, 2021.
This article appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of The Journal of Medical Practice Management.