The Most Powerful Way to Lead

April 12, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

The people you lead don’t want to be told what to do.

As a result, it is difficult and often frustrating to give instruction. You might hear yourself saying, “Why don’t they get it?” “I have told them a thousand times what our priority is and I’m just not getting through.”

Although there may be a number of systemic factors at play when people are not doing what you want them to, if the issue is communication then try a story.  The people you lead will never get tired of good stories – especially ones of you struggling.

To drive home a point, search for a personal story or vignette. Not a long one. If it’s a good story you don’t even have to make a point – the story makes the point and you can draw an infinite number of points out of a good story.

Here are the three ingredients of a good story:

1. It tells of a challenge.

2. It tells about how the challenge was overcome.

3. It has a break-through or transformative ending.

The more authentic and vulnerable you are when you tell your story, more powerful. Facts alone are not that useful. Facts in a story are.

Next time, tell a story. I bet you will start hearing a lot stories after you do.

Filed in: Leadership

About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years as a CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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