Mark Weber visited our Centre For Family Business… our 2012/2013 kick-off event
As always, Mark educated and energized the 100+ folks who attended CFFB’s 2012-2013 kick-off breakfast event.
Mark, a social psychologist, talked about social engineering…he described his “interest in how situations that you find yourself in affect what you perceive, how you think, and what you do“.
He went on to talk about the importance of storytelling in business…
“You are part of the definition of the situation.”
“You are a storytelling animal.”
“It takes a story to really engage people.”
Why should business leaders tell stories?
- people are more emotional than rational
- people use analogies to make sense of the world
- people use proxies for analysis of their complex, social worlds [to simplify the world – situations and decisions]
- people don’t pay attention most of the time
Here’s an interesting research fact, shared by Mark: If you want to persuade people then speak quickly [not slowly]. People who speak quickly project confidence and signal competence.
Here’s one of Mark’s recommendations: Become a better story listener, ask questions like
- “Tell me about _________________.“,
- “How did you come to ________________?“, and
- “Did something happen that ________________?“
Characteristics of good stories:
- build connection between the storyteller and the audience
- evoke emotions that serve the purpose of the storyteller
- connect with the core [driving] interests of the audience
In contrast, most business communication is:
- overly complicated
- more about the speaker than the audience
When you create business stories, be clear about your purpose: after this presentation/story/conversation my audience will ____________________, ____________________, & ___________________.
And, before you communicate, think about your audience:
- how does the audience see themselves?
- how does the audience see me? [my company? my industry?]
- how much does the audience know? [on average, speakers tend to overestimate how much the audience knows]
Mark suggested four good story buckets:
- a time you shone
- a time you blew it
- about mentors [humility & gratitude]
- books, movies, & current events