After the outbreak of the coronavirus, working remotely has become the new normal and many businesses are opting to let their employees continue this practice. Communication between leaders and their teams has been extraordinarily comprehensive and, at times, creative. One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling, which has been a part of human culture since our beginnings. We’re all hardwired to respond positively to stories, so why not use that to build a stronger team even if they are working remotely?
Storytelling Forges Positive Connections
Most good stories involve emotions everyone can relate to. Use stories as an ice breaker or as a kickoff for a meeting. As we tell stories we become more animated and invested. The more stories the team shares, the more trust the team will build collectively. Telling stories that have an impact, even if it’s just a smile, will allow the team to trust one another, be more open, support each other, and strive to collaborate more effectively.
Use Stories to Combat Isolation
No matter how introverted a person is, isolation gets to all of us at some point. Knowing you have a strong team that is just a click away can do wonders for a person’s mental health. Letting others share their self-isolation experiences in a safe and open environment through storytelling allows them to feel they aren’t alone and others are going through the same frustrations. After assessing everyone’s mental space in a meeting you can reach out to individuals, if needed, to assist them further.
Always Come from a Place of Truth
Even when your team members aren’t in the same room, they can tell when something isn’t genuine. Always keep your stories as authentic as possible to build up trust and comradery even if it’s a simple “For me, a typical day looks like…”. You don’t have to go to great lengths to make your team think you have everything perfectly together. Show your team it’s okay to need help, so you can forge more positive relationships and make your team stronger than ever.
Allow All Team Members to Contribute
Some members of your team may be excited to share their stories while others may be more shy. Create an online environment where everyone is encouraged to speak and no one person dominates the conversation. Everyone should know their input is valued within the team. Allow a different person to share a story each meeting to ensure everyone gets equal opportunity to speak.