Improve storytelling skills to ensure that you are heard
BY MELISSA PAVLICEK
SHRM-CP, PRESIDENT OF HAWAII PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCATES LLC, SHRM-CERTIFIED HUMAN RESOURCES PROFESSIONAL
Whether you are a coffee barista, librarian or work in an executive suite, communications skills generally improve your chances of being successful. In many work-places, communication can be improved through the use of visualization and storytelling techniques. Storytelling is simply the art of expressing an idea through the use of real world examples.
Q: What is visualization?
A: Pictures have long been thought of as an instrumental tool in helping others see what a speaker means. Through the use of photos, diagrams or charts, communication can be made clear. But visualization also can be achieved through mental imagery and word pictures. Think about the words you use to describe a problem or situation. Invoking all of the senses, for example referring to the sounds rather than just the sights in a story, can make it more memorable. Can you make it clearer by helping the listener to create his or her own mental image?
Q: How does visualization work and why does it help?
A: Visualization helps activate brain pathways, according to recent research. This stimulates and engages new ways of thinking. In the workplace, using descriptive language and storytelling can help improve the effectiveness of communication. Better communication can improve trust and strengthen relationships.
Q: Doesn’t storytelling take too long?
A: A story can be as short as a sentence or two, especially when shared between co-workers who may recall details of a shared experience. Stories usually involve a setting, characters, a problem and its resolution. Referring to stories in pop culture can sometimes help people envision solutions. Be creative. Let storytelling and visualization improve your communications skills.