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Storytelling is transforming the culture of companies all over Alabama. Here’s how.

Wildaparq

For the next several months, FireSeeds will be featuring tips on how to “Sparq Your Culture” at work. For May, we are going to start with Story.

We’ve found that in order to authentically engage with someone, you have to know their story. What we mean by story is this: the major life events that have shaped someone. Stories give us hope, provide the framework for a meaningful life, and bring energy to the mundane.

As a leader, if you have a clear picture of where someone has come from, you can develop a more lucid understanding of their motivations, beliefs, and behavior patterns that govern their day-to-day.

This may totally change the way you view someone. Good. We hope it does.

For more information on how WildSparq can impact your company culture, visit wildsparq.com/yhn.

One of our clients completed the Story lesson within WildSparq, and it completely affected how they saw one another.

There was an employee that was recently hired for a high-end retail franchise. It was her first week on the job, and her office had a plumbing issue. The water was overflowing all throughout the bathroom. The team was away from their desks at the moment, except her. Her manager walked by and asked if she could clean the bathroom because he was about to step out for a meeting. It’s small business, so no task is too small. He meant nothing by it.

But when she was told to clean the bathroom, she immediately started to cry. She lost it. The manager panicked and chose not to address why she was crying. Later in the month, the manager spoke with the owner about their new hire and the situation with the bathrooms.

The manager spoke of how doubtful he was of her performance because she cried over the smallest task. They were beginning to question if they hired the right person…

Then, their team meeting happened.

In the Story lesson, team members are asked to define the 3-5 major life events that have shaped them. These life events are someone’s story. In a monthly team meeting, you share those life events. When it came to the new hire’s turn, she shared that she came from a broken family. She had a horrible relationship with her stepmother, after the remarriage. Their relationship consisted of being commanded to go clean the bathrooms. That’s it.

Her first week on the job brought back those awful memories from when she was child.

When she gave the reason for crying over the bathroom comment, the manager immediately lost control and empathized with her. He, too, came from a broken family, and he was able to relate.

Her story gave context, and ultimately changed her relationship with the team forever.

She was promoted two months later, which is twice as fast as a new hire could achieve during their training.

So how do you share your story with your team, someone you’ve just met, or someone you’ve known for years? We’ll help you out! Craft 3-4 sentences for 3-5 major life events that have shaped you. These may be positive or negative life events.

Take Action:
This month, be sure to get time with at least one co-worker to share your story and ask them theirs. Make this a habit to become a more effective leader.

A Few Things to Remember:
Asking someone else their story shows you care
Hearing the story of a co-worker may totally change the way you view them as a person.
Understanding someone else’s story will give you better context to lead that person as you understand what has shaped them into who they are today.

For more information on how WildSparq can impact your company culture, visit wildsparq.com/yhn.

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