The Essence of Visual Storytelling to Effective Leadership

The Essence of Visual Storytelling to Effective Leadership

Jean Chalopin

There are many tools and techniques available that improve and strengthen the influence of leaders on their followers. Storytelling is considered one of the most effective. When used in the right way it helps leaders to give an explanation about his or her thoughts to others, to share knowledge and skills with them, to put up shared vision and patch up conflicts calmly. Storytelling is a powerful tool which addresses the emotions of people. It has the potential to overcome barricades people build to keep themselves safe against the external world and fresh ideas.

Storytelling is a conventional and powerful tool of communication between individuals. It can be classified in many ways. According to Jean Chalopin, an entrepreneur, “A story is a complicated system of symbols as such give sense to events and things and represents experience, norms, as well as clarification of reality. The basic value of groups and people are projected into them.  We make use of stories to make personal as well as group identities, change social practices, as well as shared values and knowledge.”

For leaders, stories symbolize a useful tool. They allow them to share information, clarify new ideas, execute changes, create new visions, settle conflicts, form the business culture, influence as well as co-develop the basic principle of people and groups. Leaders can influence the superiority of organizational learning through storytelling.

A leader can utilize visual storytelling to:

  • Enlightenment of thoughts and schemes
  • Tacit knowledge and skill sharing
  • Improvement in communication
  • Smooth the completion of the change
  • Planning
  • Team and community building
  • Intensification of innovation
  • E-learning
  • Trust building
  • Training and coaching
  • Communication with customers as well as other stakeholders
  • Making of visions and scenarios

As mentioned above, perhaps the most vital role of storytelling is the function concerning tacit skill sharing. Opposing to explicit proofs, stories can pick up implicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is hard to codify, a more complex implicit skill cannot be codified at all. Conventional analysis and explicit proofs work with an abstraction of what you can see. Sad to say, they are not able to catch what is invisible and hard to articulate. Explicit hard argumentation can please the intellect, it cannot capture the heart, and it cannot transfer implicit skill. Stories can pick up the models, meaning, explanations as well as implicit connections hidden in the subconscious level of your mind. It can move emotions and touch hearts. It is an excellent tool for implicit knowledge sharing.

A good story helps the leader to overcome mental hindrances people build against new knowledge. That is the reason a story enhances communication between people, boosts their creativity as well as helps to look for common values and address conflicts.  Visual storytelling can open the imagination of individuals and boost their ground-breaking potential.

Leaders can utilize and gain from many various kinds of stories which can be found in each business or organization. The character and kind of stories which are told in the business characterize the company and reflects its weakness and strengths, its principles and values and health. Organizational elements like communities, teams, and departments make their own stories which describe the kind of management, relationships, amongst workers, values, issues, usual activities, and lessons learned. Such stories are shared in daily informal communication and influence all business activities, type of management, decision making

Visual storytelling teaches you how to behave and live. As a virtual media, storytelling helps to change implicit knowledge between people and make business alive. Visual storytelling forms the business culture as well as influence. Visual storytelling indeed influences the quality of business learning.

Disclaimer:  The author of this text, Robin Trehan, has an Undergraduate degree in economics, Masters in international business and finance and MBA in electronic business. Trehan is Senior VP at Deltec International The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the author, and not necessarily reflecting the views of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries and/or employees.

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