Depending on your source, it was either Plato or an unknown Navajo women who once said, ‘Those who tell the stories rule society.’ Regardless of who said it, the essence of the quote indicates how vital storytelling is to the human condition, and how influential it has been. Storytelling, of course, predates written language and the earliest forms were oral expressions. Cave paintings and other forms of rock art were the earliest form of recorded storytelling. It’s a structure that we absorb avidly when we’re children through fairy tales and myths. When we’re adults, they largely come to us in the form of films or adverts. Stories are as important to us all -almost- as breathing. Why is that? Because stories are a method by which we learn. They have shape and their structure often falls into three acts, a beginning, middle and end.
Why is this important to us in our professional lives? The more we can bring stories into our communication, the more we will engage and inspire. Stories can help us to relate to one another and build empathy through other people’s experiences. The definition of empathy is ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.’ Good art, I would argue, inspires empathy, but I think good communication also has the capacity to create empathy, whether that’s in presentations, team working, or a company’s ethos. And at the heart of it all should be a damn good story.