You know who you are and what you can do, but does everyone else? Do you feel that your professional talents are often overlooked or misunderstood? Have you ever been confused by the way that a peer introduced you to a group and found yourself wondering who they think you are? If so, your professional storytelling might be missing the mark.
What is Professional Storytelling?
We are the stories that we tell of ourselves, our team, and our business. These stories are what we present to the world and how we show up. We are telling them constantly, whether we realize it or not.
A story is going to be told either way, so it is best to define the story you want to be told for yourself rather than letting others tell it for you.
For example, imagine your company is coming under new leadership and nothing has been communicated to the employees. You can hear the water cooler chatter already, can’t you? The rumor mill kicks into overdrive and before you know it, everyone has their own idea of what is going on and what it means for the future. Perhaps some people start updating their resumes and seeking employment elsewhere.
Now imagine the same scenario, but with clear communication from executives. Your leaders intentionally share stories detailing the change, why it is happening, and what it means moving forward—this simple act of defining the story eliminates the need for panicked gossip. The story is being told clearly and correctly, and you avoid a big misunderstanding. This is why it is important to be clear with your professional stories.
The purpose of professional storytelling is to be intentional with your stories so that nobody else has the power to tell them for you. Your narrative is directly linked to your ability to succeed, and high achievers don’t leave that up for interpretation.
Three Stories High Achievers Know How to Tell
There are three stories that define your career: your personal story, your team story, and your business story.
- The Story of You
Your personal story tells the world what you are passionate about, what your purpose is, what you’re good at, and how you bring value. A clear personal story allows you to set yourself apart, whether you are interviewing for a new position or pitching a new idea. When you are clear about who you are, you inspire confidence in your professional abilities and beyond.
- The Story of Your Team
Your team story defines the team’s purpose, shared values, and how you interact with each other and with others. Your team story impacts team culture, which is the foundation of everything from strong collaboration to desirable results. When a team’s story is clearly understood, it becomes a roadmap to success by clarifying expectations and guiding the actions that team members take.
- The Story of Your Business
Your business story is how you tell your customers that you understand their priorities and you are committed to their success. A clear business story defines the value that you bring for your customers and inspires confidence in your brand. Your customer is the hero of this story.
You are the author of your own story. When you take control of your story and the choices that bring your story to life, you live into a life of purpose and significance. You live your values and bring your best talent to the people you serve. You, your team, and your business become unlimited in possibilities. So craft your professional stories with purpose and intention.