How Storytelling Enables Team Collaboration

Storytelling for Team Collaboration

Matt Sakaguchi, a manager at Google, took his team out on an offsite retreat. His objective – to test out the findings of Project Aristotle, an extensive survey Google had conducted to know what makes up an effective team.

A profound finding through the survey was the concept of psychological safety as the most important factor of building an effective. Which is the idea of taking a personal risk without it being held against you. 

Matt started the offsite by sharing the story of his health struggles of Stage 4 cancer and the whole diagnosis. Although hesitant at first, the other team members began to share and open up about their experiences they had held closely. 

 Matt later observed that the dynamics of the team had changed over a period of one month. Team members no longer saw each other as just co-workers, but as fellow human beings. This made working with one another more enjoyable and extremely effective.

Why does it matter that people collaborate?

People working together is key to the success of any project or initiative. When new members come together to form a team, they go through 4 stages to reach the point of collaborating and performing effectively as a team – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. 

 Leaders of projects, initiatives, or organisations have this constant challenge of getting people to understand differences, align to a common purpose, and work together to deliver results.

 Storytelling enables leaders to prepare the ground for the team, propagate shared values, and ease the barriers to collaboration. The results will show up in one or more ways:

  • A team who is highly aligned to business / project objectives
  • A collaborative mindset that does not compromise on diverse perspectives 
  • A safe space for team members to bring their human side at work
  • Accelerated learning through exchange of ideas 
  • High-level of engagement in the team

Storytelling is a natural human experience. When people hear stories, they are engaged in the experience of the storyteller. Effective use of storytelling creates a culture of collaboration and enables high performance.

 To discuss further about using Storytelling for team performance, drop a message here.

About The Author
Vinod Krishna

Vinod Krishna is a brand storytelling trainer and consultant at DustyPaths.
He brings 3 decades of experience in leading people, projects, and businesses
to forge new paths in brand storytelling and leadership development.
He is an avid barefoot runner, trekker, theater artist, and photographer.
Connect with him on LinkedIn

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