Storytelling is a useful leadership capacity; this activity provides a way to exercise for the participants.
- To recognize the significance of storytelling as a leadership trait.
- To illustrate how to tell a story.
- To practice telling a story.
Activity training methods
- A storytelling checklist
- Flipcharts and markers
- Have players sit in a circle otherwise, place chairs in a “U” shape.
This activity is most suited at the beginning of a leadership program. If you plan to have participants give presentations, later on, this activity will help participants practice making impromptu presentations. Use it after your introduction and breakdown of the workshop agenda
- Step 1: As the trainer, you need to represent this skill of storytelling. Use the sample checklist provided as your guide to writing a story. Rehearse your story out loud a couple of times so you can tell it without using notes. Before the activity starts, narrate your story that includes all the elements of a good story. You can select either option below; note that the second option is more befitting because participants will be reviewing their skills and career goals throughout most of the leadership program.
Option 1: Tell the story about how the vision of the company or program became a reality.
Option 2: Tell a story about one of the facilitators that highlights the struggle and lessons learned during his/her career.
- Present the factors of a good story. Distribute your checklist, and discuss the point. Use the story you shared in Step 1 to review the elements of a good story.
- Have participants tell their own stories. The task for each person is to tell a story. Select from topics such as these:
a. Tell a story about a time when you led at your best
b. Tell a story about the time in your life when you realized you were competent.
c. Tell a story about a time when you realized you could achieve a milestone in your career.
d. Tell a story about a time when you solved an important business problem.
Allow participants time to select a personal story and organize the facts.
- Have participants choose the order in which they will narrate their stories and then begin the storytelling activity. Keep each story to about five minutes.
- Discuss the importance of storytelling as a leadership trait. Try to get each participant to share what they think the benefit of storytelling is, using the following trigger questions:
a. How did family stories (or the lack of them) influence you as you were growing up?
b. What stories were you told when you joined the company?
c. Did these stories contribute to your impression of the company? If so, how?
Summarize and discuss how storytelling can be implemented by aspiring leaders. Ask participants to select a story told often in their organization, and narrate it by following the outline covered in Step 2.
Ask participants to write a story that identifies someone else’s achievements. Suggest that they hand it later to their company newsletter, tell it during a staff meeting, or share it via e-mail. Ask participants how they plan to implement storytelling throughout their leadership program and work life.
Take time shortly after completing this activity to recollect on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Then, make a record that includes how much time you actually spent on the activity.