In a world that moves faster than ever before we have to compete to rise above the noise. We have to work harder still when influencing others to take action, whether it be helping us on a project, adopting a new technology in the organization, or buying our product.
Even when we have real value to add to the world, we need to help our colleagues, clients, friends and families understand why it matters. Why should they support our efforts – or better still, assist our efforts? There are many methods for expressing why something matters (logic, persuasion, coercion, emotion) but you need to do it well if you want your listener to take action. Sometimes the best way to make an impression and to motivate your team is to tell a story.
How will you get your colleagues to move forward, to move away from the tried, trusted and antiquated software (full disclosure: I am a consultant for a firm specializing in custom software development) that everyone is comfortable with, but doesn’t fulfill your requirements anymore? How will you align your team in terms of deciding on the best approach to drive your organization’s success forward, instead of wasting time accommodating the past because it is familiar and comfortable?
You can bond with colleagues as you all bemoan the time wasted on the current system. Your personal technological savvy empowers you with awareness of the new solutions. This provides you with courage and you list all the reasons why life would be so much easier if only we implemented Super Awesome Technology. Yet, new technology is still so abstract and theoretical to your colleagues, that they of course bring on the customary concerns – “Every time we upgrade our system to help the company, it ends up making things worse!” or “We’re all so busy. Who has the time to learn a whole new software system?”
Here is a story that garners attentions and translates across cultures.
Sometimes a story is the best way to accelerate action… It doesn’t necessarily have to include the raw emotional trigger of the aforementioned video, but sometimes telling the story of how Fabulous Organization down the street had 12 (probably more) disparate, disconnected systems and tools to manage its business operations (data storage, marketing, internal communication, CRM, events management, etc.) and then implemented Super Awesome Technology and now have one fully-integrated, scalable, and easy-to-use system, as well as more efficiency, effectiveness, and collaboration across the organization and less headaches.
Tell one story. Craft it to appeal to your audience and you can influence action. This transcends beyond technology and into a variety of circumstances. Think about it – then create your story, measure it’s results, refine, and tell it again.