If you articulate your values as part of a story you will have a greater impact and meaning. Storytelling is a wonderful vehicle to communicate your personal or your organisation’s values.
How values are commonly shared
What are your values and how can you bring them to life? I’ve worked for multiple organisations that had their core values proudly displayed on the wall or made into mouse mats, bookmarks, and brochures so they are prominent for all to see.
“When a person can identify and narrate the experiences that shaped their values, they feel more grounded, inspired with purpose, and better able to connect with others on a human level.”Anita Cushman
The heart of the organisation rests with those who tell the stories
When I worked in a hospital for many years, there was a vibrant local and international history with plenty of stories. Some of the longest-serving staff were the hospital porters. They were at the coal-face of many a tale and it was in the re-telling of these stories that the values of the organisation were brought to life. Often during long night shifts, these stories would be told to anyone eager to listen.
It was not apparent that any of these stories were captured more formally or shared by the leadership team.
When values are simply words on a page, they have less impact than when they are shared through the tradition of oral storytelling.
Marshall Ganz from Harvard University uses values-based leadership practice. He says, “Narrative is not talking about values, rather narrative embodies and communicates those values.”
When values are stuck on the wall in a frame, they carry the value of a mass produced painting, and no one takes much notice. But when the values are shared in the form of narrative, people can appreciate their worth and uniqueness as the values convey meaning and context.
If you would like to do a value-based exercise prior to crafting your story, you can download a set of 100 Values cards that you can print out here. Opt-in and you’ll receive the 100 Values Cards to your email:
Here are six questions to help you shape your values story
#1 What are your top values?
#2 Why are these values held dear to you?
#3 What are the values of your business or organisation?
#4 Are there any of these values that create conflict for you, or that you do not fully commit to?
#5 Can you think of a time when you have upheld one or more values, and this led to a positive outcome for you or someone else?
#6 Can you remember a time when you have had your values challenged, and you have felt pulled or have struggled to come to terms with this?
Once you have pondered the questions, craft a short story about your values. You may choose to weave multiple values into a story or you could have a short story that demonstrates each value in action.
The Values Story is one of the six stories that I recommend every leader should have as part of a Story Blueprint.
Read about other key parts of your Story Blueprint:
- Every leader needs a Signature Story
- 10 ways to boost engagement with your by sharing a signature story
How I can help you
Virtual Masterclass – This live masterclass Communicating with Influence or Business Storytelling for Leaders can be delivered as a 30 minute session x 3, or a 90 minute session. Let’s chat about a tailored training session for your team.
Virtual/Online Training – A live class (not pre-recorded) This session is 4 hours duration, with 90 minutes of interactive content, a 30-minute break, followed by another 90 minutes. This session is ideal for small to medium teams. Topics include Communication for emerging Leaders, Communicate with Influence, Public Speaking for Business Success, Presenting Online for Leaders Managing Virtual Teams.
Virtual/Online Coaching – Public Speaking and Storytelling Coaching Online. Now is a great time to upskill so that your communication skills stand out in the online world.
Virtual Presentation – Now is the time that event planners can access speakers to present virtually from anywhere in the world.