Hone Your Skills

Workplace Storytelling: How Sharing Personal Stories Can Build Rapport And Strengthen Your Team

November 10, 2021
5 Min Read

Sharing personal stories can be a great way to build rapport with your coworkers, gain insights into their lives and perspectives, and strengthen your team overall.

Stories are interesting! Research shows that people remember information that is presented in story format better than information presented in list form. So if you're trying to make a point or get your team on board with an idea, framing it as a story will ensure that it sticks with them.

Stories also create connections. When you share something about yourself with another person—even if it's just an anecdote about what happened on the weekend—it helps them to understand more about who you are and how you see the world. And when people feel like they can relate to each other, it forms the basis for a deeper relationship that can lead to more meaningful interactions at work.

Stories help people learn about each other.

We all have many stories to tell - from anecdotes about our family and pets, to life experiences that have shaped our personal and professional lives. We can share these stories with each other as a way to learn about one another.

We may think we know the people we work with well, but do we really? Sharing stories is a great way to discover new things about our co-workers, including their likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. This helps us build more meaningful relationships at work.

Storytelling can be a healing force in the workplace.

If you've ever had the chance to hear other people's personal experiences, you know that storytelling can be a very powerful and healing force. Stories give us the opportunity to process our emotions and get in touch with what matters most to us, helping us to understand ourselves better.

Stories also give us perspective on how others perceive the world. It's easy to become closed off from each other when we're so focused on personal goals, but by taking time for a few stories here and there, we can learn more about what matters most to those around us and share our own insights with them in return.

It's important not only that we share stories, but that we listen as well. Listening allows us to connect with our colleagues on a deeper level than just work-related tasks. When people feel comfortable enough sharing their stories around work-related issues such as challenges they face when trying new things or dealing with difficult people at home or in office settings, then they will be able to better relate to one another because this gives them an opportunity for empathy as well as showing support if needed!

Stories can create empathy in the workplace and deepen trust between colleagues.

Sharing a story about a time you felt compassion for a colleague can help others understand what it feels like to be in their shoes. For example, perhaps you were about to reprimand an employee for being late when you remembered that she had just broken up with her boyfriend and was probably feeling particularly down. By sharing this story, you could teach your employees about the importance of empathizing with their colleagues.

Stories are much more powerful than facts and figures at building trust between colleagues because they make abstract ideas more concrete by bringing them down from the clouds. In fact, research shows that storytelling increases the production of the hormone oxytocin in the brain and therefore increases empathy. High levels of empathy are crucial in workplaces where teams need to collaborate in order to achieve success.

We all have stories to share, no matter what role we play at work.

Everyone has a story to share, no matter what role they play at work. Your accountant might be hiding a secret passion for the drums or your CEO might have suffered through a series of terrible jobs before launching their own startup.

These stories are a way to connect with others and share your humanity, but they also serve an important purpose—they help others understand you and form opinions about who you are. When someone shares their experiences with you, it's much easier to empathize with them and see them as someone more than just a title or job function. It lets you make personal connections that can strengthen relationships and potentially improve teamwork and communication.

Personal storytelling is an opportunity to learn, grow, and listen to each other.

When we tell our stories, we are putting our most vulnerable selves out there for others to see. With time, this vulnerability breeds trust and camaraderie as each person on the team becomes invested in the other’s success and well-being. We believe that when people share their personal stories of growth and struggle, they can connect with others on a deeper level; ultimately, building a more trusting and caring workplace community.

In fact, people who make an effort to get to know each other because they want to build stronger relationships at work are 3.7 times more likely to be engaged than those who don’t.

Key Takeaway: Storytelling is a great way to connect and build rapport with people at work.

Storytelling is a way for you to learn about other people and for them to learn about you. It helps you get to know people on an entirely different level and gives you insight into what motivates them and what drives them.

A strong team starts with members who trust and connect with each other. If you want to encourage this type of behavior, start with yourself and be the example. You don’t need to formally ask your team to share stories with each other, simply start by sharing stories about your own life (whether work or personal). As you do this, your team will become more comfortable opening up to their colleagues because this is the culture you’ve created.

Say it like you mean it.

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