It is amazing how a story shared can change perspective and thinking processes. The impact can be even greater when there is an emotional connection and warmth behind that story. A story for story telling sake just doesn’t have the same impact without those extra spices or hidden ingredients thrown in.
What does story telling have to do with HR when we are all about rules and working with legislation, you may ask? Well actually, there is a lot of story telling in what we do. It is that hidden spice that moves HR from being transactional to an art and true business partner relationship. We use story telling for everything from policies and how they come to be and what they are about, through to explaining the findings of a disciplinary investigation to an anxious and fearful employee. Storytelling is after all an effective way to help people relate to one another and learn more about each other.
One of our values here at Stapleton Consulting is being ‘maverick’. We front up and speak up, and work to solve problems without stress and confrontation. Story-telling is big part of the way we do things, as it forces us, as HR people, to have the audience’s needs and priorities front and centre.
Being maverick often results in us being misunderstood as a good story doesn’t just happen overnight, nor does its impacts. It is instead a craft honed over conversations and periods of reflection. Then its true impact is not fully realised for some time because it spreads like a ripple across the water.
Now that is a different way of doing HR. Each of the team are that same kind of crazy as me! Makes for interesting devils advocate like debates and thought provoking discussions.
Don’t get me wrong, we can move quickly and divisively. Ever heard of my 24-48 hours rule? But before we start, we all must start from the same page.
So if you are thinking you need to step away from the ‘you shall do this or that’ style of communication with your team, then how about you give my maverick team a call, you may just be surprised by the stories they have to share.