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Effective Leadership and Strategic Storytelling

Leadership A Master Class Training Guide

Good storytelling is a hallmark of effective leadership. It’s a medium that allows leaders to move others. It also lets people know how the leader thinks and feels. Psychologist Howard Gardner examined how a leader can create an effective storytelling framework to move people in the right direction.

Levers of Storytelling

Innovative stories are crucial when:

That begs the question: What kinds of strategic storytelling levers does a leader use to motivate people in a desired direction?

First, it depends on your audience. If you are working with people who are highly sophisticated in what you’re doing – let’s say you’re running a hedge fund and you’re dealing with your partners who understand finance as well as you do – then the more academic levers of research and of reason are very important.

If you’re running for political office, chances are voters are not going to look at your syllogisms, and they’re not going to know enough to evaluate your data. That’s when things like resonance come into play. Whether you feel on the same wave length with the leader, and he or she manages to convey that “I’m one of you.”

If you are dealing with people who aren’t familiar with a subject, you would go for the redescription lever. Redescription is presenting the same ideas in many different ways. Some people aren’t going to be convinced by a linguistic narrative. Then a cartoon, a comic, wit, dramatization, games – those are other vehicles where you can bring about a different way of doing things.

Another lever is real world events. These are events you have no control over, but the effective leader uses them to change the conversation. Say for example the stock market tanked. A leader knows his team wants to understand how the event effects their job or industry.

Dealing with resistances is a common approach. When you tell a story, everybody has many other stories in their mind. Those stories are often quite resistant to the story you want to tell. Leaders often spend too much time convincing, and not enough time thinking of all the reasons why someone might be embracing a very different kind of story. The shrewdest mind-changers spend a lot of time trying to understand what the resistances are and how to deal with them.

Ultimately, a leader needs multiple strategies to employ during a crisis. They must understand their audience, and know which levers worked in the past and which ones ought to be pulled out for the occasion.

For a quick review, go to the SlideShare deck.

Strategic Storytelling

Watch a conversation between Daniel Goleman and Howard Gardner about ways to employ levers of storytelling.

Theory into Practice

Leadership A Master Class Training Guide

Apply these concepts into your training program with our Leadership: A Master Class Training Guide. The collection offers more than nine hours of research findings, case studies and valuable industry expertise through in-depth interviews with respected leaders in executive management, leadership development, organizational research, workplace psychology, innovation, negotiation and senior hiring. We developed an extensive, detailed training guide around the video content for human resources professionals, senior managers and executive coaches. Each module offers individual and group exercises, self-assessments, discussion guides, review of major points, and key actionable takeaway plans. The materials allow for instructor-led or self-study opportunities.

Email mike@morethansound.net for a sample guide and limited-time discount code.

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Daniel Goleman’s “The Focused Leader” Wins HBR McKinsey Award

Best-selling author and psychologist Daniel Goleman is the 2013 HBR McKinsey Award winner for his article “The Focused Leader,” which was adapted from his book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. A synopsis of that section on leadership is available in Dr. Goleman’s new collection What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters. The book is a compilation in one volume of Dr. Goleman’s groundbreaking, highly sought-after Harvard Business Review articles and other business journal writings.

The award-winning article sheds new light on how leaders can direct their most valuable resource – their attention. Drawing on the latest neuroscience research, Goleman argues that leaders must cultivate a higher level of awareness about what truly matters, and demonstrates how they can do so through various methods of attention-training.

Since 1959, the HBR McKinsey Awards have recognized practical and groundbreaking management thinking. “It shows how important a leader’s focus is today,” said Daniel Goleman.

 

 

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What makes a leader: why emotional intelligence matters

Daniel Goleman’s What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters is the author’s collection of business journal writings on his key actionable findings about leadership and emotional intelligence. This often-cited, proven-effective material is essential for stellar management, performance and innovation. The collection makes available his most sought-after writings in one single volume.

The collection reflects how Dr. Goleman’s thinking has evolved about emotional intelligence, tracking the latest neuroscientific research on the dynamics of relationships, and the latest data on the impact emotional intelligence has on an organization’s bottom-line.

The articles have become essential reading for leaders, coaches and educators committed to fostering stellar management, increasing performance, and driving innovation.

Print copy available March 14, 2014. Digital copies available in early February.

Save 30% on pre-orders of 20 or more copies. Email mike@morethansound.net for details.