One of my work colleagues has the incredible gift of leading creative meetings – she never just uses the standard powerpoint and lecture mode; there is always various creative elements to the meeting. One of the small, but critical techniques she uses is to always communicate instructions for tasks in multiple ways so that the four main adult learning styles are covered. As a participant, you don’t notice this unless you pay close attention because she does it incredibly smoothly and naturally. You just know what to do as she has spoken your ‘language’.
Good stories are like this too as we all resonate with different parts of the characters, the experience, and the storyline. Sometimes we resonate with the same parts, but in the end we have a shared experience which we can refer back to.
This is important in periods of change; we need to tell many stories and tell them in different ways so that we connect with the people we are wanting to be on the journey with us. It’s not one story, one directive, communicated once and change will happen. It’s needs to be multiple stories, multiple requests, multiple ways to help, communicated continually and consistently. Also, if you can make it easy for someone to share, you have a better chance of success.
Sometimes it will feel like you are being a stuck record, saying the same thing over and over again. In those moments, ask yourself if you can tell a different story to communicate the same thing. Also remember, if you want people to dance, they want music, it may just be that the song you are playing needs to change.