Do you have a great story to tell?

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We run plenty of leadership development and individual coaching programmes where communication is the central issue…

How can I impact and influence my Stakeholders even though they are all very different personalities?
How can I get my team to understand my values and standards?
How can I keep everyone happy and motivated?

We run plenty of leadership development and individual coaching programmes where communication is the central issue:

How can I impact and influence my Stakeholders even though they are all very different personalities?
How can I get my team to understand my values and standards?
How can I keep everyone happy and motivated?

Often my start point is firstly to help my clients understand and develop their Emotional Intelligence a little better, and secondly to use Storytelling more as a method of communication.

A few years ago we were in the middle of running a long sequence of Clarity, Brevity & Impact training for a large bank in London. Ethan, who used to work as my office manager, was locking up the office one evening when the phone rang. He was halfway out of the door – and he could have left it and gone home, but he turned and took the call. Sue, a senior risk manager from a large US investment bank who had attended one of our programmes that day was calling to ask if we had picked up her mobile phone. She believed she had left it at the venue. The answer was no, but Ethan asked her if she needed the phone that evening, and if she was able to get it from the venue. Sue said that she was in back to back meetings but she would see if a friend of colleague could help. Ethan told her not to worry and he would speak to the venue himself and then get back to her.

Ethan couldn’t get a response from the venue when he called, and although it was in the West End and not on his way home, he decided to head there and see if he could at least secure the phone. When he got to the venue there was a security guard there, who after some persuading, let Ethan in to check the classroom we had been using. The phone was on the floor underneath the desk. Ethan took it, rang Sue’s office in Moorgate to say he was on his way, and went back through London to drop off the phone at reception with a note for her.

After this, Ethan went home, arriving over an hour later than normal. I saw him the following day, but the first I heard of this story however was a week later during a follow up call to the client, who told me how helpful Ethan had been – way beyond what they would have expected. They told me it was the best example of customer service they had ever experienced. Ethan didn’t realise it at the time, but the fact that Sue had her phone back meant that she didn’t miss several important texts from her daughter that evening who was out of the country and needed advice and help. Having her phone back that evening made a huge difference to her – and she sent Ethan a personal thank you letter which he really appreciated.

To Ethan, doing what he did was nothing special or unusual. He just did it because he put himself in Sue’s shoes and wanted to help. He was someone I knew had very high Emotional Intelligence, but what I was especially pleased about was how he used it. He had the attitude and conviction to do something out of the ordinary, at personal expense, just to make someone else feel better.

There are hundreds of stories like this out there, and I am sure you can think of several in your own area of expertise. In Ethan’s case it was about putting himself in someone else’s shoes, and helping them, and I use this story to illustrate the type of personal service our clients can expect from Black Isle. People love hearing it – and I enjoy telling it.

Next time you want to really engage and inspire others, get your message across and feel good at the same time, try thinking “have I got a good story to tell?”