Unlock Team Performance With Storytelling

The single most important factor driving impact in the modern working world is team health. Teams are how we get work done and how we do business. Teams can be the reason we come to work every day, or they can have us dread the workday.

Post-pandemic, many of us have come to realize our ways of working aren't working anymore. The truth is that most teams are vastly underperforming relative to their potential, while more people than ever are reporting feelings of burnout.

As a leader, your ability to build your brand and grow your business depends on your marketing team’s health.

The good news is, as a marketer, you are already an expert at leveraging one of the most critical tools to your team's success: storytelling.

As a former brand strategist, I know how powerful storytelling can be for building brands. The narrative your team tells themselves about who they are and what’s possible for them can foster belonging, purpose, creativity, innovation and growth — or it can do the opposite.



Here are four prompts you can use with your team to unlock team performance by evolving your narrative together:

Identify the current narratives and limiting beliefs of a team. Whether we're aware of it or not, as teams, we all have limiting beliefs about who we are and what's possible for us. Maybe you find yourself saying, “Well, we don't have the skillset for that,” or “We've never done that before,” or “The organization sees us as good executors but not strategic leaders.”

With a simple prompt — What’s holding us back from success? — your team will bring to the surface limiting beliefs that you then can examine one-by-one. The truth is, they are all just stories. Ask yourself how you may shift the narrative — first within your team until you genuinely believe it — and then beyond.

Design a meaningful future vision for the team by crafting a “We are…” statement. Your team has the power to create the future you want to be a part of by imagining and speaking aloud a future state of being and then making it a reality through specific and regular practice. Rather than say, “We wish we were seen as strategic business partners,” state, “We are strategic business partners.”

Say it out loud, and often. You’ll find your body, actions, and brain will start to change, which will set you on a path to make this true together.

Make the vision a reality by identifying the most pivotal behavior shifts.  Bring your team together and ask what new behaviors, processes and tools you need to put into place to exist in this new “We are…” reality. Make a list of what will drive you forward, and commit together as a team to experiment with each.

Communicate your evolved story to others. Share with other leaders how you are refocusing and repositioning your team to work more effectively together within the organization. Own your “We are…” statement proudly.

Think back to the last time someone said something to you about themselves with great confidence and commitment. Chances are, you believed them.

Your story is your strategy. Your story tells you what to do and what not to do. The greatest leaders pause, reflect and bravely articulate who they want their team to be each and every day. Put your storytelling superpower to work for your team today!

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