G. Riley Mills, Co-Founder and COO of Pinnacle Performance Company, met with us at ATD International a few months ago and shared a simple framework of stories that every leader should have as part of his or her arsenal. Take a moment to watch his interview, and then read on below to determine what events and experiences in your life would translate well to each of these categories.
Story #1: The Origin Story
How did you start your business? Where did you meet your spouse? Where did you come from? These stories help build history around who you are and make you (and your struggle) more relatable.
Story #2: The Crucible Story
What’s a significant challenge that almost broke you, and yet you prevailed? Think about a time where something bad happened and you had to change or reinvent yourself in order to succeed.
Story #3: The Leadership Story
When did you have the opportunity to take control of a situation in which people followed you? What was a time where you stood up for someone, or where your voice was echoed by the support of a group? Have you ever mentored someone in a way that tangibly improved their lives?
Story #4: The Helper Story
Have you ever gone out of your way to help someone in need? What happened? What was at stake that prevented others from stepping in? Maybe you helped a stranded driver during your commute; what made your decision to pull over and help them, rather than just driving on toward your destination?
Story #5: The Pie-in-the-Face Story
Can you recall a time in which you were gloriously humbled in a way that taught you something? Maybe an embarrassing moment that had you smiling in recognition of an overlooked flaw? People love hearing these stories because they make you seem more human and fallible, and self-aware in a way that isn’t arrogant.
Having these stories in your back pocket can help you combat objections during a sales meeting, entertain people that are losing focus or attention, and better connect you – empathetically – to those in your network. Use stories, and listen to the stories of others. It will dramatically improve your life, and the ease with which you communicate from day to day.
If you’re interested in reading Mills’s book, you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Bullseye-Principle-Intention-Based-Communication-Collaborate/dp/1119484715