Storytelling is a powerful tool for gaining new perspectives and creating shared understanding. Building empathy through storytelling creates greater understanding of what people want and need, what their pain points are and what brings them joy. I always use storytelling as a designer and in the workplace before delving into a project to really understand who am I solving a problem for and how can my solutions help them?
In UX Design storytelling is a common tool used when creating user personas and journey mapping. It's also a great tool to use when presenting your ideas and designs to a client, by making the design process more personal and relatable to users.
However, I found that storytelling is also very handy in other industries too. I like to use storytelling in my training workshops, especially in companies where collaboration and morale is low. As we work through the training I get employees to open up and share their personal stories at the workplace in a way to build empathy and understanding between them. This boost in empathy gives employees a connected sense of purpose and as a result leads to a more harmonious work environment and consequently improved productivity .
Another great use of storytelling in the workplace is when a leader or manager shares a personal story with their employees. When a leader shares a story of a personal mistake or struggle they faced it shows their vulnerability and makes them relatable with their staff. This builds trust amongst the team and emotionally motivates everyone to a common goal.
Sharing experiences through storytelling also builds teams and unites the workforce. Everyone can somehow relate to a similar experience expressed by another co-worker. Once this camaraderie is built, the team can really flourish and create innovative solutions that can lead to great success.
In conclusion, storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to build empathy with users, employees, and clients. By sharing stories and creating a deeper understanding of the experiences and perspectives of others, businesses can create stronger relationships, build trust, and ultimately achieve greater success.