Conversations are everywhere, even digital text-based conversations. Workplace stories are path setting. What is the story trending around the office, the plant floor, or the job site today?
Much of the World as we know it is based on a story. Not everyone believes the same story, but regardless there is a story.
There is a story behind our evolution, there is a story that grounds our universal coding for years (B.C. and A.D.). There are religious stories. Stories of great leaders, army’s, wealth, and devastation.
In our workplace, any ordinary day may continue with the same old story. When there is a change, a shift, or the pattern of the environment slides the story may change.
There is the story of who will be promoted and why. The story of the philosophy of the new boss. And even more personal drama such as workplace romances, who is getting divorced, or who has trouble at home.
Any business that has been around for a while may have cyclical shifts in revenue. Some expected, and some perhaps a surprise. In a downturn, there will be stories about what is happening, who is to blame, and the tribe will start discussing who should go.
Many organizations set out to squash the story. Stop the discussion. They’ll attempt to break up small groups and they will disperse hoovering supervisors.
The challenge really isn’t to stop the discussion. The challenge is to change the story.
Certainly, there may occasionally be some misfortune, some economic hardship, or drama fueled rumors. There also may be growth and expansion rumors, who is getting promoted, who is getting hired, and who just got a raise.
There is one thing true about all stories. Stories drive our actions and behaviors.
Today, tomorrow, and for the legacy of your career or the organization, have you thought about the effects of the stories you tell? Keep in mind, you’ll be remembered and identified by your stories.
What is your story?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.