Let me tell you a story...did your ears just perk up? Did you lean in just a bit? I bet so. We all do when we hear a story and for good reason. We love stories. We are hard-wired for stories. Stories are emotional, passionate and they engage us. We imagine ourselves in those stories. We imagine how we would react.
Often times as a manager, supervisor or safety professional we collect data and put it in colorful graphs, charts, and PowerPoint presentations. We distribute or post the information and expect behaviors to miraculously change. The reality is that emotions drive behavior change. I’m not inferring that data is bad or useless. We should use data to help us make decisions. That’s fact management! But if we want to influence behavior...tell a story! If you have a new procedure or training technique, introduce that change by telling a relevant story. Do you have a vision or safety slogan, bring it to life by wrapping it in a story.
Safety doesn’t need to be boring. All we need to do is tell a story. A hefty dose of passion doesn't hurt either.
Do you use stories to influence change? If so, share your story.