Story-telling methods, if used for training, can ensure a captive audience. It is a wonderful means to establish rapport with a group. Real-life experiences narrated in story form can help forge better relationships in a team and build credibility with the team members. Stories are an effective method to communicate important messages to people as they can be fun and interesting.
Stories can be used to teach ideas and impart complex concepts. Trainers who have successfully used story-telling techniques in their training sessions will vouch for their effectiveness as a teaching or training tool.
There are a lot of aspects of learning that are concrete or measurable, while others are abstract or those that cannot be measured, but only imagined and understood. Stories can be used to explain both concrete and abstract concepts. A story, when used as a study or learning technique, is a chain or thread that can be used to link different facts, whether related or unrelated.
The story doesn’t really have to make a lot of sense by itself as much as it needs to be the medium that links different facts that we know. This kind of linking is what makes it easy to study or remember and use it later. Stories can be used to introduce new ideas and reinforce old concepts. Existing stories can be modified and reused to accommodate newer ideas.
Story-telling techniques, when incorporated into training sessions, make the session effective and engaging. It also increases the listeners’ enjoyment quotient tremendously. Research has shown that the efficacy of stories is not due to the story itself, but more because, people generally relate the story to an incident they may have experienced at some time. Thus, they can actualize the message and internalize the essence of the story.
A calculated use of story-telling can include reflections of past experiences, understanding and conveying the meaning embedded in those instances and using them to channelize key messages in a host of contexts. These can be used to guide values and priorities, promote desired behaviors and share learning. Using one’s life experiences can be a sure-shot success strategy for your training session purely because you can convey its inherent integrity, credibility and passion first-hand. A story should ideally create a timeline, proceed to focus on a related task or event and end with a focus on the acquired learning. The stories used in the session can then be used to elaborate on the meaning it holds for you, the influence it has on your thinking or approach to work and the value it can provide that makes a difference to others.
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