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Donnelly Effect delivers 17 in '17: 17 actionable SPARKS to ignite your team for better leadership, customer and employee experience and a better bottom line.

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Take a moment to consider your current training process. How effective is it? Are you using the same techniques over and over again? When was the last time you gave it a refresh? 

I bet you’d like to think that your onboarding and training presentations are resonating with your employees the first time around. But more than likely, they need something extra to truly influence their behaviors at work. 

For example, when your doctor tells you to eat more vegetables, do you actually eat more vegetables or do you simply nod in agreement? Just speaking at someone usually has little effect. 

In fact, if you haven’t bought into the narrative by now, you probably never will…unless it’s delivered in a different and compelling way. 

Good storytelling connects both rationally and emotionally in our heads and in our hearts. If the message to your audience is falling flat, try a different approach. Use the power of storytelling to be a better leader. 


Leverage the power of stories:

Great leaders leverage the power of stories to work for them in the workplace.  Look no further than narrative leadership to keep your customer service story fresh.  How many times can you tell employees to smile, greet your customers, help them with their needs, etc., etc., etc.?  At some point these repetitive directions morph into meaningless “blah, blah, blah’s.” 

So start collecting your own stories. Pay attention. Then, when something teachable and memorable happens to you, write it down.

Why this is effective:

When you tell a good story, it helps do three things:

1.  Inspire your staff
2. Change their perspective on their roles
3. Visualize excellence

Let’s go back to that simple example about eating vegetables. If the doctor followed that directive with an inspiring message about a man whose life was changed as a result of his new diet, would you listen? That changes things, doesn’t it? The overarching message is still the same, but the delivery, and thus, the effect is much more influential. Suddenly, you’re connected to this man in the tale, rooting and feeling for him.

Your stories convey your values helping employees understand that they are a part of something greater than themselves, taking them past simply complying to tasks, policies, and procedures to committing and THRIVING in the overall mission. Even more, a story that is used as an example of great workplace behavior helps team members internalize situations and act accordingly in the future. 

Walt Disney was a great leader and storyteller-and you can be one, too! 

In my experience, it was this leadership technique that propelled his cast members – and his business – into something extraordinary. He entertained people by tapping into their inner emotions and desires. He had a unique way of connecting with people of all ages by simply telling a story.  

It really is that simple.

Think about areas where your processes can be IMPROVED, and consider how narrative leadership can influence your RESULTS. It just might be the leverage you need to change your story!

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ABOUT MIKE DONNELLY: With over 20 years of Disney leadership experience, Mike Donnelly, Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of Donnelly Effect shares his insights on Talent Selection and HiringEmployee OnboardingCustomer ExperienceService Culture and Leadership-among others. Donnelly Effect is home of the exclusive "World-Class Workshop" series and offers consulting services and keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes and industries. Since 2007, Mike Donnelly has been a contracted Disney Institute Facilitator, delivering Disney customer service training to audiences across the United States. 


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