Use stories to transform your safety culture from Heroes and Villains to Teamwork and Trust

12 Nov 2020
10:50
Room- Ashcroft

Use stories to transform your safety culture from Heroes and Villains to Teamwork and Trust

Storytelling is a powerful tool for enhancing learning, building engagement and creating a culture of teamwork and trust. Why is this?

Research demonstrates that knowledge is stored in our brains as stories [Schank, 1995]. As a result, information connected to the plot of a story is absorbed twice as quickly and recalled twice as well, regardless of interest in the subject [Dahlstrom, 2013].

When a meaningful story is told the brain patterns of the listener mirror those of the storyteller [Stephens, 2010] and this helps to establish common ground. Compelling stories also cause oxytocin to be manufactured in the brain, which promotes empathy and trust. This also makes compelling stories one of the few things that can reliably inspire people into action [Zak, 2015].

More than half of casual conversation is storytelling [Dunbar, 2004]. If this continuous and unstoppable current of stories is left undirected then a culture of teamwork and trust will only develop by chance. More natural occurring are stories of heroes and villains, which favours a culture of blame. It is crucial, therefore, that this flow of stories is skillfully directed toward a culture of teamwork and trust.

Story telling is an essential tool for directing culture progression and is sufficiently versatile to be applied in most situations. This presentation will also demonstrate, through examples, how stories are told effectively so that the audience can take those skills and apply them immediately in their professional practice.