More and more leaders are using storytelling to inspire their teams.

But why is storytelling so effective?

When done well, storytelling captivates your audience and gives people a reason to get excited. It gets people to buy-in to your vision and reminds them of the real impact your organization has in the world.

Another great benefit of storytelling is that it allows you to connect with people on an emotional level. Personally, I’m a facts and figures guy – so it’s easy for me to communicate effectively with people who love numbers.

But one of the biggest mistakes leaders make is communicating how THEY like to be communicated to!

Storytelling allows leaders to connect with people who respond better to the emotional piece. At the end of the day, great communication is about tailoring your approach so that you can deliver information and ideas in a way that resonates with others.

Storytelling is an amazing tool for making that happen – but unfortunately, great storytelling is easier said than done.

With that said, here are three ways to better leverage storytelling at your business.

Lay Out a Vision and Possibility

If you want people to truly buy-in to your vision, you have to present it in a compelling way. You have to paint a picture of what you view your team as being truly capable of. You have to describe a vision of success that gets everyone excited.

Use phrases like “imagine if…” or “consider the possibility…”

Touch on the impact that the team’s work will have on the world around them. Remind people that they have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Here at Qualigence, that’s reminding my team that they are a part of an organization that is changing the way people think about recruiting! I also remind them that their work has the power to change lives by helping people find the right roles – and make it possible for Fortune 500 organizations to succeed by hiring the right people.

Of course, people are most motivated by who they love. Make sure to remind people that their success enables them to build a better life not just for themselves, but for their loved ones – spouses, children, other family members, and more.

Be Realistic About the Challenges – and the Team’s Ability to Overcome

Conflict is the heart of any good story. It’s what gets us hooked at the start of a movie or good book – we see our hero face a serious challenge and feel the suspense as we wonder if they’re going to succeed or fail.

When you’re telling a story, it pays to be honest about the challenges and obstacles that your team may face in pursuing a vision.

As a leader, it can be tempting to sugarcoat the situation. You may be uncomfortable admitting that following your vision means a lot of hard work and long hours.

But here’s the kicker. People love to hear about teams that come together to overcome obstacles. Remind your team of their achievements so far!

Whether it’s a related accomplishment or not, remind your team that with a little creativity, teamwork, and effort, they can overcome any obstacle.

Show Your Commitment to the Vision

Here’s a vital piece that a lot of leaders leave out.

Nothing undercuts your vision like telling a team what you need them to do…without showing them that you’ll be right there in the trenches with them.

You have to show your commitment to the vision too. Show that you have some skin in the game! Leaders have to go first and show they’re willing to commit harder than anybody else to the vision.

Tell your team in detail what you are going to be doing to support the vision. Show how you’re contributing, the sacrifices you are personally making, and so forth.

It goes without saying that following through is critical to keeping people motivated for the long haul!

Great storytelling takes practice and experience. But these tips can help you get started on communicating in a way that inspires people to deliver their best.

If you’re serious about increasing your effectiveness as a leader or developing your leadership internally, check out my leadership development experiences. I teach from my own experiences, successes and failures in over 20+ years of business leadership – and give you the tools to inspire your teams to perform.