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Storytelling for Leaders

Working Resource is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Storytelling for Leaders

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating behavioral change.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping the CEO to develop his executive presence and become a more powerful storyteller. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Where to Find Stories

Potential stories are everywhere, but you may not notice them until you practice storytelling for a while. It’s fine to start with borrowed stories from other speakers, books and the Internet, but be sure to credit them appropriately.

You can reap an endless supply of great stories by paying attention to the anecdotes other share. Start a story notebook or computer file so you can access them for the appropriate occasion.

Anything that captures your attention can be turned into a story.Often, life’s little details contain big lessons, so begin to develop your sense of “story radar.” After an interesting conversation or encounter, ask yourself if you can use the incident to illustrate a leadership principle.

As with anything, you sharpen your skills through practice. Make a commitment to yourself to start practicing this week. Pick three stories to tell, and play with the details to figure out how to accentuate key points.

Alternatively, pick a challenge or lesson you want to teach through story. Then, match the story to the objective.

Leadership Challenges

Make a list of your most important leadership issues, such as:

1. Envisioning the future

2. Strategic purpose and goals

3. Team alignment

4. Values and corporate culture

5. Customer service and focus

How you can teach leadership principles through stories of real people in your particular industry?

Look for stories about people who implement their core values in day-to-day tasks. Values tend to be vague until you integrate them into stories about actual experiences.

Encourage people to view a situation through their own lens, but in a new way. This will help them make progress in implementing organizational goals.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide strength-based executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I teach leadership principles through stories of real people?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop their executive presence and become better storytellers. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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