The Art of Storytelling


Above is a famous photograph. Almost everybody of us would have seen above and have admired the deception it portrays. The wow factor in the photograph is amazing and so is the strong underlying message it conveys.

This photograph has a lesson for almost everybody and for every walk of life. Whether you talk philosophically about life as a whole or about your relationships, emotions, the work you do, It can teach a lesson or two on almost all topics you can think of.

We will continue to talk about communication today.

The biggest challenge we managers face in execution is of communication. In today’s world when businesses have transcended regions, boundaries, cultures etc. effective communication is becoming more than a necessity.

As we understood in earlier post, quiet often we are fraught with a fear that have we communicated well?

Taking personal example, working in India where no less than 25 languages are spoken and having crossed over to a different functional domain, a different cultural region, a challenge is always there to effectively communicate the needs, the requirement and the urgency. Many a times a situation was faced by me where there were a sea of difference between what was conveyed and what was understood.

Quite often leaders, when they communicate, they talk about concepts. To begin with, when you are communicating with your team for first few times, this is an effective strategy as you have to demonstrate that you “understand” and you “know” but when habitual references to concepts happen, the communicator dons the mask of “talker” and not “doer”.

The habit of talking in concepts is deepening as we are living in a technology oriented world. Twitter limits your expression to 140 characters and that is the way people have been going. Sharp to the point and that’s it. The pain to explain and connect is considered as an unnecessary ritual.

Many a times I have come across a situation where the communicator starts the discussions with the Phrase “You have to catch my wavelength”. The moment communication begins with this phrase, communication dies and authoritative, instructional and directional management takes over.

This is where the art of storytelling kick in. The most effective way to communicate is to communicate in disguise. To weave a storyline and to engage the audience and to deliver the content in a very sublime way. When a story arrives concepts, which usually bores and trouble the audience take a backseat and are delivered intellectually and not intrinsically. This is what makes a sea of difference. Storytelling allows you to establish that missing connection between the audience and yourself.

If communication is repeatedly delivered in concepts, it will be like above photograph. Everybody will draw his own conclusion and many a times, they will all be different.

I close this post with this very interesting, fictional, funny and to an extent dumb question posted on The question is hilarious but please go through the answer. The explanation is to the point, elaborate, conclusive and yet not tedious. This is communication through the art of story telling at its best. Kudos to Mr. Pratyush Kumar for this wonderful piece of work.


About bsbasan

Professional with over 20 yrs of experience managing business. A strategist, A thinker and an innovator. Experience in cross sectional functions in various industries like Chemicals, Apparels, Retails,Hospitality, Construction, Manufacturing, Services. Proven experience in Business Development, P&L,Finance, Risk Management, Strategic planning and organizational transformation. 20+ years record of success managing corporate finance & business operations for growing manufacturing companies with multistate and international operations. Made break-through improvements in business processes utilizing lean methodologies and Six Sigma principles. Currently designated as Chief Executive Officer of Texport Syndicate India Limited
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