This blog is the third in the series, Nurses on Boards: Building a Healthier America. Wolters Kluwer is a Founding Strategic Partner of the Nurses on Boards Coalition.
In September, we attended the American Hospital Association (AHA) Advocacy Day in Washington D. C.. Prior to our attendance on the Hill, we attended a board meeting that consisted of physician and nurse executives. The agenda and conversations concerned practice issues. Participants were expected to be informed to provide evidence around the topics being discussed. We observed one strategy that constantly refocused the group and highlighted ideas – storytelling
. Storytelling is an effective way to manage sensitive issues and influence people’s emotions to redirect the topic and to influence others.
What are the benefits of telling a brief story on a board?
- Storytelling provides context and meaning to the situation or topic.
- Storytelling brings out creativity.
- Storytelling rekindles the passion for the topic.
- Storytelling generates empathy for the agenda item.
How do you create a compelling or powerful story?
According to Mary Ann Fuchs DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Vice President of Patient Care, System Chief Nurse Executive, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Duke University, and AONE Board member, “Storytelling is a very effective strategy that helps to build relationships, demonstrate effective communication and engage others in issues important in health care and especially to the health of our country.”.
- Keep it short (about three minutes).
- Start with the context.
- Use metaphors.
- Include an element of surprise.
- Appeal to the emotion.
- Make it tangible and concrete.
- Use a style appropriate for business.
- Be culturally aware.
- Acknowledge the composition of the board to ensure sensitivity and appropriateness of the story.
Call to Action!
Inform and engage others through storytelling to bring relevant perspective and connectedness to board topics, and to bring about good outcomes.
Nurses on Boards Coalition (2017). Board Core Competencies. http://www.nursesonboardscoalition.org
Schawbel, D. (2012, August 13). How to Use Storytelling as a Leadership Tool. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/08/13/how-to-use-storytelling-as-a-leadership-tool/2/#429048d8789e