Stories For Work Book Summary By Gabrielle Dolan

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Stories for Work is a must-read book for any business professional looking to use storytelling as an effective tool.

Written in 2017 by Gabrielle Dolan, the book explains how to craft and apply powerful stories to various business scenarios, allowing you to communicate ideas more effectively, motivate employees, persuade clients, and achieve goals.

The book gives practical advice on developing your own stories, from coming up with them to presenting them in order to get maximum results.

With this engaging read, you'll discover how storytelling can be the secret weapon in your business arsenal and help you attain peak performance.

Stories For Work Book

Book Name: Stories for Work (The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling)

Author(s): Gabrielle Dolan

Rating: 4.3/5

Reading Time: 27 Minutes

Categories: Communication Skills

Author Bio

Gabrielle Dolan is an incredible author and educator who specializes in leadership and storytelling.

She has a Master of Business Administration degree in management and leadership, making her the perfect person to understand the importance of leading with authenticity and compelling stories.

Dolan is also the author of five books, including the highly successful Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results which was released in 2015.

She has also recently written a book about stories for work which summarises her key points and areas of expertise into one place for easier reading.

Unlock The Power Of Storytelling For Business Communication

Business Communication

Stories have the power to connect us with those around us.

They create powerful cognitive effects that forge emotional connections, making them an incredibly effective form of communication in business.

Your ability to tell stories could be the difference between nailing that presentation or staying stuck on the same page.

Stories give you the edge when inspiring a coworker, closing a sale, or securing a job at an interview.

By reading Stories for Work, you can learn how to use storytelling techniques as a new and effective approach to communicate in professional settings.

You’ll find out how science backs up the art of storytelling, what we can learn from popular movies like Titanic and why vulnerability is essential for story telling success.

By implementing these tips into your professional life, you’ll find yourself with newfound confidence and clarity when it comes communicating with coworkers, clients and other professionals!

Storytelling Is An Enduring Tool For Communicating Ideas, Values And Messages In The Workplace

Storytelling is an ancient art, but businesses are just beginning to understand its potential.

For centuries, storytelling has been used as a way to communicate values, ideas, and even entire histories.

From Homer’s Odyssey to Dreamtime stories, it has been a powerful tool for societies worldwide.

Recently, however, forward-thinking businesses have recognized the power of storytelling and have started to incorporate it into their operations.

Australia Post utilized the power of storytelling by hosting something they called the “Grapevine”: a two-day event that had employees share stories related to their new company values.

This was an effective way of instilling these values into their vast workforce—so effective that 97% of survey respondents said they could confidently explain Australia Post’s company shared values after attending.

These are just some examples of how storytelling can be applied in businesses today.

With its potential still untapped in many organisations, the possibilities for the use of this ancient art are almost limitless!

The Science Behind Why Stories Are So Powerful And Influential

If you’ve ever heard a captivating story, you know how it can evoke powerful emotions in the listener.

But why is that? It turns out that there are a few reasons, and science has been able to back this up.

First of all, it comes down to the brain’s neocortex – the area responsible for higher cognitive functions.

This part of our brain is closely related to the emotional centers, so when we listen to stories our feelings are naturally stimulated.

Second – and perhaps most importantly – storytelling triggers the release of oxytocin – known as the ‘trust hormone’ – in our brains.

The presence of this hormone helps us to feel safe and secure while listening, increasing its power to move us emotionally.

Thirdly, research shows that while we make decisions logically, they’re driven more by our emotions than by facts and figures.

Emotional tools like stories are therefore more effective in persuading people than logical lists alone.

So great stories evoke strong emotions because they activate areas deep within our brains – which explains why we love listening to them!

And science backs it up too.

Tragedies And Triumphs: The Power Of Storytelling In Business To Make Us Feel Emotionally Connected

Emotionally Connected

Stories are powerful tools for relating to the people you work with, whether it’s communicating an important message or teaching a new concept.

That’s why it’s essential to understand how to create effective stories that will resonate with your colleagues.

And when it comes to storytelling in business, you need to master four types of stories: tragedies and triumphs, as well as Transformative and Transparent stories.

Tragedies involve disasters, such as falls and blunders.

Successful tragedy stories take many forms – they can range from grave catastrophes right down to something trivial like a regret-filled incident.

An example of this is Scott Mansell’s story about his wife’s first time riding a bike which resulted in an accident due to his lack of instruction on how to turn corners safely.

The lesson here is that we always have to be mindful not rely on the assumption that our colleagues know how to keep themselves safe.

On the flip side of tragedy lies triumph – stories that focus on success and celebrating what has been achieved.

You don’t necessarily have to bring yourself into these types of stories either, often your success might come from helping others or even the wider community, like John Rizzo who talked about his mother’s victory over funding for the groundbreaking “sensory room” for disabled kids after a five-year battle.

This story was used by Bupa during their storytelling event which implemented new core values for their organization and highlighted passion and selflessness shared amongst its employees.

Tension And Transition Stories Are Essential Parts Of The Storytelling Family

Tension and transition stories are two of the most important tools in your storytelling toolkit.

They can help you communicate crucial skills about yourself, such as bravery and resilience, which could help you stand out from the competition when it comes to getting hired.

Take the example of Jonathan Snelling, a senior product manager at Australia Post.

He refused help when changing a tire on a road trip despite many offers – then he realized his pride had made him turn down generous offers of assistance.

This story left an impression with his workplace and showcased Jonathan’s humility and willingness to admit he was wrong.

On the other hand, transition stories focus on major changes in your life that reflect values like bravery or flexibility.

A different example would involve Rose McCarthy – an Australian HR manager who moved to Ireland with her family and needed to apply for new positions despite having no experience in some roles.

She achieved success by using her immigration as an example of determination and willpower and was hired two weeks later!

These stories may seem simple but they are incredibly valuable and powerful when used correctly – so make sure you consider how tension and transition stories can prove essential to your storytelling toolkit!

Embrace The Everyday And Supercharge Your Search For Stories

We all have stories, many of which are buried in our memories, just like treasure waiting to be discovered.

In his book Stories for Work, Peter Cook shows us a great technique for uncovering these stories and using them in more meaningful ways.

Cook urges readers to look at their everyday moments with new eyes—not just life’s big events.

This is because most of our lives aren’t filled with big events, so it’s important not to ignore the simpler moments that often contain powerful lessons or unique experiences.

To supercharge your story-searching, Cook outlines two effective methods: drawing out a table to brainstorm work-related stories, or drawing five columns to list and recall significant non-work-related experiences.

By adopting this approach, you can begin resurfacing those dormant memories that contain buried treasure ready to be unearthed and expressed in narrative form.

Suddenly these little forgotten moments become meaningful stories that can be used to inspire both yourself and others!

The Power Of Aristotle’S Three-Step Storytelling Framework In Captivating Listeners


When it comes to storytelling, Aristotle’s three-step structure is still one of the most effective frameworks.

It begins with capturing the listener’s interest, providing context and a concise opening.

The middle should be loaded with details that are relevant to the story, while steering away from logical information that could obstruct emotional connections.

Finally, an effective ending is important as it should have three sections – the bridge, link and pause – which help bring the story to its purposeful message.

At the end of this framework lies the connection between the narrative and a speaker’s desired topic, giving listeners meaningful and inspiring stories they can take away with them.

The idea of following Aristotle’s ancient three-step framework is still used universally due to its effectiveness in crafting engaging stories that captivate listeners.

Become A Storytelling Master By Crafting Engaging Content With Practice And The Right Devices

When it comes to creating strong and powerful stories, it’s all about the details.

You need to ensure that your stories are concise, well-practiced and incorporate elements of vulnerability and humor in order to really grab your audience’s attention.

Keeping stories between one and two minutes long is important as there’s nothing worse than dampening the mood with verbosity.

To create an emotional connection with the audience, embracing vulnerability can be extremely effective – just look at how well-received Brené Brown’s TEDx talk was.

Humor can also liven up your story if used correctly – but it must be employed carefully so as not to ostracize or divide the audience.

Finally, practice is key for mastering rhythm and fostering confidence – writing out stories exactly how you would say them aloud can help perfect your storytelling style!

The Power Of Storytelling In Business: Crafting Engaging Tales To Help You Succeed

Stories are an essential part of many different business scenarios and a great way of engaging with your audience, no matter what the context.

Whether it be a presentation at the beginning of a meeting to quickly engage your audience or early on in the sales process to create trust, stories provide a unique way of connecting with people’s emotions.

They can also be used to represent company values and add depth to someone’s personal brand by influencing how others view them even when they’re not present.

Stories are an invaluable tool for any business, and can be used in almost any situation to make the most of the opportunity.

The Importance Of Flexibility And Variety In Your Storytelling Toolbox


It is essential to pivot and adapt your stories to any given scenario.

This means that you need to have a variety of stories ready in order to switch between them when necessary.

A common mistake people make is finding one or two stories they are comfortable with and being too rigid in their storytelling.

Not only will this bore your audience, but it could also lead to the impression that you’re stuck in a loop, repeating the same stories over and over again.

Therefore, always have a stockpile of stories prepared.

They can come from any situation, like unexpected customer service, for instance.

The author found an amazing story about a hair stylist drying her hair with two hair dryers at once while telling her the magical story!

Pivoting also applies to different mediums and contexts.

Oral communication is fantastic for storytelling; however, if you are not yet confident speaking publicly or advertising your skills online – writing might be better suited for you!

Language needs to be slightly more formal when writing compared to oral communication and repetition should be avoided as much as possible.

When thinking about context, consider what exactly translates that particular story; for example, Paul Quickenden used an incident involving his children being caught up in a riptide in order to create alertness among his employees about how quickly things can change within the company – this obviously would not hold true for trying to build trust around products or services!

Wrap Up

The final summary of Stories for Work is that storytelling is a powerful way to engage and connect with your audience.

It creates an emotional connection that can be used to motivate, inform and persuade.

To find good stories, all you have to do look around – take notice of things and people around you, as well as the places you visit.

This will trigger memories or experiences that can be turned in to stories.

And by using the four story types of tragedy, triumph, tension and transition you can form these stories into impactful lessons that drive your points home.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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