We already know storytelling has the power to transport someone from their own experience to the perspective of another—offering an ability to gain insight arguably more than any other tool. As Natasha Nicholson, a director and author at Kantola puts it, when someone shares their experience, “Their story paints a very personal picture in our minds. We are suddenly able to envision life from a new and different perspective. And in so doing, that person engenders our empathy and understanding.”
That’s why for this month’s influencer series, we’ve chosen to take a look at four of our favorite influencers and their trending content on the power of storytelling. Stories breakthrough barriers, and at Kantola, we believe in its power to engage learners in a way that creates real, long-lasting change. So let’s see what the experts have to say about it.
Cordae | Grammy-nominated rapper
Cordae has quietly become one of his generation’s most trusted narrators. In his recent, 12 minute Ted-Talk, Cordae tells how he went from a mixtape-dropping high school kid to Grammy-nominated music star whose “Hi Level” mindset helps him achieve his dreams. Why we like it? His philosophy of a “Hi Level” mindset is something we can apply to both ourselves, and in the workplace with our employees, by remaining positive in unlocking our (and their) fullest potential. Watch him tell his story here.
Gretchen Rubin | Best-selling Author
Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin releases a newsletter entitled “5 things making me happy” to her 3+ million LinkedIn followers. The list is simple, and includes anecdotes from both her personal and professional life. Why we like it? Gretchen’s storytelling is a reminder to see the positive, even during challenging times, as well as the importance of checking in on your employees’ mental health. Even the smallest of stories can make a difference in someone’s day. Read her latest newsletter here.
Emily Caulfield | Podcaster, Designer
In her most recent episode of Harvard Business Review’s Women at Work Podcast, this free-spirited, entrepreneurial co-host is applying advice on side gigs, freelancing, starting a small business—and quitting—to her own life. Emily reflects on her decision to leave her design job at HBR to fully focus on a long-time creative passion, as well as how she’s thinking about her career going forward. Why we like it? Emily’s story reflects the state of the workplace today and The Great Reshuffle, giving us insight into what our own employees might be feeling during this time of great unrest. Listen to the 8 minute dialogue here.
Jamil Zaki | Professor of Psychology, Author
Some days, it’s hard to be optimistic. But cynicism—the idea that people are inherently selfish, greedy and dishonest—is making humanity lonelier and more divided, says psychologist Jamil Zaki. In his recent podcast, Jamil presents fascinating research on cooperation, empathy and trust—making the scientific case for optimism and showing us how to break out of the cynicism trap. Why we like it? His research is based on unification through storytelling examples, something useful to us in the workplace and beyond. Listen to the 25 minute podcast here.