Building Better Business Relationships Through Stories Using Neuroscience
Stories are an integral part of human history. We have been telling stories since ancient times, the mediums through which we tell the stories have changed over time, but the core concept has remained the same. The tradition of telling stories started when humans felt the need to pass down important information to future generations.
They started telling tales of important people at the time and their achievements. Stories were used to entertain, educate, and instill moral values in people. As time progressed storytelling became a proper art. And in the present age, where media has advanced so much everyone has a story to tell.
Businesses and brands use storytelling as a tool to leave a lasting impression on the minds of their consumers and entrepreneurs use the art of storytelling to build lasting relationships that will help them in their professional lives.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the neuroscience behind storytelling and why it is such a potent tool for building strong business relationships. Keep on reading to learn more.
How do stories affect our brain?
Stories are not just words or media. Stories have a biological and psychological impact on our minds and body. This is why stories hold so much power. When we are listening to or experiencing a story our mind and body go through a series of changes.
Let’s take a deeper look into how stories affect us.
- They allow us to relate to people – Stories quite literally help us form a deeper understanding and connection with one another. They excite certain neurons in our brain and invoke the emotions of kindness, compassion, and empathy.
When we are experiencing a story and we start to get invested in the characters in the said story, oxytocin is released by our brain. This is a hormone that is often associated with love or bonding. As a result, we start to feel more attached to the character even if they are not physically present there. The more powerful and impactful the story, the more oxytocin our body will release and the more invested we will become in the character in the story that is being told.
Research has shown that the amount of oxytocin that is released when we are listening to a story can tell if we are going to develop trust with the storyteller or not. Trust is very important when it comes to developing a business relationship.
This is why storytelling is so important in creating meaningful relationships in business, if you are a good storyteller then you will be able to create a bond with the other person and get a worthwhile business relationship with them.
- Mirror neurons – The mark of a good storyteller is their ability to convey emotions through their words. When we are listening to someone experiencing a strong emotion in a story, mirror neurons are activated in our brains.
These mirror neurons unconsciously make us mirror the feelings and emotions that we are listening to in the story. When you are telling someone a story then you are taking them on a journey because of these mirror neurons. You are making them feel what you are feeling and inducing in them the same emotions that you are having.
This is something that can often create a lasting and important business relationship. If you are able to make the other person feel something authentic and genuine then you are going to leave a strong impression on them and sometimes in a business relationship a strong first impression is all that matters.
- Increased neural activity – Let’s say that you are in a business meeting and instead of telling them the story of your idea or business, you just give them a presentation that is full of facts and figures, what do you think will happen?
Well, when the human brain is processing factual reporting, our neural activity is limited to just two spots in our brain. Compared to this when facts are mixed with a story several other areas of our brain are also engaged.
This means that the person who is listening is to the story that you are telling is paying more attention to what you are saying and is much more engaged. This is something that you can use to develop better business relationships.
You want to engage the person that you are having a conversation with if you are aiming to develop a relationship with them. If you don’t tell a story and just rely on facts and figures then your chances of developing a good relationship are going to decrease dramatically.
So, there you have it. This is why stories are such an effective form of communication and this is why stories are so potent in developing good relationships in business.