We found something that has changed the way people approach their lives. It’s as big as that.- Brian Kneafsey, SVP of Sales, Salesforce.com
An Overview of the Storyleaders Workshop
Our vision was to create a totally unique experience, unlike anything else, that would help people thrive in a whole new way. It took us years to combine groundbreaking new ideas, with new learning models, tackling traits previously off limits, and translate all of that into a workshop, learning experience. We started with questions, immersed ourselves in research, conducted a lot of trial and error, and ultimately, synthesized all of our lessons learned to form our field-tested, Storyleaders Workshops.
Storyleaders Workshops help people communicate and represent themselves and their ideas, in a whole new way. The workshops are two and half days, full immersion, instructor led, highly interactive, and exercise intensive. Participants learn through experience.
Here’s what to expect: first, skepticism. Most salespeople come to the workshop skeptical that this will be “another training”. Most tell us they’ve been through multiple variations of sales process, methodology, messaging, or product training programs, and they expect something similar.
By and large, I felt like I knew what I was getting into. I couldn’t have been more wrong… This is an experience that has forever changed how I view the world” – Barry Sowerwine, SVP Enterprise Sales, Tableau
Here is what a Storyleaders Workshop is not:
An overly structured, step-by-step “how to” guide, nor a series of persuasion tactics, or rote, memorization, regurgitation exercises, in series of ‘check the boxes’ playbook training. It is not Start Here, then Go Here, then do This. There is no handbook for this stuff. The traits we’re tackling don’t reside in a binder, and cannot be summarized in a list of bullet points. Storyleaders is not that. Storyleaders is not sales process.
Here is what a Storyleaders Workshop is:
A full immersion, that builds over two and a half days; starting with provocative insights, the introduction of groundbreaking new science, and the exploration of a whole new way to relate to one another. The workshop environment allows participants to practice all the concepts; with the goal that participants learn through their own practice. There are multiple exercises per day, sharing 1:1 and in sub-groups. We‘ve learned to really teach collaborative conversations, we foster collaborative conversations; to immerse in storytelling, we foster real storytelling, and to acquire new listening skills, we have participants listen in a whole new way. It is a highly emotional, and at times, difficult for participants. We get into messy topics.
We inspire participants to go outside of their own comfort zones, and have them break down personal barriers. We have participants experience vulnerability, resiliency, and emotional connection in the workshop itself. The journey throughout the two and a half days is to encourage participants to go deeper, to learn what being ALL IN feels like, to tap into the stories that shape who we are.
We ask participants to explore why they do what we do, why they’re connected to the organizations they represent, and to connect with peers and colleagues in a whole new way.
We foster an environment where participants search out and share all these stories; giving them permission to tackle their fears, relate authentically and vulnerably with each other, so they have a toolkit and real life experiences from which to draw upon, when they leave the workshop.
This is an experience that has forever changed how I view the world” – Barry Sowerwine, SVP Enterprise Sales, Tableau
The workshop is broken into four phases.
Phase I: Explore
We explore the traits of the most inspiring, influential people, and examine the groundbreaking neuroscience that sheds light on these hidden human forces; such as trust, empathy, emotional connection, real human rapport, and motivation to change. We begin to demystify a lot of the intangibles. We learn the science of the intangibles so they become tangible. We make the mysterious, not so mysterious. For many participants, Light bulbs begin to fire, right off the bat, as they become better informed.
Phase II: Dig In
We map this understanding of trust, motivation and connection back to sharing our stories, and provide a StoryBuilding toolkit. This is where we shift from education to the real training. We move into a series of exercises, having participants build out from an inventory of stories: from personal to professional stories, which in turn helps participants really connect with why they do what they do, with their peers, and with the company they represent.
Phase III: Other Side
We examine and practice a new Listening Model. We deconstruct the hurdles to listening and share new insights, the building blocks of a truly Empathic Listening. We have several practices and exercises, which help participants approach listening from a totally new perspective.
Phase IV: Integrate
We help participants synthesize everything they learned into real life situations. How does the magic of the workshop get integrated into their current processes: sales calls, presentations, internal meetings, etc. We have them co-develop the old, with the new, so they feel confident they can hit the streets running. Finally, we adjourn by giving participants a roadmap to help them continue this ongoing journey, practices they can take with them.
Participants leave inspired they can connect with and influence others in a whole new way. It is not uncommon that we hear, “This workshop has been transformational, and unlike any other corporate training experience.”