When you listen to a story, you gain a sense of artificial reality. As experiences are described, you can almost feel them happening to you. That’s why stories make us empathize with the storyteller. This empathy in turn releases feel-good chemicals in your brain, and the more we get, the more trustworthy we view the storyteller.
That is the basic premise of why storytelling is a critical skill for a leader — because the very act of telling a good story makes people trust you more.
Our brains react differently to data. Data doesn’t move us, excite us, or change our behaviour like a good story does. That’s why the best leaders find ways to pair the important data they need to share with exciting stories that make people truly connect with the information. When data and stories are paired in this way, they help build actionable, un-overlookable ideas.