Prime the pump
July 31, 2020

Leaders are to be aware of the type of stories employees tell

Leaders ought to be mindful of the stories employees tell. Each employee creates stories about the company they work for. If they get a promotion, they tell a story. If they work for a challenging boss, they tell a story.

If they work on a dynamic team, they tell a story.

What is the story they are telling and is it helping or hindering your business?

The authors of Crucial Conversations outline the power of the three one word stories of victim, villain, and helpless. The point is, employees can create and share stories with a single word. And, those stories can either shape and strengthen your work culture, or paint a picture of a company culture that will undermine both your organization’s and your employees’ success.

While it is true that you cannot control what stories employees tell, as a leader you can influence the stories that are being told. You see, there are basically two types of employees narrating stories – The engaged employees and the disengaged employees.

Engaged employees are satisfied employees who see the glass as half full.

Their stories are inspiring and uplifting. On the other hand, disengaged employees are dissatisfied employee who see the glass as half empty. They are most likely to paint a picture that make them look like the victim and the boss the villain.

Marcel Schwantes, Principal and founder of Leaders from the Core, share some tips on how leaders can keep their employees happy, motivated and ultimately


  • Make them feel like business partners, as if they’re invested in the company.
  • Be transparent and communicate well in your boss-employee relationships.
  • Expose them to new responsibilities that will expand their knowledge.
  • Show them that you don’t just view them as workers, but as human beings.
  • Constantly ask your employees for feedback, what’s working and what’s not. If you want to maintain a culture of happiness, you have to keep your finger on the pulse.

The stories your employees tell should attract others to your organization.

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