082 – Corporate Storytelling—Leadership communication with Hannah Davies

Posted by  Anecdote International —November 3, 2020
Filed in Corporate Storytelling, Leadership Posts, Podcast

Can effective leadership exist without storytelling? Listen to hear how leadership consultant and executive coach, Hannah Davies, unpacks corporate storytelling.

Welcome to the first episode of our Anecdotally SpeakingCorporate Storytelling series! Last week at Anecdote HQ, we released a paper titled Corporate Storytelling—The Essential Guide. It is our definitive guide to corporate storytelling in 2020 and delves into the myriad of ways you can apply corporate storytelling in a business context. To access the paper, click here!

Each week until the end of 2020, Shawn and Mark will be discussing parts of the paper with a different guest, ranging from experts to clients to Anecdote partners. Thank you to Hannah Davies for being part of this episode. If you want to connect with Hannah, click here.

Next week we will have marketing guru and friend of Anecdote, Darren Woolley, talking all things brand communication. Stay tuned!

For your storybank

Tags: leadership, corporate storytelling, communication

This story starts at 12:10

Three years ago, business storytelling coach Hannah Davies was working with Peter, a Director from the aerospace industry. Peter had reached out to Hannah because he was heading up an innovation team, and he felt that the communication between the team wasn’t as effective as it could be.

During their first coaching session, Hannah thought that Peter was a great communicator. He was charming, outgoing, and made her feel very comfortable. She left the session and wondered if there really was a communication issue with his team.

Hannah suggested that the next time Peter had a team meeting, she should come along and observe the dynamic. Maybe it was more the team that had some issues than Peter himself. She attended, and it didn’t take her long to realise where the problem lay.

In Peter’s next coaching session, Hannah brought him a gift and said, “The next time you run a team meeting, I want you to use this.” Peter opened the box, and it was a box of chocolates.

Hannah said, “In the meeting, every single time you want to say something, I want you to take a chocolate and put it in your mouth.” Peter reluctantly agreed but went along with it, as he had built a good rapport with Hannah at this point.

A few weeks later, Peter called Hannah and said, “I have no idea what you put in these chocolates, but they worked! Every time I took a chocolate, these ideas kept coming and coming from my team. What is even more amazing is that they have taken ownership of these ideas.”

The chocolates helped Peter become more self-aware and let his team be heard.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.


  1. Mark Janssen says:

    That’s a great story, told with humour. I presume Peter understands it wasn’t the chocolates :).
    Imagine that Peter tells this story himself, how it has shown him that sometimes it’s better as a leader to keep your mouth shut. If he were to do this, thus exposing a weakness, he would strengthen his leadership. It would show a high level of self-awareness.

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