Why tell stories at work?

We're Wired for Stories

Avanoo’s storytelling approach is backed by proven neuroscience that helps explain why stories are powerful tools for co-creating culture and performance. Our brains are wired to respond to stories in ways that help us connect to each other and shift our mindsets and behavior.

Stories Let Us Mind-Meld

Neuroimaging studies1 show that stories light up many brain areas, including those responsible for sensation, movement, memory, emotion, and more – and through a process called “neural coupling”, the brain activity of story-listeners mirrors that of story-tellers. Listening to your colleagues’ stories allows you to actually share in their experience, which builds connection and helps you internalize the mindsets and behaviors they demonstrate in their stories.

1 Hasson U, Frith CD. 2016 Mirroring and beyond: coupled dynamics as a generalized framework for modelling social interactions. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371: 20150366.

Stories Are Digestible

Stories follow a recognizable arc: a familiar pattern our brains can latch onto. Research by neuroscientists like Paul Zak2 shows the story arc triggers the release of specific neurotransmitters – cortisol, oxytocin, and dopamine – which help us focus on, care about, and remember the message of a story.

2 Zak, Paul J. Why inspiring stories make us react: the neuroscience of narrative. Cerebrum: the Dana forum on brain science vol. 2015 2. 2 Feb. 2015.

Stories Help Us Focus

The stress hormone cortisol is released when a likeable character faces a challenge or threat. A microdose of stress pulls us into the story and ensures we focus on the message.

Stories Ensure We Care

Often called the “mothering” hormone, oxytocin stimulates empathy and pro-social behaviors like collaboration and teamwork. Stories trigger the release of oxytocin as we build relationships with the characters, which makes us care about the message of the story.

Stories Are Memorable

The pleasure hormone dopamine is released when we anticipate a reward – like the happy ending, emotional catharsis, or life lesson we receive at the end of a good story. Dopamine helps us find meaning in the story’s message, which we’ll remember long after the details have faded.

Backed by Science; Designed for You

Avanoo’s unique StoryApp technology leverages the science of story to enable interpersonal and professional growth for leaders and teams.

“Avanoo provides a simple process to unleash powerful, impactful stories in your organization.”

Tamara Bray, DCP Midstream VP of HR

Tell us your story.

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