Let me share a story. The story of “Europe Talks”. In other words, why and how colleagues across our European markets grow into storytelling masters. Like every story, this had its beginnings too. Its beginning was the “Growth Mindset”.
Professor Carol S. Dweck coined the term “Growth Mindset” over 30 years ago. Although it all started from the educational sector, business leaders worldwide have also tapped into “Growth Mindset”. When Srini Gopalan joined the Deutsche Telekom AG Board nearly 3 years ago, it became a key strategic pillar of the Europe segment. The point was simple: believing is the first step towards achieving growth; both for individuals and organizations.
“Growth Mindset” is all about believing that anything can be learned. Accept challenges, fail fast, seek feedback, move forward. In our digital era, where transformation is the only constant, a state of perpetual learning is expected from employees at all levels. At Deutsche Telekom Group, it has become the foundation of Europe’s segment turnaround to growth for seven consecutive quarters.
Waiving growth mindset into the daily fabric with storytelling
What does growth have to do with storytelling? A story touches our minds and hearts. It is powerful. Thought-provoking. Memorable. We live in a world where data thrive. Facts and figures are all around us. However, charts, tables, graphs hardly ever elicit an “aha” moment. Stories engage emotions. Wrap-up data in a story and magic happens.
Communication and storytelling is the skill that can make us stand out. Storytelling is also about personal growth. Learning to articulate our ideas effectively. Motivate and inspire into action. This is at the heart of our online learning journey on storytelling under the motto of “Europe Talks”.
To become a good storyteller, practice is key and “Europe Talks” offers a safe environment to try it out. To experience this in full. Give and receive feedback. Appreciate others and ourselves. Grow.
“Europe Talks”: stories connect us
Currently in its second round, each “Europe Talks” has an umbrella theme. First time we tapped upon the theme of change and transformation. Now we dive into stories around learning and growing. Participants form small teams and follow a specific learning path for 6 weeks. Through regular interactions and expert coaching / mentoring, colleagues learn how to build a story of their own choice and present it. First to their peers, within teams. Then to a bigger audience.
Soon, our finalists will go on stage. Under the hashtags #EuropeTalks and #storiesconnectus, some participants and colleagues will likely share their perspective on social media.
Storytelling and “Europe Talks” is one part of our growth mindset jigsaw. One, I fully resonate with. Not just because I am a communicator by profession. Neither just because I am Greek, and one might think Aristotle’s rhetorical principles of logos (reason, logic) pathos (emotion) and ethos (ethics, credibility) are embedded in my DNA. Rather because I witness the profound mark it leaves on people. I see the fundamental change happening: colleagues confidently communicating who they are, what they stand for, and how that’s great in their work and beyond. I find this not only essential but liberating.
A Chinese proverb says, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. With “Europe Talks” we take that step with colleagues across Europe.