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  • #26 Magnetic Stories: Business Storytelling, with Gabrielle Dolan

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    Gabrielle Dolan spent 17 years working for National Australia Bank in a senior leadership role in change management and project management. She experienced firsthand the challenges of communicating.

    'As a leader, you think you've communicated, but then people aren't getting the message,' Gabrielle says.

    Gabrielle noticed that when she shared a story to communicate a message, people not only understood the message, but more importantly, they better remembered the message. And then she noticed good leaders were sharing stories.

    At 3-day conferences with speaker after speaker, the brilliant ones were brilliant because of stories.

    We need all the facts and figures and data, but it's stories that create emotional connection. People make decisions based on emotion, but they then search for evidence to support that emotional decision.

    Types of stories:

    • Origin stories e.g. the origin of Mattel’s Barbie doll,
    • Creation stories, how the company started or how the product started.

    A company doesn’t want to lose their corporate memory of stories. 

    We can teach people the value of storytelling, educating so they share stories more effectively but also find stories from the past that we can use to inspire the future e.g. show the vision or the values and the behaviors of what we try to live by as a company. 

    A manager can pose a question such as, tell me a time when one of you did something for a customer that made a difference to them, or tell me about a time when you felt really proud to work for this organization. 

    I might bring 20 people together, some from the front line, senior people, junior people and ask them questions. Someone will tell a story and then someone goes, ‘Oh yeah, that reminds me of . . .’

     In 2 hours you could probably hear 50 stories; five or 10 are absolute gold. And at the end people go, ‘I just feel so proud to work here.’


    Gabrielle Dolan holds a master’s degree in management and leadership from Swinburne University, an associate diploma in education and training from the University of Melbourne, and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education.

    Gabrielle is the bestselling author of 'Real Communication: How to be you and lead true', a finalist in the Australian Business Leadership Book Awards for 2019. Her other published books include 'Stories for Work: The Essential Guide to Business Storytelling' (2017), 'Storytelling for Job Interviews' (2016), 'Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results' (2015) which reached the top five on Australia’s bestselling business books and 'Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling' (2013).

    The International Association of Business Communicators, Asia Pacific region, awarded her 2020 Communicator of the Year.

    The ultimate expression of her passion for the cause is her Jargon Free Fridays (

    Her latest title, 'Magnetic Stories: Connect with customers and engage employees with brand storytelling' is just published by Wiley, 1 March 2021 available on Amazon and Booktopia



    A Certified Virtual Presenter, Nina Sunday presents virtually on 'Second Curve Thinking: How to Re-motivate Before They De-motivate'. Her book, ‘Workplace Wisdom for 9 to thrive; proven tactics and hacks to get ahead in today’s workplace’ is a selection of the C-Suite Book Club. 

    With a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Education, Nina is a Past Chapter President of Professional Speakers Australia and a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional).

    In the Manage Self, Lead Others podcast, Nina Sunday speaks with key experts from across the globe to share insights on self-leadership and leading others, highlighting emerging trends.

    For more information visit or follow Nina Sunday on LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram

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    DateTime Object ( [date] => 2021-04-15 11:50:37.902999 [timezone_type] => 3 [timezone] => UTC )
Manage Self, Lead Others. Nina Sunday presents.

Manage Self, Lead Others. Nina Sunday presents.

The Manage Self, Lead Others podcast is mainly for experienced and aspiring people managers to explore ways to elevate and transform workplace culture. Each week,... Read More