Stories are powerful – it’s how we learn about people, companies and our community. It’s important to tell your story and listen to new perspectives to create change. In last week’s Virtual Voices, we heard from experts on how companies and leaders are telling stories during a pandemic and how they’re using their voices to further important conversations on racial inequities.

Virtual Voices aims to keep alums informed and engaged as our community works through this challenging time. Each virtual meeting brings together leaders on the front lines of impacted industries to share their knowledge, perspectives and leadership lessons.

Barefoot PR Principals Sarah Hogan and Cori Streetman and 9NEWS Director of Marketing & Brand Blair Nelson shared with our alums how they’re leading by telling stories during such an important time.

Check out our key takeaways and the video of the webinar below.

Be authentic. It’s important to think about how you’re telling your full story. Are you sharing your emotional connection and are you being authentic? Authenticity resonates with your customers and your staff. But, how do you ensure your message is authentic? Use Streetman’s authenticity checklist: First, take a step back and think about what you stand for – make sure your message aligns with your values. Then, think about what you’re passionate about. If your message stays true to your values and communicates your passion, you’re showing authenticity.

Focus on your house. One of the most important stories you’ll tell is the story you’re telling yourself and your organization. Evaluate your company and assess if you’re living the values of organization. Make sure your house and heart are right and that your values are it’s sustainable. And, think about what you’re willing to give up to achieve your values. Lead with integrity. When businesses support change, we can have a greater impact.

Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. Flexibility is key during times of uncertainty. You can create plans all day long, but when you’re operating in the unknown, you need to adapt your company, community and communications strategies. Leave space for the unexpected and embrace the unknown. Think about whether this is the right time to tell your story and how you can move forward to create change.

Listen and amplify other voices. The strongest leaders are changing their leadership style to listen to what their community needs. We need to meet people where they are and listen to what they need in this moment. Allow space for other voices to be heard and help amplify their voices. As a leader, you can provide the platform for voices to be heard and the space for our community to listen and ask questions.

Challenge, courage and connections. Challenge when you see something wrong – whether that’s in your home, company or community. Use your voice to push harder and ask the tough questions – it takes courage just to ask. And, rely on your network to build new connections and take those tough conversations a step further.

Join us for an upcoming Virtual Voices. Check out our upcoming programs.