We all come across it.

Sometimes we are part of, witnessing it, or mitigating it.

Normally, we want to navigate it to make the team, company, relationship or person better.

“It” of course being conflict.

Today, we’re going to look at how a manger can leverage the power of a story to avoid conflict through a power movie scene. Coming hot off Memorial Day Weekend, I re-watched Saving Private Ryan (great flick). You likely remember it, a special group of Rangers search wide and far to find Private Ryan in hopes that the final remaining Ryan brother is still alive. The other 3 were tragically killed in battle, yet Private Ryan is potentially still alive. The Special Ranger group is led by Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) have been ordered to rescue Private Ryan.

In one of the most heated interpersonal exchanges amongst the team, Captain John H. Miller begins to tell the story around what he does for a living back home. The story does 3 things very well:

  1. Changes the state of the team. The emotional levels of the team are extremely high. When Hanks begins to tell his story, the state immediate changes and guns are withdrawn.
  2. Injects emotional appeal: one of the huge advantages of telling a story is not only the state change, but where you can influence the state. In this case, Hanks appeals to the team’s desire to go home.
  3. Ties it back to the purpose and mission: Hank’s purpose: going home. He knows every team member wants it as well. As he finishes his story, he’s able to tie everyone’s agenda to the purpose and their goals.

Enjoy how some of Hollywood’s greatest writers and cinematographers story tell and bring it into your work place to mitigate conflict and get everyone on the same page.

(Note: the language in the video is NSFW)