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In the world of business, stories are woven into the fabric of our everyday interactions, yet we often fail to see them for what they truly are. They’re hidden in the data we collect, in the customer feedback we receive, and even in our own experiences as business leaders. However, those who can recognize these stories and use them to their advantage possess something truly invaluable: a high narrative IQ.

But what is narrative IQ? Just like emotional IQ, it’s the ability to understand and use emotions to guide thoughts and actions. In this case, it’s the ability to uncover hidden stories, to weave them together in a compelling narrative, and to share them with the right audience in a way that resonates emotionally. It’s a powerful tool that can be used to create emotional connections with customers, to drive sales, and to build a strong, differentiated brand.

But here’s the thing: narrative IQ isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you can develop. It’s time to start looking at the world of business through a different lens, to challenge yourself to recognise stories where others see only data. Start asking questions, dig deeper, and you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Once you’ve uncovered a story, it’s crucial to structure it in a way that evokes emotions in your audience. A well-structured story will be more engaging and more likely to have a lasting impact. And don’t forget to tailor it to your audience. Not all stories are created equal, and what resonates with one group may fall flat with another.

Just like emotional IQ, narrative IQ is a skill that can be developed. It’s time to challenge yourself to recognise stories where others see only data, to structure them in a way that evokes emotions, and to share them with the right audience.

Remember, people don’t buy products, they buy stories. And those who can tell the best stories, win.