Monday, June 21, 2010

Try a different metaphor

When discussing issues with clients or employees, we usually use a set of beloved metaphors. I like cars and so I often use car analogies or metaphors in my discussions.

I had a boss once who pulled me aside and said he didn't like cars! (So my metaphors were failing to describe the situation and caused him to not listen as well to my comments.)

If you catch yourself using the same metaphor - consider trying something different. People may be more responsive to your comments, and in thinking of another metaphor, it may cause you to rethink the underlying issue.

If all your metaphors are about war or battle - then every situation is combative. If all your metaphors are about cars, then what of friendliness or empathy or warmth. Those qualities are not easily represented by the metaphor.

Try a different metaphor.

No comments: