Metaphorical thinking (Using plants, eels, birds for reflections!)

If you need your kids to be sensible, inform them tales. If you need them to be sensible, inform them extra tales.- Albert Einstein

Story telling utilizing metaphors has confirmed to be  instrumental in creating an impression together with  lengthy lasting  reminiscences. If you might be eager to know extra about metaphors then here’s a submit for you-

Analogies are based mostly on tales and metaphors are constructed on these analogies. Try narrating private encounters utilizing metaphors and expertise how the viewers can relate to your tales.

Metaphors provide distinctive methods to speak concepts naturally.  The crux lies in choosing an acceptable metaphor that resonates together with your viewers. Metaphors invoke inventive a part of  mind that’s stimulated by visible illustrations. 

Fostering inventive ideation utilizing metaphors known as as metaphorical pondering and this fashion of stimulating the pondering course of helps analyze and decode any complicated conditions relaxed and brings a brand new perspective into the forefront. Reinforcement of this idea is that metaphors are being utilized in nearly all social media promotions.

Due to the very fact the human brains can relate to analogies and visible illustrations, metaphors show to be very helpful whereas facilitating conversations and foster an “exterior the field” pondering. Using story telling as a medium by means of metaphors opens up new views and helps the viewers hook up with the instance and thus they’ll have the ability to visualize and paint an image of the truth relaxed.

I may see a major enchancment within the involvement ranges of my crew members once I used tales from my private encounters associated to pure issues that occur round us like flying a kite, climbing a mountain, driving a bicycle and so forth. These metaphors helped me create a lightweight weight construction to drive the conversations and led to the emergence of insightful outcomes. 

The metaphor as a device is a robust hook for our imaginations to latch on to and is an efficient method to set off new conduct. Metaphors ease the cognitive pressure of our mind and the mind responds successfully to visible parts because it finds simpler to assimilate the brand new studying and thus the information acquired stays way more firmly within the reminiscence.

The advantages I see utilizing these metaphors are-

  • Help in lateral pondering
  • Help describe our thought course of higher
  • Leads to larger engagement
  • Aid in connecting to the ideas in a extra pure type
  • Help in explaining a posh drawback successfully
  • Create enthusiasm and improves the listening expertise as viewers begin connecting to the metaphors
  • Act as influential hooks for the writers and aids in unlocking the passive potential utilizing their very own creativeness and ideas

Discussion utilizing metaphor is like storytelling and everyone knows that storytelling has the best impression, proof of that is that every one of us cherish and bear in mind our childhood tales.

In teaching conversations, it’s believed that everybody is of course inventive, resourceful, and entire. Being conscious of the way you’ve been doing and what you’re doing in any state of affairs is important for reflection. Innovation is the important thing and one must domesticate this mindset. So attempt utilizing metaphors and quote real-life conditions as you see match whereas serving to people and groups to mirror on their current. Visual metaphors can be utilized to spark the innovation capabilities as properly. For instance,  I exploit “setting the hen free from the cage” to debate the present constraints the crew has to discover the limitless alternatives in entrance of them which is analogous to a hen not with the ability to discover its world on account of it being confined to the cage.

Here is an instance of how I exploit “Set me Free” analogy

Sometimes, groups work throughout nations & continents. All people can’t journey throughout the globe to fulfill everybody of their crew. This lack of private interplay may very well be a constraint that’s putting a roadblock in collaboration. How can you change these constraints into alternatives?

Set me Free!

In one in all my retrospective conferences, I described the state of affairs of a hen that’s confined to a cage and requested the crew what may very well be accomplished to let the hen discover the world. “Set it free! Let it fly,” got here the immediate response.

I used that response and requested the crew, “Do we expect our crew additionally has comparable constraints due to which we can’t discover the limitless potentialities in entrance of us?” For a second the crew was silent, however they slowly opened up. This was an aha second for me and I understood how properly the crew may relate to setting a hen free.

I repeatedly say that sure occurrences round us may hook up with the crew of their retrospectives. This methodology is particularly helpful for groups and management to debate on constraints they face and methods to transform these into alternatives.


  1. Draw the image above (or print it out) on the whiteboard.
  2. Describe the constraints the hen feels in a cage, ask the crew the way it feels when it’s let loose.
  3. Ask the crew to consider constraints they face of their groups that’s limiting them from exploring the world of alternatives. Ask them to jot down it down on post-its and put it contained in the cage.
  4. Ask them in regards to the alternatives they see in entrance of them they wish to use if let loose from the constraints. Write these down on post-its and put it exterior the cage. 
  5. Encourage the crew to suppose by means of the constraints and supply management an perception into the constraints the crew faces and the way management assist may assist the crew discover the world of potentialities. As a part of this dialogue, additionally ask them to consider what they’ll do to beat a couple of of those constraints. In impact, this train ought to assist the crew arrive at what’s their scope of management.

The “Set Me Free” metaphor can be utilized in teaching conversations the place you prefer to your shopper to consider the alternatives they’ve in entrance of them and likewise vent out the constraints they’re surrounded by after which generate a dialogue of how can they overcome the constrains and meet their objectives.

Avoid overusing metaphors and use one thing that your viewers can hook up with. Remember a metaphor ought to support in understanding and readability. Use examples that readers can relate to and join simply, thus I might advocate to make use of examples from nature so far as attainable. Also please bear in mind to think about cultural facet whereas quoting metaphors as completely different cultures can understand otherwise.

If you have an interest in exploring metaphors, do learn my guide – “Retrospectives for Everyone” 🙂

Would be glad to listen to your experiences of utilizing metaphors!

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