Do you use metaphors in your business to get your point across? According to Wikipedia: Metaphor is the concept of understanding one thing in terms of another. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to grasp concepts if they have no frame of reference – if what you’re describing to them is unlike anything they’ve ever heard or experienced before, you need to find a way for them to “get it”.
I find myself using metaphors without even realizing it. One metaphor I like to use is: “Google Reader is like your postal mailbox; You subscribe to a magazine, and whenever there is a new issue, it is sent to your mailbox without you having to do anything other than complete the initial subscription”. Of course, Google Reader is much more complex, but to get clients I coach over the initial hump of the concept, that’s the metaphor I use.
Through the Business Book Club, I read The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman. In it, the authors make good use of the movie and characters of “The Wizard of Oz” to relate the multifaceted concept of accountability to the reader. We all have an idea of what the movie is about which makes understanding the concepts introduced in the book that much easier to digest.
How do you use metaphor in your business? Have you been using it without even knowing it???