March 27 , 2008
BITS OF WISDOM
Maybe it’s the change of season, the longer
sunny days, and the sense of renewal, but these three life-affirming metaphoric
insights were all sent to me at just about the same time.
THE SOIL KNOWS…
An occupational hazard as a person becomes more experienced is to think he/she
pretty much has seen it all and knows it all. Barbra Gazo, a sales rep at Metro
New York and an adult student at college at the same time, knows better.
Says Barbra, “I love training and learning. So many of us tend to think that ‘we
know it all.’ Of course, NONE of us do, Although I have been very successful in
my career to date, this college experience has reminded me—metaphorically—that
there is always MUCH more to learn! One of my courses is geology, where we
studied the accumulation of groundwater. Although the soil typically appears to
be a very stable and solid foundation, there are always little cracks and
crevices for more water to seep into. Amazingly, ground water could take
centuries to replenish and even that accumulation reaches well below the
surface! Seems to me that we “seasoned pros” are like that soil, solid on the
surface in our knowledge, but never fully saturated in what we can learn.”
(Could not agree more.)
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
According to the positive psychology movement, psychologically healthy people
practice positive qualities such as gratefulness, hope, etc. Then, when life's
inevitable adversities come, they are immunized against getting depressed,
anxious, or having any other negative reaction. Now, if you are someone seeking
donors to promote healthy positive thinking to children, how do you communicate
that abstract concept in a compelling manner?
Ron Palermo and Optimist International Foundation President Ron Graves make
their point with a weather analogy. They compare wearing layers of clothing
during the winter months to the positive qualities that can be used against the
bitter adversities of life represented by the cold weather. The fewer layers you
have, the less prepared you are for the adverse situations and the more likely
you are to be affected negatively by them. Key message: supporting our
foundation to support optimism in kids is worthwhile.
Adds Ron, “Ideally, this concept would be taught on a cold winter day. Even
turning the AC way up works well.” Nice added touch to intensify the analogy.
Last, Sharon Melnick,Ph.D and an executive coach who “helps successful
people get out of their own way,” makes the point in her seminars that our
thoughts control our actions. Negative thoughts, negative actions. Positive
thoughts, positive actions. To be in control, says Sharon, you need to “Be the
DJ of your own mental ipod.” Sharon’s metaphor manages to combine high touch
with high tech for high listener impact and opens up people’s thinking to how
much control they could have in their lives to effect the changes they want.
Look around you. The sources for analogies and metaphors are everywhere.
Science, weather, music, and technology were only four worlds or domains used in
the above examples to make points dramatically and memorably. What worlds can
you visit for your metaphors and analogies to make equally memorable points with
your listeners in your business?.
Until next month, remember to "make what you say, pay--with metaphors."
For more info on Metro New York,
For more info on the Optimist Foundation which serves children around the world,
For more on Sharon,
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Republican or Democrat, you have to wince at the metaphor
mudslinging going on between Clinton and Obama. Obama’s co-chairman compared
former President Clinton to Cold War communist hunter Joseph McCarthy and a
Clinton ally described Gov. Bill Richardson, who came out for Obama, as "Judas."
No one wins here. And this is only March.
As for McCain, The New York Times, noted that his campaign has become a “side
show” next to the much more dramatic fight between the Democratic candidates.
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