Research has shown that in ordinary conversation, people use between six and nine metaphors per minute. That’s one every ten to 12 words.
But why are they there? What can they tell us about what people are really thinking and feeling? And how can you start to notice them in everyday conversation, so that you can use them?
As you probably already know, metaphor provides a powerful influencing tool. The greater your facility with metaphor, the greater your persuasive power.
These new insights can be put to use in changing lives for the better; to improve your relationships; to engage in deeper and more constructive conversations; and to help people get better results in their work.
“For anyone wanting to become more perceptive, more expressive, more influential and more persuasive, this will have a profound effect.” Peter Wright, Devon, UK
Includes a working definition of "metaphor", an overview of the traditional view of metaphor, and an introduction to the modern understanding of the role of metaphor in thought, in language and in behaviour.
A slightly more detailed look at metaphor in literature, and in persuasion.
Where to look for those six metaphors per minute!
A detailed look at four very common metaphors and how they are revealed both in how we soeak, and what we do.
A short extract from Steven Pinker's The Stuff Of Thought which reveals just how many metaphors we really use.
Recommended methodology for starting to hear the hidden metaphors in what people say. Practice will be needed!
Suggestions for hearing the most hidden metaphors - your own.
A suggested practice process.
Details of some of the ways other people have used the knowledge in this course.
Highlighting the fact that while many metaphors appear to be shared by many individuals in a culture, this may be misleading.
A short introduction to a precision toolkit for investigating metaphors.
Summary and suggested next steps.
I work with teams and their leaders to help them understand each other better so that they collaborate more effectively, even if they work apart and rarely (or never) actually meet face to face.
I've also been called an X-Ray Listener and a metaphorician. I'm the co-author of a bestselling book, Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds.
Clean Language and metaphor are particularly effective tools for exploring complex systems - and virtual teams are nearly always complex systems.
I’ve been working remotely – and managing virtual teams – since well before it was fashionable.
I started out as a local news reporter, and became an editor. Newsgathering has been a virtual business for hundreds of years: when I started out we still typed stories on paper and sent them to the printers’ in an envelope. I learned the basics of managing a virtual team the hard way, by trial and error under deadline pressure.
Ten years ago, I went freelance. I delved much deeper into the subject, to find out what really worked, and put it into practice in as a trainer, facilitator and coach.
I hold a Masters in Media Technology Administration and I'm a Fellow of the RSA.
Specialities: virtual team building, virtual facilitation, remote collaboration, virtual leadership, self-organisation, effective conference calls, virtual team training, Clean Language, complex systems, reinventing work