When you want to use analogies to make your point

One of my customers recently told me:

“Our culture is stifling our management team. It’s like owning a Ferrari, but driving it with the brakes on: it’s a waste of an expensive, high-quality resource. We need to work out how to use our Ferrari better.”

Analogies like this explain the point you want to make (our management team is stifled) by likening it to something unrelated (driving a Ferrari with the brakes on). They’re a great way to persuade, in that they:

  • Increase understanding and buy-in – two key elements of persuasion.
  • Often lead to less challenge – “Our management team is stifled” could easily be met with “No, it’s not”.
  • Are especially useful when your message is not landing, is complex, ...

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