Metaphors are a great way to engage groups or individuals in a reflective process. Whether used as an introductory icebreaker or for debriefing an activity, metaphors can take the conversation in new directions, add fun and very often create a deeper connection to the learning. Having images, words or objects on hand as prompts can make it really easy. Here's where it gets fun – prompts for metaphors are everywhere.
Here are a few ideas for your tool box
1. Look in your kitchen cabinet and pull out your spices.
You don't have to take the actual spice jars to your event, although you could. Get pictures of them or create a set of spice index cards – one spice per card; pepper, salt, garlic, parsley, paprika, sage etc.
Sample instructions to participants;
Choose a spice represents a strength you bring to your work.
Choose a spice that represents something you would like to add to your marketing plan
Once each person chooses the conversation unfolds as they describe the meaning of their chosen spice.
2. Find pictures in magazines of common objects that show up in a broad variety of styles. It doesn't matter if it's chairs or shoes or cars or flowers, collect as many as possible with as broad a range as possible. Use them with icebreaker kinds of questions, or reflective debriefing questions.
Choose the shoe that reflects something unique about you.
Pick a chair that represents your experience of the exercise.
3. There are lots of great places to look – your kids toy box might be a fun option. You can also buy ready made tools that act as metaphor prompts to elicit responses. Card deck types of products can often work well
Want to play? Which chair best reflects your intention for today?
Share your thoughts and your favorite metaphor prompts.