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What is the Analogies and Metaphors Technique?

An analogy is a comparison that points out the similarity between the like features of two different things. The Analogies and Metaphors technique in meetings helps participants clarify their understanding of an issue. This technique is especially helpful when information is difficult to understand.

During the meeting, the leader asks the group to think of several analogies for the current problem or situation. For example, if the group is trying to start an online community but they have no prior experience with this, they may compare starting an online community to starting a new garden or organizing a family reunion. Then, the group selects the analogy they feel best fits their situation and explore it in more detail, describing the steps or aspects of the analogous situation (for example, preparing garden beds, selecting seeds, etc.). With the fleshed-out analogy before them, they can use these details to help them build out a plan for the real situation they face (for example, preparing garden beds - preparing an online community space).

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