Metaphors and Language of Success
People use metaphors in everyday language. Some metaphors are helpful and empowering and constructive:
- “I feel like I am on the crest of a wave right now”
- “We have planted the seeds of success”
- “I feel our business has put down very strong foundations on which we can build”
Others can be disempowering and destructive:
- “Dealing with our customers is like going into hand to hand combat”
- “This feels like a mountain we have to climb – it’s never-ending”
- “My heart is just not in this plan”
Coaches can help clients to develop their vision, through the use of positive, constructive metaphors, images and language. Encouraging clients to use more empowering, positive and emotional metaphors and language helps connect them emotionally, mentally and in some cases physically to their vision and goals. It helps to reinforce and enhance their vision.
Examples of Positive and Negative Metaphors
|Words||“Together, we can move mountains if we work as a team”||“It feels like a tug of war with people pulling in opposite directions”|
|Words||“I can see this growing into a global business, so let’s make things happen”||“This company is heading in the wrong direction”|
|Words||“My role in this company is putting out the fires”
|“My role in this company is like the captain of the ship”|
|Words||“We are in this race to win it. Yes there will be some obstacles in the way, but we will overcome them”||“I’m just waiting for us to slip on a banana skin”
|“We need to make our sales process work like a High performance racing car”||“Our sales team couldn’t sell their way out of a paper bag”|
|Words||“This company is like a ship wreck waiting to happen!”||“Our business is on a steep growth trajectory – so get ready for takeoff!”|
When listening to the metaphors and language used by clients, coaches can assess the level of commitment to goals and actions.
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