Unlock the Power of Metaphors at Work to Captivate Your Listeners!

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or confused when someone talks about metaphors, fear not! I’ve been in your shoes.

As a schoolboy, I often found myself grappling with the concept of metaphors. While trying to decipher their meanings in literary texts, the idea of crafting my own metaphors seemed like a daunting task. Like many others, I struggled to understand how to make meaningful comparisons that would bring life to my writing.

I’ll be sharing a simple yet effective approach to finding and creating your very own metaphors, turning those abstract ideas into vibrant and evocative comparisons. At the end, I will provide the secret to apply metaphors more frequently. So, let’s dive right in and unlock the world of metaphors together!

The metaphor crafting table

Metaphors can be a door to an unknown land. They open up new ways of thinking.

I’ve created this handy metaphor crafting table. There are six categories. Each category comes with a rule that you should follow. To get a general understanding there are two examples.

TipRuleExample 1Example 2
1. Look for connectionsConsider qualities/characteristics of the subject and find similarities in other objects, people, or concepts.She is a rubber band, always bouncing back from adversity.His life is like a speeding train, always rushing forward.
2. Use your sensesRelate the subject to your senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) for unique and vivid comparisons.Her voice was like velvet, soothing and comforting.The city was a symphony, with each neighborhood playing its own unique tune.
3. Explore idioms and proverbsLook up idioms and proverbs related to the theme or subject and use them to inspire a metaphor.He found himself between a rock and a hard place, unable to choose between his career and his family.As a new employee, she was still green behind the ears, learning the ropes of the job.
4. Tap into emotionsThink about the emotions evoked by the subject and find other things that elicit the same emotions for an emotional connection.Her absence was like an empty chair, a constant reminder of the love that was missing.Reaching his goal felt like standing on the summit, breathing in the crisp air of accomplishment.
5. Get inspired by natureRelate the subject to natural phenomena found in nature, such as life cycles, seasons, and natural events.His personal growth was like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, emerging stronger and more beautiful than before.Her beauty was like cherry blossoms, delicate and ephemeral.
6. Observe the world around youPay attention to the environment, people, and situations around you for inspiration from everyday life.The office was like a busy marketplace, with people shouting and scurrying in all directions.He was like a Swiss Army knife, always having the right tool for any situation.
The Metaphor Crafting Table

The secret to applying metaphors

Everybody knows that practice makes permanent. That’s the secret. Use them. And what better place than using them at work.

Here is your Mission, should you choose to accept it.
Read through the tables. Pick one category per week. Try to apply metaphors when those situations arise.

Challenges or Difficult Situations:

Navigating a minefieldFacing a difficult or sensitive situation
Swimming with sharksDealing with ruthless or cunning colleagues
Hitting a glass ceilingFacing barriers to career progression
Walking on eggshellsBeing cautious to avoid offending others
Stepping on toesInadvertently offending or upsetting others

Teamwork, Collaboration, and Management:

The office is a beehiveBusy and bustling with activity
Climbing the corporate ladderAdvancing in one’s career
Running a tight shipManaging a team or project efficiently
Herding catsManaging a group with diverse personalities
Breaking down silosEncouraging collaboration between departments
A well-oiled machineA team or department working smoothly and efficiently
Leveling the playing fieldEnsuring equal opportunities or fairness for all

Motivation, Change, and Growth:

Lighting a fire under someoneMotivating a coworker to take action
Planting the seeds of changeInitiating new ideas or strategies
Going the extra milePutting in extra effort or going above and beyond
Turning over a new leafMaking positive changes or improvements
Planting the seeds of successLaying the groundwork for future achievements
A breath of fresh airA new employee or idea that brings positive change

Problem-solving, Multitasking, and Prioritization:

Spinning platesJuggling multiple tasks or projects
Putting out firesAddressing urgent problems or crises
Thinking outside the boxComing up with creative solutions
Nipping a problem in the budAddressing an issue before it escalates
Wearing multiple hatsHandling various roles or responsibilities
Juggling prioritiesBalancing multiple important tasks

Communication, Relationships, and Conflicts:

The rumor mill is churningGossip circulating in the workplace
Throwing someone under the busBlaming a coworker to protect oneself
Weathering the stormPersevering through tough times
Clearing the airResolving misunderstandings or conflicts
Picking low-hanging fruitFocusing on easy tasks or quick wins
The calm before the stormA period of quiet before a busy or chaotic time