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Metaphors Are What You Make of Them

I had a great time last week with the Wardle McLean team, doing some facilitation for their away day. It’s interesting to read Kevin McLean’s take on the aikido activity I did with the group – I introduced it as a way of highlighting the difference a sense of purpose (peaceful resolution) can make to apparently mundane activities (basic drill steps). It also struck a chord with Kevin as a metaphor for conversation, which seems obvious to now, but wasn’t the reason I introduced it. That’s one of the nice things about this kind of activity – it acts as a metaphor with a rich variety of meanings for the participants, taking you to places you wouldn’t reach if you focus too literally and narrowly on a specific topic or situation.

Homeward bound

The Wardle McLean Art of Conversation blog is well worth checking out, as is their Little Book of Qualitative Wisdom. As a practitioner of a conversational art myself, I can relate to a lot of what they say about research conversations. And I like the way the flipchart just happens to be showing the words ‘endless’ and ‘inspiration’ in the photo.


  1. Fun little booklet.

    Metaphors are a trip.

  2. Thanks Roger, nice metaphor for metaphors.