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…lost in translation

A key theme in the past few posts has been communication. As one of the basic foundations of interaction, this is an important thing to master (I was just promoted to Captain Obvious I think). Having witnessed no less than four occurrences of an interesting pattern in the past week, I figured I would discuss the notion of bad analogies.

Analogies are a great way for pulling people into your story – often allowing them to relate to the topic at hand. That being said, it sure helps that your analogies can actually resonate with you audience. Sometimes, lack of awareness to social queues and/or not understanding the audience actually polarizes your listeners. This, often has the opposite intended effect and in some cases can force premature disengagement.

For instance, before you compare someone’s positive effect on you as a black hole – make sure they dig astrophysics. One side of the conversation is thinking of a compelling attraction from which the pull is very strong – analogous to being compared to gravity causing light not being able to escape.  Meanwhile, the other side of the conversation is thinking “why is he calling me a hole?”

…make wise choices



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