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University of British Columbia

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Presentation on theme: "University of British Columbia"— Presentation transcript:

1 University of British Columbia

2 What is a metaphor? a figure of speech in which two unrelated ideas are used together in such a way that the meaning of one lends definition to the other. - a visual image that uses imagination to capture new connections and possibilities

3 A 4 year old’s imagination

4 The Many Uses of a Cushion Elevator Airplane Trampoline Slide Ladder Landing Pad Bridge

5 Horse Racing as a Metaphor at the starting gate winning by a nose a dead heat off and running placing my money on… a false start a long shot the favorite playing the odds jockeying for position coming from behind (back of the pack) in the running…

6 Frustration Metaphors banging one’s head against the wall one step forward, two steps back slippery slope up a creek without a paddle running around in circles caught in a maze

7 Theoretical Foundations Constructivism – meaning making Narrative - story Hermeneutics – interpretation of meaning

8 Client Initiated Metaphors Dynamic dialogue (drawing a metaphor) Extension Time Line

9 Counsellor Responsive Metaphors Active Listening (summarizing with a metaphor) Encouragement (from doormat to wall hanging) Challenging Perspectives (immediacy)

10 Counsellor Initiated Exercises Perspectives of Others Parallel Imagery Physical Representations The Collective

11 Metaphor Communication Exercise Context: Twenty-eight year old graphic designer married with one child. Free lancing and part time computer related work; has been offered a full time position at a community college in the graphics department. “I feel that I really have hit the jackpot. Finally I am working at something where I can fire on all cylinders. It feels so good to find something that fits so well”

12 Questions What metaphors are being used? How might you respond to this statement? What could you say to help expand the metaphors?

13 Responses Metaphors: jackpot, cylinders, fit “You have been waiting a long time for this and now the prize is yours”. “It must feel so good to find something where you can use all your talents and skills, all the cylinders are now really engaged”. “When everything fits smoothly together you can use all your talents and skills, and there isn’t any better feeling. It really is one of life’s major prizes”.

14 Expansion I am really pleased with how things are working out for you. So what are the cylinders that are firing for you at this time? I am really pleased with how things are working out for you. What is happening that makes it feel that everything fits together so well. This is great to hear. What does this jackpot mean for you

15 Metaphor Communication Exercise Context: Thirty three year old human resources consultant working with a large financial institution. Married but no children. “I never saw it (the axe) coming, we had just merged with another company and I was certain that I would be a key part of the new strategy. My manager told me repeatedly that I was someone they wanted to hang onto. And then a few weeks afterwards I was called to his office and the axe came down.”

16 Questions What metaphors are being used? How might you respond to this statement? What could you say to help expand the metaphors?

17 Responses Metaphors: axe, merge, key, hang onto “What a terrible way to be let go (the opposite of being someone they wanted to hang onto). It’s one thing to lose your job when you see it coming, and something else to be deceived in this way”. “What a terrible way to be told that you are being let go. To start with the assurance from your manager that you are very much needed and then to have him arbitrarily bring the axe down “.

18 Expansion “It must have been terrible to be let go under these circumstances. I am just trying to imagine what it must have been like for you in that room with the manager when the axe came down”.

19 Case Conceptualization Describe the case using a metaphor Put self into the image (direction, optimism, relationship, responsibility, potency) Timeline Perspectives of others Miracle question

20 Limitations Images outside of experience Cross cultural misunderstandings Mixing metaphors Over use

21 The Metaphor Spectrum Stepping inside a variety of metaphors Enhancing flexibility and creativity through the process

22 Metaphors The Journey Modes of Transportation My Life as a Book Career Flow The Backswing A Bridge Over Troubled Water Climbing the Ladder of Success Walking the Yellow Brick Road Eye of the Storm Staying Afloat

23 Metaphors (cont’d) Career Anchors Fire! Catching the Wind Catching a Second Wind The Harvest A Garden Work as a Calling The Body A Puzzle Career Craft

24 Metaphors (cont’d) The Butterfly The Power of Small The Snowball Peach or Coconut Networking For Sale Balance Juggling Roller Coaster Role Play

25 Metaphors (cont’d) The Performing Arts Musical Expression Magnetic Attraction Winning the Game A Game of Chance Mold, Mould and Mole-d Outside the Box Soaring with Eagles Heroic Journey A Legacy

26 “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.” William James (1842-1910)

27 ~ Thank You ~ To Continue the Conversation: Norman Amundson University of British Columbia To Order Materials:


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