USING VISUAL METAPHORS
As a graphic recorder, I listen intently to conversations or presentations, synthesize what I’m hearing, and then quickly draw it out.
So when someone in a group uses a metaphor, it’s like tossing me a softball because invariably they bring specific images to mind. When this happens I always read the room to see how the metaphor landed with the group. Just because it’s meaningful to one person doesn’t mean it resonates with the whole team, and if I can see that it doesn’t, I won’t draw it.
But a metaphor that does resonate with a group can be a powerful way to get everyone on the same page. It can even create a common language within the organization, which increases both communication and collaboration.
Earlier this month I graphic recorded Dignity Health’s annual summit, held at the Disneyland Hotel. They rather brilliantly incorporated the environment by using Disney characters and their stories as metaphors throughout the 2-day event. One keynote speaker even used video clips from Disney films to highlight effective ways to lead, communicate, and make use of existing tools.
The visuals I created reinforced these key messages. Attendees will be able to use the digitized versions of the maps to help them remember what they learned and to share those learnings with their colleagues.
And for me personally, I'm still humming tunes from my favorite Disney musicals and generally feeling inspired.