Metaphor as communication superpower

“The elephant is like a snake!”
Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

I had an “aha!” moment in Thomas Parkinson‘s entrepreneurship class yesterday, via Nathan Gold. Nathan keyed in on metaphor as one of the key tools for an effective pitch, rather than getting into the weeds of what it is you do.

Since being introduced to Charlie Munger’s “latticework of mental models”, I’ve believed that most of our ability to think well comes from having an adequate mental library of metaphors and being able to apply them well–there’s no more-powerful tool for quickly grasping the intuitive “essence” of a thing. But somehow, I hadn’t made the connection between metaphors’ power for thinking and their equal power in communicating and persuading in compressed-time, high-stakes situations.

In retrospect, it’s obvious–but gaining that insight is one of various “pieces” that may each, individually, have been worth the investment in the iMBA program.