Skip to content

Episode 119

June 30, 2021

119:The Power of Analogies with Michael Barrett

Sign up to download the free 1-page summary.


    Analogies are a powerful tool – they’re communication kaleidoscopes, reflecting and refracting our ideas into a multitude of new, eye-catching alternatives.

    It’s a tool that we use regularly. I know in my workshops, I will fall back on helpful analogies to explain complex topics. On this podcast, guests (and I) will use analogies to explain new concepts. In many conversations, you’ll find analogies cropping up.

    It was about time workshops work dedicated some space to this powerful tool! Thankfully, I was able to speak to one of the best possible analogists – Michael Barrett, founder of Resonance, LLC and multi-hyphenate-careerist.

    Michael’s thinking is a breath of fresh air and our conversation flowed beautifully. Journey with us as we explore the power of analogies in facilitation.

    Find out about

    • Michael’s portfolio career of massage therapy, consultancy, and facilitation
    • How massage therapy taught Michael to see organisations as organisms
    • How interdisciplinary thinking helps Michael see the world in analogies
    • Why we shouldn’t always avoid pain, as it can lead to sustained relief
    • The neuroscientific reasons for using analogies when you facilitate
    • Knowing where an analogy’s limits are
    • Understanding the ground rules of using analogies effectively in workshops

    Don’t miss the next show: Subscribe to the show with your favourite podcast player.

    And if the idea of NeverDoneBefore 2021, the community of facilitators, caught your attention; click here to explore it in more detail!

    Questions and Answers

    01:38When did you start calling yourself a facilitator? 06:52Where do you see the parallels between facilitation and being a massage therapist? 10:46It sounds like the environment – making a safe space – matters just as much there? 15:58Do you think the focus on “fixing” afflicts massage therapists and facilitators equally? 15:14How do you connect virtual meetings and embodied facilitation? 19:45Can pain be productive and healing – as in massage therapy? 21:33Do analogies’ power in workshops come from adding personal, experiential relatability? 24:33How do you usually use analogies in your facilitation practice? 28:28Does knowing the science behind how analogies work allow you to use them in new, boundary-pushing ways? 30:57How can you determine what good and bad analogies are? 34:06How can you determine what good and bad analogies are? 38:00Are there specific moments when you use an analogy, or would you build an entire workshop around one? 40:15What makes a workshop fail? 45:52Do you have a favourite analogy? 48:26 Is using analogies effectively a talent or a muscle? 54:02 Do you have a favourite exercise? 57:51 What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

    Connect to Michael