Friday, June 25, 2010

What is an influential person? How to influence behavior through the use of metaphor

Jeffrey Gitomer lists the character traits of an influential person in his article, 'People of influence are successful. Are you one of them? - How to be a power influencer.' I like how he classifies influencers as not just smart but shrewd.

Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary gives a ten minute talk on the use of metaphor in the English language in this TED talk.

He referenced a study where participants were swayed by the use of metaphor when deciding on an appropriate solution to a problem.

Geary cited Elvis and Shakespeare when discussing metaphor. My personal favorite metaphor is Reagan's comparison of American to a "shining city upon a hill." His metaphor captured the imagination and pride of Americans.

How can I use metaphor to influence action in my project team?

Thank you for your time! If you have any questions about my experience with the eCornell Project Leadership classes, please email me at

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