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    Using Analogies to be a Successful Consultant
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Consulting
     

    Using Analogies to be a Successful Consultant

    When working as a consultant, an important aspect that we talk about is the fact that you’ll be dealing with different clients in unique situations regularly.  Effective communication is key when you’re entering into an organization where you are the outsider. You have a goal, you have projects and objectives that need to be completed, but you’re coming in as a new face with a fresh take. It can be difficult to get your point across or to make sure that everyone is aligned.

    One of the most successful tools I’ve found is the use of analogies to quickly and efficiently convey your meaning. You may be in an unfamiliar situation with unfamiliar people and you can use an analogy as a common set up of things that people generally know about. There are certain situations and scenarios that most people have experienced or that most people have knowledge of.  Take car sales for instance. Nearly everyone has been through that experience. Everyone can relate.  If you’re in a meeting and you present a concept using an analogy that people can relate to, you’re more likely to have people on the same page as you.

    As uniting as a good analogy can be, a bad analogy is just as polarizing. It’s not a good idea to use an analogy that no one can identify with. When you were hiking Mt. Everest for instance.  You look around the room and say, “We’ve all been there, right?” No. Most people have not actually been hiking on Mt. Everest. No, they cannot relate. 

    When you’re using bad analogies, you’re not bridging the gap.  So think about, and flesh out, the thoughts before you say them out loud.  Can people see themselves in this scenario? Is this something that most people have experienced? How can I use a common, everyday life experience to convey meaning and get my thoughts across quickly?

    An analogy is really just breaking down what you’re trying to say by drawing comparisons to a relatable subject.  This can be a tool that makes a successful consultant. What have your experiences been in the past getting alignment using analogies? What are some of the best analogies you’ve heard in a business scenario? What are some of the worst? Do you think they have a significant impact? Comment below!

     
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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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