I’m always looking for learning opportunities as a technology consultant. Either from my Thought Ensemble colleagues, my clients or through professional networking. That learning could involve theories, concept, methodologies, or even new phrases to add to my consulting tool kit. About a year ago, I wrote a blog about My New Lingo and how I consistently hear the phrase “to your point” in client meetings. I continue to hear this one in meetings, though maybe as much lately. However, I think I’ve found another one that’s intriguing: well that’s analogous to…

This was uttered in a recent executive meeting I attended. When I first heard it used, I thought, where did that come from? Analogous to what now?! But then I laughed and realized.  I typically skip prefacing any comparisons I make during conversations with the word “analogous”, but for this particular person, they were using it as comfortable refrain to compare a few items in our discussion to something he understands is his work world.

Often times in technology consulting, we’re either talking to a business person who doesn’t completely grasp the technology lingo that IT group employs.  Alternatively, we’re working with an IT group, where a specific developer, DBA or PM doesn’t understand the complexities of their business or business processes.  It helps to be able to take difficult concepts and compare them to something your audience has heard in the past. Or more intuitively understands. Sure, you could break the concept down to the smallest possible detail, but that’s often not the most efficient way to make your point. And with the rapid changes that occur in technology, it doesn’t hurt to use analogies to streamline the explanation of more difficult concepts.