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Keywords:

  • metaphor;
  • performance;
  • behavior;
  • reflection;
  • learning;
  • model

Abstract

This article reports the findings from an ongoing action research program to assess the impacts of stimulating constructive dialogue around behaviors on team performance, using metaphor as a catalyst. Interactions based on a new reflective performance cycle model were reported by participants to be intuitive and fun. Implementation of metaphor-based interactions with project teams was found to align participants around objectives and enable them to leverage the behavioral diversity inherent in the group. These metaphorical interventions assist to create a behavioral environment that encourages participants toward more specific outcomes in more collaborative and constructive ways. This article introduces two practical examples of metaphor-based interventions designed to stimulate conversations that are either convergent or divergent, depending on the situation. Although early indications from this research suggest the metaphor-based interactions are effective, the current data are limited, and further research is continuing in several contexts to build a more robust body of evidence.