Mind, Language and Metaphor 

Euroconference on Consciousness and the Imagination

Sponsored by the European Science Foundation
Supported by the European Commission, Research Director General, 
Human Potential Programme, High-Level Scientific Conferences

Kerkrade, The Netherlands, 20-24 April 2002

Poster Presentation -- Thomas H. Smith, Ph.D.:

Choice of Mode in Employing Metaphors During Dispute Resolution

Mode of Using Metaphor During Conflict Resolution:  A negotiator's or mediator's goal is to understand and influence disputants' thinking to facilitate resolution of conflict.  Metaphoric mapping is key to understanding and influencing this thinking.

Choice of Mode in Using Metaphor

Choose a metaphor for its potential to alter disputant's Target Domain constructively.
Intervention for shift towards areas of agreement.

Discover how dispute is metaphorically understood by disputant in terms of a Source Domain.  Query for clarifications re: tuning into operating metaphor, then expand.

Developing a repertoire of useful Source Domains 
(1) learn groupings, 
(2) become familiar with the entailments of various metaphors:

Finding the metaphors that clients are already using by (1) attending to the following and (2) querying for clarifications.

Benefits (+) & Liabilities (-) of Intervention Approach:

+ Easier to learn.

+ Rapidity

+ Directive in moving towards resolution.

-+ More solution-centered.

- Risk misunderstanding

Metaphor Intervention Mode

Benefits (+) and Liabilities (-) of Metaphor Detection Approach:

+ More Client-centered.

+ Moves with Clients changing conception.

+Enhances communications.

+ Reduced risk of misunderstanding

-+ Dialog required.

- Depends upon resolution emerging spontaneously.

Metaphor Detection Mode