When people build responses to the challenges we pose to them in a workshop--what X means to them, or what X is like--they tend to explain their model by saying, "X is like Y." That's a metaphor or analogy, and it brings with it some baggage, also known as an entailment. That is, if my love is like a red red rose, the "red red" conveys the intensity. More than that, the "rose" conveys that it's beautiful, but part of being a rose is having thorns--so an entailment of this analogy is that love can be both beautiful and as painful as being stuck by a thorn. People don't always realize that their analogy has some additional baggage until they reflect on it. Like, what's up with that bird that has a fire for its tail, above? Of course, just because there's an entailment doesn't mean a person has to accept it as part of the meaning, but recognizing it and discussing it helps clarify the model and the meaning. In the end, it's about clarity, not getting a one-to-one match with the analogy.

Working through an entailment helped a participant have a light-bulb moment in our Your Money AND Your Life Workshop. This person build money as a wild animal, unpredictable and untamed--and then said, Wow, that explains a lot of my trepidation about finances. But then pointed out the baggage that metaphor brought--can you ever tame a wild animal? How do you do it? The participant was free to modify the model or to explore the baggage, and chose to explore ways they might "tame" their money.

Identifying and talking through entailments is a part of getting the most out of using play and analogies. And it's not limited to the actual time in the workshop; we've found that once a connection is made, once someone says "X is like Y," it reverberates in their head and becomes the basis for further discussion, reflection, and clarification--or taming.