Less is More … The Art of Clean Language” by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley

Clean Language

Clean Language Questions

The aim of Clean Language early in the process is to allow information to emerge into the client’s awareness by exploringtheir coding of their metaphor.

Let’s revisit the above example, this time using Clean Language questions:

    Client: I’m stuck with no way out.

    CLQ: And what kind of stuck with no way out is that stuck with no way out?

    Client A: My whole body feels as if its sinking into the ground.
    Client B: I can’t see the way forward. It’s all foggy.
    Client C: Every door that was opened to me is closed.

This gives the client maximum opportunity to describe the experience of ‘stuck,’ and therefore to gather more information about their representation of the Present State.

OK this is full of NLP jargon, but I like the idea of accurately reflecting and probing the situation at the same time. Also I like the idea of how this leads to the client’s own metaphors. In other words it is about holding off on the empathy and sticking to the image.

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