What is Clean Language and how could you use it?

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Here's a different way to understand people and what makes them tick - by exploring the metaphors that underpin their thinking. Clean Language expert Judy Rees explains how this approach could help you and your team to collaborate more effectively, communicate more clearly and make your work more enjoyable.


  • 1.What is Clean Language and how could you use it? Judy Rees, X-Ray Listener

2. A good presentation is like what? 3. A command of metaphor is the mark of genius. Aristotle (384 322 BC) 4. Metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive." Gregory Bateson (1904 1980) 5. Analogy is the fuel and fire of thinking. Hofstadter and Sander, 2014 6. Metaphor We use up to six metaphors a minute in ordinary English Metaphors spill out continually in our language because we think in metaphor Metaphor is the native language of the unconscious mind 7. Clean Language is a precision toolkit for exploring the metaphors hidden in peoples thoughts Created by David Grove (1950 2008) 8. Clean Language is useful wherever there are people! 9. Where does Clean Language help? Organisations Creates conditions for the wisdom of the system to emerge Teams Enhances collaboration, reduces conflict, supports creativity Pairs Improves communication and reduces misunderstandings Individuals Creates clarity, resolves problems 10. Results: Teams People are now engaging more effectively with each other listening and verifying their understanding getting better answers being more productive Another positive impact that we have seen is the reduction in conflicts due to misunderstandings. This can be a big time waster causing confusion and frustration. Corinne Knight, BSkyB Broadcast IT, London 11. Skills Developed Include: Listening and asking good questions Thinking more clearly Giving usable feedback Appreciating diversity Speaking up Making meetings deliver Resolving and preventing conflicts 12. Background Reading 13. Results: Coaching The main thing was the huge amount of clarity the session gave me. In only 45 minutes I went from feeling a bit fuzzy and unclear about some of the things I wanted to change, to having such a clear vision on what my next steps will be. Joris Vincken, Eindhoven, Netherlands 14. Judy Rees Co-author of Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds (2008) Background in journalism and media IT Based in Brentford, West London Works with individuals and teams worldwide via phone, web conferencing etc 15. Contact Judy Rees via www.xraylistening.com