Clean Language

Clean language is one of the most powerful language tools we use in NLP to explore our clients metaphorical landscape and maps of the world without implying our own. I had a session with a friend of mine recently over skype (You don’t even need to be in the same room as your clients), and she agreed that I could post it to my blog for you all to learn from. Thank you Fran. x

[15/02/2010 17:30:05] Toby: and… that’s like what?[15/02/2010 17:31:07] francesca: well physically right now it’s my arms, they tense up like and i lerch forward a bit like i’m stopping myself from jumping[15/02/2010 17:32:06] francesca: i’m not sure emotionally…well …I’m getting the sense that i do know, i just don’t want to go there…hhhmmm that’s like what?[15/02/2010 17:32:10] francesca: uuumm[15/02/2010 17:32:26] francesca: it’s scary[15/02/2010 17:33:03] Toby: and… if you let go… like jumping… thats like what?[15/02/2010 17:33:31] francesca: dangerous….I feel like I’m jumping off a cliff[15/02/2010 17:34:00] Toby: and scary and dangerous… whats the relationship between them and letting go and jumping?[15/02/2010 17:34:31] francesca: just voiding a second[15/02/2010 17:34:39] francesca: :)[15/02/2010 17:35:10] francesca: it’s where I’m going to land[15/02/2010 17:35:17] francesca: it’s jumping without knowing[15/02/2010 17:35:46] Toby: and without knowing where you are going to land – is there anything else about that?[15/02/2010 17:36:28] francesca: well…the pictures kind of shifted now[15/02/2010 17:36:40] Toby: shifted…?[15/02/2010 17:38:17] francesca: before I could see myself jumping off a cliff and I couldn’t see where I was going…felt like I was going to land on rocks…dead…but now the angle has changed and I can see me jumping into the sea[15/02/2010 17:38:22] francesca: more like a game[15/02/2010 17:39:00] francesca: hardly any tide[15/02/2010 17:39:03] francesca: calmer[15/02/2010 17:39:38] Toby: So by changing the angle, you can see it’s calmer?[15/02/2010 17:39:53] francesca: yeah…I can see where I’m landing[15/02/2010 17:40:23] Toby: So when you think about ‘tense up’ can you change the angle to see it calmer?[15/02/2010 17:43:15] francesca: uuummm…I think so. I feel better now about jumping, now that the angle is changed it seems fun, like I want to jump…but something’s connected to the tense up with the auditions and chatting to that girl that isn’t the same as jumping[15/02/2010 17:43:21] francesca: it’s more like sinking[15/02/2010 17:43:24] francesca: oh god sorry![15/02/2010 17:43:35] francesca: what a nightmare![15/02/2010 17:44:20] Toby: and can you change the angle of sinking?[15/02/2010 17:44:48] francesca: no…because I can feel it not see it[15/02/2010 17:45:03] Toby: and when you feel it, thats like what?[15/02/2010 17:45:57] francesca: it’s like a sinking feeling in my chest…like quicksand…or a sand time…pours down and it’s really heavy[15/02/2010 17:46:10] francesca: *sandtimer[15/02/2010 17:46:26] francesca: like a sinking feeling[15/02/2010 17:46:40] Toby: and what would you like to have happen?[15/02/2010 17:47:17] francesca: I’m kind of doing it…I’m changing the direction[15/02/2010 17:47:32] francesca: and now it’s shooting out of my chest…[15/02/2010 17:47:38] francesca: how embarrassing![15/02/2010 17:47:48] Toby: and changing the direction…. and what happens next?[15/02/2010 17:48:41] francesca: it’s like a white light pouring out of my chest….releasing the heaviness[15/02/2010 17:48:53] francesca: it feels calmer now[15/02/2010 17:50:16] Toby: and what happens next?[15/02/2010 17:50:27] francesca: i breathe[15/02/2010 17:50:47] francesca: and push my shoulders back[15/02/2010 17:50:48] Toby: and is there anything else?[15/02/2010 17:51:00] francesca: yes…[15/02/2010 17:51:06] francesca: thank you[15/02/2010 17:51:39] Toby: No need to thank me…[15/02/2010 17:51:52] francesca: yes there is[15/02/2010 17:52:15] francesca: that was so weird…I didn’t even know that was in there![15/02/2010 17:52:39] francesca: Thank you![15/02/2010 17:52:57] Toby: You are very welcome
By |2016-12-19T17:30:26+00:00February 24th, 2010|Language|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Judy Rees 25/02/2010 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Hi guys, how’s life? Nice demo.

    Just a suggestion, when experimenting with Clean Language it’s a good idea to “go for the good stuff”, that is, to use the questions to explore positive states and the things people want more of.

    When you realise you’re exploring an unpleasant situation or state, try a Clean state-switch: “And when it’s scary and dangerous, what would you LIKE to have happen?” It’s a more precise way of directing the person’s attention to their goal – whether in metaphor, or in real-life terms – and on most occasions it bypasses unpleasant emotional reactions and sets them heading straight for the prize.

    Best wishes,

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