Clean Language At A Glance

Could there be a Clean Language at-a-glance infographic? Visualmapper Wallace Tait asked this week if there was a Clean Language infographic, and that set me thinking.

If there was one, what could it contain?

The Clean Language Questions

There are a few visual representations of the Core Clean Language questions out there. For example, when I used to train alongside Wendy Sullivan we used “Moley”, based on a “molecule” metaphor. Here he is in German.

The Clean Language Compass was used by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley for many years. When people think of making a visual representation of Clean Language, that’s usually where they start.

Describing What Clean Language Is

Everyone involved in Clean Language has a different sense of what it actually is.

I’m settling on “an inquiry process optimised for exploring the metaphors that underpin people’s thinking” but that seems to miss a lot of the magic.

Marian Way gathered a bunch of different people’s metaphors in an infographic-style illustration for her book, Clean Approaches For Coaches.

Specifying A Clean Language Process

Again some illustrations from Marian’s book, and also from Caitlin Walker’s From Contempt To Curiosity, have an infographic-type quality as they describe the steps in various Clean-inspired processes.

Caitlin also has at least one process diagram describing different ways to measure the success of Clean Language-based projects.

Describing What Clean Language Does

I’m in the midst of working on a new course called Clean Language Essentials For Coaches. It’s based around six practical things coaches can do with Clean Language tools.

Specifically, my “essentials” are:

  • Interviewing people about things they know about, for example in an intake interview
  • Exploring “unknown knowns” – the things they don’t know that they know
  • Changing a client’s emotional state by directing attention with questions
  • Motivating clients to make real-world changes
  • Enhancing relationships – between coach and client, or between the client and the people around him
  • Giving and receiving effective, actionable feedback, without emotional overwhelm.

That could easily become an infographic, I think. Shall I create it right now?

Describing Who Uses Clean Language

And beyond that, I’m feeling inspired to create an infographic of who uses Clean Language, and for what. Members of my Metaphor Mastery course have plotted themselves on a world map, which I suppose is a kind of infographic. We could do something with languages, too.

But it would be even more fun to create some kind of visual representation of the different occupational groups where Clean is used, to show just how far it’s spread from its therapy roots.

Who’d be up for making that happen?

  • What else could be in a Clean Language infographic? Please comment below.

1 Comment

  • Sharon Small

    30/06/2017

    I love the world map and would be over the top if every person who has takin some sort of Clean Language training were to put a pin in where they are.

    For occupational groups … Perhaps we could do it a bit like a sensory Homunculus – the little guy who’s body parts are different sizes determined by the nerve endings blended with a crowd sourcing image – lots of people dressed or labeled by occupation and sized differently depending on the numbers that have /are using Clean methodologies …

    Or perhaps an app that is a bit like the visual thesaurus or moving mind map … that comes alive with with the questions …

    For me it is also about tone and delivery. There is a way to ask these questions that facilitate a clients response … I wonder about how to create an auditory map of asking clean questions, similar to how David Grove uses the dynamics of poetry for his tempo and delivery .. could their be a purely musical or tempo based way of sharing the delivery Clean Questions – perhaps like a game where the tempo is played and the learner guesses which question it is. This could be really fun.

    Looking forward to reading the ideas, inspirations and expertise of others ..

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