What Is Clean Language?

I talk a lot about Clean Language on this blog. But you may be wondering what Clean Language is, and why it’s interesting. So (thanks to a nudge from a friend on Facebook) I’ve decided it’s time for a few short introductory YouTube videos. Here’s the first one: If you prefer to read your introduction,…

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How to get people to trust you

I’ve been blogging recently about the relationship between words, physical actions, metaphor and influence. One expert who really “gets” this, who I had the privilege of meeting recently, is Mark Bowden, author of Winning Body Language. Let me share my biggest takeaway from the many useful things he taught me. It’s something I started using…

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Influence: actions speak louder than words

Influential language is important. Questions, listening and metaphor are important. But there could be an even more important factor in influence: the purely “incidental” behaviour of the people around you. “Turns out your colleague’s husband’s sister can make you fat, even if you’ve never met. And a happy friend affects your happiness more than a…

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Infectious metaphors

As I mentioned recently, the habit of thinking in metaphor is so central to our everyday experience that we barely notice it. But the metaphors we use in our thinking have a huge impact on how we live our lives. Our metaphors influence our actions Do you think of life a constant battle? Are you constantly…

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Compare and contrast

“People think in metaphor.” That’s a routine idea in cognitive science nowadays, and it’s pretty central to what I do. It’s so important that I’m constantly playing with new ways of making the same point. One that’s been working well recently is to say, “People think by comparing and contrasting things. “Whenever we encounter something new,…

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