- What do you think? Should stop using the word "manipulation"? Please comment below.
Being skilled with Clean Language gives you tremendous power to influence. In my blog earlier this week I spelled out how, by seeking not to influence with tricksy language patterns, skilled Clean Language facilitators actually make themselves more influential, cutting through potential resistance like a knife through butter. These facilitators also use the "3 Dimensions of Conversational Control" - self control, context control and attention control - with awareness, to direct their "Clean" conversations. It's elegant, and very effective. And they understand "Fourth Dimension" - the role of metaphor in conscious and subconscious thought. (There's more on all this in my new e-book, The Persuasion Paradox.) I count many of these skilled Clean facilitators as my friends, and I know that most of them promote Clean Language with a message along the lines of “The whole point of Clean Language is to honour the other person’s model of the world and NOT influence.” That kind of marketing message attracts some lovely, well-intentioned and highly ethical people to the field. It's a message I used myself for about three years. So how come I now link words like "influence", "persuasion" and "manipulation" with "Clean Language"? Essentially, I think Clean Language has tremendous potential to change the world for the better, and I want to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. Therefore, I think it needs to be marketed in such a way that people know that it will meet a need or desire which they know they have. Few people want to spend money to learn how to "not influence"! Lots want to become more effective - more influential - in terms of their impact on the world. Secondarily, I don't think it's true that the whole point of Clean Language is to "not influence". I think developing these skills makes you potentially very influential. And I think that "ground truth" is the most effective place from which to start a marketing conversation. Thirdly, the word "manipulation" provides a fabulous example of Humpty Dumpty language. I'm not massively invested in it, I may drop it. But it does provide an elegant means of getting people to understand that not everyone means the same thing by the same word - a central principle of Clean Language!