- Clean Language may be simple, but it's not easy. Beginners typically find it clunky and awkward to start with. They may be embarrassed by questions which "sound weird" or may upset people by exploring metaphors for problems.
- Explaining what Clean Language is can be very confusing: explaining what it does is best done with a demonstration, rather than a description.
- When Clean Language is done well, it's almost invisible. Clients are often so engaged as their thoughts spring to life that they hardly notice the process - and so don't ask about it or share it.
I've spent a bit of time this week tidying up my Intelligent Influence website. (Do pop over there if you'd like some free videos!) I've got material that I want to get out into the world about persuasion, influence and even (gasp!) manipulation, and to achieve my goal in the internet age I have to make it easier for people to find the information, and to share it with their friends. Smooth, in fact. Smooth like what? Like the spiral-stair-slide picture that people have been sharing on Facebook (left)! Because as Seth Godin points out in Unleashing the Ideavirus, "Persistence matters... cool is critical... smooth is essential because if you make it easy for the virus to spread, it's more likely to do so." It's got me thinking, yet again, about why Clean Language is not a particularly smooth ideavirus. After all, the technique can be incredibly powerful, and the only way to become good at using it is to practice with other people. So how come every learner isn't sharing the concept with hundreds of other people, who are clamouring to grab it? Instead, the idea is spreading relatively slowly. I think there are at least a couple of issues: