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Clean Coaching Module Four: Clean Language Advanced

Well done for reaching Module Four!

This Module is entitled “Connecting and Expanding with Confidence”

Here is a link to a  ‘refresher’ class on the Clean Language Foundation course to consolidate your learning and remind you of the key points about Clean Language to remember. Click here to download an audio-visual recording.

You can also listen to  a ‘taster’ class (for complete beginners)  just press ‘play’ (over to the right) to listen.

During the first few classes of this module, we will cover modelling, systems thinking and parts.

For your first exercise, please listen to the recorded demonstration in which two previous Clean Language training participants are practicing together. This session shows a clear structure, with the following steps:

1) Getting an Outcome in metaphor:

“What would you like to have happen?”

(This question is used twice – once at the beginning and once towards the end when a problem “feeling scared” is identified)

2) Focusing attention on the parts of the metaphor:

“What kind of …. is that ….?”
“Is there anything else about ….?”

3) Developing a resource into a metaphor:

“That’s a knowingness like what?”

4) Expanding attention by exploring relationships between the different parts of the metaphor uncovered:

“Is there a relationship between the capsule and the Harry Potter light?”

5) Expanding attention by exploring the source of a resource:

“Where could that Harry Potter light have come from?”

6) Moving into actions and checking they are possible:

“What needs to happen for…?”
“And can….”

There are some great questions in the session and the coachee gained a lot from it.

As you listen to the session, see how well you can model what the coachee is saying. Pay attention to the symbols developed and treat each as a ‘part’ of an emerging whole metaphoric ‘landscape’.

  • How clear is your understanding of the whole metaphor as a system of interacting symbols?
  • Could you draw your own mental representation of how it might look?
  • From your picture, what information seems missing to you?
  • What other questions would you have liked to ask (and when) to fill in any gaps?

You can access a transcript of the session here, although it’s recommended that you attempt to build your own model / draw your picture first from listening to the audio, before reading the transcript.

Post your answers to Google Classrooms if you can and bring a copy of your drawing to the next class. 


Modelling a smoking habit

Click on the link to hear a demo session exploring a habit that the coachee may want to change.

You can access and download a transcript (with the coach’s ‘musings’ here.

The habit being explored is one of smoking, and you may notice that some ‘specialist’ Clean Language questions are used during the exploration.

  • What’s happening now? – we talked about this question on Class One. It’s a useful check question to see ‘in the moment’ what is going on for the coachee. If you are feeling lost in the process, it’s a good question to reorient you and the coachee to what’s current and where their attention is. It’s also a good question to help someone ‘catch themselves’ in the act of doing their binding pattern right there in the room with you. It also means they can notice a step, part or symbol in their thinking ‘system’ that previously may have been unknown.  Finally, this question can help orient a person to what might be going on in and around there body. You can support that with a slight gesture towards their body, as you ask the question.

Also two further questions that you can add into your CL repertoire as and when it seems relevant and useful:

  • And how do you know (client’s words)? – especially useful if you are unclear how this person is experiencing their inner world. It seems we need to use our same senses that we use to perceive the outside ‘real’ world to perceive our inner symbolic world, such as sight, touch, sound, smell etc.
  • Is x the same or different to y? – another kind of relationship question, it works best when you are comparing two fairly ‘simple’ symbols (for example in this demo, the ‘voice’ that gives direction versus the ‘voice’ that triggers) rather than a bunch of ill-defined concepts.



Demonstration – Modelling “Using Clean Language”

There are two sessions recorded here, each with the same coachee exploring their use of Clean Language – through Clean Language.

The first session’s recording is a little fuzzy in places but you can clearly hear the coachee. These sessions provide examples of:

  • Great modelling, using the basic Clean Language questions extensively, and occassional use of expanding attention and ‘specialist questions’ such as “How do you know?” and “What would (part) like to have happen?”
  • Useful explorations of a system – in metaphor
  • In the second session, an example of a parts exploration, with the ‘head’ and ‘heart’ becoming parts in a system that initially want different things
  • You can download an MP3 recording of this session directly to your computer by clicking on this link.


Please listen to the following demonstration as conducted by two previous course attendees. As you listen, notice what was said that could relate to a scale of some sort. What questions might you have asked to explore that scale?