3.6 Anything Else

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  • It is so simple and clear when you coach. My language is not clear and clean when I am thinking “I hope I will be clear and effective giving a “good impression”. I find myself comparing to my experienced teachers.There are times a surprise myself and there are others that I disappoint myself.

  • Judy Rees says:

    Hi Natalie, one of the interesting things about coaching, particularly when you do it using Clean Language, is that how it feels to you as the coach, and how it looks and feels to the coachee, are not the same!
    I recommend making sure you have an effective way of getting feedback from the client, particularly when practising. Ask them about their experience *before* you start to apologise!
    I’ve supported lots of learners in their first steps in Clean Language and because the process is so robust, even beginners can do very powerful work. But because it’s unfamiliar, and they don’t yet have effective methods of calibrating whether it’s “working”, it’s hard to convince them they’ve done OK.
    Also, practice putting your full attention on your client. Those thoughts such as “I hope I will be clear and effective giving a good impression” may be useful ahead of a session, but during a session they are just distractions, like an itchy nose or the sound of a plane going overhead!

  • alistair donnell says:

    The calibration point is quite an important one I think Judy. I had not really considered much difference until reading your point just now. Even after reading James Lawley and Penny Tompkins article on it the difference didn’t really hit home. Is it a distinct and subtle different kind of calibration from what you traditionally would get taught from a more NLP type perspective? What I have noticed is that I am calibrating for big pauses and also heaps of metaphor. I’m not sure it is the only marker to look out for as some people have been quite literal or at least that has been my perception and some quite big stuff seems to have been happening. What I am finding now is that I am having to suspend virtually all thoughts of whether it has worked or not and literally just waiting until I next speak to them. Great site By the way Judy

  • Thanks Alistair, interesting question. How do you know when it’s “working”?
    In my experience there are different levels of “working”.
    There’s the very magical kind, a moment or two in the middle of a very good session where the energy suddenly seems to shift and it’s very much like I’ve been channeling the Force, characterised by a very special kind of silence (it’s difficult for me to say what kind of silence).
    Then there are various kinds of everyday “working”. I think a key marker for me is when a significant metaphorical symbol spontaneously changes, all on its own: a pile of bricks becomes a staircase, or starts dancing about, or turns into a bowl of sweets. The client will typically express surprise. It’s clear that *something* has changed, and it’s therefore time to “mature the change” by asking question about the symbol as it now is, and what effect the changed symbol is having on the landscape.
    But even when that doesn’t happen and nothing changes, the session may well have “worked” from the client’s point of view. If they have gained a new understanding of how things are, they may have a new appreciation for them. Perhaps things don’t need to change any more. In order for you as the facilitator to have that level of information, you will need to ask the client.

  • Laura Fierro Evans says:

    Dear Judy,
    I am Laura from Mexico. A friend told me yesterday about your work, and I am truly amazed with the video I just watched. I love the use of metaphors, and I use them constantly in my coaching, but what I just saw is truly masterful. I hope I will learn fast to become a clean coach as well! I also want to thank you for being so generous, sharing so much valuable material online and for free!

  • alistair donnell says:

    Judy that is pure gold thank you. It all looks so, so simple and mundane until you have experienced it and or worked and practiced with it. That will make a massive difference thank you. I think I have been concentrating on the “big guns” ie the beautiful metaphors that map out but I am also seeing worth in, well even just simple realisations. One other thing I have been struggling with slightly lately and big time a while back is getting seduced by the clients content in terms of the problem. I seem to end up mapping out the problem, they feel bad I feel bad and I am not always sure what to do about it. Any advice for those situations?

  • Judy Rees says:

    Alistair, re getting seduced by the problem, here’s an idea. Don’t do that, do something else!

    People are naturally problem-focussed (it’s an evolutionary advantage) and our schooling and other life training encourages the trait even more. It can take a real effort not to be seduced into the fantasy that by mapping out a problem in great detail, we’ll discover the solution.

    I’ll do a video on Penny and James’s PRO model soon. This spells out specifically how to shift the client’s focus from problem to outcome using the Clean Language questions. But the first step is to develop your own in-the-moment awareness of whether you (and the client) are attending to the problem, or to their desired outcome.

    Increase your focus on their desired outcome, by even a question or two, and things will change. So as soon as you hear it, write it down, and keep going back to it.

    For example, I was supervising a learner yesterday whose client’s outcome was, “I wish to maintain perspective and balance”. My “ideal” way of addressing this would be:
    – WKO balance (more questions here until drawable symbol)
    – WKO perspective (more questions here until drawable symbol)
    – WKO maintain (more questions here until drawable symbol)
    – Check relationships between these symbols
    – Check ecology
    – Move on to action planning if nothing has yet changed: mature changes as they occur.

    And welcome “baby steps”. James Tripp has helped me to realise the importance of these. If we take a systemic view, any change in the system, even a small change, has the potential to change everything. By paying attention to small changes, we can leverage them, helping clients to believe that change is possible and has already begun. Any new insight, any attempt to practice a new behaviour (whether “successful” or not) etc counts!

  • alistair donnell says:

    Thanks Judy I tried this out tonight with a client and it went a lot better than it has in the past. Wish I could fast forward a week to find out what happens!

  • Adrienne Isnard says:

    Hi Judy, I need some help. I have been using the Lazy Jedi Qs and focusing also on metaphors as spoken to me by friends and clients. I have had some success and lots of enjoyment but I only get so far and then I come unstuck. I get so far and then dont know where to go. Here’s an example.

    I was talking with a friend about lack of confidence and feelings of competence when addressing CEOs Directors and when presenting at a conference. Its a different kind of confidence and feelings of competence to those she has when presenting workshops or doing her job, where she feels supremely confident and competent and has no qualms or nervousness in those situations.

    So I asked the Qs about the different kinds of confidence – the confidence of workshops is out there – surrounding her. The other confidence is inside her chest, hiding, intimidated.

    I asked the seemingly obvious question that instead of having the confidence in there, hiding, in her heart, intimidated, what would she prefer it to be and of course she wants it to be the out there confidence.

    But that is when we both got stuck – I did not know how to cleanly ask her, without directing an outcome, to get her to explore how she could get that confidence to move to become the “out there confidence” or something else.

    Ahhh …. just typing this I think I am realising I could have aske “and….reference to in there confidence …. what would have to happen for it to become the “out there” confidence?”

    What do you think/advise?

    I wish I could think a bit faster on my feet ! But perhaps at least I have “planted a seed” that will help spur some changes in the person eventually.

    After that I did some NLP training (circle of excellence, and anchored the out there confidence) and some hypnotherapy.


  • Judy Rees says:

    Excellent question, Adrienne. And great to hear that you’re been trying things out, and that you can see in retrospect how you could have moved forward differently. That’s a great way to learn.

    I think it’s definitely true to say that the 2 Lazy Jedi questions are only going to get you so far . They’re an excellent place to begin, but to coach people fully using Clean Language, you need more: more questions, and a structure such as the Framework For Change.

    In this example, the confidence which is hiding, intimidated sounds like a Problem, so you used the Power Switch. “And when confidence is hiding, intimidated, what would you like to have happen?”

    The answer is “I’d like it to be out there” – an Outcome. So the next step would be to develop that outcome, again using the 2LJQs. I’d also check, using one of the specialised CLQs “Is that out there the same or different to the out there of the other confidence?”

    Once you’re sure you have a good picture of the Outcome, then it’s time to ask “What needs to happen for confidence out there?” …. and you’re off to the races.

  • Adrienne Isnard says:

    Thank you Judy, this is very helpful. I will keep on practising (because I love it). Cheers Adrienne