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Clean Language

Eliciting High Fidelity Subjective Information
by

Rupert Meese

on 9 August 2011

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Transcript of Clean Language

Symbolic
Modelling A phenomenological method for eliciting high fidelity subjective information Set Context
Describe Method
Show example
Bigger Picture A Method for navigating complex subjective experience Symbolic Modelling ~= Clean Language Good For... Research interviews Gathering user feedback Questionnaires Allows you to... Work with the structure of the experience Hold and direct attention with precision Work with high emotional charge Work with difficult to express concepts Haptic Feedback Access information that is not pre-processed and ‘on script’ Not what people think they are going to say or think they should say. Used in... Market Research Police Forces Independent Police Complaints Commission
Dutch Police Force
Interviewing Vulnerable Witnesses Therapy,Business and personal coaching Origins... David Grove 1980's
New Zealand Psychotherapist Worked with Childhood and
Post War Trauma Developed a method to resolve trauma
without retraumatising the client in the process Metaphor was
Central Codified by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley Applicability spread to become a more general method Multiple training organisations accross the world Gathering Academic Interest Symbolic Modelling as an innovative phenomenological method in HRD research: the work-life balance project Best Paper in Conference ESRC website: InVisio.com
Pervasive Media Research Group - De Montford Experiential Constructivism Inspired by
Gregory Bateson
Alfred Korzypsky
Lakoff and Johnson... Psycholinguists Daniel Casasanto
Professor Psychology – The New School NY Why Me? Guest Trainer at Clean Change Company
Interviewer for Work Life Balance Project
Long running therapeutic practice Metaphor is real like Hobbes - Metaphor as a lie
Metaphor as embellishment
But we use 6 Metaphors a minute. Difficult to say anything
Without metaphor Metaphor is the Stuff of Thought It is what brains do Is the only way to express complexity An Experiment Arrange some coins to represent some members of your family While metaphor holds one can not talk about the coins without talking about members of your family
Structure of metaphor is isomorphic with the structure of experience
Exploring the metaphor is like exploring the experience If we knew significant things about the idiosyncratic relationships between your coins we would know significant things about relationships in your family How? Metaphor has a short half life
Hear – Juice – Forget
Ordinary asking soon derails David Grove’s innovation was
Clean Language A set of questions and a way of asking them
that keeps attention on the client's metaphors Common and Shared Meaning
Constructed
Non-verbal experience Ordinary Conversation Conversation Process Reference Inner
Experience Construct
Meaning Transmit Receive Deconstruct Non speakable experience Construction
Zone Common
Meaning Clean Language subverts conversational rules and keeps attention only in the client's construction zone Puts Nothing in
Controls What is Removed Questions which need minimal decoding
Questions which contain no metaphor Affirming
Cumulative
Reasserting Another Experiment How are you? Pretend you said 'fine' Common meaning of 'Fine' As far as you are concerned my emotional state is within reasonable bounds. It also means The answer to the question "how are you?" It remains a pointer to experience We can ask about that fine Provided we don't break it What kind of fine is that fine? When fine like that is there anything else about that fine? Not Tell me about feeling fine You have to process 'tell' - do you want to?
You have to process 'me' - What do I want to know?
You have not professed to feel anything
Even if you feel strongly I do not have a right to know Glad you are fine You have to process 'glad'
'Are fine' references the common meaning All of the client's exact words reference back to their ideosyncratic non-languageable experience.
The session develops a growing lexicon for the landscape of that experience.
There are only twelve basic clean questions. The Symbolic Modelling Task Vivify metaphor
Explore the developing landscape
Differentiate the experience
[Promote autogenic change] Can be done with extreme precision Only power is to direct attention A Transcript... C: I get so angry with my children. I can't stop myself. I'm so sorry afterwards. I just wish I didn't get so angry.
T: And when you get so angry with your children, what kind of angry is that angry? C: An all consuming anger.
T: And when all consuming anger, where is that all consuming anger? C: Here, inside (client touches stomach).
T: And whereabouts inside? C: In my stomach.
T: And whereabouts in your stomach? C: In the core.
T: And what kind of core is that core? C: It's hot.
T: And is there anything else about that hot core in your stomach? C: It starts by bubbling up.
T: And when hot core in your stomach starts by bubbling up, that's bubbling up like what? C: Like a volcano.
T: And what kind of volcano? C: Old and gnarled.
T: And is there anything else about the bubbling up of an old and gnarled volcano? C: When the bubbles reach the surface there's smoke and I'm ready to explode.
T: And what happens just before you're ready to explode? C: I try to cap it.
T: And when you try to cap it, then what happens? C: Pressure builds up.
T: And when pressure builds up, what happens to smoke? C: [Pause] Strange, I never realised but it can't go anywhere. It sort of mixes with the bubbles and makes them acid. No wonder I have so much trouble down there.
T: And bubbling up and smoke and you try to cap it and you're ready to explode and the pressure builds up and acid. And when bubbling up starts what would you like to have happen? C: To not let them get to me.
T: And when they don't get to you then what happens? C: I keep my cool.
T: And is there anything else when you keep your cool? C: I can't describe it, it's sort of ... fluid ... flowing ...
T: And when you keep your cool and fluid, flowing, that's fluid, flowing like what? C: Like a ... like a mountain spring.
T: And where could a mountain spring like that come from? C: My heart [both hands on chest].
T: Whereabouts from your heart? C: In the core.
T: And is there a relationship between the core of your heart and the core in your stomach? C: Yes, when my heart is cool I can talk about how I'm feeling.
T: And what needs to happen for heart to keep cool when bubbles start? C: [Long pause] The bubbles need to make the spring flow more. This neutralises, it keeps my heart cool and I can express myself clearly.
T: And can bubbles make the spring flow more? C: They can now!
T: And bubbles can make the spring flow more, and then what happens? C: The spring can cool me down and I won't have that exploding feeling.
T: And then what happens to volcano? C: The crater fills with water and becomes a lake.
T: And what happens next? C: Eventually it'll become extinct ... it'll become a reservoir.
T: And what kind of reservoir? C: A beautiful blue expanse of water where people can play.
T: And when a mountain spring can cool you down and you don't have that exploding feeling, and volcano becomes a reservoir of beautiful blue water and people play, what happens to all-consuming anger? C: I can contain it [smiles].
T: And is there anything else you need right now? C: No. Thank you. This client’s metaphor changed and their experience changed
The metaphor remained a metaphor for the experience
Structure of experience is reflected in the structure of the metaphor Facilitator directed attention to the choice point
Change came from the client
Conditions for change provided by the facilitator Not a random walk Bigger than
changework Practical way of doing systemic thinking Korzybski Science and Sanity
General Semantics
Two lies of languaging:
Causality (one thing never causes another)
Identity (one thing never is another) Metaphor landscapes provide systemic non-Aristotelian descriptions by encoding relationships Metaphor systems have power to describe and predict
Truth is in the fit between model and experience
Mathematics is a metaphor with no referents
Personal, social and cultural metaphors may rest on different Eigenvectors to a scientific world view Boy spends six days in a care home for mistaking alcohol for pop
Social systems become as bug ridden as computer systems Barry Schwartz:
"Rules and Incentives form a war on wisdom" Symbolic Modelling offers the tantalising glimpse of a way to restore wisdom in both computer and social systems. Premier one is Wendy Sullivan's
Clean Change Company He accused people of lying when they...
"use words metaphorically; that is in other sense than that they are ordained for; and thereby deceive others... Reasoning upon [metaphor] is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities"
Full transcript