Tag Archives: Clean Language

October Practice Session

30 Oct 16
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Get over any Halloween Parties and join us for an NLP play session. This is more designed to be a discussion and experimentation/ experience session for people already familiar with NLP, but all are welcome.

Fabiana will be sharing her experiences with her recent Trainers Training with Michael Hall.

Dan is just back from Australia, where he has been refining and enriching his NLP skills with Clean Language.

Focus: What do you want now?

30 Oct 16
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Would you like to know a single question that could transform any argument, problem or issue?

This single question might not win the argument or fix the problem or resolve the issue but sometimes a single question is all it takes.

Recently my wife and I sat down with a coffee to share a few minutes together before we would be spending a few weeks apart. It started well and we had some very pleasant time together. Until the outside world  intruded: Messages on her phone. Messages on my phone. Researching an answer to a question that arose in the conversation. And before we knew it, we were more focused on our phones than we were on each other.

I was frustrated that we weren’t connecting and let her know. And you can probably understand that she responded defensively, pointing out that I was on my phone too. And she was right. So I stood up and walked away.

I needed to breathe.

And once I did, I asked myself a simple question: “What do I want now?”

The answer was simple: I wanted to connect. I wanted us to be present together. As I was telling her this the “problem” disappeared, like it had never been there in the first place. In a few moments we went from being upset and defensive to being together, happy and sharing that precious gift of the present.

I’m sure there was an array of anchoring and precision language and submodalities that we could have used. Or I could have juggled or setup a well-formed outcome or explored a timeline. But in that moment I could change my focus by asking myself a very simple question. And that one question that I asked of myself made all the difference.

It can be useful to differentiate between problems, remedies and outcomes (Clean Language’s PRO). When I am asking myself, “What do I want now?” I am not focusing on the problem. I am not focusing on how I want the problem to be solved. Instead I am focused on my outcome, on what I want. Sometimes the problem needs to be addressed, and we might know how! And yet focusing upon what we want in that moment can be enough to transform our state and give us back our freedom and power to choose.

The next time you find yourself stuck, you might ask yourself, “What do I want now?”

And the next time you are in a difficult conversation or situation, or where you don’t know quite what to do, you might ask yourself that same question. You might even ask other people in the interaction what they want now… and be surprised how easily you can get things back on track by better understanding what we want.

You know more than you think: A Clean Space Practice

26 Apr 17
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We know that information is all around us. And knowledge and even wisdom are too – if you use your attention in the right way.

Here is a short exercise to help you get access more of what you know. To help you see with fresh eyes and listen with fresh ears, to help you connect with you might already intuitively know. You might want to allow yourself 5 minutes or so to complete the exercise and, if you can, another 5 minutes or so to process what you learn.

The exercise is very simple, to the point that it might even seem repetitious. This allows you to maintain focus to learn more than you had noticed before to look and really see. And since the foundation of lasting change is building in practices and habits to prime your awareness and habitual thoughts, you can use this regularly as a Practice. So let’s try it out and see what you discover:

Step 1: Select your context.
Select some topic to focus upon for this exercise. It could be a goal you have been working on. Or a relationship that you have been thinking about. Or a problem you are facing. For the first few times, you might want to avoid emotionally charged topics to get used to this simple process.

Step 2: Setup your space.
Choose a physical location that can represent that context. You could identify a chair that is in your room. Or an imaginary circle on the ground. Or even a whole room if you have the space. The intention is to have something on which you can focus your attention so if you don’t have so much space, you can use objects – even something like a coffee cup or a juggling ball – to represent the context.

Step 3: “What do you know from here?”
Step into that space (or focus on that object) and ask yourself, “What do I know from here?” If you are coaching someone, you can ask them “What do you know from here?”

Step 4: “And what else do you know from here?”
After the initial response and remaining in that space (mental or physical), ask yourself again, “And what else do I know from here?” Allow yourself to come up with another answer. The challenge at this stage is to keep yourself (or your client) focused on the topic – and that is where the value can be found: You will then repeat the question again and again, for a total of six times. You might repeat back or note the previous answer to prompt yourself to search more intently for an answer.

Step 5: “And now what do you know?”
Having gained more information about what you ‘know’ it is time to reintegrate that knowledge. Allow yourself to do this in whatever way feels appropriate.


We often find that the initial answers to Steps 3 and 4 are fairly superficial yet by persisting with the questioning, surprisingly rich insights emerge. To take the process further, you might identify another space (or spaces) that knows something about the context and repeat Steps 3-5. For example, if your ‘context’ was your relationship with your boss, you could select your “desired career” as another space, giving yourself an opportunity to think about your relationship with your boss from the perspective of your desired career.

(While this exercise is aimed at adults, it is sufficiently simple that even a child could do it, especially if guided by a parent.)