Clean Learning at your Best

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Clean Language, Coaching | 3 Comments

I ran a product owner training this week and experimented with Clean Language for the first time in a group setting. I started the two days with a simple version of the Clean Setup by Caitlin Walker:

Workshop As You Like

When this Workshop goes just As You Would Like…

Clean Setup

“When this workshop goes just as you would like, it will be like what?”

I started asking one of the participants this question. Then I helped him discover more with the two “Lazy Jedi questions“:

  • What kind of X (is that X)?
  • Is there anything else about X?

where “X” represents one or more of the words used by the other person. The magic of Clean Language is that by only using the words you heard, you help them develop their thoughts without adding much of your own thinking.

Next, I asked him to guide me with the questions, and he did. I developed a metaphor of a band rehearsing for a concert, which gave me beautiful insights into what I wanted from the training. Metaphors have this beautiful effect of gently tapping into your unconscious.

After a quick explanation of the three questions and how they work, I instructed the participants to pair up and do the same for five minutes each. Results were astonishing for everyone. They loved it!

Clean Learning about Yourself

The next morning, I started with this question: “When you are learning at your best you are like what?” and again the two Jedi questions to help discovery.

Learning At Your Best

When You’re Learning At Your Best

Again, participants reported they learned a lot about themselves and each other. At the end of the training, Clean Language was reported as one of the main takeaways in the feedback. I’ll definitely do more of that next time!


I was introduced to Clean Language by Andrea Chiou. She’s been interviewed on Clean at Agile 2014.

I’m currently participating in Judy Rees’ Metaphor Mastery Class. Highly recommended!

I’ll keep you posted on my learning journey with Clean Language.



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