Clean Language and Agile Coaching
I’m excited Judy Rees and I are hosting our next training
in London on November 20/21, 2017. What’s exciting about this?
Clean Language helps Understanding
Clean Language is a technique to pay exquisite attention to another human being developing their thoughts. It helps them understand their own thinking just as well as it helps us understand theirs. It reduces friction and dissonance and helps understanding. It builds rapport and gives the other the feeling of being seen.
I’ve been going to clients for years with a stance of “I know better than you how to develop software and run an organisation”. I meant well, I wanted to help, but beneath the kindness was disrespect. Clean Language is one of the tools that helped me overcome this.
Using Clean Language is simple, yet needs practice: listening, repeating what the other said, and focusing their attention with a question. Not adding our own assumptions, not rephrasing what we understood, but really getting to the core of what they think, that makes it different from what we are accustomed to do.
Clean Language helps Coaching
As Coaches, we believe that the client has all the knowledge and resource they need to identify and get what they want. As agilists, we frequently come with an agenda, we are asked to bring a solution. Those perspectives are not easy to integrate.
Clean Language forces us to set our own thinking, opinions, interpretations and wishes aside and lets us focus entirely on the client. In this way, it is a great learning tool for the deep respect that coaching requires.
Clean Language is Fun
I learned Clean Language from Judy, and I have rarely been in a course that was so much fun. Becoming aware of the words we use, noticing how many of those are metaphors (deadline, sprint, scrum, understanding…) and uncovering the deeper meaning of these metaphors in the context of someone’s developing thoughts … Inspiring, insightful, and often exhilarating.
If you don’t know Judy or me, watch this video … there are some examples of using Clean Language inside!