Lean Agile Scotland 2016 Clean Language Workshop

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  • L A S C O T - O C T O B E R 6 T H , 2 0 1 6

    Hacking Your Team and Organization with Better Inquiry Skills

  • Andrea Chiou, Agile CoachConnections-At-Work, LLC


    Andrea Chiou, Agile Coachwww.connections-at-work.com



  • What is Clean Language?

  • David Grove(d. 2007)


  • Transformation Through Symbolic


  • Inner Need to be Seen as Contributing


    Fear of silence

    Problem Solving

    Unvalidated Assumptions

  • What would you like to have happen?I would like to know my teams velocity. Do you think knowing that will give you better predictions? Err, No I dont want to predict anything. I want to know if things are going well. OK, so why dont you ask the team? No, no I dont want to bother them.

    T R A N S C R I P T E X A M P L E - N O T C L E A N

  • What would you like to have happen? I would like to know my teams velocity Is there anything else about velocity? Good velocity means I can stop worrying And what kind of worrying is that worrying? I worry about the sponsor pulling the plug.

    T R A N S C R I P T E X A M P L E - C L E A N

  • C L E A N L A N G U A G E - D AV I D G R O V E

    Clean Language is:

    A way of listening without judgement

    A way of inquiring without imposing

  • C L E A N L A N G U A G E - D AV I D G R O V E

    The clean questions:

    are content free

    allow for exploring metaphors

  • SENSORY INFORMATION what is seen, heard, felt, tasted, smelled

    CONCEPTSsuch as family, democracy, honesty, trust

    METAPHORS Explicit: encapsulate how we structure our experience

    describing one thing in terms of another (usually from the physical world)

    Implicit: so embedded in our language we dont even notice

    T H R E E WAY S O F E X P R E S S I N G O U R S E LV E S

  • Where%is%?%Whereabouts%%is%?%




  • S Y M B O L I C M O D E L L I N G

    Symbols exist in space

    Symbols derive their context from some point in time

    Symbols have a life

    Our mental landscape is comprised of symbols

  • D E M O

    Volunteer needed

    What would you like to have happen?

  • P R A C T I C E # 1

    Pair up with someone you dont know. Think of something you would like to have happen. Ask: What would you like to have happen? Use the questions 2 or 3 times.

  • Whereis?




    Wherecouldcomefrom?Whathappensjustbefore? Thatslikewhat?




  • P R A C T I C E # 2

    Pair up with someone you dont know. Ask: When youre working at your best youre like what?

    Use the questions 2 or 3 times.










    Ideal Team

    Current Organization

    Desired Organization


  • And then what happens? What happens next?

    And what happens just before?





    And what needs to happen for ?

    And can?And where could

    come from?


    And what would like to have happen?

    And what kind of is that ?

    And is there anything else about ?

    And where is?

    And thats like what?And is there a relationship

    between and ?And when

    what happens to ??


  • BusinessHiring

    Coaching Sales

    In ITHelping teach young kidsmath, spelling, and music

    Elementary School

    DoctorsGeriatric care

    Facilitating change in organizations, schools, training departments, police departments

    In therapy and change work

    W H E R E I S C L E A N B E I N G A P P L I E D

  • From Drama to Karma Clean Scoping Clean Setup Developmental Practice Clean Feedback Five Senses Modeling Time Metaphors At Work Flower Model

    S Y S T E M I C M O D E L L I N G - G R O U P S

    Caitlin Walker, trainingattention.co.uk


  • K A R M A C Y C L E

    Reproduced w/ permission: Training Attention

  • C L E A N F E E D B A C K

    A three step process to give congruent useful, judgement free feedback.

    EVIDENCE What did you hear or see?

    INFERENCE What did you infer? IMPACT What was the impact on you?

  • C L E A N F E E D B A C K - E X A M P L E

    What worked well:

    EVIDENCE Numerous examples

    INFERENCE Speaker did a lot of research IMPACT Realized the magnitude of issue

  • C L E A N F E E D B A C K - E X A M P L E

    What didnt work well:

    EVIDENCE History of involvement missing

    INFERENCE Not important to the speaker IMPACT Wanted her personal connection

  • C L E A N F E E D B A C K - E X A M P L E

    What would have worked better:

    EVIDENCE Projector would be focussed

    INFERENCE Organizers care about seeing IMPACT Everyone could read the slides

  • C L E A N F E E D B A C K

    What worked well? What did you observe?

    What did you infer from that?

    What was the impact for you?

    What would work better?What will you observe?

    What will that mean?

    What will be the impact for you?

    What did not work so well?What did you observe?

    What did you infer from that?

    What was the impact for you?

  • adaptivecollaboration.com/books-i-recommend/


    #cleanlanguage on twitter

    R E S O U R C E S F O R F U RT H E R L E A R N I N G


  • Virginia Satir

    Gerald Weinberg

    David Grove

    Caitlin Walker

    Innovator with Clean Language applied in Groups:Systemic Modeling

    Originator of Clean Language Used Questions free of Influence

    to help Trauma victims heal

    A Gentle Giant in Software Dev, Testing,

    Systems Thinking, Prolific Writer

    Pioneer in Family Therapy, whotaught Jerry Weinberg much

    about \working together congruently


  • T H A N K Y O U F O R PA RT I C I PAT I N G !