Melting Pot Emerges from 1st Meeting

Practice Group Report

Last night was the first meeting of the new Clean Language Practice Group for the Hampshire and West Sussex area.

Seven people attended and we spent the time asking each other Clean Language questions to determine what kind of group we want to be...

Each person started by telling us what experience of Clean Language they have and what they want to get from belonging to the group. Then they were asked "And what kind of group do you want to belong to?" Everyone asked questions and everyone listened to each person's take on what kind of group it should be. After a while a metaphor began to emerge and that was then built upon as each person took their turn as the focus.

Here are some of the things people said:

"I want to belong to a group that's supportive and open. I want to learn more about Clean Language and I value difference."

"I want to belong to a group that's fun, friendly, exciting and non judgmental. I want to explore new areas and have new experiences."

"I want to belong to a group that's fun and friendly. I want to strengthen local connections."

"I want the group to be like a cookery class, with people putting in different ingredients and evolving new recipes."

"I want a group that's fun and to be able to practice, learn and share new ideas. I want the group to be willing to experiment . It should be risky-safe."

"I want to belong to a group that is prepared to push the boundaries. I want the group to help me to remain clean and to help me to develop new ways to take my relationship project forward."

"I want to belong to a group that's open, friendly and fun. And I want people to feel free to challenge me when they know I will learn from it."

So what is the metaphor that emerged from us asking clean questions of these statements? It looks like this:

Melting Pot

In the centre is a melting pot into which we all put our ideas, and the other ingredients (e.g. fun). Occasionally we dive into the pot and try out the 'recipes' that we create. The pot is supported by a pair of hands, which keep us safe. Above the pot is an energy field which takes the form of a satelite dish, made of lots of strong threads that sparkle. When we have an outcome we'll be able to tap into the energy field and get what we need. The melting pot can expand and contract and has a large smile. People can take the learning from the pot and go off in new directions.

As with any metaphor, there's a lot more to it than this. And needless to say, we had a lot of fun designing it. Thank you to Nigel Heath, whose drawing skills came in very handy!

Everyone enjoyed the evening and we are looking forward to the next one.

Tags: practice group, clean language, metaphor

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About the author

Marian Way

Company Director & Trainer, Portchester, Fareham
A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be... #DramaFree. Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She's trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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