From Contempt to Curiosity with Clean Language and Systemic Modelling

We facilitate groups, teams and organisations to uncover current attitudes, patterns and preferences using Clean Language approaches. We're focussed on discovering and encouraging a group's intrinsic motivation to learn and grow while engendering a culture of safety, belonging and freedom. 

Moving consistently from contempt, through to curiosity and on to inspiring capability, especially when under pressure and across diversity, leads to anti-fragile interactions that keep more people at their best, more of the time.

Could you use our help?
We can create a bespoke intervention with you.

We start by cleanly interviewing stakeholders to clarify your outcomes and to help you think through what you'd really like to have happen. We uncover the structure of problems and look for the leanest intervention that will have the biggest impact. We have a strong usefulness ethic and will make sure that interventions are fit for purpose, are a good use of our time and your money and are being championed sustainably across the group over time. For large scale projects we recommend building in a Train the Trainer programme.

Interventions can range from mediation, to executive team coaching, to conflict resolution, to wide-scale organisational culture change. We work with all kinds of groups from families, to teams, to boards, to schools and communities.

To find out more about our methodology, scroll down. If you'd like to discuss a project with Caitlin, click here. Or to read some examples of recent intervention structures we have co-created, click the button below.

Prefer to do it yourself?
Get training in Systemic Modelling.

We offer training for leaders, managers, coaches and teams which can be in-house or you can attend open courses with our sister training company Clean Learning. These include, but are not limited to, Creating #DramaFree Conversations, Clean for Teams, A Rough Guide to Me and My Team and ICF accredited Clean Coach Certification.

If you get hooked on the impact of Clean and Systemic Modelling skills you can join our rolling training programme. Once you've completed some of the entry-levels courses above you can develop all of the skills necessary to facilitate diverse groups on diverse topics. You'll be able to support groups in conflict to find their way to curiosity and then to collaboration. You can choose to get assessed to foundation, professional or all the way to master level.

You can browse the open courses here. If you'd like to discuss your in-house training needs you can fill in details on our contact form and one of our team will get back to you.

A Rough Guide to Me - a clean tool for understanding yourself and others

We'd like to offer you one of our Systemic Modelling tools: ‘A Rough Guide to Me' when you sign up to our newsletter. This is a printable booklet for you to complete. It will support your self-awareness and encourage you to advocate for your needs within relationships. Use this tool with friends, colleagues or family to develop an understanding of how you all work, where you're coming from and how to live, work and learn together more effectively.

Sign up

Where our approach comes from

When individuals understand themselves and their reasons for doing things the way they do them, they can advocate for their needs and make adjustments for others. If you want an effective, happy, high-functioning team, company or family you don't have to rely on luck. With Systemic Modelling, you can create the tools and conditions that help individuals build teams they can be at their best in.

Dr Caitlin Walker's life's work has been developing such tools. Easily understandable, ‘rough-guides’ to individuals and teams that are built by the teams themselves, without having to rely on constraining labels, team roles or diagnoses. 

The tool she found most useful in her quest was David Grove's Clean Language. This TEDx tells the story of how she developed a universal language of inquiry for developing collective trust across teams and organisations. It shares the unexpected business and personal benefits of fostering intrinsic motivation and deeply trusting the people you live and work with. 

Our theory of change

Clean Questions, when applied in teams, have a number of benefits. 

Firstly, they create the conditions for safety. They keep me safe from any unconscious bias I have about you. They keep you safe from my projections, advice, misunderstanding and premature evaluation. A clean question a day keeps assumptions at bay! 

Secondly, they create a point in time within which I give you my full attention, I accept and extend the ideas you're sharing with me. You can do the same for me, in the moment. By training our attention to be present we create relationships of belonging and being accepted as we are. 

Thirdly, these questions allow the receiver to answer in whatever way they want. They are designed to be minimally constraining. So together we have the freedom to think unfettered thoughts. 

Within this video, Caitlin shares how these moments of safety, belonging and freedom can be the antidote to microaggressions and, over time and across communities, can inspire capability so that we can live and work at our best in groups. 

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Caitlin Walker PhD

Caitlin loves uncovering patterns, building models, asking high-quality questions, and detecting whether actions are congruent or incongruent with desired outcomes.

She doesn't restrict where she does this and she can be found running the streets with young people who don't go to school or sitting in boardrooms as a trusted advisor.  

She is a Director of Training Attention and the developer of Systemic Modelling™. She is the author of From Contempt to Curiosity, which details many of the innovative and transformational projects she’s led across our communities. She has a doctorate in Clean Language Interviewing and thrives on partnering on rigorous research projects.

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Bespoke interventions

BUSINESS
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Clean Language for corporations

By Jacqueline Ann Surin

EDUCATION
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Reflection in Education

By Marian Way

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Training

We offer introductory trainings with easy-to-implement tools that individuals and teams can immediately put into action.

Introductory trainings include:
 

Clean for Teams:

Develop a mini Rough Guide to yourself and how you show up in groups. By the end of this training, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise your own patterns in groups and how they differ from other people's. 
  • Have a better grasp on how to advocate for your needs. 
  • Detect when there is conflict or misunderstanding in groups. 
  • Take more responsibility for your part in an interaction.

This training also acts as an introduction to Systemic Modelling and is a pre-requisite for joining our Systemic Modelling Rolling Programme.
 

Creating #DramaFree Conversations:

How do you show up when there is drama or conflict? What are your patterns, preferences and issues in this area? By the end of this training, you'll be able to:

  • Detect when you, and others, are not just stating problems but are operating from a drama position. 
  • Adjust your own behaviour, in order to minimise the impact of drama and to move to outcome and action. 
  • Introduce simple versions of these tools to promote discussion in groups.
     

Basic Clean Language Interviewing: 

  • Establish the skills to define the purpose of an interview.
  • Create an engaging frame for your interviewees.
  • Ask an effective starting question.
  • Gather data by asking classically and contextually Clean Language questions.
  • Summarise and complete your interviews.
  • Be able to review and assess the quality of your interviews using the Cleanness Rating.

You'll be invited to engage in peer practice and mentoring, and one submission and assessment is included in each course. 

Begin your training

Gain a qualification

ICP-SYS: Clean Agile Systems Coaching

  • Monday 24 to Thursday 27 June 2024, 1pm to 5pm BST each day
  • Online via Zoom
  • With Sarah Scarratt, John Barratt

Details & booking

Use clean with groups

Clean for Teams

  • Monday 15 to Thursday 18 July 2024, 1pm to 5pm BST each day
  • Online via Zoom
  • With Caitlin Walker PhD

Details & booking

Special event

Northern Taste of Clean 2024

  • Saturday 27 to Sunday 28 July 2024, 9:30am to 5:30pm BST each day
  • The Practice, West Kirby, Wirral, United Kingdom
  • With Caitlin Walker PhD, Marian Way, Shaun Hotchkiss

Details & booking

All events

Systemic Modelling Training

Once you've completed Clean for Teams, either as an open course or through a bespoke intervention in your workplace, you may join the Systemic Modelling Rolling Programme. We ask that you arrive with a Rough Guide to how you show up as a learner, at work and in groups plus a willingness to engage in the tools as a continuous learner, as well as a facilitator of others.

Systemic Modelling Rolling Programme is a training for you if you recognise the possibilities and the potential of clean facilitation for groups and want to become proficient. The training is modular with some participants booking one module at a time and others purchasing a block of credits for modules and booking them in as they go along. We believe in slow learning and invite participants to learn at their own pace and to integrate skills and attitudes into their practice between modules. We also support a vibrant community of learners where participants can practice with and lean into one another during their development.

Foundation Level means you can think through a clear purpose for a group session, set a congruent frame, construct an effective starting question, train the attention of the group so that all voices are heard, encourage the group to ask one another clean and clean-ish questions and close with consideration for the next steps - all so that the group forms an intelligent network of attention around the topic, uncovering learnings as they emerge. On average this level requires two modules, although this varies depending on learning styles. 

Professional Level means you can consistently support groups to become interested in one another's contributions, form networks around a variety of topics, use the basic Systemic Modelling tools to help groups to communicate more effectively, help teams to detect and unpack drama or conflict in-the-moment, and support groups to achieve their goals. 

Master Level means you have all the skills of Foundation and Professional Levels and are also able to teach the group to do these things for themselves, independently of a facilitator.

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Group Collaboration

Join our community of practice at the Clean Campus

Learning to develop a clean stance takes practice. Caitlin and Marian have created, with help from other clean leaders and colleagues, a Clean Campus community space for learning, conversations, co-inspiration, professional support and a chance to see clean principles in action. There are communities of interest such as business, education, Clean Language interviewing and Systemic Modelling - along with offers of master classes as well as free peer practice sessions every week. Peer practice sessions will enable you to gain direct experience of clean approaches, develop skills before or between trainings and move from Foundation to Professional level by getting experience with a wide range of topics and groups.

When you arrive at the Clean Campus, introduce yourself, find out which areas are of most interest to you and get involved.

Join us on the Clean Campus

Featured products

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From Contempt to Curiosity

Caitlin Walker's book about using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling to encourage the conditions for collaboration.

£16.00

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Clean Language and Systemic Modelling DVD

A set of two DVDs with simple exercises for practising Clean Language and Systemic Modelling by yourself or in a group - by Caitlin Walker.

£10.00
(£12.00 including VAT)

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Clean Approaches for Coaches

Marian Way's book about creating the conditions for change within a coaching session, using Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling.

£20.00

All products

Clean Language Training

If you would like to develop your one-to-one clean coaching skills, our sister company, Clean Learning, runs trainings in the core skills of Clean Language, including an ICF accredited Level 1 coach training as well as advanced training.

Visit Clean Learning to find out more