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Hi, great to discover this site! Following a couple of conversations with Mark McKergow recently, I'm becoming increasingly curious about the relationship between Clean Language and Solutions Focus.

The two approaches seem to share a philosophy, and may have even more in common than that.

Like SF, Clean Language comes from the world of therapy and is moving into the business world. It was devised by the late David Grove, who was working with trauma victims, and turned into a teachable model by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley (Metaphors in Mind, 2000).

One of the innovations Penny and James may have given extra emphasis is 'outcome focussed' thinking - it's not very apparent in recordings of David's early work!

Last year, Wendy Sullivan and I wrote a more 'popular' book on the subject (Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds), and one result of that has been an increasing interest in the use of Clean Language in business contexts.

My company, X-Ray Listening, is all about introducing Clean Language to business, particularly to the IT/new media world. And as I've been teaching it there, I find I've been referencing "The Solutions Focus" regularly.

But I don't claim to be an SF practitioner, just a curious fellow-traveller.

So I wonder if there's anyone here who's experienced both Clean Language and SF and has a view on their relationship?

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Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on December 10, 2009 at 20:40
Hi Judy, thank you for the links! I appreciate your videotyped examples out "the daily work" of the (IT)-business (an not about dealing with topics like "stress" or "personal conflicts") very much!
I am sure, that "SF" and "clean language" are very powerful e.g. in the area of "Agile Project Management". Have a look here: http://solworld.ning.com/group/karlstadgroup/forum/topics/solution-...
Comment by Judy Rees on December 10, 2009 at 9:53
Hi John, great to see you. Hans-Pater, you might be interested in a couple of demo videos I've just uploaded at http://www.xraylistening.com/business/private/. The password is xray, feedback and discussion welcome!
Comment by John Brooker on December 3, 2009 at 23:34
Hi Judy, nice to see you here as well as in the Clean Language world. Afraid my experience with CL is not as much as SF.
Comment by Hans-Peter Korn on November 25, 2009 at 20:26
Thank you, Judy, for this blog! I must confess: I never heard before about this "Clean Language" ... and now, I am shure, I missed an important aspect of communication!
I looked at http://www.cleanlanguage.de and http://www.cleanlanguage.co.uk/articles/articles/12/1/Conversing-wi... (which is a very instructive example) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Language
And I agree with you: There is a lot "in line" with SF in my understanding... and I see a lot of benefits to be aware in our solutions focused dialogues to use also this "clean language"-like questions. What SF maybe can provide in addition to it is, to go a step more ahead after having asked:
"And when ... where is that ...?"
"And whereabouts ...?"
An example: After:
"And whereabouts inside you is that courage?"
"In my heart"
I would ask something like:
"Ah ... and supposed you can use this courage in your heart - how would this change making decisions?" "What else would be different?" "When in the past did you experience this courage in your heart?" "When else?" "How did you manage that?" "How can you make use of this for your next decision?" "What could be your next small step to support this?"

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