What's clean about Clean Language?


The goal of a Clean Language session is to help clients get to know themselves better by encouraging a deeply mindful inner focus without being influenced by the coach’s own experiences, interpretations, intentions for them, advice, or even their own metaphors.

At its most basic, a Clean facilitator’s role is to direct the client’s attention to his/her specific words and encourage the client to notice more details about them, with an emphasis on solutions and what is needed now to accomplish them. With this focus, their metaphors and desired outcomes emerge.

The facilitator stays “clean” by using the client’s exact words and very simple questions that are designed to be as free from the questioner’s added content as possible.

Examples of Clean questions

Client: I’m not happy in my current job. I’m thinking about changing careers altogether, forging a different path.

Clean Facilitator might ask…

  • And what kind of different is that different, when it’s a different path?

  • And what kind of path is that path?

  • And is there anything else about that changing, when changing careers altogether?

  • And when forging a different path, that’s forging like what?

  • And what kind of you is a you that forges a different path?

It’s not that Clean facilitators never give information or direction, but they do so only after giving clients ample opportunity to discover for themselves what they know and what they want. Often, it turns out that this self-discovery process provides all they need. And the Clean Language process has empowered them to design their own solutions.