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A Clean Language Approach to Facilitation presented by Caitlin Walker

  • 02/04/2016
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Online using Adobe Connect


  • MAFN Webinar presenters for the year

Registration is closed

Clean Language is a sophisticated and elegant way to work with people one-on-one or on a group basis to explore other’s thoughts, feelings and outcomes. Developed in the 1980s by David Grove, it is a way to respectfully question the words and phrases people use to describe their experiences. A coach/facilitator does not introduce any content apart from very simple questions, which helps an individual or group to build on their own awareness. The Clean Language approach requires facilitators to set aside their own inner world and to keep themselves engaged while at the same time remaining neutral.

During this interactive webinar you will learn:

  • The basic Clean Questions and how they can be asked to develop resources and outcomes    
  • What assumptions you are making a split second after someone speaks    
  • How to keep your assumptions to yourself so you can work with peoples' actual experiences    
  • How to uncover the structure of someone's thinking by developing the metaphors they naturally use to express themselves
  • More about your own metaphor for when you are facilitating at your best - and what difference knowing that makes    

The learning in this webinar about the Clean Language approach supports the following International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and International Coaching Federation (ICF) core competencies, respectively:


  • A: 1-3: Create Collaborative Client Relationships
  • B:1: Select Clear Methods and Processes
  • C: 1-3: Create and Sustain a Participatory Environment
  • D: 1-3: Guide Group to Appropriate and Useful Outcomes
  • F: 1-3: Model Positive Professional Attitude
  • #5: Active Listening
  • #6: Powerful Questioning
  • #8: Creating Awareness
  • #10: Planning and Goal Setting

Caitlin Walker is an expert in the Clean Language approach and Systemic Modelling. As an international consultant, she designs and delivers tailor-made learning and development programs for addressing diversity, conflict, leadership, managing mergers, and creating ‘learning organizations’. She is the author of book, From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling.    

Caitlin graduated in Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, and completed four years post graduate research in “Strategies for Lexical Access”, including fieldwork in Ghana. She began modelling teaching and learning while at SOAS, volunteering intermediary classes to translate information presented at lectures into different learning styles for the students. At the same time she was a youth worker in Kings Cross, London, where she brought these leading edge tools to groups of young people.

In the mid-to-late 1990’s she was an Education tutor with the Dalston Youth Project, a United Kingdom government-run experiment to offer accelerated learning and mentoring to at-risk students to keep them in school. She ran these sessions as Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Clean Language modelling workshops, and the project was awarded Great Britain’s Crime Prevention and Community Safety Award.    

Caitlin developed her approach at the Dalston Youth Project into a business context, and created the ground breaking “metaphors@work” process.  She has since developed her modelling skills from small-scale group development to whole scale organisational culture change programmes. She has systematically tested and developed her ideas in challenging arenas, and her robust products have become sought after learning aids.  Her consulting services can be found at and her workshop and Clean Language training programs can be found at

Caitlin also co-designed and co-delivered a Masters-level module in Coaching and Mentoring at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.    

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