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Thread: conditions for necessary conditions?

  1. #1

    Default conditions for necessary conditions?

    Hi there,

    I have just joined this forum after studying Clean Language via Skype with Penny, Maragret and Rupert since last September. I have now completed Module 4 and I'm very inspired. I am an avid learner and love to put my learnings into practice and learn more.... So, I'm enjoying using my learnings at any point I can

    I did some Clean Language facilitation recently, where a question has come up for me.

    After eliciting a metaphoric landscape, I did a round up of the landscape and then asked what they wanted to have happen as this was updating itself through the process. This was answered by a clear description of what needed to happen, all in the metaphoric landscape. It was as if, as they were describing what needed to happen they were experiencing it. However, they ended with "but I don't know how to do that". It was as if after describing what needed to happen, they stepped out of their metaphoric landscape to analyse how this would be possible.

    At that point, I replied "and (their description) and then what happens?" So then, as they accessed what would happen, their feelings started to change and then they started to explain as if it was happening and then before I knew it their metaphoric landscape was changing and they ended up where they wanted to be (desired outcome). I just kept on facilitating and maturing the changes.

    I didn't actually get to ask "What needs to happen for a, b, c". Because they said "but I don't know how to do that" straight after their description of what needed to happen, there seemed no point in asking "what needs to happen for ..,.... " or even "what is the first thing that needs to happen?"

    So, once they had described what they wanted to happen, I just asked "And (their description) and then what happens" taking them forward.

    My question is: did I take them forward too quickly? Where does that leave me when working with the "basic framework for change model" which includes eliciting necessary conditions? For the clients experience, is it more likely to have a deeper impact if I had elicited necessary conditions?

    Appreciate any feedback


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK


    Sounds like you were doing a good job and so was the client! My take is that the purpose of the process in Symbolic Modelling terms is to a) facilitate the client to self-model and b) to stay out of the way as much as possible while they do this. I am reminded of the old theatre story about a director who is asked what his job is and replies something like: "My job is to make sure the actors miss the furniture'.

    The frameworks for change are semi-abstract models, rather than processes or sequences that work like computer programs. They broadly describe what a SyM facilitator is 'up to' - they rarely, if ever, map directly on to the structure of the process a client goes through; humans are not so digital, thankfully. That said, where there's a desired outcome there are generally some necessary conditions that it may help to understand to be understood.

    The great thing you did was keep out of the way and let them keep their own process going. Wanting 'greater impact' would be more NLP rather than CL.

    I couldn't say whether you took them forward too quickly, not having seen the session. What I would say is that it is common for low-hours facilitators to 'gallop off' with time questions ('then what happens?') without spending enough time developing the current experience. This can lead to clients becoming suddenly disoriented or to build fairy tale castles of speculation.

    The only judgment that matters finally is the client's. Have they got more of what they want, less of what they don't want? If so... Great!

    Probably more to say but eyes closing now...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Fareham, Hampshire


    Hi Ceri,

    I agree with everything Phil is saying, and here is another suggestion for when you are at that point in the facilitation. You can include both the list of necessary conditions and the fact that they don't know how to do it, in one question, so you take into account that they don't know how and so that they get to make the decision about what happens next. Something like this:

    And when [description of what needs to happen] and [you don't know how to do that], what would you like to have happen now?

    I hope this helps for another time.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Glastonbury, England


    the client will show you - if you had been pacing the client too fast "the horse would not have drunk from the water". Seems to me you did a great job, enjoy playing and practicing the work, finding the way that works best for you. It is not even clean for any of us to impose a "right process" on you as a clean coach.


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