Powerful Way to get the Best out of your Team
Maybe you have a team with the potential to achieve more but for some reason they are not quite getting there. Or maybe they are already high performing and you would like to understand better how that happens, so that it can happen more often or so that it can be held up as a model or example for others to follow.
Either way, using Clean Language in a facilitated session can be a very powerful way of discovering what needs to happen (or what is happening) for your team to perform at their best more often.
There are three things at the heart of Clean Language which allow this to happen.
Firstly, paying exquisite attention to and exploring the words used by participants. This happens when the facilitator repeats back some of the key words used and asks questions like ‘Is there anything else about that’ or ‘What kind of’. Doing this gives everyone a clearer understanding of the statements made.
Secondly, the team work out their OWN understanding or solutions because the facilitator:-
a. Focusses on the process of communication rather than the content
b. Never contradicts anyone, working on the principle there is no right or wrong, just information. This creates an environment where everyone feels safe to contribute.
c. Encourages contribution in to the team, rather than through the facilitator or manager of the team.
Thirdly, encouraging each person to use metaphors to explain their views or feelings which also helps bring clarity to the words used.
When approached in this way, a couple of things will happen. Firstly, if the team has developed a relationship pattern of persecutor/victim/rescuer, using this inclusive, non centralised, approach can help them move to a more productive model of feedback/outcome/action.
Secondly, any patterns in the team’s way of working will start to be revealed. And this is where the facilitator can add significant benefit. For seeing the patterns and pointing them out to the team in this encouraging, non judgmental way can really help the team understand how they work together and therefore what needs to happen for them to work even better.
Make no mistake, Clean Language used in this way is not for the faint hearted. It can be a challenging process as it can uncover some destructive patterns, but if it is going to give you the understanding and clarity you desire, it couldn’t really be anything else.
And the rewards? A team or team that is crystal clear about what happens when they are working at their best, what needs to happen for that to happen more often and how they can explain it to other teams for them to model.
If you would like to know more about how Clean Language can help your team work at their best more often, email me at Allison@macintoshwright.co.uk or call +44 7751 303835.
With thanks to: –
- David Grove, the originator of Clean Language
- Caitlin Walker and Cheryl Winter of Training Attention for their input on working with groups