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Ms. J. S. Rees "Judy Rees" (London United Kingdom)
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From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate Using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling
From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate Using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling
by Caitlin Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, readable and intimate - a real page-turner, 8 April 2014
Can you imagine calling a colleague a “nasty little crab” and getting away with it? And not just that. What if it were to spark a conversation that transformed your team for the better?

In her new book, From Contempt To Curiosity, Caitlin Walker explains how that really happened.

Caitlin was facilitating three bickering colleagues. Ms E was in charge of research and evaluation on their project, but the others hadn’t even read her documentation. Suddenly, Ms E came out with a metaphor.

“Do you know what it’s like? It’s like I’m a 12-armed octopus trying to sort everything out and I’m in the sea and its my job to grab every bit of detail about the different projects from the start and make them into a big piece of evaluation. But people are already swimming off and starting their projects without the big picture in mind. Sarah swims by occasionally and floats some stuff towards me, but not very much. And you, Mr M, you’re like a crab behind a rock - you’re like a nasty little crab in a dark hole and you never give me anything. And if I go in there to try and get something, you pinch me.”

Caitlin explains: “The metaphor made all three of them laugh and there was a shift in the quality of the meeting. The other two recognised themselves and their attitude in Ms E’s metaphor landscape and they used it to navigate around the problem and then to facilitate one another to think about what they could do instead.”

Simple! Well, simple, but not easy. I’d guess it wouldn’t have turned out quite like that had Caitlin not been there to “do her thing”.

Caitlin’s skill at facilitating groups has long been legendary within the Clean Language community, but the details of exactly what she was doing were somewhat opaque. Now, we have a detailed account of what she has been up to, in a compelling, readable form.

The book is presented as a chronological collection of warts-and-all stories about various facilitation projects Caitlin has led, making it a page-turner with an intimate tone. We learn from her mistakes, as well as her successes - mistakes few professionals would have the courage to share.

But for Caitlin, that’s all part of how it works. She doesn’t like to be seen as the super-expert, coming in from the outside to magically change the system. She wants to show people how they can understand themselves on their colleagues on a completely new level.

In the book she explains: “I didn’t want their attention on me; I wanted them attending to one another… My job was to inspire them to feel capable of paying the same quality of attention to one another so that they didn’t need me any more.”

From Contempt To Curiosity is an easy read, with plenty of illustrations and diagrams, and the stories appear to contain enough detail of specific processes to allow an experienced facilitator to experiment with them. But I’ve got no regrets about having signed up for Caitlin's first live training on the topic, starting next month: I suspect there’ll be a whole lot more to learn.

This book at last puts Caitlin’s “process to create more collaborative groups” out into the world in a form that can be referenced by others, to be explored, developed and extended. And when there’s a clear process out there, and more collaborative groups are created, I wonder what happens next?


Get That Job with NLP: Teach Yourself: From Application and Cover Letter, to Interview and Negotiation
Get That Job with NLP: Teach Yourself: From Application and Cover Letter, to Interview and Negotiation
by Jackie Arnold
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Wise words for anyone between jobs, 2 Jan 2013
Job hunting can be a lonely and depressing time in anyone's life. But with the help of Jackie Arnold's wise words, it doesn't have to be. This book is packed with straightforward exercises that will shift your focus, energise your search and empower you in interviews - in ways which work perfectly for you. I wish I'd had this book when I was last between jobs!


The Five-Minute Coach: Improve performance - rapidly
The Five-Minute Coach: Improve performance - rapidly
by Lynne Cooper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, practical, effective, 14 May 2012
Excellent! Another book I wish I'd written!

If you want step-by-step instructions for using Clean Language in a business coaching context, this is the book for you - whether your role officially includes coaching or not.

The Five-Minute Coach model emerged from years of real-world experience. Lynne Cooper and Mariette Castellino have taught hundreds of people to use their model over the years - and it shows. The book is full of practical examples, and session transcripts set in the office life you may know and... well, choose your own preference

I escaped from office life a good few years ago, and I never had coaching as a formal part of my role. But I can still imagine how useful this book would have been to me - when I was a managing a team for the first time; when I started handling larger "performance issues"; when I was doing staff appraisals and follow-ups; when I was managing my boss.

It would have made my life so much easier - people would have taken more responsibility for their own work and we'd have all got much more work done.

(By the way, did I ever explain how I once had to carry out staff appraisals in Santa's Grotto? But that's another story.)

Lynne and Mariette have written a straightforward how-to guide: clear, practical, effective.

Of course, the book is not for everyone. If you're the kind of person who likes to take a more free-form approach, you might well be annoyed by the relative rigidity of the structure. You might also feel that it misses one of the most valuable parts of Clean Language - the wealth of insight that comes from experiencing your metaphoric landscape in a waking trance.

But for most, I think it will work well - not least because the Five-Minute Coach model gives you something to vary from.


How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market
How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market
by Gerald Zaltman
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Get under your customers' skins, 15 July 2009
You're probably already aware that we consciously use perhaps five per cent of our mind's capability - and a lot of important stuff is happening in the other 95 per cent! But if, like me, you're working in the world of 'influencing skills', it's easy to forget that this idea is still regarded as quite new in business, even within the context of marketing and advertising.

Gerald Zaltman's book not only highlights the importance of the unconscious system in buying decisions, but also the relevance of eliciting customers' personal metaphors in order to understand their behaviour.

Zaltman has his own patented system for this elicitation, while I use the 'open source' Clean Language (see Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds), but the end result can be the same: the natural imagery and metaphors of the unconscious are used to draw out valuable information from customers, which can then be used in a wide variety of business contexts.


Tribes: We need you to lead us
Tribes: We need you to lead us
by Seth Godin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Marmite' of a book, 15 July 2009
Like Jade Goody, this little book is a 'Marmite' - you either love it or hate it.

The people who love it think it's a massively inspirational manifesto for leadership in the internet age... a call to discover and express your passion... to build your own 'tribe'... to lead people where they want to go... and so to change the world.

Those who hate it complain that there's nothing in it but marketing guff, long on talk and short on practicality.

Obviously, I'm in the 'love it' camp - I'm busy using it to encourage a tribe to grow around Clean Language (see Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds). But the great thing about a prodigious blogger like Seth is that you can check his style out online before buying the book.

The message in this book is what's important: stop making excuses and seize the time!


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
by Daniel H. Pink
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sink or swim?, 15 July 2009
As the internet plunges us into information overload, who's going to sink, and who'll swim? This book is a practical `how to' guide to the thinking skills which will help us to thrive in the 21st century.

As someone with an interest in metaphor (I'm the author of Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds I'm delighted that several of his six themes - design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning - are closely related to metaphor and the right brain.

Pink `walks his talk' in that the book is well designed, making this a particularly enjoyable read. The storytelling style is bright and breezy, with plenty of illustrations and web links. All of that makes this a great way into `thinking about thinking' for beginners.


Metaphors We Live By
Metaphors We Live By
by George Lakoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.70

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What kind of starting point?, 15 July 2009
This review is from: Metaphors We Live By (Paperback)
This book was a starting point. It launched the shift in the way we understand the role of metaphor in language and thought. It introduced the idea that we 'live our metaphors': that our metaphors underpin our thoughts and influence our actions, often without us noticing them.

The original 1980 text now seems dated - once you've grasped the central point, it is quite repetitive, and has been superseded by other books.

But I do recommend the substantial 2003 Afterword, which tells the story of what happened next, how the study of metaphor has impacted the understanding of the nature of human thought, and why that should matter to you. And from there, you could go on to explore metaphor even further - for example, with Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 29, 2013 1:41 PM BST


The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
by Steven Pinker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.69

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!, 15 July 2009
Steven Pinker was already one of my favourite authors before this book propelled him into another league. Suddenly, a highly-respected academic and broadsheet media darling had declared to the world that metaphors matter! In Pinker's view, metaphors are a key aspect of 'the stuff of thought', the actual material of which thoughts are made.

For anyone with an interest in the impact of language on thought, thought on language, this book is mind-expanding. Wittily presented, and yet backed by solid research, here are the details of essential human cognitive processes and patterns. Every page is packed with information and ideas, which can make the book feel rather dense in places. But skim the heavy stuff and press on - this one is worth the effort.

And the very best bit? The book includes a reference to Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds :-)


Good Question!: The Art of Asking Questions To Bring About Positive Change
Good Question!: The Art of Asking Questions To Bring About Positive Change
by Judy Barber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.97

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review from a Clean perspective, 17 Mar 2006
"And what would you like to have happen?" Wendy Sullivan, director of Clean Change Company, asks in a new book packed with articles from some of the UK's top coaches.

As Clean Language practitioners know, this question gets clients focussed away from the problem and towards what they really want instead.

It often helps them discover new information and to realise what needs to happen for them to achieve their desired outcome - and get change moving, straight away.

"Because the change comes entirely from the client, it will be consistent with who they are and be a perfect `fit'. This makes long-lasting change more achievable," Wendy explains.

The article includes several case studies showing how Clean Language can be used to help people achieve their desired outcomes, individually or in teams.

It includes a powerful sales pitch for Clean coaching - and covers a possible downside, too.

"As the coach, you are largely invisible. This is not everyone's cup of tea: it can be fun having people say how wonderful your suggestions are! The pay-back is experiencing how the client's change happens for them. There is always a wonderful logic to the changes," Wendy says.

The book, "Good Question! The Art of Asking Questions to Bring About Positive Change", is edited by Judy Barber and includes articles from many other well-known coaches.

They include Jamie Smart, who asks "The Miracle Question"; time management expert Mike Forster; "fearless networker" George Metcalfe; Ealing's Jesvir Mahil; and Gary Outrageous (of Oadby) who wonders: "On a scale of one to a hundred, where is this on your wanton desire scale?"


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