Clean Language & Symbolic Modeling Lite

Metaphor as a Pathway to the Wisdom in the System



Join clean language trainer Sharon Small, for this 3-day training in Clean Language and Symbolic Modeling! You will discover a simple but radical method to boost your clients success, self appreciation and ability to create the change they would like to have in their world. You will come away with new models you can use right away to gain personal and professional clarity.

'Clean' is a metaphor for a way of being with others that is free (clean) of own assumptions, pre-suppositions, interpretations, judgments. It minimizes unintended influence on others and reduces the risk of wasteful projections. The aim is to leave people free to answer from their experience, unlock their creativity and let them come up with solutions that match their way of being in the world. Symbolic Modeling is a coaching and therapeutic methodology that uses Clean Language questions and Clean Thinking as the heart of the model.

During this workshop you will discover and become comfortable using the 12 primary Clean Questions and the Problem-Remedy-Outcome Model (PRO) to model what is happening in your clients world, what they would like to have happen and begin helping them achieve clarity, solutions and personal/professional transformations! This workshop covers the full spectrum of the Symbolic Modeling Process giving you the logic and structure of the methodology, along with a hands on appreciation of how 'simplicity in action' or less is more thinking can help your clients faster and in more generative ways.

This workshop will be taught in English with some German translation as necessary for better understanding. Activities and exercises can be conducted in your native language but all debriefs will be conducted in English, within the larger group.


Target Group:


Are you a ...
• coach, therapist or holistic practitioner?
• leader, manager or supervisor in business?
• teacher, parent or someone who works with children?
• or simply interested in improving your ability to communicate well?


Symbolic Modeling is an extremely powerful and flexible form of facilitation, making it a great tool for anyone who would like to work and to communicate more effectively with others. You will find it helps you to understand easily and clearly what other people really want – and to help them achieve that! There is no prerequisite for this class.




What you will learn:

  • Powerful questions you can use in day-to-day life to gain greater clarity and understanding in practically any situation.
  • The structure of Symbolic Modeling and how it can be used to walk through the stages of change, creating greater client clarity, results and satisfaction.
  • The P.R.O. model and it’s distinctions between a problem, a remedy and desired outcome. You will learn when a remedy may be just the right thing, how to develop a ‘desired outcome landscape’, as well as how to use it everyday in your own life for personal change and development.
  • Understanding why metaphor matters and how to recognize the ones that mean the most to your client.

Because you work with real life examples, you gain personal insight and behavioral flexibility that extends beyond class time.


Goals / Benefits:

You’ll come away with takeaways including…

  • Powerful questions you can use in day-to-day life to gain greater clarity and understanding in practically any situation.
  • How to go from Uh oh to Ah-ha – changing problems to possibilities with the 12 primary Clean Language Questions.
  • The structure of Symbolic Modeling and how it can be used to walk through the frame work of change creating greater client results and satisfaction.
  • How to use the Symbolic Modeling Methodology and metaphor development to the benefit of your clients in therapeutic, coaching or work scenarios.
  • How to work with flexibility and emergence with client generated metaphors.
  • A clear model of where you are in a client session and how to flexibly move between stages of change depending on the needs of the client.
  • How to give or to get useful feedback without conflict.
  • How CL is related to the latest findings in cognitive science and systems theory.

When you leave this workshop you will have the confidence and skills to begin using clean language questions right away with your family, friends, clients and work associates in a way that fosters better relationships and understanding.




In small group format, this workshop is limited to 20 attendees. The small group size is to allow for a high touch environment with time for developmental feedback towards your learning, exercises and application with others and self-reflection.


You will begin right away using the primary Clean Questions while learning more about how it works in an interactive and fun learning environment. We do our best to teach Symbolic Modeling and Clean Language in a way that is fully congruent with the methodology being taught. This begins by it being modeled by your instructor and includes how we do our learning and exercises. 


We work with a Do-Debrief-Diadactic model of learning. What this means to you is you may be asked to do exercises you don’t fully understand. At the time this may seem a bit anti-thematic to your learning and in being congruent with the Clean Philosophy, your experience and noticing is most important.


In doing the requested exercises before ‘hearing all about them’ you will be bringing first hand experience to the course room without being unduly influenced by either someone else’s philosophy or pre-promoted expectations. After the exercises we will debrief as a group, find out what happened and then go into the structure of what is being done (i.e. the thinking or philosophy behind it). We will then repeat the exercise with your own experience, group insights and specific learnings available to you.


This is a different way of learning than most programs you may take part in and one in which you may need to become comfortable with 'not knowing'. This is also congruent with the Symbolic modeling methodology. Being a ‘Bottom up' modeling process, there are often times, as facilitators that we do not understand the content and must stay present to the framework or logic of the clients thinking.


We will work in duos and triads applying the model or skill to yourself and others in real time with real outcomes. In these small groups, you'll have the opportunity to be an observer, a client, and a facilitator - giving you multiple perspectives from which to learn from.


This format allows you to take away new learnings quickly and use them right away in your own work and personal life. Because you work with real life examples, you gain personal insight and behavioral flexibility that extends beyond class time.


Dates & Time


March 30 - April 1, 2017

  • Thursday March, 30th: 09:00 to 16:30
  • Friday March, 31st: 09:00 to 16:30
  • Saturday April, 1st: 09:00 to 15:30




Karlsruhe, seminar room of Stemmer:Leistungen, ground floor of the back premises of Rüppurrer Straße 4




Sharon Small, San Luis Obispo / California,   


Born in Den Haag in 1962, Sharon is an internationally recognized Clean Language trainer and assessor. With over 13 years of experience working in the nuclear industry, a degree in psychology and background in NLP, Sharon brings a broad set of skills and experiences to her training rooms. She also provides individual consultancy work and supervision for coaches and therapists.


Sharon has traveled far and wide in the past ten years to bring some of the most innovative change and investigative work to the coaching and management fields. She has trained coaches, auditors, cause analysts, operations & CEO level managers from Pacific Gas & Electric, Siemens, Ennovation (Japan), and Boeing in the UK, Japan and the US.


Sharon is a vibrant and engaging trainer with an amazing amount of energy. She is able to convey the ‘how to’ of Clean Language in an accessible and friendly way, bringing humor, insightfulness and new skills into the field of coaching, management communication and investigative interviewing. Sharon is very comfortable with non-native English speakers having taught extensively in Japan.


Your Investment:


670 € (incl. VAT) contains a handout and high-quality catering (hot and cold beverages, pretzels, cake, fruits - but no lunch). ICF-members und members of my CoachCommunity receive a discount and can participate for 530 € (incl. VAT).




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