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James Lawley

James LawleyJames Lawley offers psychotherapiy to individuals and couples, and coaching, research and consultancy to organisations. He is a co-developer of Symbolic Modelling and co-author (with Penny Tompkins) of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling, (with Marian Way) Insights in Space: How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity and an Online training in Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling. For a more detailed biography see about us and his blog.

Questions I frequently ask facilitators
By James Lawley | Published  09 12 2011

I recently listened to a dozen participants on the Clean Change Company Module 5 by Skype program use their Symbolic Modelling and Clean Language skills to each facilitate a 20 minute client session. After each session I gave 10 minutes of feedback/coaching/supervision. Whether that involved a series of questions or a detailed exploration of an sample segment from the session, my aim was to offer each facilitator a signpost to his or her next developmental step.

On reflection I have realised that while some of my feedback was specific to the particular client session, much of it was more general. I therefore collated it, and I present it here in the form of:

1. A list of questions I frequently asked of the facilitators
2. A table of things facilitators tend to do too early – and what to do instead
3. How not to make decisions for the client
4. How to track where the client is perceiving from

Some of my questions and in particular the two examples (#3 and #4) are quite sophisticated and may (hopefully) require thinking about, rather than just reading. But then this was an ‘advanced’ module!

1. Questions frequently asked of the facilitators

What is the client’s current desired outcome?
What is your evidence that X is related to their desired outcome?
How can you find out if that is related to the client’s desired outcome or not?

Where are you heading (with that question)? 
Is there a compelling reason for you to move the client’s attention from where it is currently?
Where would it be useful for the client’s attention to be right now?
How could you invite the client to attend to that/there/then?  
If that’s where you want to direct their attention, what question would you ask?

Where does that question go to (in their landscape)?
Where else could your question go to?
Which do you think would be most useful for the client? 

Where did your last question come from?
How did you know to ask about that?
What is your desired outcome for that question?
What are your signals for [any of R.E.P.R.O.C.ess categories]?
What is your body trying to tell you?
What is your signal for whether that kind of question gets more or less response than other kinds?

What’s the central issue for the client?
Where/when in the landscape does the client have choice and where/when don’t they?
Where are the boundaries? (The most interesting places are usually the transitions of space, time, form, perceiver, context).
How can you invite the client to attend to what is problematic for them before asking 'And what would you like to have happen?'

Did the client answer your question?
What did you think was the likelihood of the client being able to answer that question?
How do you assess the client’s response to your last question?
So what does that tell you about the question?
What question will likely bring X to the client’s attention?

How do you know that is true for this particular client?
Do you need to choose a direction?
How could you invite the client to set their own direction?

How is the nature of the client’s landscape guiding your choices?
If you take their metaphors literally where is the action?

Is part of the client’s pattern happening now? 
How can you utilise that to go live?



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