Unmasking the Hidden Influence: The Clean Language Approach with Judy Rees

Workshops.Work · February 21, 2024

About Track

Facilitation can be a messy business; what can we do to clean it up?

Judy Rees, who’s been working with groups for almost 20 years, thinks the answer lies in clean language. A focus on clean language in turn creates what Judy calls ‘clean facilitation’.

Specificity and neutrality is the name of the game, but can facilitators ever truly be neutral? Judy and I wrestle with the big questions of influence, manipulation, and communication in this episode as we try to clear up clean facilitation and explore how to apply it in our day-to-day work.

Find out about:

  • What Judy means by ‘clean facilitation’
  • Practical examples of how clean language can help facilitators dig deeper into a discussion
  • Why getting out of the group’s way is a noble goal, but not always possible
  • The ways in which we manipulate without ever realising
  • How to use our influence with the group in a beneficial way
  • How clean language can help us better understand a group’s idiosyncrasies and uniqueness
  • Why focusing our influence on the process, rather than the content, is a valuable path to follow

Don’t miss the next episode: subscribe to the show with your favourite podcast player.

And download the free 1-page summary, so you can always have the key points of this episode to hand.


Watch the video recording of this episode on YouTube.

Free Clean Language ebook.

Judy’s Clean Language for Facilitators course.

Video guide for a Clean Language-based change process.

New Rules for Work experiment, applying Clean Language.

Connect to Judy:

On LinkedIn.

Support the show:
Make a one-off donation and contribute to the ongoing costs of running the podcast.

Support the show

Check out the podcast map to see the overview of all podcast episodes: https://workshops.work/podcast-map

About Creator


The world is waking up to the power of facilitation. Whether it's hosting a workshop, holding better meetings, or leading happy and productive teams - we want to make collaboration easy and effective. Dr. Myriam Hadnes is the founder of NeverDoneBefore, a global online facilitation community and festival, and this is her podcast. 'workshops work' is 50% sandbox and 50% classroom, a safe space for anyone interested in facilitation to learn more about the craft. Each week, a professional facilitator, trainer, or coach joins Myriam to discuss their interests and experiences in the world of facilitation. The conversations are open, and honest, and make facilitation understandable and accessible to all.Get practical tips and advice from a raft of experts and uncover the magic ingredients that make workshops work. You can download a free 1-page summary of each episode on https://workshops.work/podcast

28 Tracks

Not Enrolled
This course is currently closed

Track Includes

  • 6 Key Takeaways