Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

The Power Group Model 8 Simple Steps
Our Power Groups are facilitated using 8 Steps to introduce you to a series of activities and questions that take you from chatting to ‘Extreme Listening.’ Extreme Listening is a unique process of asking questions that can help you gain clarity and understanding about what works for you and what doesn’t enabling you to develop resources and strategies to work, learn and live at your best. This E-Book is a workbook that gives you the opportunity to experience each step, you can chose to do the whole book at once and I estimate it would take about an hour or you can chose to separate it out over a few days. I wanted to produce a workbook that you can be pick up and use time and time again, to explore different areas or challenges you may have in your family or business. What has worked for many of our clients is to take 2 hours a month facilitated by our team , every month to think more productively about what is happening and what they would like to have happen. Some kept their notes together dated, giving them an opportunity to notice changes and patterns over time. The workbook is intended to give you a resource that you can use on your own and/or with a friend. By asking each other the questions you will be able to create your own power groups. In this First Step Free we want to share with you an overview of the steps and why they work, but as you read on you will discover why I have decided to give you more than one free step right now. Please do shout if you would like any more information.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

A Power Group is like what?

It’s like a ripe, juicy orange. People recognise its goodness and know if they had it regularly it would be good for them. Regularly, to some might mean a small glass of juice or a whole orange daily, and for others it is once a week and others once a month. For others a little zest added to a favourite recipe is all that it takes to get all the goodness. And some no matter how great you tell them oranges are they will never want to eat them. This discussion model is much the same, some people are ready and some are not, some love it and some don’t. You may find, as you read this book, that there are certain steps that resonate more with you. We encourage you to do what works first and build from there. You will work out what works for you, how often and when is the best time to use this model. Many of our clients work with us for as little as 2 hours a month then go on to create their own ‘Power Groups’ where they meet with peers and ask each other the questions. We hope that you will find some of the answers you are looking for with the questions in this book and that you will come back to it time and time again whenever you have a decision to make. Once you are clear what you would like to have happen and what works for you, it can become easier to work effectively with others and achieve success without stress.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Thank you
To all the people who have listened to me and all those that didn’t. For those that gave their opinions when asked and for those that gave them anyway. Thank you, to David Grove, Penny Tomkins, James Lawley, Caitlin Walker, Nancy Doyle and Marian Way and many of the Clean Community for making this wonderful process available to me, and for your patience and kindness as I learned it. With the aid of this process and you being you, I have learned to be okay with who I am, just as I am. I have learned to make decisions with confidence and to take the pressure off myself having to conform and to do things just because others or society say I should. I have learned how I work at my best and grown in confidence to ask those around me to support me in a way that works. I have also learned about the impact I have had on others in a safe and friendly way that has allowed me to be more considerate of others and build deeper and more meaningful relationships. Thank you to all my clients that have given me feedback and helped me develop the Power Groups. Thank you for trusting me even when it is was just a seed of an idea. Thank you Mum, those last few days we had together were the most precious of all. It will always sadden me that it took your pending death for us to be brave enough and kind enough to have an honest and open chat without judgement or assumption. Those chats in the early hours of the morning gave me the understanding of myself I had longed for and the courage to find a way to help other families communicate without fear of failure or guilt. I know now, that I spent far too much time blaming you, rather than trying to understand you. Thank you for loving me anyway and being the inspiration to make a difference through Step by Step Listening. Thank you to My Team for your invaluable feedback, support and consistent belief that we can make a difference in our communities by sharing this process. Your wonderful sharing of metaphors of what works for you with regards to the Power Groups had been a real spark of inspiration. My husband, children and extended family for your unconditional love and honesty.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

About this book
This E Book has been developed to share with you the principles of the 8 Simple Steps that we use in our Power Groups and Power Group Plus Retreats. Introducing you to an extreme listening process that helps you think productively and plan your next best step with confidence, as well as teaching you how to listen to others and hold back your opinions, suggestions and judgement long enough for them to find their own solutions. Ironically I found myself stuck and unwilling to release this book for a few weeks, as soon as I became aware I was stuck, I asked myself the questions and I realised that:  I was struggling to write a separate book for families and business because the process is the same for every situation and most of us have family and work life. As much as we might try to keep them separate they are connected by ‘you’ because you are at the heart of it all. With this knowledge I decided I would write the book for YOU, one book and you can use it for any given situation in the confidence you know that parents, sole traders and team leaders are using it I was worried about my own ability to write in a way that you would understand, I realised through asking myself the questions I will never know if you understand it if I never release it. So here it is I was struggling to separate all the steps and to give you just one free, but all the marketing advice says give a free gift. With this realisation and knowing that, what I really want right now is for you to know the answers are within you and these questions can help you get them out. I have decided to trust myself and give you more than one step, I have decided to give you 4 instead.

Our Vision
Raise aspirations of whole communities through powerful facilitation. We aim to spark off Power Groups worldwide that are facilitated by you and your peers. Providing peer support without peer pressure and inspiring the next generation to listen, question and give feedback without fear of failure or feelings of guilt.

Our Mission
To be the most effective introducer of this process in the world. We are part of a community that can and will share with you some amazing applications of this process. We believe that our 8 Simple Steps is one of the most effective ways to introduce a complete novice to this deceptively simple yet powerful process. We want to invite as many people as possible to walk through the door and discover the understanding that can be created through the world of metaphor.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

About the Process?
We know it works because, we (the team) have had personal success with our own families and businesses and our clients tell us that it does. However, this is the first time I have attempted to put the 8 Steps into writing, therefore the effectiveness of this Workbook will be determined by your feedback. Only by taking action and then asking you what works and what doesn’t work can I hope to make the book the resource I want it to be. With this in mind I will be in touch in 7 days to ask what has happened and find out what kind of success, if any, you have had, what you would like to have happen next? (If that is okay with you that is?)

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

What is Extreme Listening?
Extreme Listening has quite literally transformed my understanding of myself and others giving me the tools to achieve success without stress within my business and family life. Now I would like to share this with you. Extreme Listening is Clean Language a process developed by David Grove in the 1980’s who was a New Zealand Psychotherapist who gave this process away on a generosity framework, and we would like to do the same with our 8 Simple Steps that we use to introduce you to this process. We just ask that you always give recognition and mention David Grove whenever you use the questions. David recognised that:    Carefully structured questions make it easier for people to answer Asking ‘these questions’ about metaphors people used in their language made it possible for them to understand complex matters far more easily Space mattered and it helped people learn about themselves.

I recognised that when I called it Extreme Listening people understood faster and more effectively what I did. Whereas they thought a clean language facilitator was someone that did not swear. (I wish I could say I didn’t). This assumption seemed to make it more difficult to promote or explain to others. Extreme Listening says what it is and began to open the doors and yet still it does not really explain the profound effects it has on people and their communities when adopted and shared. Imagine communities that can relate, understand and communicate through any conflict and or frustration and you are imagining the potential of a community who understand how to listen effectively to themselves and each other. Extreme Listening (aka Clean Language) is not like any other conversation, it is Extreme and it is one sided conversation when working with a Clean Language Facilitator. As the facilitator you have no voice, you are effectively silenced. By agreeing to be the facilitator you agree to keep your opinions, judgement and assumptions out of the discussion allowing the other person time to understand their own thinking and discover their own unique solutions. Our facilitators have undertaken a minimum of 12 days training to become certified Clean Language Facilitators and a further 3 days to learn how to introduce it to groups via the Power Group Model and we all continue to attend training every year to fine tune our pattern spotting skills.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

About Step by Step Listening
We share with coaches, facilitators, therapist, managers, business owners, parents and teachers and anyone else who is interested, the principles of this process because it has the potential to resource them and the people they influence with the strategies to work and live at their best. We also demonstrate how you can use the process in a 2 way conversation giving each person equal attention, by honouring and respecting all information shared. Our Power Groups bring like minded people together in a safe space to:    Make decisions Learn and share what works Discover ways to apply the principles in everyday life and relationships where you want others to have a voice and you want to be heard and understood.

We hope along your journey you will:           Learn what works for you Acknowledge the similarities between you and others Respect the differences Trust that others know what is right for them right now Learn the questions and principles Create space for others to become aware of what they already know Learn to hold back your opinions, judgement and suggestions Listen and become aware of patterns Ask more effective questions Learn what you and others need to achieve success without stress.

This is an iterative process and your understanding of it and yourself builds over time.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

About the 8 Simple Steps
What we know works is learning the 8 Simple Steps and applying the one that resonates with you first. One step in the right direction can and does make a difference, because many of our clients have done just that. Change your focus and you will change the results. As you move through each step I will be sharing some of the fundamental principles of Clean Language as I have interpreted them and they will be highlighted in blue. Adopting the principles/ethos opposed to being a clean language facilitator is often described as having a clean intention. We are not training you to be certified facilitators but we are training you to be great listeners and great communicators and we create space for you to be heard, understood and all of your information to be respected. Many of our clients have gone on to be certified facilitators and some started as certified facilitators who wanted to share how to apply this process in the real world.

Throughout the book I have attempted to high light in orange the metaphors I use in my own language as I tell you my stories and I explain the principles and the steps, you may notice some that I have missed. I invite you to become curious about them and notice the ones you use in your own language and the ones others use. A metaphor in this context is when you describe something as something else or you are using an expression where you are not physically doing it, such as: I am hitting my head against a brick wall. By asking questions of the metaphor David recognised it was possible for the individual to gain greater understanding of complex matters easily. It is this knowledge and resource that has been so valuable to me and that I love to share.

I have attempted to highlight in green some of the benefits this process can bring. Again you may find some I have missed and feel free to highlight them too. These are things I have either experienced personally, our team have expressed as benefits or it is something our clients have told us.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

8 Simple Steps Step 1: Chatting with Purpose Step 2: Introductions Step 3: Set up Step 4: Develop Resources Step 5: Break Step 6: Problem Solving Step 7: Recognise your learning Step 8: Plan your next best step

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Step 1 : Chatting with Purpose
Chatting with purpose, this expression came about as Ros and I chatted over and explored what the difference was between what we provided in our sessions and someone chatting with a friend or colleague. The main difference is that your purpose for chatting is focused on the listening and asking, rather than telling. Being interested in the other person for the benefit of a relationship that can come from more effective communication and greater understanding. Extreme Listening is, as it suggests extreme and we recognised that it is important to allow time for chatting if you are also going to have a 2 way relationship/partnership with the person. Unlike the typical facilitator/client relationship that we can have with our clients where it is one sided it is all about them and they are not aware of our needs in the moment. This is not how often of us have to work alongside others so Chatting with Purpose was formed to firstly introduce them to the concept of listening more than telling and then it continues once you are efficient at extreme listening to maintain the relationship with the person. In business and families it is all too easy to just get right down to business and talk about what is important to you and forget to connect with the human being opposite you. This step is vital when building relationships with potential clients, your team and your family. Listening creates space for others to think more productively and gain more clarity even without the questions. This could be your first step and just increasing how much you listen and understand those closest to you will make a difference. Power Groups have the added advantage that you instantly hear how others think and it soon becomes apparent that everyone has very similar challenges but very few solve them in the same way as you would. Making us more and more aware of the time wasted giving suggestions that are unlikely to work for others, but hearing ideas can spark a thought or a solution for them that would work. I can’t recreate the group environment exactly in this book so I am going to ask you to trust me that this is the case and invite you to notice what others are saying, listen more than you talk and ask more than you tell. Everyone is unique and even when they use a similar phrase or pull a similar face it is unlikely it means exactly the same to you as it does to them. Be curious about:     How often you talk How often you listen What happens when you observe a discussion How often people ask questions to understand or simply dive in with their opinion or suggestion

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Are you listening or simply waiting for your turn to talk?

I would like to change the focus right now from me telling, to asking, so if it is okay with you I would like to ask you some questions now? Your answers are always right for you right now. No one will judge or give opinions; we are simply going to hold the space for you to share so you can gain some insight to how you think.

What is happening for you right now?
Please use this space to put your response if you want to, it is great fun to complete this and date it then look back in 6 months and notice what has changed, if anything, and be curious.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Here are some of the replies I have had before, I feel like I am:        Stuck Trapped Hitting my head against a brick wall Going round in circles Frustrated On a rollercoaster On a treadmill.

When I asked when it is like that: What would you like to have happen? They would say something like:       To be on track To feel like in I am in the flow or going with the flow Breaking down that brick wall or using it to get you to where I want to be To get out of this circle/cycle Off the rollercoaster Off the treadmill or find the pause button.

What would you like to have happen?
Take a moment now and use this space to draw or represent what you would like to have happen:

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Being clear about what you would like to have happen means you are more likely to communicate that message effectively to others. For children and adults alike it is confusing to hear someone saying one thing and then demonstrate something completely different by their actions. Of course this can be down to how others interpret the information as well but it can also be that we are focusing our attention on the wrong thing, therefore delivering the wrong message. Business Example: A managing director says “I want my team to think for themselves.” Then complains when they do something without running it past him first. When we drilled down, he wanted others to think for themselves but recognises that he needed to let go for that to happen. His outcome changed from I want them to think for themselves to, I want to learn how to manage letting them think for themselves. Family Example: A parent says, “I want my child to be independent and think for themselves and take more responsibility.” The child does their own thing and the parent becomes frustrated. When we drilled down, the parent wanted the child to get a job and help out around the house more. The child was also saying they wanted more independence, but that independence to them meant moving out. This confusion led to many conflicts prior to the sessions. When the parent understood what kind of independence the child wanted and offered to support making this happen, the child realised they were not ready to move out after all. However they now have a job and communicates more at home.

“Be careful what you wish for”

This E Book aims to share with you questions that will help you clarify and be clear about what you would like to have happen, making it more likely that you can make it happen.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Step 2 Introduction
This process can give you the tools to manage your own emotions and an awareness that will enable you to make the changes necessary. Be kind to yourself, trust the first answer that comes to mind and remember no-one is going to judge you, make a suggestion or give an opinion. This is your time to allow the words to come and trust that you will know what is right for you. You will be invited to ask more questions enabling you to gain further clarity and understanding. You will gain greater understanding about what pushes your buttons and what needs to happen to bring success without stress to your life. Always use the questions ‘on yourself’ to help you gain clarity. This is not something you ‘do to’ someone else even if ‘you’ think they are stuck and they look like they need help. If you are going to ask someone else these questions, it is reasonable to ask 2 or 3 questions that seem more conversational. Any more than that we recommend you explain how the questions work and you ask for their permission. The questions may seem deceptively simple but they can take your thinking to another level and it is therefore recommended and common courtesy to ask the person for permission before taking their thinking anywhere else, other than where they were expecting it to be. The fundamental principles and the questions included in the book will start you on the path of productive thinking, by investing as little as 2 hours a month and revisiting the questions with different scenarios, you can achieve Success without Stress by learning and understanding your own patterns. This is FREE and we are more than happy that you share it freely with your friends and family, however we do ask that you send them this link and request they order their own free copy directly from us. We want you to experience how we work. This process is not for everyone and this E Book will give you insight and understanding into the way we take you through the fundamental principles of Extreme Listening, introducing you to the questions a few at a time and the vital principles that underpin this whole process. Our clients and our own families have effortlessly transferred parts of the process, to one to one discussion’s and groups who matter to their success and happiness. Much of the learning is done by osmosis after using the questions regularly for your own learning you will become more and more familiar with the questions and the process.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

A client that worked with us for 2 years said “Decisions are now made faster and more effectively, life is easier, more rewarding and more fun.” Power Group Day Attendee Nov 2012 “I thought I knew myself quite well but evidently I don’t, I can’t wait to come back to the next session.”

Steve Covey said, “To be understood you have to first understand.”

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Step 3 Set up
Before we get started with any of our clients there are a few we ask to ensure they are set up for the session. Here are a few questions I invite you to ask yourself and be curious about what you notice. Take a moment and check in with yourself. If you are going to do anything new or engage in a discussion with some else, how well you set it up will influence the success. Here are some questions that will give you awareness of how space matters to you right now:  Are you in the right space?

Is this book in the right space?

Are you at the right height?

Is the book at the right height?

Are you at the right angle?

Is the book at the right angle?

Is that the right distant between you and the book?

Is that space the same or different to the space you started in?

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

What happened?
You may have:      Stayed put or gone on a walk about, only to find you came back to where you started Shifted even an inch or two Changed rooms completely Changed to sitting up Lied down.

You may be surprised to know, or not, that space is a vital part of thinking, working, learning and living at our best. Space does matter so be mindful as a parent, teacher or manager how often do you give the person who you want to talk, learn or work at their best the choice of space. Do you control this and/or is the space pre determined? Even this change of focus can change the results. Fascinating isn’t it?

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Learning at your best?
You are about to learn how to ask yourself some questions that take your thinking to a new level. The following questions can help you understand and take responsibility for what you need to learn at your best. You can also use these questions in other situations for example, parenting at your best, leading at your best, this team meeting or this family holiday, situations where you want to be clear what you want to get out of it and how you need to be and what you need from others. You simply substitute the words in the question. Often I am unclear what I need until I answer the questions and this information always resources me to get the most out of a given situation. Dance teachers are using it, parents at the start of a school holidays and team leaders at the start of a meeting. If you want to be clear on everyone’s expectation including yours and you want them to take responsibility for their own outcome. These questions are great and work. (Thanks to Caitlin Walker and Nancy Doyle for sharing the set up questions so generously) Here are the questions: A. For this “learning experience” to be just the way you would like it to be, it would be like what?

B. For this “learning experience” to be like (answer to A) you need to be like what?

C. For the “learning experience” to be like (answer to A) and you to be like (answer to B), is there any other kind of resource or support you need?

Can I invite you to be curious if you discovered that you did not have everything you needed and yet you had already started, interesting isn’t it? Well at least I think so (big smile) You will become more and more aware as you go through this book how unique you are and therefore we hope you begin to understand that others are also as unique. In my opinion this is why we must take time to understand ourselves and others if we are to work effectively together. The great news is that these questions can get you there faster. Our assumptions that everyone else is the same or even that no one else feels like this, is in my opinion, one of the biggest things preventing us from thinking and communicating effectively.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Fascinating!! Is there anything else you need now to learn at your best?

Business Example: We ran a Power Group Plus event in July 2012 and 4 of the Southern Domestic Abuse Services Team joined us and the one thing that all 4 took away was Step 3 Set up. They found by asking their clients where they would like to be and asking the client where they would like them to be the individual was more relaxed and open to conversation. Family Example I believe space and set up is at the heart of the bedroom drama so many families experience. If we only let our children control one space in their life and it is their room they will do everything they can to have it how they want it, not how others want it. It is often the first thing that gets resolved when a parent learns how they need to be to parent at their best.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Step 4 Develop Resources
Throughout a clean language session we ask questions to put your attention on a resource or an outcome. Something that has worked for you or something you would like to have happen. This step in the Power Group Model is all about encouraging you to notice: Are you talking about what is working or what is not working? Are you talking about what you want or what you don’t want? Looking at your response where I invited you to draw or represent What would you like to have happen? What are you noticing? Do you have a statement that says something like: A.    Or B.     I wish they would do… I want them to .. I want …to stop I want less of …. I would like ….. I want …. I wish

If you have a statement like A, then try asking some of the developing questions below to gain more understanding. If you have a statement more like B, then can I invite you to consider, when all that is happening, then what happens? Repeat this question until you have a statement/picture of what you would like to have happen. When you have a statement about what you would like to have happen move onto the developing questions in relation to this outcome.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Developing Questions
It might be you are pulling on a memory of when it has worked for you, or what is working in relation to this or it could be from what you imagine would be needed to make it work. Can I invite you to ask yourself questions for either 6 minutes or chose 6 questions about your desired outcome. What works? What has worked? Or What is working? In relation to what you would like to have happen: How do you know that it works, what do you hear or see that tells you that? Is there anything else about…..? What kind of ……… that …………? Does …..have a shape or size? Then what happens? Where is ….? Whereabouts is….? What happens just before….? What happens in between….and …..? Draw or represent what you know now. What do you notice about the difference between your first statement and this statement? What difference does knowing that make?

“First sign of madness is talking to yourself” I think it is madness not to listen to yourself.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Step 5: Break
I will share more about the importance of breaks but for now can I invite you to take a break you decide how long:     10 mins Couple of hours Overnight A week

Step 6: Problem Solving
This step is all about helping you find your own solutions, clean language changes your focus and therefore changes the results. I am sure that simply by focusing on what works you are already finding some solutions but I will share some more information shortly about Problem solving and the questions you can ask yourself.

Step 7: Recognise your Learning
One of the aspects of Clean Language is noticing if things have changed. There are lots of things I would like to share here but for now can I invite you to try these questions and notice if anything has changed for you. What do you know now in relation to original outcome?

What difference does knowing this make if any?

Step 8: Plan your next best step
What would you like to have happen next?

Can you?

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

Power Groups
Create an environment where groups can talk and everyone and everything matters. Information, space and time are honoured and respected as the information is shared. The individuals within a group feel heard, valued and understood. They are able to be themselves; however that may be for them on that day. They can sit where they are comfortable, move if they need to and work in a way that truly works for them. These basic principles that hold the model together, maintains a state of peer support without peer pressure. It is understood from the beginning that everyone can solve their own problems and that no one else is responsible for solving the problems for them. The group are invited to hold the space for others to think. The learning comes from the privilege of hearing the thoughts of others and combining this knowledge with greater understanding of your own thinking. One of the many benefits of the process and the group experience is that you soon become comfortable with you and accept yourself. You learn more about yourself and how to hold back your opinions, judgement and suggestions for far longer, allowing you and others to find out what works, what doesn’t and what needs to happen for it to work better.

Thank you for listening.
I hope you found these 4 steps useful if you would like to find out more about Power Groups in your area or you would like us to create one in your area, please do give us a call on 01329 286648.

I will be in touch shortly, thank you in advance for the feedback. Call 01329 286648 Finding it difficult to read and action then please feel free to call us now for a FREE 30 mins session and we will ask you the questions over the phone.

Sheryl Andrews Step by Step Listening copyright 2009

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