Chapter 17

Clearness Committee

This is a close listening and questioning exercise, drawing on the work of Parker Palmer (2007) and the traditions of Quaker practice. At its root is the belief that we can discover answers to difficult problems with appropriate support from peers, friends, and colleagues.


  • To help people find their own solutions to their own problems
  • To learn to listen and question solely to support the growth of others
  • To practice using open-ended, nonjudgmental, and nonleading questioning

How It Works

  • Small groups are formed of about six to seven participants each.
  • One person agrees to be the “holder of the problem” who describes a troubling issue at work for five to eight minutes.
  • Another agrees to be the ...

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