Monthly Archives: October 2015

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

This post goes back to my last post on transition, change and the the Clinical Health Coach course that I attended. I want to get more into Motivational Interviewing, how it works and how it can help you in the workplace, at home and it even works great with teenagers!

now-thats-a-good-question1Motivational interviewing is defined as “person-centered counseling style for addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change” – or in my words, it’s all about how you ask a question to get the desired outcome that is a collaborative effort to elicit a specific goal.

So, let’s talk about an example of this; maybe someone tells you their goal is to make more money so they can retire in 5 years. Great goal, right? Well, it could be if there is a clear cut plan based on SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timed) goals.

Some people may want to ask, why is this important to you, which is relevant, but I might ask; What steps have you taken to ensure this will happen? Maybe they have taken steps, maybe they haven’t. To keep the conversation going you could say, “Tell me what has been working for you so far”. This keeps the conversation focused on the positives.

When you ask the WHAT’s it is not as simple as a yes or no question. You can also say, Tell ME MORE, or IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?  If the person hasn’t put much thought into it, I would ask another open ended question to see if they have really thought this goal out. The key to motivational interviewing have to do with this entire process:

  1. Ask the open ended questions to keep the conversation moving
  2. Affirm the strengths, efforts and character and worth
  3. Reflect upon what your client, employee, child, etc. says to keep focused on them and convey understanding and empathy
  4. Summarize the big picture at the end and transition to the task at hand

I have found myself using this with my personal training clients, trying to get more answers from my children, and even coaching clients and my children on how to get the answers and desired outcomes they are seeking from others. Take some time. Think about how you ask your questions and how you can get more out of your clients, employees, family, whoever it is!

Be happy. Be healthy. And ask GREAT questions!

Transition Versus Change

Recently I had the opportunity to take part in a 2 day conference put on by Iowa Chronic Care Consortium. We covered topics from Motivational Interviewing, to Personality Traits and types, to how to work with different types of people. This training was very enlightening to me and really made me stop and think of now only how I communicate with my clients, but with my family and friends as well. One topic that I want to focus on today is the Bridges Transition Model.  sharon-neal-the-challenge-of-leading-change-10-638

This model deals with change and a different way of approaching the subject. Sometimes, as we all know, change can be viewed as a negative the outcome being final. This model focuses more on the transition of change and every person knowing their roll. The process is as follows:

  1. Purpose – explain the purpose behind the outcome that is seeked. People must understand the logic prior to turning their minds to work on it.
  2. Picture – make sure your team knows what the painted picture of the outcome looks like. The need to experience the outcome imaginatively before giving their hearts to the outcome is vital.
  3. Plan – lay out the step-by-step plan for phasing in the final outcome. There must be clear idea and each member of your team needs to understand their specific roll.
  4. Part – delegate a part for each person to play in the outcome of the desired change. This is a tangible way for contribution and participation for your team.

Between different personality types and the natural reaction of resistance to change, receiving the desired outcome is not always an easy path. But with clear purpose, picture, plan and part, this transition can be reached in a manner that is acceptable to all team members.

The Bridges Transition Model can be used in business, family and health. Prior to your next change, take a step back and try to put these tools to use and have everyone who will be affected by the change involved.

Be happy. Be healthy and don’t fear the change, plan for it!