by Jean-Paul Cortes
In context, as a model for eliciting change it is useful as a coaching approach and so, should be in your coaching toolbox.
MI is a style of counseling for changing behavior.
It helps people explore and resolve internal ambivalence, and find the best possible solution to a problem.
Like coaching, it's goal driven and focused on bringing about change. How? By solving internal conflicts that frequently arise when folks are working towards their goals.
Motivational interviewing is non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-adversarial approach.
As a coach, you role is to bring about change
from your client, and not impose your own view on how you believe change should be. You help your client identify their intrinsic values and goals with the intent of stimulating intrinsic behavior change.
Your client's task is to identify and to resolve whatever ambivalence might be hindering change. As a coach, you gently guide your client to express the ambivalence and work towards an acceptable outcome in line with their values.
Proponents of motivational interviewing believe that verbal persuasion is not an effective method for resolving internal conflict. Pro-active listening is a key element in this model.
The role of a coach is to help examine and resolve ambivalence, frequently the principal obstacle to change. The relationship is more akin to a partnership in change.
The guiding factor in motivational interviewing is examining and resolving ambivalence.
What is ambivalence? It's the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.
You directly pursue this goal in Motivational Interviewing by asking questions and acting as a soundboard for your client to resolve their own conflict and bring about change.
As a coach you help by being the catalyst through which your client sees a better future, and becomes increasingly motivated to achieve it.
It allows people to think differently about their behavior and ultimately to consider what might be gained by changing.
Motivational Interviewing is shaped by a guiding philosophy and understanding of what triggers change. It's guiding principles are:
This is a brief description of how motivational interviewing works. Of course, how you use it depends on many factors. Again, coaches frequently are jacks of all trades and approach coaching by using different techniques to help folks change.
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