Some people like to travel and others would rather stay home. I like to travel. I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel a great deal this past year both professionally and personally. I have traveled internationally to Berlin, Germany and to Vancouver, Canada for Motivational Interviewing trainings. I have hiked in the Swiss Alps, snorkeled in Hawaii, biked across Door County in Wisconsin, and hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park. Lessons on Life and Work: What hiking in the Swiss Alps Taught Me. I share that with you because not only have I learned so much about these locations, it has given me a renewed perspective on life and our role as care managers, coaches, educators and guides championing others towards change.
What I have realized is that to survive in another city, state, and country, it works best if I take the perspective of others. Going with the flow of where I am: the language, culture, values and practices of others living in that location. How I live and my life practices may not “fit” in the area where I am traveling. What this means is traveling with an open mind and open heart works the best. Isn’t this the same as when we partner with individuals on behavior change? Being open and realizing that I don’t have all the answers is a fundamental principle. It is not “my way or the highway thinking.” I want to take the perspective of others.
Five (5) Key “Take Aways” on the connection of traveling and Motivational Interviewing:
- Go into a conversation with others with an open mind and heart. Minimize “my agenda” thinking.
- Be curious about others. Ask open-ended questions to learn more: what, tell me, describe.
- Tread lightly when talking about change others could make. We don’t know their life. We have not walked in their hiking boots!
- It is a pull (learn about others) rather than a push (information and my perspective on what and how something should happen).
- Be a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage.
As we continue to have engaging, respectful and effective conversations with others regarding change, may we be reminded to travel lightly. May we be a curious learner. May we take the perspective of others to learn their culture, practices, and their why.
Taking the perspective of others. This will serve us well as health coaches and in life.
Transform conversations. Transform healthcare. Transform lives.