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What I witnessed today made my heart sing.

I am sure you have been there, sitting in the back section of an airplane with two young children and their parents sitting in the row ahead. One child (around age 3) sitting next to the window, her Mom sitting next to her on the aisle holding a 1 year old and the Dad sitting across the aisle. Before the plane takes off you sit there wondering how the 3- hour flight will unfold. Will the children cry, get restless, squirm in their seats? Will they whine, talk nonstop and be loud? How will the parents react? Will they be patient or get stern? Will they talk gently or scold and threaten the children? What happens when the children squirm or even worse, cry? Will the parents be all stressed out and angry with their children or will they be calm?

As it turned out, this was anything but a smooth flight. We were flying through several storms which brought much turbulence throughout the flight. In the middle of the flight, after a 10 minute “roller coaster” ride, the 3-year old “felt sick”. How the parents reacted truly brought tears to my eyes.

I watched:

  • The Mom hold the hand of the 3- year old during take- off and have her lay her head on her lap when she felt sick.
  • The Dad look over and reassure the 3-year old as she felt sick that it was okay in a calm, comforting voice.
  • The Dad taking care of the 1 year old by having her sit on his lap, reading her a story, letting her have a sippy cup with milk and comforting her by cradling and holding her tight while talking quietly in her ear. Few words, just reassurance in action.

What really became apparent through the flight was Teamwork.

The couple passed the one year old back and forth across the aisle between the two of them while they calmed and attended to the 3- year old. The Mom would pass the sippy cup and bottle of milk to the Dad, he would fill it and hand it back to the Mom without a word spoken between them. Teamwork was evident during this flight.

Is Teamwork evident in your work setting, clinic, hospital, school and home?

Lessons Learned to Take Back to Our Lives:

  • Stay calm, especially during turbulent times.
  • Seek out, or better yet, be that calming, reassuring voice.
  • Be open to assist others.
  • Show up and be present.
  • Be attentive to the needs of others.
  • Listen with mind, body and soul to what is happening.
  • Work together in a collaborative style.
  • Provide warm handoffs between departments, clinics and individuals.

Teamwork, in whatever setting is key.
Where can you start to make a difference?

Tranform Conversations. Transform Lives.
Dr. Becky Lang

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“Dr. Lang’s training provided me with a better understanding of the motivational interviewing process. The skills I learned from her training have helped me feel more engaged and thoughtful when listening and talking with those around me. Dr. Lang is energetic, knowledgeable, passionate and provides a great learning environment.”

Nancy AdrianseBSDH, Oral Health Manager, Iowa Primary Care Association

“The training I received in Becky’s motivational interviewing class was invaluable. It laid a wonderful foundation for me to effectively empower my patients to develop and implement positive changes for their health. Becky created such a nurturing, nonthreatening environment that allowed me to freely learn and practice. This is certainly a class I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn to assist others with behavior changes.”

Robin GeorgeRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“At the YMCA, we have worked with Dr. Becky Lang for over a decade now to help us shift and shape our culture. As an organization committed to strengthening our community, the coaching and training skills that Dr. Lang has provided have helped us immensely. With her education and guidance she has helped us establish a culture that focuses on building meaningful relationships with our members, focusing on their needs, and coaching them towards success in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Lang has trained all levels of our staff from our front line Wellness Coaches to our Executive Directors and Leadership Teams. Her on-going support has allowed the coaching-culture to come alive in our organization.”

Kim Stewart Kim Stewart Director of Operations, YMCA of Greater Des Moines

“The training Becky provided has been one of the most rewarding nursing experience I have had in 30 years. The style of interviewing and teaching patients is rewarding and positive. Her techniques drive the sessions to be more personal and patient-centered. Through Becky’s teaching, I was comfortable to practice and get familiar with the motivational interviewing process. Becky is an exceptional trainer and I recommend her training to all health coaches and educators.”

Sandy LovelessRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“The motivational interviewing techniques Becky teaches allow patients to set goals and work toward changes that are important to them. Patients feel in control of their own health and allow me to be in a more supportive roll. Becky has a positive and uplifting spirit that makes her classes extremely enjoyable.”

Tyra CarltonRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“Rebecca Lang was a respected colleague who diligently served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students over her long career at Grand View University. I had the distinct pleasure to work with Becky and regularly witness her vocation to Wellness education. She motivates those around her by a strong and genuine commitment to a lifestyle which promotes health and well-being.”

Katharina TumpekPhD, Professor and former Chair, Dept. of Health Promotions, Grand View University

“It has been a pleasure to work with Becky Lang over the last 25 years. Within a variety of contexts in the wellness arena, I have witnessed Dr. Lang’s mastery as a wellness educator, a health coach, a professor, and, most recently, as a health coaching trainer. I could go on at length about Dr. Lang’s passion, enthusiasm, high energy, wisdom, and deep knowledge in health promotion and behavior change. One of the attributes that impresses me most, though, is her ability to create a relaxed, fun, interactive, and content-rich training environment. Her refreshingly supportive, inviting, and empathic style of training and coaching allows learners to take risks, experiment, try on new skills, and participate authentically in role play exercises without feeling awkward and intimidated. Through Dr. Lang’s coaching and training, people learn–often more than they imagined.”

Jill NorrisRN, MPH, PCMH-CCE, Director, Care Management, University of Iowa Health Alliance