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Reflections from 2017: A Year Full of MI trainings

What are you most thankful for this past year in terms of your motivational interviewing and health coaching experience?

It has been a wonderful year. A year full of motivational interviewing trainings and health coach sessions. I have traveled to Ireland, throughout the USA and extensively throughout Iowa. I have had the privilege to work with so many of you on the front lines of health. Day in and day out you are impacting individuals, families, communities and organizations in real and life changing ways. As I reflect back to all the trainings and coaching conversations I have had with you all in 2017, the first thought that comes to mind is gratitude. Gratitude to you for being “all in” during the trainings and the coaching sessions. Thank you!

Thank you for sharing your success stories and your challenges with me and your fellow colleagues.

Thank you for being vulnerable to try new conversations, new ways to shift the conversation to be more engaging, more patient/client centered.

Thank you for being willing to take a risk and coach “out loud” with role play and real play scenarios.

Thank you for asking questions.

Thank you for honoring and respecting others in the training sessions who may learn differently than you.

Thank you for taking the information, the skills, and “spirit” of patient/client centered care and trying it with your patients, clients, colleagues, families, staff and team.

Shifts with You

  • What “shifts in conversation” have you noticed in yourself? Are you asking more open, engaging questions? Questions such as:
  • What is working well since the last time we met?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • Describe what you need to move forward?
  • Tell me what you think you are able to commit to?
  • What’s your plan?

Perhaps you have noticed more space, more pauses in your conversation. You are getting more comfortable with silence. You see the power of the pause and find yourself slower to fill in the silence with your talk.

Maybe you have noticed less pressure or stress to “motivate people to change”. You have found that we can’t “make” people change. We want the best for them and want to help facilitate and support the change process however we can’t make people do it. We have a better understanding of the change process: what it is and what it is not.

Shifts with Our Patients/Clients

What “shifts in conversation” have you noticed in yourself and with those you serve: patients, clients, families, and other individuals? Are you having richer conversations with your patients? Have you found that some of your patients are more open, more engaging and telling you more information about their situation?

Know that this is the beginning. Keeping our skills fresh and flowing is a lifelong process. Be gentle with yourself and keep practicing. I encourage you to continue to learn, continue to go to MI trainings lead by someone recognized as in the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT member). Practice with colleagues. Keep focusing on what is going well and build on that.

If you are interested in bringing me to your organization for a refresh training or coming to a public training, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a comment or email at beckylang@icloud.com

If you know of others, perhaps your leadership team or a friend, who would be interested in learning more or receiving this and other blog posts, please feel free to forward to those individuals.

Thank you again for a terrific 2017. I look forward to working with you in 2018.

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