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There is no doubt about it, it is summertime. We have experienced 85+ degree days here in the Midwest and the warmth with a slight breeze feels good. The warm days of summer, often referred to as the “lazy days of summer”, provide opportunities to slow down, sit outside with a cool beverage, a great book, and soak it all in.

To be present. To just be.

During the summertime, we often find our casual conversations with others as being more intentional and perhaps more lighthearted. The days are longer, the mornings and evenings more deliberate often topped with a breathtaking sunrise or sunset.

Taking that “summer mindset” approach in our interactions with patients and clients is a great start for engagement. Slowing down, being intentional with our words, being present and soaking in all they are saying is foundational for connecting with others.

To be present. To just be.

When working with others this week, whether they are patients, clients, team members, staff or colleagues, keep these in mind:

  • Have a curious mind/heartset: rather than a “fix it” or judgmental mind/heartset.
  • Minimize multitasking: Give others your undivided attention. Pull up a chair and be all in: ears, eyes, mind and spirit. Be fully present.
  • Add reflections: Let the other person know we are listening by reflecting something that they have said or meant. This helps us to be stronger listeners rather than reacting to what they say. This comes from a place of curiosity rather than judgement.
  • Ask-Offer-Ask: Before downloading a file folder full of information to the patient/client, ask permission first and find out what they are interested in knowing more about. After permission is granted, offer small chunks of information followed by asking what they think of the information.

What it all comes down to is being intentional, mindful and present in the moment with others. Have a “summer mindset” and approach with your patients and clients.

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