5 Key Insights from Motivational Interviewing
It’s hard to motivate someone else. Luckily, the evidence-based practice of Motivational Interviewing (MI for short) can offer us some practical advice on the matter.
What is MI? Here’s one definition by Miller & Rollnick (2013):
“MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.”
This approach is useful when any of the following are present:
- Ambivalence is high, and people are feeling stuck in mixed feelings about change
- Confidence in their own abilities to change is low
- People feel uncertain about whether they want to make a change
- The benefits and disadvantages of the current situation are unclear
Here are five key insights to keep in mind:
- It takes time to question your own beliefs.
- We are much more motivated by reasons we have come up with ourselves than what others tell us.
- When other people tell us what to think or do, it often triggers resistance.
- Any threat to our sense of freedom to choose for ourselves triggers a feeling of wanting to reclaim our autonomy.
- We are more motivated by what we hear ourselves say, and the arguments we develop ourselves, than by what other people tell us.
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