Motivational interviewing is a conversational technique that helps people resolve ambivalence and increase motivation to change. It has been used extensively in the fields of health and addiction, but it can also be a powerful tool for business professionals.
First and foremost, it is essential to understand the principles of motivational interviewing. This client-centered strategy focuses on exploring the client's goals, values, and beliefs. The interviewer works collaboratively with the client to elicit their own motivation and commitment to change. It is not about giving advice or telling the client what to do, but rather guiding them to find solutions.
The first step when working with business clients is establishing a rapport. This involves building a relationship based on trust, empathy, and understanding. Listening actively and showing genuine interest in the client's concerns is essential. This creates a safe space for the client to express their thoughts and feelings.
The next step is to identify the client's goals. What are they hoping to achieve? They might be looking for a specific outcome, such as increasing revenue or improving productivity. Alternatively, they could have a broader goal, such as developing leadership skills or improving work-life balance. It is essential to clarify the client's goals to ensure they align with their values and beliefs.
Once the goals have been established, the interviewer can use motivational interviewing techniques to help the client explore their ambivalence towards change. This involves identifying the pros and cons of staying the same versus making a change. For example, the client may be hesitant to implement a new strategy because it requires a significant investment of time and resources. By exploring their ambivalence, the interviewer can help the client weigh the costs and benefits of change and identify ways to overcome barriers.
Motivational interviewing also involves eliciting the client's reasons for change. This is an essential step as it helps the client find their own motivation to change. The interviewer can use open-ended questions, such as "What would be the benefits of making this change?" or "What do you think would happen if you don't make this change?" to help the client articulate their reasons for change.
The final aspect of motivational interviewing is working alongside the client in developing a plan for change. This involves identifying specific steps that the client can take to achieve their goals. The interviewer can help the client set realistic and achievable goals and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.
Motivational interviewing is, essentially, a strategy for helping clients feel seen, known, and heard by guiding them through a deliberate and collaborative process focused on helping them achieve their goals. It is, at its core, respectful and focused on the lived experience of the client. When done well, motivational interviewing can help your client feel more fulfilled and able to take on new challenges.