Motivating people to make changes (i)


The first of a series about using values and empathy to help people make choices

Most of our training in health care provision assumes that:

  • the people we will be working with are ready to receive our knowledge/expertise
  • we know more than they do (about what they should do)
  • their health status is the most important thing in their lives (well, we think health is important, don’t we?)
  • all they need is for us to tell them what to do and they will go away and just do it

And if they don’t – they’re ‘resistant’, ‘not motivated’, ‘noncompliant’, ‘nonadherent’.

– and we’ve always known how they show us this!!

They may

  • say ‘yes but’ to any suggestions
  • become silent
  • become angry
  • deny they have a problem
  • interrupt
  • avoid making a commitment
  • not come back to see you
  • pretend they are doing what you suggest, but actually do nothing

By taking care to really understand the good things about the way the person is currently acting, and the not so good things about changing, we can work together to help change occur out of intrinsic motivation, or values that the person holds.

Read on…!

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2 comments

  1. I *hope* you don’t feel too guilty! If you think about it, perhaps it’s simply that there are some things you value more in the short term than your adherence to a diet in the longer term!! As a newly diagnosed diabetic, I *know* what you mean…!

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