When I facilitate a Motivational Interviewing Training, I find that many (if not most) people are really interested in learning the OARS, the techniques of Motivational Interviewing. However, Bill Miller and Steve Rollnick, the founders of Motivational Interviewing, would tell us all that it’s really also important to learn about the spirit of Motivational Interviewing. It’s not what you say, right? It’s how you say it.
So in my training’s and in the work I do, I focus on helping people to get in touch with that compassion. Most of the research says that when you’re trying to help someone change, or are trying to help someone at all, it’s really important to also listen to them and to be with them. It’s kind of like coming to a full stop. You put down everything you have in your hands, all those screens we like to look at and you really sit with the person and whatever their experience is.
Only then, do the OARS work. Only then do the techniques of Motivational Interviewing work. So in my training’s and the work I do, I really focus on experiential exercises to help people get in touch with that underlying feeling of what it is to really be with someone and to help them to change.