Frequently Asked Questions

We've worked on a variety of projects, here are a few examples:

A lifestyle change company wanted to see more sustainable behavioural change outcomes in their clients, and were keen to enhance their staff's 'coaching' skills. Behaviour Change partners began by crafting a training programme with and for them, have analysed (coded) the groups' baseline skills and Fiona continues to train and mentor the team.

Behaviour Change Partners developed and delivered a half day training which focused on  the importance of robust evaluation for staff within conservation organisations in the UK. This was delivered online (in real time). Enhancing evaluation is important to enable outcomes and the impact of interventions to be measured and disseminated. The training incorporated interactive elements and was co-developed based on the needs of the organisation.

We designed and delivered a series of interactive online and real-time training sessions for animal welfare teams internationally to support them in working with local owners of horses/donkeys/mules. They were finding that the owners were not responding well to being told what they 'should' do to enhance their animals' welfare. We used an MI inspired approach. By learning ways of working in partnership with the owners, expressing more empathy for their working lives, and using the key skills of listening, reflecting and not 'fixing', the teams of welfare agents gained deeper understandings of their work and have been keen to continue to communicate in this way.

We co-designed and delivered a one day workshop for safety representatives at a large manufacturing company, to help them understand more about behaviour change. We introduced tools to help them to talk with teams about challenges and change using evidence-based approaches to underpin user-friendly front line conversations

2. What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a way of working with people that is based on compassion, respect, partnership, and choice. It was developed by Clinical Psychologists William  Miller and Stephen Rollnick in the 1980s. It has become a well established and evidence-based approach to support people to move towards active, sustainable change behaviours across many areas e.g. health, education, criminal justice, leadership, sport/coaching, lifestyle change, and animal welfare. MI is more than a set of tools, although it does have a specific set of skills and empathy-based 'spirit'- it is a way of being with people. 

An MI approach can be used to support individuals or groups, and has been shown to enhance behavioural outcomes. MI can also be used to inform tailored approaches to communication training and coaching.

3. How do you train people to 'do' MI? 

Training in MI happens in many ways. The core elements of this way of working can be done in short sessions, however, for skill building, MI training takes more time. It has been found that a 2-day introduction to MI helps people to 'give it a go', however if you are seeking to upskill yourself or members of you staff, the evidence clearly shows that a series of well-timed training combined with mentoring/ coaching and specific feedback on practice is needed.

Training can be done in person or on-line (with real-time elements). It is highly interactive as people need to practice the core skills. Learning MI is enjoyable, challenging and can build on existing practice (e.g. active listening, counselling skills).