Podcast-Can I use we instead of I?
[00:00:00] Hello, everyone. And welcome. We are the MI guys here to providing the communication solution to helping you improve the outcomes for the individuals, communities, and organizations that you serve. As always, we have our core team here from the Institute of which this man is the director. Mr. Casey Jackson.
Hello. And our extraordinary for getting this out to you and making all this happen. Tammy Calais
and myself, John Gilbert, here to hopefully add some value into your world today to do that. We have a particular topic that came up during some kind of training or something. Tammy, would you fill us in how this. Yeah. So I was sitting in on one of Casey’s trainings a couple of weeks ago, and we were talking about one of the concepts that we train on is trying to take, trying to take [00:01:00] I out of your language.
So I understand, I feel. Those types of things. And one of the attendees that asked, could we start to say we, instead of I, and I was like, that’s a great question. We should ask Casey that. And this was specifically in regards to she’s in the healthcare realm. So instead of saying like I know as a doctor, she was saying like, we know.
That this is the best practice to handle this situation. So that was her question.I I remember that question, I remember that individual asking that question. So with certain words, you know, we’re talking about language. Like I, we, you, it’s not the hard and fast rule that you’ve never used that language.
My thinking, when I look through now, my lens is what impact [00:02:00] is it having on this particular brain? The reason why I steer people away from using I-statements is because it puts the attention on us. And in motivational interviewing wants a person’s thought process, internal, because we’re looking at how do they see themselves?
How do they see their own dilemmas? How do they see their own issue? What is their perspective on it? As soon as I step in with my perspective, it pulls them out of. Th they have to look at me. They have to think, do I agree with you or disagree with you? I mean, whatever that happens, it’s less internal and their brain starts from more external.
Every time it goes more external, it just increases potential potential that you can generate resistance talk. And in am I, what we’re trying to do is just negate eliminate any resistance talk. So they stay focused on their own brain, their own change, their own values, their own goals, which is kind of the context then to, to a we statement.
So literally as soon as I say. It just increases a potential to be focused outside the self. In the example that she gave specifically, [00:03:00] it literally was just a substitution of I for we it’s the, the intention behind it is going to generate, I believe increases the probability of that language being generated is, well, I don’t care what you all think.
This is how I feel. So, so that’s just the thinking behind it or the strategy before. And, and when you’re thinking about partnership, which means we’ve moved beyond the engagement of the four processes, we’ve moved beyond focus, and now we’re moving into planning. Then it’s where you could potentially use a we statement.
You know, one of the things that we could work on together, one of the things we could work on together is helping you manage your diabetes. But I’m not sure if that’s something you’re interested in at this point. So it’s still a person driven process. And that’s what I always think with motivation, because it has to be that person centered process.
It has to be driven by the individuals who we’re working with for, to [00:04:00] create longer-term behavior change, but it would be remiss on our part if we didn’t share our expertise, our knowledge or our insights or our lived experience at the right moment in time and the right dose that is. Cornerstone.
That is a key construct in motivational interviewing. It’s not just that we let people struggle through their issues. It’s when do we share the right information at the right dose? So we can use language such as we, when you get to that kind of momentum in a motivational thing based conversation, we’re moving from the ambivalence into the change.
Talk, change, talk towards commitment, talk. And then how is the information offered up in the way that feels more of a partnering? And not like we know better than you do which we know will generate resistance, but not even the we’re here to help you. It’s more a matter of what can you and I, and partnership do to get you towards your outcome.
How can you use me in a way. The catapult you in the direction you want to be catapulted and we can do that [00:05:00] in partnership together. So that’s a different way of thinking about we then the way she originally brought it up, which is instead of me saying, well, I know this is good for you as we, as a profession.
No, this isn’t good for you. To me, that’s just potato. Patato, it’s the exact same construct. But when you’re moving towards a partnership perspective that we between you and I, how can the two of us build a better mouse trap? So you get to where you want to go for your best outcome. That’s a different conceptualization of me.
So it’s not quote unquote w E it’s conceptually, what is it triggering in that person’s brain and thought process? So, Casey, if I’m understanding correctly it’s kind of taking if R M I approach sheet, which I nickname as the rainbow sheet, it’s in our basic membership. It’s a free membership under the skill-building worksheets, but if you look under that, It’s under more of the pre-contemplation engagement stage that we really want to avoid, like the I or the we language.[00:06:00]
But as we move more down into the focus and plan, that’s where you can start to infuse the eye and we language a lot more. You could, and this is what I’d say is conceptually yes. Technique instruction. I, I, my best case scenario is that people aren’t thinking, okay, now I can use I statements or statements once we get there, because then people will do it because it’s like, oh, now it opens up.
There’s a fluidity in the process where that may come up more often when you’re moving to the stages. So that’s what I’d say to make it even more accurate. We’re saying, I think what you’re saying is technically. True. Yes. It’s the same thing. The difference between the techniques and motivational and the spirit or the intention behind motivation, the intention is always that it’s driven by the individually.
That we’re working with. And as long as it’s driven by that individual, it’s not that it’s like, [00:07:00] okay, now we can use we statements more. I don’t want people’s brains to think that as much as there’s a natural progression of where now that we’re not face-to-face or they’re trying to pick a fight now that we’re inside their brain and there’s ambivalence now at partnership, we’re more shoulder to shoulder, there’s a fluidity or a.
There’s a natural evolution. That’s more organic that now we’re shoulder to shoulder and those, the, the language around we may come out more. If that makes sense, it does make sense. That does make sense. And I really liked that answer too, because that is a good one. I don’t want to be. You don’t want people anxiously awaiting.
Now I can make this about me. Yes. Yes. That’s it. That’s exactly it. That’s where I get nervous because sometimes people ask those questions because it’s like, okay, when do I get to put myself in the equation? And it’s like, well, am I, it’s not your job to put yourself in the equation. Yes, but it is. How do you share the right dose of information that you have or expertise in the right moment at the right time [00:08:00] to advance this individual’s outcomes.
And there can be that moment where there is this kind of, we that comes into it, that we’re on the same page, but the goal of EMI is not for you and I to get on the same page. That’s not the goal of am I, that ultimate goal is this individual moves in directions. They want to move towards without me. So, so you can have an MI conversation where we never have.
Yeah, it doesn’t need to, but it’s not inappropriate or wrong if it does. Even in earlier stages that does make it wrong or bad, it just increases a potential that resistance could be generated when you put yourself in the equation. Yeah, that makes sense. And as we’re talking about this too, there’s an analogy one I would invite Casey to bring up around cobblestones that you’ve talked about before, particularly in a professional.
Because when we’re thinking of this professionally, this is, seems to be quite a bit cleaner and clear. And I know Casey having done more classes [00:09:00] of utilizing this in your personal life with relationships and things like that, that you’ve done, there is a sort of a we energy and that could be opening a can that we don’t want to necessarily go down right now in your personal life.
But I do want to kind of. Parse that, that personal life there’s going to be things that might be influenced differently at different times. I’m kind of, maybe you can go there at some point. Maybe we could do a whole other podcast on that, but at least professionally there is that we in partnering. And I’m wondering with this cobblestone analogy, how you talk about that from a very proficient am I place an empowering place?
And I’ll just lastly, say for you to go into that wonderful analogy of yours is that. To share information. You don’t have to say I’m me or we, you can share information, very neutrally that the research shows. If you’re a doctor that here are the likelihoods, because that’s what we’re really dealing with with science and other things we’re dealing with likelihoods.
So the likelihood is that this [00:10:00] is the outcome. If this, if that, but you get to decide, right. And so we’re talking about it from a, you, if then. Informed choice. It doesn’t mean I’m not biased in the information I’m selecting to share with you. I have to be conscious of that on how ethical I’m being with all that.
But I don’t have to say me. I, or we, when I share information, I just want to say that’s really a crystal clear thing to put on the table in a. Now, I think there’s a more proficient way to go about empowering and keeping your fingerprints off as you like to say, Casey, when you use the cobblestone analogy.
Yeah. John, there’s just so much to unpack from what you said that I think is really important. And we’ve only got five to six minutes left on these, but I’m going to try to squeeze it in, in this time that we have. So the first thing I’ll say on a personal relationship level, because this literally just came up yesterday All relationship conversations don’t necessarily need to be, or would they be motivational interviewing?
But this specifically was a point of contention about that. We both want our children to be healthy and there’s been a consistency around taking the girls [00:11:00] because it’s fun and it’s kind of Disneyland dish to take them to Starbucks in the morning which I just wildly opposed to. And the thing about that is we agreed that you weren’t going to do that.
That’s going to generate a resistance response as it does, right? Yeah. And the net effect of the conversation by this morning was I cannot control what you choose to do. You just get to control whether or not you get, you’re going to be the parent that you want to be based on integrity for when you’re, where you want the kids health to be.
I know where I want it to be and what I will do and what I don’t do, but I can’t control what you do. It is normal in our mainstream American culture to say that we agreed on. That’s very natural, normal to say that, and it will generate a point of contention. So that’s when we’re in that same, we statement the difference is, you know, is, is your behavior aligning with who you want to be as a parent?
I can’t control that. And how does this behavior buying them Starbucks every day line up with who you think an exceptional parent [00:12:00] is? I can’t control that either. We have talked about it. We had a handshake. We agreed on that, but I, if I try to hold you accountable, it’s going to generate. So there is a concrete personal of we that feels in our mainstream American culture.
That feels like a legitimate conversation. Well, we agreed on that. We agreed. We said, we said we agreed. And is that wrong though? Is it going to change behavior? Not necessarily. Is it going to create tension? But is it wrong to do no. So, I mean, it’s just, that’s the entanglement. When you look at the physics of the communication style, now we’ll go to the cobblestone part of it.
And where I get into the empowerment piece with this, John, when that analogy came up in my brain, And it’s partially before we’re working on the Mica, but definitely more deep in working on the mic as specifically partnering. I was trying to think of the ultimate ultimate of what we try to do in partnership.
And the ultimate in partnership is not, the people become dependent on us. It’s that they become independent. We want to support autonomy, which [00:13:00] is one of the first constructs in our intentions of MI and our intention of the Mica. Yeah. So with partnership, when you think of cobblestone, what my brain started going.
So I’m such a visual person is I literally was thinking about if there was fog or darkness. What if the cobblestones in front of you started lighting up to take you on the path that you wanted to go on and that, and those cobblestones would not light up if I wasn’t illuminating them as a partner in the process.
I can drag you through the process. I can, I can, I can grab you by the hand and pull you along the cobblestones. Cause I can see better than you can maybe, but that is not motivational interviewing necessary. Motivationally is how do we build from within? So it doesn’t mean, and this is why it’s not right or wrong.
It’s just different strategies or styles. So if I take somebody by the hand and walk them along the cobblestone path, when it’s dark or gray or foggy, that’s not bad, it’s not wrong. It’s just not empowering the individual. They become more dependent on me to get down that cobblestone. [00:14:00] What I think a higher level of partnership is, is how do I communicate in a way that those cobblestones start to aluminate in front of them.
And they start to realize this path in front of them is lighting up the way that I explain this as like, the difference between competence. Proficiency and motivational and good partnership is I can say John, from what you’ve talked about with your blood sugar, I’ve got some ideas. Okay. If I share them with you, that’s, there’s nothing wrong with that, John.
I really believe that you and I, that we can actually work through your, your blood sugar issues together. Is that wrong or bad? No. Is an anti M I know it’s on anti-Semite but what it always reinforces unintentionally is when John struggling with blood sugar, then he goes, maybe I should give Casey. Is that fundamentally wrong?
No. Does that set up independence? No. So it depends on the nature of your role, a higher level of getting out of that. We, you know, John, we can work on this together. I want to support you. That’s not wrong, but when it gets to [00:15:00] us, we statement or a use statement, I can go to a higher level of proficiency.
You know, you manage your blood sugars really important. And there’s some things you remember that had been talked about either on brochures or whatever that’s felt like, how do I manage my carbs at night? Because I think that may be what sparking my blood sugar, such high blood sugar, and marks I’ve been managing my sugar.
As you know, you’ve been managing your sugars. But then this whole thing about carbs is kind of in creeping up. And it’s like, maybe, maybe if I journaled around that, that would be me. That would help me get to where I want to go. That’s we tried to elucidate cobblestones for him to start walking down the path.
If he so chooses, there’s nothing wrong with me saying John, from what you’ve talked about, I think that you haven’t been managing your carbs. I think you’re doing great on your sugars, but maybe we need to do, to start to do a little journaling around how many carbs you’re taking into. There’s nothing wrong with that.
And that’s MI adherent, but is the, is it the epitome of high-level partner? And my case would be, if I’m trying to support autonomy, I want to build those structures within, instead of making a reliance with on the outside. [00:16:00] And that is another construct around the whole topic, which is we is about, we’re going to work on this.
Absolutely not, but what is my ultimate ultimate objective is that John takes this on because he wants to be happier and healthier. And how do I elucidate those cobblestones on his path? So he, when I’m no longer around can start to see cobblestones in front of him. And he isn’t relying on me as a professional to find his path out of being stuck and baked into that.
Casey that’s so powerful is also this concept as well. Coming to our short-form close today. I just want to mention baked into that is this aspect of you have answers within you, you have insights within you, you have thoughts of thinking about the context of your life. It doesn’t mean, you know, the research I know, or the things that I know as a professional, but I.
Differ or give credit that you’ve thought about this, or you might have insights such as, you know, the difference between what a processed carb is and, [00:17:00] and an unprocessed carb. You’ve thought about that before having diabetes. Like you do just see if that’s true by throwing it out as if it could be. And you’re, you’re ethically seeing them as whole and full and having this possible insight and they can let you know if not, but then there’s this empowering.
Of information that you can share in relation to them already being clear of that you can educate while you empowers is the essence of what Casey’s talking about. So I will just say that we talk today also about intentions to a certain degree and how critical that is. And we talk about that in the Micah.
The MICA is a motivational interviewing. Competency assessment for those of you that don’t know it’s a tool we use and how critical that is beyond using specific words. We also talked about not othering, essentially other people and saying we as a profession versus you as the not knowing person we talked about, we are in personal life and how you don’t want.
I told you so with the weeds [00:18:00] and how your intention behind the wheel seems to transcend the very fact that you say we and that personal professional seems to matter. So that was a little bit of what we talked about today. I wanted to see, is there anything else or are you guys good to wrap up for the.
I just have to say, because it’s going through my brain, which is totally inappropriate, but I just keep thinking we, we, we all the way home. Yes. Oh my gosh. I haven’t heard of that or thought of that for years. I’m saying like, again of last time I heard that many ways was we, we, we all the way home,
as Casey said, it doesn’t mean there’s not a place for other things in motivational interviewing. This is definitely though for long. And change and empowerment and engaging the executive functioning and really trying to honor people’s autonomy. So there are plenty of other ways out there to communicate in a relationship, but this is one for sustained long-term change that hopefully resonated, hopefully helped you.
And now you get a sense of what type of [00:19:00] we energy you’re taking. We, we, we all the way home that hopefully isn’t Complaining we wait. So with that in mind Tammy, where can people send us some more questions, clarifications, comments, all that good stuff. Please send any scenarios or questions or any topics that you want us to firstname.lastname@example.org and you know, like we always say, I just always want to reinforce it.
We do this. And I, I can’t say it more honestly or more sincerely, it’s not even that we just do this for you. It’s we want to be of service. And the only way we can be of services specifically of you who’s listening right now, if you will literally get out of your phone or get on your laptop or your PC or Mac, and just literally type an email and say, you know what, this is fascinating.
Or I don’t know if I agree with that, or, Hey, could we talk about, or could I come on the show and ask you this? That would be our best cases. Yes. Yes, indeed. And to find more [00:20:00] resources if you don’t want to email email@example.com, then we can also go. You can also go to now, I’m seeing we unconsciously, you and us go.
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