Motivational Interviewing

Dr. Jonathan Fader

Coaching Athletes to be their Best Book Cover - Jonathan Fader
Catalyst - Health, Wellness & Performance Podcast

Full Transcript

Dr. Cooper

Welcome to the latest episode of the Catalyst Health and Wellness Coaching podcast. I’m your host, Dr Bradford Cooper, and today we’re going to discuss a topic that will not only help you become a better coach but also a better friend, parent leader and even spouse. We will be discussing motivational interviewing, or MI with one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic, Dr Jonathan Fader. Dr. Fader is a clinical and performance psychologist in New York. He works regularly with professional athletes from both Major League Baseball as well as the NFL. He also works with entrepreneurs, businesses, schools and healthcare professionals. He speaks to audiences worldwide on topics of motivation, performance, stress and team building, and was kind enough to join us today for a conversation that is incredibly applicable to every single one of us.

Dr. Cooper

One quick update on the upcoming changes to the NBHWC National Board Exam for Health and Wellness Coaches. Most of you probably know the requirements are changing later this year, so if you’ve been pondering going that route with your career, please do not miss the upcoming deadlines or you are gonna have to take more courses and then obviously having to spend more money in the process. Our next two fast track certifications, if you’re going that round, are critical to beat those deadlines. They’re scheduled for April 4th and 5th. Or you can select the June 13th and 14th fast track, both here in Colorado and details on both of those are available at CatalystCoachingInstitute.com. We’re happy to talk through any of the details about the NBHWC or, frankly, any questions you have about coaching, anytime. Just reach out to us at [email protected] Now let’s join Dr Jonathan Fader as he shares his practical insights about motivational interviewing and much more on this episode of the Catalyst Health and Wellness Coaching podcast. Dr. Fader, it’s a pleasure to have you join us today,

Dr. Fader

Brad, I’m delighted to be here and delighted to talk to you about coaching, which is one of my favorite topics.

Dr. Cooper

Awesome. Well, our listeners know about your background from the little introduction I did, but how did you end up here? How did you come to the point of bringing mental conditioning strategies, to athletes and others frankly around the globe.

Dr. Fader

You know, it’s really funny because people who are aspiring to be health coaches or coaches or work in performance psychology ask me and are really shocked, Brad, to realize that the thing that got me into this was actually speaking fluent Spanish. And what’s what’s funny about that is you know that I don’t think that’s the typical way or avenue people get into it. And as a performance psychologist and then a clinical psychologist, I grew up speaking Spanish in my neighborhood and got pretty fluent. And when there was an opportunity within baseball, many baseball teams were looking for a fluent Spanish speaker because half of the players prefer to speak Spanish. And so that was really the beginning of how this started. And it brought me into professional baseball.

Dr. Cooper

Interesting. Interesting. So were you there before you went back for your PhD or was it kind of running parallel?

Dr. Fader

No, you know, I got my doctorate at the University of Washington, and then I went back and started working in baseball. I mean, there were some, you know, I think what people fail to recognize and I really recognized my life is, you know, certainly there’s skill and talent involved, but also, I just think to have success you need a stroke of luck. And I did have that. I got exposed to a guy name to Ron Smith at the University of Washington, who had worked with the Astros. I didn’t really even realize that sports psychology or performance psychology was a thing. I was just ignorant, I didn’t even realize that was like a career. I just thought that was something that happened in movies or tv, I didn’t realize that was a real career or profession. So when I saw him doing it, I said, wow, that’s something that’s really cool. And to me, what was interesting about it wasn’t actually the athlete part. It was more about, you know, the idea of what I call the psychology of improvement. That a lot of what happens in psychology is focusing on what’s wrong, and to me what’s so fascinating is the opposite. It’s saying, how can we take people that are doing well in a lot of areas and and create a higher level of well being and wellness?

Dr. Cooper

Yeah, I love it. I love that. Yeah my PhD was in performance psychology so same thing and how you pull all that together. And like you say, it doesn’t have to be for fixing things it can be for how do we go next level? So good stuff.

Dr. Fader

Totally. So one of the the forerunners in baseball Psychology was a guy Harvey Dorfman, and you know what he used to say was, which I I use a lot and I like a lot is that we’re not shrinks we’re stretch.

Dr. Cooper

Love that. Who was that again?

Dr. Fader

Harvey Dorfman. He wrote this book called the mental game of baseball, and, you know, he was sort of one of the originators of psychology as it appeared in baseball. It started in the eighties, and before you know even when I came to start working in professional Baseball in 2008 there were only maybe, you know, 10 or 20 people. And now every single major league baseball team has a staff of up to four people. I think there’s probably about 80 to 100 performance psychology professionals working in baseball.

Dr. Cooper

Wow, that is so interesting. All right, let’s jump into one of these aspects. I loved your TedX talk, folks that haven’t seen that, you want to pull that up. You talk about meditation as a mental skill for athletes, but also for any of us, for the person who isn’t currently integrating meditation into their life. What might you share with them about either the benefits, or maybe we could start with the benefits. And then what are some ways to dip your toe in the water to kind of get started? I’m kind of one of those guys, I’ve read the research, I get it, and I’m just not consistent. So I may be asking this question on a personal level.

Dr. Fader

Well, you know I tell this story in the TedX talk, that I had a funny experience with being introduced to mindfulness and that I thought early in my life that mindfulness and meditation was extremely weird. So I totally identify with people who are skeptics or think it’s strange or esoteric or strange or weird. And the reason I thought it was weird is because, you know, my parents did it. My parents were these kind of hippie folks who did and still are, these super warm, amazing people who would go and disappear into their room and do this weird thing where they would be focusing on their breath or using a mantra, they were focusing on. And to be honest Brad, I was super embarrassed by it. I thought it was like this really weird type thing. And I almost tried to hide it. I almost tried to say, you know, that’s like something I don’t want to talk about. But then, as time went on and I went to graduate school and, you know, the world view began to change around this. I started to realize that the same things my parents were talking about and teaching actually had a lot of science behind them. And that people, you know, in every area, from sports to performing arts to scientists were studying it. And so it was both shocking, but also validating in some sense. And so, you know, I would say to people that are interested in it, it used to be that this information was inaccessible. But now, you know, if it’s something that you’re curious about, there are many different resources that you can just try out. I mean, the things that I think that are great right now are things like head space in and calm certainly as apps. And then, you know, from my perspective, one of the people that popularized mindfulness is the guy as you know. Jon Kabat Zinn who was a professor at the University of Washington, sorry University of Massachusetts medical school. And he has a lot of great writing and research and the way he defines mindfulness is simply, you know, the practice of learning how to accept the present moment, just as it is. And I think that’s one of the challenges that we all have in life is that, you know, we all become overwhelmed by what’s to come or what happened in the past as humans. It’s very natural to do that. And so these techniques a lot are about being able to bring ourselves back to the only moment we control, which is right now.

Dr. Cooper

Love it. Love it. Good stuff. All right. Your recent book, I’ve got it sitting right here. Came out, what? 10 days ago? It’s called coaching athletes to be their best. It focused on motivational interviewing. Many of the health and wellness coaches that are listening will be familiar with MI from their training. But can you provide us with some of the key elements of MI and why it matters so much? Why it makes such a difference?

Dr. Fader

You know, I’ve done a lot of things in my professional life that I really enjoy, and what I found is that for me, the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most have been tied, Brad, to something that I find a deep personal importance or mission around. And for me, you know, motivational interviewing is more than a career. It’s more than a book I write. It’s really in a lot of ways consistent with my belief about how the world should work. And I think, you know, at the foundation of motivational interviewing is really about about being kind and accepting to others. And this technique has been really formative in my life. I feel really lucky because, you know, when I was introduced to it, I was this 19 year old kid who walked into a clinic here in New York City, and they were doing this thing called motivational interviewing. Again, kind of like an obscure topic. But it became clear to me what it was which is, it’s a system for teaching people how to listen well and how to help people to change, not because you want them to, but because they want to. And we all know in the research on science of change and the research about how communication works that you know, if someone you’re talking to, either a client or a person or a kid or an athlete feels understood that they’re far more likely to accept information you might have that could help them in their life. And so what we’re really, usually in relationships, focused on what we call transaction. Meaning, here I’m gonna tell you what to do, and you can then do it to improve or get some benefit. This is much more of a transformational approach in that it really bases it’s work on what we call relationship based coaching, the connection that people have and that that connection leads to change.

Dr. Cooper

Doc, this is great stuff, I’m scribbling here. This is great stuff, and I’m engrossed in MI. So it’s just the way that you’re sharing it is pretty powerful. Can you keep going with us for a little bit longer? Because you’re giving us a great start on this stuff for people that, especially for the people that aren’t familiar with it.

Dr. Fader

Yeah, totally. I mean, look, I can keep going about this stuff all day.

Dr. Cooper

It’s like three hours later. No, you gotta stop!

Dr. Fader

It’s like the first full day long, it’s Brad’s 1st 24 hour long podcast. Listen, here’s the thing about this. It’s that, you know, I often think about motivational interviewing as kind of a universal donor. And what I mean by that is that it’s a kind of technique or way of being that you can add to any situation to improve it. My thinking about this is that what happens in conversations between people is that we typically listen to reply, rather than listening to understand. And this technique is about learning how to get to that route of really listening to understand. I mean, what we know about humans is that emotional intelligence or EQ is really important for effective communication and that at the center of emotional intelligence are things like self awareness, self regulation, empathy and motivation. But rarely is there a way to help ourselves stick to that kind of equilibrium of emotional intelligence. Rarely is there a system that helps us to do that. And so to think about motivational interviewing and one way of explaining it is it’s actually a system or a playbook or a style that helps you to stick to more emotionally intelligent way of being in that it helps you to really listen with empathy and to elicit motivations with others to find out what’s important to them. And the idea of motivational interviewing, in a sense, is it’s a system that helps you to also, if done correctly, self regulate and realize that a lot of times when we might want to say something, we’re really saying it more for ourselves. Then we’re saying it for the benefit of others.

Dr. Cooper

All right, so how are you using MI in your work with athletes, first of all, but others as well?

Dr. Fader

You know, MI, you know, the other thing I like about MI is it was developed in the seventies and eighties by Bill Miller, who’s a professor at New Mexico, and Stephen Rollnick was the co author of the book that we just put out. And in its essence, it’s really elegant and very clear in the sense that you know what you’re really doing is very easily describable. You’re basically, what you’re trying to do in motivational interviewing are utilize a couple different techniques, and the techniques or the things that you actually do and say are very clear, Brad. And they’re called the OARS, like oars you would row a boat with. And in oars, the techniques that you would use are number one, open ended questions. We all tend to ask a lot of closed ended questions. Well, have you tried this? Do you think that this might help? And what that does in conversations is it really closes people down, and it limits your ability to explore the depth of what their motivation might be and different solutions that are open to them in the discussion. And so simply we’re trying to ask more evocative open ended questions. Well, let me ask you this. What do you think will happen in your future if you continue on this path? Well, what’s at stake if you don’t make a change? What do you see as some of the benefits for trying some of these approaches. What do you think you could do? What are some of your ideas about what has been helpful in the past? And what might be helpful in the future? On a scale of 0 to 10 with zero being not important, 10 for important. How important is it for you to try this way of doing this kind of conditioning, or eating, etc? And so that’s the O part of it. And in the A in the OARS is affirmations and affirmations are about, rather than praising people using comments that are based on pointing out inherent or internal unchanging positive qualities of the person. And then we know by doing that and limiting praise that people are going to a build their self efficacy, which is really tied to change, and it, too, is really relationship strengthening. And the R of the OARS paradigm is reflective listening, reflections. And what that’s about is rather than saying you understand, showing deep level of empathy by being able to keep highlighting certain important feelings or emotions or ideas or meanings that the person is talking about. And the purpose for that is the traditional purpose of expressing empathy. But also we use that in motivational interviewing to highlight important reasons to change that the person may not even be aware of but that they’re talking about. And then, lastly, is summaries, being able to gather all the information that the person saying and kind of show them this bouquet of flowers so that they can pick out what’s important to them about changing.

Dr. Cooper

Beautiful. And it’s interesting as you’re going through that I said, hey, we have a slide on that in our coaching certification! So we’re right on that exact path for you. What role, for somebody that’s out there and maybe they’re coaching, but they haven’t been through a training that involved motivational interviewing. What role could you help them see MI might add to their toolbox in helping other people make the most of the opportunities, the most of their pursuits.

Dr. Fader

I mean, I think that the one thing that you know as far as the toolbox for MI, my belief is that everybody can benefit by getting some kind of coaching on MI. So whether it’s taking that course you’re talking about and then even further getting some kind of coach or mentor or a friend that you can actually practice this on. When I do motivational interviewing training, one of things that we do is that we actually do a lot of what’s called real play. And with that, what that is, Brad, as you, I think know is that we have people actually practice around some behaviors, that they’re actually struggling with in their life. Because it’s, you know, in terms of learning, you know, adult learning. I’ll call you guys adults. You know, we know that it has to be experiential, and so I think learning the skills from a book is a great first step. But then finding an opportunity to get practice and get feedback, we know that that’s tremendously helpful. So I think any experience people can have where they can try it out, even if it’s with a friend who is also trying to learn and then getting some feedback on how they’re doing, I think, is a great and highly nutritious use of time.

Dr. Cooper

Great advice, great advice. I love following you on Twitter. It’s, for folks that want to jump in there with me. It’s @DrFader, and one of your constant themes is listen, you’ve gotta listen. Why is it so important to listen as a coach? Isn’t a coach supposed to tell you what to do?

Dr. Fader

You would think. I mean, you would think it. And believe me as a coach myself, I love to tell people what to do!

Dr. Cooper

Of course, it’s a lot more fun!

Dr. Fader

It’s so much more fun. And you know, a lot of times the reality is objectively speaking, we know more. It’s rare that the baseball player knows more than the coach. It’s rare that the supervisee knows more than the supervisor. The pupil knows more than the teacher. The reason to listen, so in the book that we put out, Motivational Interviewing in Sport, Coaching Athletes to be their Best, one of the things we talk about, our paradigm or our model for coaching is that coaches have kind of three ways of being. One fixing, two is guiding, and the last is following. And that typically, traditionally what we think about as a teacher as a coach as a parent is that we’re fixers, right? So, you know, my younger daughter is a slow eater, and so all day long, we’re just saying, you know, at home we speak English and Spanish, so we’re just saying all the time come, eat, come, eat. And she was such a slow eater that when she was little, we had actually a pediatrician that recommended we like, kind of rub her cheeks as a way to, like, get her to remind herself that she still had food in her mouth. In fact, it was hilarious, she would fill her food up with so much food in her mouth that we would be afraid she’d sneeze, because then all of that food would be blown out on top of her high chair. But, you know, the reality about this is that fixing is just our default. Like that’s where we go. And that is effective when the person you’re trying to teach is eager to learn what you have to say and has no conflict or no ambivalence. In other words, they don’t feel two ways about it. They’re ready to go, and they really are ready. They have no barrier to implementing what you’re suggesting. But that’s actually not the case most of the time. Most of the time people we’re trying to help, have ambivalence. They feel two ways about it. They’re scared. They don’t feel confident they could do it. They actually don’t think the thing we’re saying is as important as we think they think it is. And so that’s where these other two ways of being come in.

Dr. Fader

The other is, is called guiding and then there’s following. And so what guiding you means is learning how to use those OAR skills I just talked about to really illicit from the person what they think is important, to try to ask questions in which evocative questions in which the person themselves might be able to articulate their reasons for change. And the reason we do this Brad is that we know that when they say their reasons for change, it’s much more likely that they’re actually going to commit to change then when we tell them why they should change. And lastly is following, which is listening well, that for coaches it is probably most important. I was once in a baseball locker room and I was really trying hard, I was doing a lot of fixing. I was trying to talk to this rookie and tell him how he could use imagery and self talk and all these mental skills. And, you know, he was sort of listening and being polite. And then he walked off and a veteran who I knew really well came up to me and said Fader, listen remember man, people have to know that you care before they can care about what you know. And he was quoting Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt there. But you know, in essence, what we know is that people really need to, in order to embrace what we have to say, they have to feel that care from us, and this is New York. You can’t walk up to someone and say I care. You gotta demonstrate care and one of the ways to demonstrate care is to really fundamentally listen to people. Something happens in people’s brains when they know that other person is really deeply listening to them. But following, as we call it, or listening well, is really important for that reason is that it’s the way to create a connection with someone in which you differentiate yourself from everybody else in their life that’s really kind of giving them advice and telling them what to do.

Dr. Cooper

One of the things that we hear from the graduates and the Catalyst program is they see this huge benefit to their coaching. But as you suggested, it’s also great with parenting. And the other thing we hear is with friends and in marriages. Have you seen some of that happening too?

Dr. Fader

Yeah, yeah, in my own house.

Dr. Cooper

Me too, my friend.

Dr. Fader

Yeah, totally. I mean, one of the jokes I make during my MI training is you know, that people talk about well, you know, what about using this in your personal life. You know what you’re talking about, and I sort of say, well, sometimes my wife says to me where’s my MI now, buddy? I mean, look, the thing about this is that fundamentally my belief is that as humans, a lot of times we’re primed for our self interest. You know, we’re also very defensive because, you know, it’s dangerous to put yourself out there and so it’s really, you’re kind of reversing some of our natural way of being to be in this listening stance. But I think that in my MI work, I sometimes work with couples it’s not often but I know about it. And what I’ve seen in the work I’ve done with couples and what I know from people who really work in family relationships is that you know, fundamentally fights or not what they’re about. You know, fights are not about, you know, sex and money and parenting. You know, fights are about a misunderstanding of what is happening emotionally for the other person and about attachment. And so fundamentally your ability to reconnect with your partner or your friend has to do with your ability to really hear that, to listen to what their position is, and to show them that even if you disagree, you fundamentally understand and validate underlying feeling on what’s happening for them. And so I think, you know, motivational interviewing when I’m able to do it, which I’m not always able to do, in my home man, that’s like the Olympics. I mean, this Olympic level motivational interviewing. And, you know, the other thing is, there’s a whole other style of couples therapy called imago therapy. Have you heard of imago?

Dr. Cooper

I have not, no.

Dr. Fader

Yeah. So it was started by this guy, Harville Hendrix. And you know, imago therapy is in some ways has overlapped with MI. The whole idea about it is, you know, learning a dialogue, a specific set of way of relating to your partner that helps you to listen well despite a disagreement. And I think there’s a lot of overlap there with MI and one of things you do there is you listen reflectively and you validate. And so I really appreciate that question because I think MI has a huge overlap to personal relationships, too, because really basic human desire is to really be understood.

Dr. Cooper

Mmm. So good. All right, let’s talk about surprises. What surprised you? You’ve been doing this a long time, and you know this stuff. You’re one of the foremost experts on this topic. What has surprised you about the impact that MI can have in helping change the course of our journey?

Dr. Fader

I think what surprised me, there’s so many things that surprise me. And I have the benefit and the luck of doing, you know, hundreds of MI trainings a year and, you know, teaching people from Dubai to Mexico about this approach. I worked with law enforcement, firefighters, I’ve worked with, you know, rheumatologists in the Middle East and, you know, sports coaches a ton. I guess one of the things that surprises me maybe doesn’t surprise me as much anymore because I’ve been surprised by it so many times is that when you go and you teach on MI, there’s many people from parts of the world who notice the same truth in the idea of MI. In other words, you know there’s not much in common with culturally or otherwise with rheumatologists from the Middle East and the law enforcement officer from Southern California. But they both recognize a common truth in MI. So what’s really been surprising is that people sort of say to me, oh, this is kind of like what I do. So you know that a technique or way of being could have a similar kernel of truth for people in diverse background, is surprising and uplifting. It kind of ties back to that other discussion we’re having earlier Brad about, you know, in an essential way, what this is about is operationalizing kindness. It’s about, you know, being understanding and compassionate and accepting to another human, and that is the basis for a more honest and intensive conversation about why that person thinks that things need to change.

Dr. Cooper

Mmm, That’s good. It’s really good. You made a comment I think it was on Twitter, it may have been a video that I was watching of one of your interviews, but you talked about fear is a liar. Can you take us, I like that statement, but I’d like to hear more about what you mean by that. Can you take us little deeper into that whole concept and what it might mean in our daily lives.

Dr. Fader

I love this conversation. This will be a 24 hour podcast. You know, what’s so cool about this conversation is that obviously, you know one of the things I know about you as a person is that you’re a deep learner and that you really think about things but the depth in what you’re talking about, some of the thoughts that I’ve talked about is super appreciated. And in a way, it kind of it taps into MI because as a person, I feel listened to and validated at the level that you’re hearing what I’m saying and so at a core level that’s MI because it makes me want to give more in the conversation, right, and it makes me really have a sense that you are listening and affirming what I’m doing.

Dr. Cooper

I appreciate that.

Dr. Fader

So I have an interesting story. I got contacted by a producer and who was producing a show that was gonna be on national TV. And it was about the Wallenda family. Now the Wallenda family, yeah you know about these guys, they’re the high wire walker. And they basically were doing a performance in Times Square. And the way it worked, basically, was that they were gonna be walking, they’re from like a multi generational family where they walk on a high wire and they’re, you know, they’ve been around for 100 years and they do incredible incredible stunts walking over the grand canyon, walking over Niagara Falls. And so they were doing one that was gonna be walking across Times Square and they wanted, you know, a performance psychologist to come in and talk about it. And so, you know, I went down to Times Square and, I had a chance to meet both Nick on Liana Wallenda, and talked to them. And one of the things that I learned about them was that they were deeply religious people. One of things that they do is listen to gospel music before they go on their performance. And one of the songs they listen to, I forget the name of the song. But one of the lyrics of the song was fear is a liar. And when you think about, you know what it’s saying there was a way to kind of focus them, but it really taps, to me, it really taps into a core idea that I worked with when I’m coaching athletes or business people or whoever it is, which is that you know, my belief is that fear is so deeply human that we push aside fear, that we fear fear, that we try to make it go away. But that’s so unnatural because, you know, when we were evolving over 600,000 years and our nervous system was evolving over 600,000 years, that fear is what kept us alive. The fact that our nervous system specifically, our sympathetic nervous system was there to activate and tell us you’re in danger. And so people try to say, I’m gonna be fearless. I want to push away fear. I don’t think that’s really natural. I think what’s natural is to say fear is what it means to be human and the ability to accept and act in spite of fear and not listen to it when it lies to you and says, you need to run, you need to hide, you need to walk away. But to act any way, which is also deeply brave and human is what is the hallmark of success and successful people. So the idea of fear is a liar is to not listen to the lie that your body or your mind tells you when it tells you to run from things that could make you a better person or bring you joy or excitement or success in life.

Dr. Cooper

All right, so strategies to do that. Are there some starting points? Obviously, we won’t use the full 24 hours on this conversation, but if you’ve got people listening, they’re nodding their heads, they’re going, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s totally me. Any starting points of ways they could start to explore that, reflect on that, integrate that into what they’re doing?

Dr. Fader

Yeah, there’s, thankfully, there’s so many. And as I’m coaching people, high performers and people in all different walks of everyday life, I realize more and more I would say the first step is to realize that in order to be able to act in spite of fear, you have to condition yourself. That’s what mental conditioning is about. So for example, if you had a goal to get to be more fit to, say, lose weight, well, what would you do? You go to the gym and you would maybe eat more healthily. And so the same is true if you have a desire. If you really, really want to not let fear take over your life and to act in spite of the fear, it requires a mental conditioning program, which means that all the techniques I’m gonna outline right now you really need to practice them if you want to get better at it and ideally, you’d have a coach. So, you know, I think for most people the things that help with living with fear and being able to act in spite of it, there are a couple different things I think are helpful. It circles back to the beginning of our conversation. I think, actually that there are two aspects to help us through fear. One is what I call macro techniques, macro conditioning and one is micro. So for macro, it’s something that you’re doing every day to help yourself to condition yourself to live there. So something like that could be mindfulness. It could be taking 10 minutes every day to do an app like head space or I actually really like there’s an app that just came out that I really like. In fact, one of my favorites is the JKZ2, one that has lake meditation and a mountain meditation. Another macro approach is having a practice of gratitude. So every day, what I do is when I put my kids to bed, they say, what they’re grateful for and they don’t let me out the door before I say that. And I also, I do what I call tethering. So when I go up and down the stairs in my house, I remind myself about how lucky I am to live in this house. I’m just reminding myself how lucky I am to live in this house and to say to myself, and also, I sometimes think about how as a kid, I didn’t have a house that we had an apartment, which was fine. I really liked where we grew up, but I love the fact that I can have this house, so I’m tethering it to that activity. And then the other thing is bringing a partner or a friend into it. So texting someone on the regular say once a day or once a week and telling them why you feel lucky to have them in your life. All those things I think are seat belts to the inevitable crashes that we’re gonna have in our life that we might call fear.

Dr. Fader

And then in the micro, having something that do in the moment to help you with that situation. So, for example, if you feel something that’s holding you back or fear, one thing that’s really helpful is having a self statement or something that you can say to yourself in the moment to self coach. Imagine instead of on the sideline of a game or a field that you’re bringing that coach into your mind and they’re talking to you. And so what I say to myself, I say a couple things. One, I have a joke with myself, which is when I feel physiological stress, like if my heart races before a talk or something like that, I actually joke with myself, I say, hello, old friend and the joke is that I’m really telling myself, this is like my ancestor inside me who’s acting up. The other thing I might say to myself is something that Steph Curry says, the famous basketball player, he says, I don’t get bothered by butterflies anymore. They just start telling me I’m getting ready to perform. So I reinterpret physical, what some people might call fear as just preparation. The you know, Deena Kastor, she’s a famous marathon runner, and I talked with her on a marathon panel and what she says is anxiety is just excitement in disguise. Anxiety is just excitement in disguise. And so talking to yourself in a way to reconceptualize what it is, can help you feel differently. And the last thing I sometimes do, is if I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I just say an acronym that we used to use in the NFL when I was working in the NFL with the Giants, which is WIN. And WIN stands for what’s important now, and it helps you to realize that I may be thinking about things that are out of my control or things that have happened in the past, and so win could help me to just reset and come back to the present moment. What can I do now?

Dr. Cooper

You’re giving us great stuff, man. This is fantastic. Again I’m covering the page with notes and I come in theoretically knowing this stuff. All right, so let’s flip the mirror around you. You’ve given us a little bit of inside on the personal side with your kids, your wife. Let’s turn around specifically and ask, how are you applying your research? Your learning, your knowledge, the things that you’re speaking on to others. In your own life, is there something that you haven’t gotten figured out? It’s something that’s in transition and you’re using some of these skills to help with that, whatever it is you’re working on?

Dr. Fader

Well, you know what? What I really feel so grateful for and what I really love about work is that it’s endlessly complicated. I think some people would be like, don’t give me a job like that. But people are endlessly complicated and in a wonderful way. And I’ve never met two humans I’ve coached that have been identical. And everybody has a different, I had a wonderful supervisor when I was being trained, who said he thinks of himself as a jungle guide and that, every single person he talks to has a different jungle. I mean he’s been in a lot of jungles, but everyone has different flora and fauna. And so I think the way that I have been really working on using the skills that I teach in terms of motivational enhancement of motivational interviewing is that, you know, here, look, I have a team in New York and units where there’s 30 of us, therapists and coaches and you know, in this group, me and the co founder were leaders. And I find that as leaders, you know, there’s two ways to be a leader. One is transactional, another one is transformational. Transaction was like, hey, can you get this done? And I think anyone who’s a supervisor or parent, or in any capacity helping others knows what that’s like. There’s this strong desire to to kind of progress to the mean here and just be a transactional leader meaning, hey, I need you to do this and we need to achieve this goal. And so we’re like, really use motivational interviewing a lot. And I think still I’m working to get better at it is in the leadership role, So really trying to make an effort to really deeply listen to what people’s perspective is, regardless of whether I agree with it, regardless off my viewpoint. And I think, Brad, you know, to combine what I was saying before, one of things that’s been most helpful to me is actually what I say to myself in these conversations sometimes is I just say literally to myself, just listen. Because my mind gravitates to what I’m gonna say next. And so you know, to your question about what am I struggling with, I think that’s a continual struggle, so much so that in the book, the book coaching athletes to be the best. We have a whole chapter that’s called MI mindset, and the chapter is about the fact that you know you can have an intention to use a particular technique, but unless as a person, you’re coming at it from the right perspective. In other words, you’re relaxed and you’re not trying to make a certain outcome happen. It’s not gonna work right. And so what I still work on is, you know, really being calm and focused and coming to what we call a full stop, really just being there with the person that I’m trying to help or lead.

Dr. Cooper

So good, so good. Last question. Any final words of wisdom you want to pull in that I haven’t teed up with a specific question that lead you down that path that will help others who are trying to do that? They’re trying to help others improve their health and wellness? Have we missed any key aspects to MI or other aspects that you’re involved with that would help them help others in this area of health and wellness?

Dr. Fader

You know, I don’t know if it’s words of wisdom, but there is a quote that comes to mind that I think about, I’m not even sure who said it. But it sticks with me and it, you know, I think we have a tendency to try to be the expert, and there’s a big demand for us to show people, you know, and I think that sometimes that leads us really trying to focus on being right. And so this quote, I fall back on myself and I think, really is the heart of it is you know, if you have the choice, you have to make a choice between being kind and being right. Always choose being kind because if you’re kind, you’ll always be right.

Dr. Cooper

Well, great way to wrap up Dr Fader. Such a privilege. Everybody again that book is Coaching Athletes to be their Best, Motivational Interviewing in Sports. Clearly, from our conversation today, you can tell it’s not just for athletes, so definitely worth checking out, Dr Fader. Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it. We’ll definitely be following you.

Dr. Fader

Brad it has been a blast. Thank you so much. And hey, thanks for all the detailed work you did in trying to research some of the stuff we’re talking about in the book. I I hope it helps all your listeners.

Dr. Cooper

I really appreciate that. Thank you, sir. How great was that? Those of you who have been through the Catalyst Wellness Coach Certification likely recognize some of those concepts the OARS technique and the emphasis on listening, to name just a couple. But wow, what a great mini course on the application of motivational interviewing from, frankly, one of the top minds in the field. Again, his book is titled Coaching Athletes to Be their Best, Motivational Interviewing in Sports. Thanks for joining us and thanks for passing along this podcast to others and a big time thank you to those who have taken the time to leave us five star ranking and a review in iTunes as that helps other people to find us. In addition to iTunes, we’re excited to now be on all the major podcasts outlets, including Spotify, Pandora and Google. So thank you for your encouraging support. And if you prefer one of those outlets, they’re ready for you. Now it’s our turn to put it into practice, isn’t it? We learned a lot today about how to be a more effective coach, parent, friend, leader, or spouse. Let’s live out that better. That will allow us to have a more positive influence on the world around us, starting right now, thanks again for joining us. This is Dr Bradford Cooper signing off. Make it a great rest of your day and I’ll speak with you soon on the next episode of The Catalyst Health and Wellness Coaching Podcast.