What's the difference between patients who say I won't, I may, and I will in response to their coach's call to change health behavior?
Care Teams who listen close for true patient motivations to change.
But even the best, most empathic listeners have blind spots when it comes to assessing shifts in patient motivation between visits. At my old job, I remember a patient that hit a weight loss plateau. I listened close. We uncovered his desire to feel better in his own skin. Beneath that desire? A value: authenticity. He set a small goal to keep moving forward. And as we closed the session he shared this: feeling defeated, he almost canceled the very appointment that renewed his motivation.
All coaches have seen this scenario play out in one way or another. It's exactly why John Moore and Twine's founders created a collaborative coaching platform. Here's the big question: if we know the natural ebbs and flows of patient motivation are coming, why don't we find ways to keep patient motivation strong by closing our between visits blind spot?
Enter Twine's latest add to our powerful health coaching platform, the Purpose Statement:
With Twine, you never miss an opportuntiy to impact your patient. This post will share 5 techniques for using our new Purpose Statement to increase your coaching power:
Technique #1: The First Pass
Prior to your patient arriving at their very first face-to-face or telephonic coaching visit, ask them to offer a Purpose Statement in Twine. (They'll find this in the Me section of the app. It also includes health screening questions that are great conversation starters.) This offering allows patients to reflect on their own. When they arrive to their visit, you have a strong starting point for some rockstar Motivational Interviewing. Here's an example of how to leverage your patient's interaction with Twine into a powerful real-life conversation:
Coach: When you think about your health, travel is really important to you.
Patient: I love traveling! I got this new camera and I take tons of pictures. Problem is, I get tired on long days out.
Coach: You want to capture every moment on these trips, and you get tired sooner than you'd like.
Patient: I know that my weight is part of why I feel so tired...
And just like that, coach and patient are off to discover what's next.
Technique #2: The Deep Dive
Sometimes patients come to us with a short-term motivation in mind. That's okay. As they say, whatever floats your boat. Here's an example of a short-term motivation:
"I want to lose weight for my daughter's wedding."
Ultimately, motivations like these lose value over time. When that time arrives, the Purpose Statement can help patients dig deeper. When big milestones, pass ask patients about what's motivating them right now. You can even use Twine's Plan Check-In to remind them when the time comes. Eventually, with a strong coach as a guide, more permanent visions for the future and personal values will start to appear.
Techinique #3: The Fork in the Road
Relapse and struggles are an essential, unavoidable part of the change process. When coaches see patients struggle, we stay calm. We know they are hitting an important fork in the road and the right coaching can transform "I quit!" into experiences that build self-efficacy and learning. How do we do it? Bubble up the Purpose Statement. For example:
Coach: You're frustrated weight loss has stalled. It's making you wonder if its worth keeping up with all this change. I'm curious, even though the weight has stalled, what has improved since you started that might make things important to you, like travel, better in the future?
Technique #4: The Invisible Worksheet
Sometimes patients need a little structure to guide the way. If you're feeling like you want to inject some zest into your Twine coaching relationship, you can plant asynchronous thinking exercises. Prompts like these can be sent directly through Twine's messenger:
- "I'm asking my patients this week to think about their values. Will you write one or two words that reflect your values in your Purpose Statement? It's in your 'Me' tab!"
- "I'm curious, is there someone in your life who has been particularly supportive to all the changes you've made? If you want, you can make the fact they are rooting you on visible in your Purpose Statement."
- "Quick question... 10 years from now, if you met all of youre health goals, how would you feel? what would you be doing? If you'd like... answer briefly in your Purpose Statement and I'll take a peek."
Technique #5: Let it Be
As coaches, you are free to use Twine simply to create a supportive space for patients to express themselves and stay connected how they choose. That's right: you have our permission to simply be with your patient in Twine.
We do it in live coaching conversations all the time. We notice our patients words and actions in silence. So, if you'd like, do nothing at all with your patient purpose statements. It's very likely the act of writing it down is more powerful than we think.
There you have it. 5 techniques to get started bolstering motivation with your patients between visits. For us at Twine, the best part about sharing features like these is watching coaches and patients work together to make them their own. No matter which technique you use (or one of your own) take pride in your ability to close the between visit blind spot every time you use Twine.
If you're interested in learning more about how you can make coaching relationships even more powerful with Twine's patient application (including our new patient-driven plan editing feature) to join us on Wednesday, March 22 from 2-3 PM EST for a webinar for patients and coaches. Make sure to sign up even if you aren't free. We'll send you a recording to view and share when you're ready.