Frances McDormand, Motivational Interviewing and Engagement

You might be wondering what Frances McDormand, Motivational Interviewing(MI) and engagement have in common. Let’s start with what Motivational Interviewing is, in case you don’t know.

“Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.” (Miller and Rollnick, Motivational Interviewing 3rd Edition) The underlying perspective of MI includes the elements of Compassion, Collaboration, Acceptance and Evocation otherwise known as the Spirit of MI. This Spirit describes the relationship between the provider and the recipient. The method of having this collaborative conversation between two people includes, the four processes, of Engaging, Focusing, Evoking and Planning.

Back to Frances and (See this article in the New York Times) how this relates to MI. Frances tells the NY Times reporter that she no longer signs autographs and will decline a person’s request. However, this is because she prefers to engage in a more meaningful connection with her audience.

Frances goes on to describe what she will do instead of signing. She asks for the person’s name and then reports that, ” I touch them. I look at them. I have a real exchange. I’m an actor because I want to be part of the human exchange.”

I think in the end the best human conversations begin with an engaging exchange and Frances knows how to get there.

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