A key role of medical professionals whose job it is to help their patients and clients change, is to frame messages to maximize the odds of desired behaviors. Unfortunately, most medical professionals have been trained to communicate in ways that actually reduce patient self-efficacy by challenging their autonomy and undermining confidence in their competence.
On today's podcast you'll discover how to talk so patients will not only listen, but adopt positive new behaviors and maintain them in the face of ongoing temptation.
Mark Faries thinks a lot about why people do what they do. He began his career as an athletic and fitness trainer, and assumed that he could get his clients to do the right thing by telling them clearly and accurately what to do.
And he quickly discovered that people interpret information and instructions in ways that seemed deeply confusing and often irrational. Even something as concrete as relating someone's body fat percentage to them could have vastly different effects, depending on the person.
So Mark dove into the science, exploring the intersection of self-image, values, goals, motivations, and their relation to chosen behaviors. In particular, he was curious about the connection between religiosity – specifically the belief that the body is a temple and a divine gift to its inhabitant – and lifestyle decisions.
In our conversation, we explored how emotions can lead to action or inaction. Mark helped me understand the functional differences between guilt and shame, and clarified some of my sloppy thinking about “positive” and “negative” emotions.
We looked at self-conscious emotions, those that trigger an internal review process, and how the urge for self-esteem can function as we see our worth mirrored in the reactions of others.
We also looked at the “Big 5” personality model, and how to tweak health interventions for individuals based on key traits – “precision behavior,” as an analog of precision medicine.
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
Swearing on the Bible Makes People More Honest – Dan Ariely research
Become a health coach – study with Howard
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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