Preview & Recording of Mark Valenti’s Webinar on “Motivational Interviewing” for the Workplace


Today, I hosted and moderated the latest in our KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Webinar series.

I'm really excited that the presenter will be Mark Valenti — he's been a bit of a mentor and coach for me on the topic of “Motivational Interviewing,” something I've really found helpful these past few years.

Click here to register to view the recording of the webinar, which is intended to provide tips for leaders and managers:

From Ambivalence to Action: Leadership Lessons from Motivational Interviewing

From the webinar description:

“Most people struggle with changing their behavior. Changes seem overwhelming and unreachable. As professionals, we often support, educate, and coach people to continuously improve behavior. You are invited to join your colleagues for a unique webinar that will help you build your change coaching skills and learn new approaches to communication.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The history and common misperceptions about Motivational Interviewing
  • The 3 crucial elements of behavior change
  • Successful applications of Motivational Interviewing to real-life workplace situations
  • Some tips to start applying the concepts”

You can hear a short podcast preview that Mark and I recorded (and a transcript can be found at the end of this post):

Here is a longer podcast that I did with Mark and Motivational Interviewing back in April of 2018:

I hope you'll join us for the webinar!

Webinar Preview Podcast Transcript

Mark Graban: Hi, everybody. This is Mark Graban from KaiNexus. Today, we're doing a quick preview of our next webinar. It's going to be help on September 10th at one o'clock Eastern. The title of the webinar is “From Ambivalence to Action — Leadership Lessons for Motivational Interviewing.”

If you would like to register for that, you can go to this page. If you are hearing this podcast after September 10th, you can look for the recorded webinar library, where the recording of this session will be for you to watch.

We'll also put the full audio of the presentation here in the podcast feed. We're joined today by the presenter of the webinar, Mark Valenti, and we're going to talk a little bit here as a preview. Mark, how are you today?

Mark Valenti: Great, Mark. I'm doing really well. How are you?

Mark Graban: I'm doing well. I'm excited about the webinar. I've been really interested in motivational interviewing, and you've been really helpful to me, helped me to learn, and mentoring me with some of my understanding.

Personally, I'm always excited about the webinars, but I'm super psyched about this one. Can you give the listeners a little bit of a background about yourself and your professional background?

Mark Valenti: Yeah, thanks, Mark. I appreciate that introduction on this. I personally have been intrinsically motivated to use that term — which we'll talk about, of course, as part of the webinar — and then helping spread the word about this. I appreciate the opportunity to do that.

My background is very varied, let's just say. Behavioral health, working in Western Pennsylvania, Western Psychiatric Institution in clinic on the outpatient side. Also, in practice management and in operations.

It really gave me a chance to mesh the behavioral health, behavioral change background that I saw in more of a clinical side with employees and team members. How does the same sort of philosophy and strategies we use for one group — patients, families, and communities — apply to the people we work with every day?

My interest in this is really just how do we help activate people to reach the goals that they've set for themselves? That's part of what I want to talk about when we do our webinar.

Mark Graban: I think that sounds like a really good description of leadership, to help activate people and to be a helping leader. There's going to be, as you said, a lot covered in the webinar. Again, to serve as a little bit more of an introduction, a lot of listeners might not know what motivational interviewing is.

If you can touch on that, maybe also touch on, like the word ambivalence in the title, From Ambivalence to Action. There's a particular meaning of that word. Then maybe also talk about, what is the connection in this methodology to what we do as leaders?

Mark Valenti: That's a great way to frame this. Motivational interviewing is something, especially in the last few years, because it's really been almost a buzz phrase. A lot of people throw it around in not only healthcare, but in a lot of different areas, everyone to sales to just process in general.

Motivational interviewing is something that's often misunderstand. People say things like that, “Is that really how you interview people for jobs?” which is behavioral-based interviewing. That comes up a lot, actually, for people that may not know.

There's also people that say — especially in the healthcare field, who say — “You know what? I don't really have time to talk with people and do ‘therapy' with them. I don't have time to talk with patients about how they feel.”

Motivational interviewing, quite simply, is how do you help people change their behavior? It's helping people change.

It's really an opportunity to connect your goals as a healthcare practitioner or a manager with the goals of the person that you're connecting with.

How do you find some mutually agreeable partnership on moving both goals forward? Motivational interviewing is truly pulling out that intrinsic motivation from, whether the patients, or the team member, as you talked about, on a nonclinical side.

That word ambivalence, as you mentioned, is really about being a human being, how we are every day faced with countless decisions on whether I eat this apple or whether I eat this donut. Whether I take this long way to work, so I'm less likely to get there when the boss gets there, or whether I get there super early to try to hide out.

In both those examples, it's people making decisions and deciding did they want to sustain a behavioral, or do they want to change? That ambivalence is really a complex, human approach. Motivational interviewing is helping people work through their own ambivalence.

Mark Graban: We'll hear more about that in the webinar. Again, that's going to be held September 10th, will be the live session, one o'clock Eastern. If you miss the live session or you can't attend it, please go ahead and register.

You'll receive a link to the recording page, or if you're listening to this, you haven't registered, and it's after September 10th, again, you can go to and look for the on-demand library. Is there anything else that you'd want to add here just in terms of introductions and preview, Mark?

Mark Valenti: I think this was a great overview, and I think it's a good opportunity to get people hopefully interested to hear more about what does it take to help people work through a lot of the complicated changes in their lives? Thanks for that opportunity.

Mark Graban: Sure. Thank you for making the time to do the webinar. I appreciate your intrinsic motivation.

Mark Graban: We're not paying you to do this. [laughs]

Mark Valenti: That's fair. You're not supposed to tell everybody that, but yes, you are right. Intrinsic motivation is the key here.

Mark Graban: Now, I feel like we're taking advantage of you. No, I think it's a good… [laughs] Thank you for partnering on the webinar. The other thing I'd scribbled down here, just talking about confusion. People might also think of motivational speaking.

This is not about learning how to be some sort of forceful, charismatic speaker, to help your employees do what you want them to do. That's not what this is at all, right?

Mark Valenti: Great point. We're not trying to turn people into Tony Robbins, be out there, and speak in front of everybody. Agree, good point.

Mark Graban: We're tapping into intrinsic motivation, instead of trying to be better at externally motivating people, right.

Mark Valenti: Great point.

Mark Graban: Again, as we wrap up here, we've been joined today by Mark Valenti, who's going to be our presenter for the webinar September 10th, From Ambivalence to Action — Leadership Lessons for Motivational Interviewing.

Mark, again, thank you in advance for doing the webinar, and thanks for joining us today to do the preview.

Mark Valenti: It's my pleasure, Mark. Thank you.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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