I’ve been studying coaching, teaching commitment, and personal change for more than two decades, and I think that the most important lesson I’ve learned over that time is that it takes two people for resistance to exist. In other words, if we want to get to the heart of why others resist what we share, we need to recognize that our words and actions can create resistance.


The way our words and actions can create resistance is described most clearly, for me, in the research on the therapeutical approach known as “Motivational Interviewing.” As Miller and Rollnick have written in their landmark book, Motivational Interviewing (2002), “[few people] appreciate … the extent to which change talk and resistance are substantially influenced by counseling style. Counsel in a directive, confrontational manner, and client resistance goes up. Counsel in a reflective, supportive manner, and resistance goes down while change talk increases (p. 9).”

When it comes to motivational interviewing in schools, Keith Herman and Wendy Reinke are the world’s leading experts. They’re the authors of Motivational Interviewing in Schools, Motivational Interviewing for Effective Classroom Management, which they wrote with Randy Sprick. They’re also authors of an incredibly timely book, Stress Management for Teachers, and on August 20 at 4pm CDT , I’ll be interviewing Wendy and Keith about the research behind each of their books for my Facebook Live, Coaching Conversations.

You can find our Facebook page here.