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This tool is called Visual Analogue Scales and can be a way to get a picture of the person's motivation and simultaneously evoke change-talk. Three different scale questions can be useful:


  • How important is it for the person to do something (for example, initiate a contact with someone who can help)?

  • How much faith they have to manage the change?

  • How ready are they to do this?

How important is it for you, as you look at it, that you ... on a scale, where 0 is not at all important and 10 is very important?

0 ------------------------------------------------- 10

How much faith do you have in being able to (...)? on a scale, where 0 is not at all confident and 10 is very confident?

0 ------------------------------------------------- 10

How prepared do you feel now that (...)? Where do you put yourself on the scale, where 0 is not at all prepared, and 10 is very prepared?

0 ------------------------------------------------- 10

The interviewer can also ask follow-up questions both "down" and "up" on the basis of the scales: What is it that makes you pick a lower number? What would have to happen for you to choose a higher one?


Setting scale issues and especially asking additional questions give the interviewer a chance to uncover the different parts of the person's motivation (how important and how much faith) and find a focus for continued work on motivation. Is the person's doubt an expression of a low-reliance to cope with change or a low valuation of the importance of the change? Depending on the person's estimate, the interviewer can choose a focus for continuing the conversation.


Today’s task
Try to work with the scale issues in any of your conversations during the day. You can pre-identify the target behaviors that you want to access, that is a behavior that the person can change. Check the person's motivation and guide them through inducing, clarify or enhancing their motivation.