Readiness ruler

The ‘readiness ruler’ is a useful tool that can be used to explore readiness to change. This technique can open doors to change, particularly when combined with problem solving discussions towards a solution focused approach. People tend to act in a way that is consistent with what they have vocalized. Consequently, this technique is a useful listening device in opening the way for an exploration of ideas as it can promote ‘change talk’. It demonstrates a recognized psychological rule in understanding how people change and that if someone has talked about even the possibility of making a change, it is more likely that they will follow through with an action (Treasure et al., 2007).

There are two aspects of readiness to change. The first is how important change is to the individual and the second is how confident the individual is that change can be tackled.

1. importance to change

Ask yourself the following questions:

How important is it for you to change?
What concerns you about your present behaviour?
What are your desires, reasons and needs for change?
What is the strength of your commitment to changing?
What score would you give yourself out of 10?

2. ability to change

Ask yourself the following questions:

How confident are you in your ability to change?
Do you have the skills necessary for change to happen?
What is the biggest reason for you making this change?
Who can support you in making this change?
What score would you give yourself out of 10?