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Top tips

Here's a few top tips to remember when you're having a lifestyle / behaviour change related conversation:

  • Always consider privacy, as the person you're talking to may not want others to overhear your conversation.  If you think you can be overhead, then don't proceed

  • Be mindful of how long someone has to talk.  If you know they have to be somewhere else and don't have time to talk, then don't rush a conversation now, as it can always be re-scheduled (where possible)
  • Have an 'exit strategy' in place, if you can see a person is unable or unwilling to talk.  For example, you could say: "I can see now isn't the right time to chat, that's okay.  If you ever feel like talking, just let me know"

  • Take a gentle / soft approach and use a 'light touch'.  Make sure you're sending out the right signals and are paying attention to what else is happening around you.  Is the person willing to talk?  You can always ask their permission to chat further

  • Find out about local and national services, so you can successfully direct people to appropriate information, advice and support.  For example, you could direct someone to the NHS Better Health or Talk Community Directory websites, if they said they wanted to be a bit healthier

  • Make sure you understand the key health messages before offering advice and you don’t always have to get too involved either