5 common mistakes when dealing with inappropriate behaviour
There are times when someones behaviour needs to have consequences. But there is some common things people do that hinder rather than help that person change their behaviour. Five common mistakes are:
- Speaking in a way that the person cannot understand what they did wrong. If the words we use do not explain what we want to changed this will stop the message getting through. Making them feel bad or defensive creates resistance and this makes it harder for them to want to change their behaviour.
- Taking your feeling out on others. We can get too angry or emotional, especially if we have to deal with the same problem over and over again. Cracking it does not help solve the situation.
- Wasting lots of time proving that your right. We can get distracted by trying to prove something rather than working on finding a solution.
- Using or threatening physical punishment. There is lots of research showing that physical punishment does not work effectively. It also creates lots of other problems. This is a really poor option and if you never intend to follow through anyway, then using hollow threats undermines your credibility and respect from others.
- Punishing a group for only some of the groups behaviour. This just creates resentment and anger at the person who has caused the group punishment. The relationships within the groups will suffer and often bullying and victimisation will be the result. It can also create feelings of injustice in the whole group towards the person handing out the punishment. This erodes respect and trust and so can harm your relationship with the whole group.
What you should do is:
- Communicate the issue using I-messages and in a tone and language appropriate to the persons age, ability and the situation.
- Take a time out from the situation before coming back to deal with it if your angry.
- Think about what the situation would look like if the issue was no longer a problem and think of solutions of how could you get to that point.
- Plan ahead and know what types of consequences you can and are able to use, so when a situation arises you can draw on them.
- All consequences need to have natural consequences for the person but should limit the impact on the whole group. Plan ahead and know what you can and are able to do so your not having to think at the spur of the moment.
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