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I can respond in 10 different ways?

It can begin to get you down when whatever you do nothing changes. It is useful to be able to mix up your responses. If something is not working you might need to try a different way. We have identified 10 different styles of response. These are placed on a curve to show which responses are more positive and which can lead to more negative outcomes. It uses a series of terms to describe the styles. These are not definitions but guides to help provide a common language and practical descriptive tool.

The extremes in response styles are generally neither helpful to the person nor to those dealing with the behaviour. Ideally, maintaining a positive approach means using styles ranging from support to reprimand. That should not stop you using the other response styles in some circumstances. As long as you have a plan and good reason as to why you chose a response style, then any option may provide a means to achieve positive behavioural change.
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The Style Descriptions

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Intervening to solve the issue when the person involved refuses to take responsibility for their behaviour and/or solving the issue. They are ‘rescued’ from the situation. Being disrespectful to someone and a friend intervening to stop it escalating into a fight is an example.
The blatant use of a highly valued reward (reinforcer) to obtain the desired behaviour. The bribe is used as a payment for cooperation rather than a reward after completion. The person is motivated externally by getting the reward. The expectation of the reward is up front by forming an agreement and it is the main reason for performing the activity/behaviour. It becomes the only reason for the person to comply. Offering a child a chocolate bar to stop acting out is using a bribe.
Working alongside and providing assistance. By supporting you help the person complete the task. For example, helping clean up a room with them versus their doing it alone, or helping them come up with an appropriate I-message during a dispute.
The use of small rewards to obtain appropriate behaviour, generally once a task is completed. It can be provided unexpectedly when the individual has shown internal motivation. By completing this task (e.g. clean their room), they can then do something they like (e.g. play video games). There might be times when the reward is known at the outset but not to the extent that you are bribing them. The reward is not the main or only reason to comply.
Reinforcing appropriate behaviours through encouragement. This occurs during and/or at the end of the behaviour. 'Keep up the good work" or ‘You did a great job on your chores yesterday. Lets get them finished today’.
Providing one-to-one feedback to the person. In a coaching style, you demonstrate required tasks, make suggestions, provide advice, discuss areas of improvement, promote reflection and encourage when performance is not satisfactory. You might coach someone asking ‘what is different today from other days when you did you chores no problems?’
Drawing attention to and promoting reflection on inappropriate behaviours without placing your own value judgement or interpretation on the behaviour. Asking ‘Do you think [a behaviour] is fair?’ is challenging depending on the tone and body language. Ideally, it starts a discussion and the person reflects on the situation and comes to their own conclusions. Your interpretation or value judgement may still be provided after their reflection. 'Is it fair that everyone else does the cleaning up while you sit there doing nothing? Well I don’t think so’.
Judging a behaviour to be inappropriate and immediately singling it out as unacceptable. ‘That is not OK’ or ‘That is unfair’ are examples of reprimands. A value judgement is placed on the behaviour with the demand that the behaviour must change. ‘It’s not fair to the others that you do nothing while they do all the chores!’
Providing some type of consequence for the behaviour. It uses a 'punishment' to create an adverse condition which is something people try to avoid. This should never involve physical aggression. Instead it could include a range of possibilities such as loss of privileges, doing extra work, or detention. The consequence for getting home late might be reduced visiting time or not being allowed to go out for the rest of the week.
Negative action taken not as a means of providing consequences in order to learn, but in retaliation or out of vindictiveness. The adverse condition presented is emotionally charged and motivated, rather than just a logical consequence of the behaviour. Revenge would be spreading nasty rumours about a person after you had a disagreement with them.

Download this information about the response curve. (This document is released under a creative commons licence. See document for details.)
The American Camping Associations Camping magazine May 2014 addition, published our article explaining the ten styles. The magazines readers are staff working with a wide range of young people at summer camps in the USA. The article is available to read online at
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