Professional training is vital to helping staff organise their thinking about problematic behaviours, and to developing proactive skills that focus on prevention and respect.
The behaviour management strategies presented in our Management of Actual or Potential Aggression (MAPA®) programme centre on preventing behaviours from occurring and on equipping staff with skills to empower individuals to manage their own behaviour. Staff learn how to address disruptive behaviour safely and effectively, increasing the likelihood that individuals will choose more positive behaviours.
Behaviour Management Techniques
Here are six safe and effective behaviour management strategies for remaining calm and professional during challenging situations.
- Be Mindful of Your Own Reaction.
A vital component of managing difficult behaviour is knowing that your behaviour affects the behaviour of others. What you say or do in response to an individual’s behaviour affects whether the behaviour escalates or stops. When you’re aware of this factor, and when you’re equipped and empowered with other effective and respectful behaviour management strategies, you’re better able to de-escalate difficult behaviour and help individuals regain control and make positive choices.
- Maintain Rational Detachment.
When you’re rationally detached, you maintain control by not taking negative comments or actions personally. Without this key ability, team members may react instinctively or defensively, which will only escalate a situation. Equipped with this skill, you’re better able to defuse challenging behaviour and encourage positive behaviour.
- Be Attentive.
When people feel ignored, marginalised, or not cared for, they often act out. An effective way to counter a person’s anxiety is to validate her feelings. Pay attention to what she says. Give her plenty of personal space. Show her through your facial expressions and body language that you’re listening, and you can take away her reasons for being upset—and give her a reason to regain control.
- Use Positive Self-Talk.
Remind yourself that when you’re the target of an outburst or a negative situation, you’re rarely the cause of the behaviour. And just as thinking, "I can't deal with this" might cause you to react one way, telling yourself, "I know what to do" will cause a more productive response.
- Recognize Your Limits.
Being a professional doesn't mean that you can handle everything. Knowing that you have support and backup is crucial to staying in control of your own behaviour and responding appropriately. Accept your limits and keep in mind that sometimes the best decision is to let someone else take over.
Be sure to debrief after any incident. Talking about it can help relieve the stress. It’s also important to consider what was done well and how to respond better the next time a situation occurs.
Equipped with proper training and behaviour management techniques that focus on Care, Welfare, Safety, and SecuritySM for each person involved in a crisis, you and your staff can manage difficult behaviour with confidence and competence.