Effectively supporting positive behaviors involves making changes in three areas: the environment, staff responses, and skill building. This post is the second of three in a series that will address these key aspects to consider when developing Behavior Intervention Plans.


Another core Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) strategy involves the use of positive reinforcement for behaviors that you want to increase. Experts suggest a goal ratio of four to eight positive responses to one negative response.


As we discuss in the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program, the concept of the Integrated Experience is that the behaviors and attitudes of staff impact the behaviors and attitudes of individuals and vice versa. As staff, we can increase or decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring again. Through our responses, we can make something better and be part of the solution, or we can be part of the problem and cause it to get worse.


One effective way to analyze and change behavior is through the collection of A-B-C  data. In this model, "A" is the antecedent, the event that happens before the behavior, "B" is the actual behavior, and "C" refers to the consequence that occurs immediately after the behavior.


A positive way to effect a change in behavior is to offer praise or positive reinforcement within three to five seconds of noticing an appropriate behavior. Think creatively and consider the individual’s interests and preferences for receiving praise. Recognizing what an individual prefers and what is meaningful to her will encourage more of that positive replacement behavior in the future. Examples include a thumbs-up gesture, a high five, a pat on the back, personal attention and coming closer, a smile, a verbal comment, a check mark on a chart, a smiley-face sticker on a calendar, and giving the individual a token or a ticket.


Please add to the list of possibilities with your own positive staff responses!


Read more about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) on our Knowledge Base page.