I recently saw a meme of an individual with a disability carrying a huge stack of papers that read, “If my staff had behavior support plans.” Do you ever wonder what the people served in organizations think of staff behaviors? How many “challenging behaviors” would they identify to put in a staff behavior plan?
When I worked in an organization, I probably would have been a better caregiver if I’d spent more time asking the following question. How much time do I spend focusing on how to help people served change their behavior without taking the time to look at my own? Do we ask the people receiving services what our staff and organizations need to change to better support them?
One way I have heard The Mandt System described and often repeat in workshops is that Mandt is like a “behavior plan for your staff.” Similar to a plan for someone served, the goal is to teach skills to help caregivers be more successful and provide better supports and safety for everyone. We do this by teaching caregivers how to increase awareness not just of others and the environment but also self-awareness or reflection as to how their actions effect the people around them.
Two key themes that run through the entire training are “manage yourself first” and “affirm your feelings and choose your behaviors.” One question I often ask in workshops is, “Is what you’re about to do likely to make the situation better, safer, and more respectful or is it likely to make it worse, more dangerous, and feel disrespectful?” and “If it’s the latter, probably don’t do that.”
Doug ZehrVogt – Mandt System Faculty