Using 2 Languages…

De-escalation training and Positive Behavior Support in everyday life

The philosophy of The Mandt System since 1975 has been on building healthy relationships.  Staff in their workplace are being trained on this philosophy and are expected to utilize it every day at work.  If a full time job is considered to be 2080 hours per year, that seems like a lot of time to practice.  What many are missing, however, is that there are roughly 8,760 hours per year.  So, a full time employee is working for approximately 25% of their time.  

What if we started to ask people to use our de-escalation training and positive behavior support ideas in the other 75% of their life?  I have always said that there should not be a Mandt switch that staff turn ON at the start of their shift and then click it back to OFF when they leave work.  Let’s take a look at how this might play out. . .

The Mandt trainer is driving in to work and another driver cuts them off.  The trainer, realizing the other driver was not out to personally harm them in any way, calmly allows the other driver in and continues on their merry way to work.  When they arrive at work (whether a school, group home, correctional facility, etc.) they are whistling a happy tune because they get to teach a Mandt class today.  With the Mandt trainer in a calm and positive mood, they teach their students about the Mandt philosophy and serve as an excellent role model.  That trainer uses examples of both work and personal life so their students get the idea that our de-escalation training and positive behavior support is not something which only applies to work.

Imagine that workplace.  Supervisors (administrators/managers/whatever titles you use) can be seen treating staff with dignity and respect, since that is how we build positive, healthy relationships.  If any issues do arise, those supervisors use effective de-escalation methods with their staff.  Now those staff work with the people receiving services (whether students, guests, or whatever terms you use).  Since they have been treated well as staff it is easier for them to work positively with others.  

Imagine the students (persons supported, etc).  They have a positive, healthy relationship with staff, which makes their day go better, they learn more, and have a more fulfilling life.  They find it easier to work positively with others in their setting, because the relationships of everyone around them is healthy.

Imagine the home life of the staff as they get home from work.  While I would love to say that everything will be rainbows and unicorns, let’s not go that far.  The staff person, however, is in a better mood when they get home.  They interact positively with their loved ones, in part, because they enjoy their jobs and enjoy their home life.  

Why are we imagining this?  The de-escalation training and positive behavior support training we provide does not have to be a ‘work only’ program or skill.  Imagine a person who speaks two languages.  They use one exclusively while at work and the other exclusively while at home.  Can you see how tiring that would be?  Wouldn’t it be easier to speak one language at both work and home?  Think of our training as the language you use in your life.  Let’s use only one language.  Look at how much easier and better your life would be if you can do that!

Dr.Dale Shannon – Director Instructional Design

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