Being ‘Right’ or Being Effective?

In almost every instructor level workshop I teach, I am asked the question about how to respond to staff who are resistant to some of the concepts and skills taught in The Mandt System. Most of the time, these questions revolve around staff feeling that the system is not restrictive enough. These questions can be challenging and involve many different factors.

Whether instructors are teaching conflict resolution in schools, hospitals, group homes, or any other service setting, they should keep in mind that the resistance they are receiving is likely linked to the staff’s personal experience. Society conditions us to feel that it’s ‘right’ for someone to receive an aversive consequence when they do something that is considered wrong or bad so when we are teaching and having staff engage in the conflict resolution activities in The Mandt System, it can feel counterintuitive to them.

Any crisis prevention intervention training must be effective for it to be worth teaching in the first place. Acknowledging that many of the concepts and skills taught in The Mandt System may not feel right to staff can be important to answering some of these questions. Then we can take the conversation to what may seem right is often not effective at maintaining safety as many of the ways staff want to respond often end up escalating situations more. Affirming our feelings, managing ourselves, and choosing responses that we know are more effective at helping people deescalate and feel safe is what The Mandt System training is all about. 

Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty

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