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The lights dim as the facilitator for the hour instructs her participant group to arrange themselves in front of her. She gives the instructions, she lays out the rules, and she quickly confirms with them that they have understood what is to be done before they start the task.
The timer starts and the participants huddle around, excitedly offering ideas and suggestions, pushing their opinions across or preferring to hold back. Voices raise, feathers are ruffled, egos are beaten, bashed, stroked and massaged, while the facilitator for the hour watches on. Nothing escapes her, no raised eyebrows, or clenched jaws, no subtle change in their voices or outright rejection of viewpoints slips her notice. The clock ticks on.
Others will focus on gaps in training that can be fudged a bit in the security of the riding ring but become significant issues when you're away from home. But, mainly, going back to the fundamentals will help you address larger issues of compliance and respect that underlie many trail behavior problems. Here are seven behavioral or interpersonal skills that you should zero in on when establishing the culture in your company: 1. Communication is a very broad topic that can cover different situations and participants. Of course, it’s vital with shared workplaces and responsibilities, like when your employees collaborate on projects.
Their behaviour has no script to follow, no expected standards to meet, it is observed ‘as is’. The facilitator knows that it isn’t the actual result that matters here, but what each individual does to reach this result. This is the essence of the exercise, and herein lies the difference between soft skills and behavioural training.
Soft skills training looks to shape or polish certain behaviours, in order to improve one’s relationships in a social setting. It works from the outside – in.
Behavioural training goes beyond the purview of soft skills training andbring the attention of the participant to his attitude and thoughtpatterns during his interactions with the external and his internal world. It targets the three dimensions that determine his competency for any role.
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Behavioural training recognises that the attitude of an individual is the sum of his genes and the years of environmental influence, crystallised into a mind-set. And while his hard skills (technical) and interpersonal know-how can be developed with soft skills training, his attitude can only be shaped by triggering his thinking. This is what behavioural training takes upon itself.
Take the example of Tarun (name changed), a participant in one of our workshops..
Tarun, had an aggressive style of communication. He pushed his opinion and made his presence felt at every moment. He had a loud voice and a forceful presence that he used to dominate any discussions and push his view through.
In the course of the workshop Tarun’s group came together to do an activity. Tarun was visibly excited and raring to go, and as the last instruction was given he pounced on the opportunity to address the crowd. His energy propelled the leader in him to take charge. He immediately shot off his ideas and suggestions as to how they should proceed. And then it happened. They each looked at him, slightly uncomfortable at first but gradually harder, as they crossed their arms defensively. And one by one they shot down every sentence that came out of his mouth. They found a counter argument for everything he said. They poked holes in his attempts to offer improvements. It was a united defence against everything Tarun.
What was interesting was that Tarun actually had workable points, if they had considered it. But they did not. The group closed themselves off right from the start. Ignoring Tarun, they eventually went with another’s idea.
Now, as a reader, is the reason for the stalemate clear to you? Why would the group behave in this way? Please put your thoughts down in the comments section below.
How SoftSkills training and Behavioural Training compare
If Tarun was to blame for his own predicament, you could consider sending him for a soft skills training program. The soft skill approach would tell him to adopt diplomatic finesse into his communication. He would be instructed to tone down the force of his one-man-show presentation and allow others to voice their concerns and opinions.
Behavioral Training on the other hand would neither tell nor instruct - but first draw out the emotional state of each team member.
The facilitator would do this by allowing the emotionally charged situation to develop in the training room, at the end of which she would offer no suggestions. She would only probe for realisations within the participants themselves. Searching questions will peel back the layers of external behaviour to expose underlying motivators, attitudes and mind-sets. Each participant will be encouraged to confront their insecurities, their demons, their die hard habits.
The facilitator will finally help link these behavioral tendencies, tics and habits to the consequences and challenges that the participants probably face at home or at the workplace. It is an inside-out approach and it works because people experience real consequences in a controlled environment. There is no judgement, only awareness, and a direction to work towards.
To facilitate a deeper understanding of these motivators, behavioural training uses a variety of psychometric assessments that capture and quantify personality strengths, competencies, communication patterns, learning styles, shaping by the environment, the influence of genes on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. These individual tests are especially effective when combined together, as it gives a holistic inside out personality profile of the individual.
By Zainab Fazal, M.ADS, BCBA
bSci21 Contributing Writer
On June 22, 2015, I received a phone call from a staff at a local residential home serving adults with developmental disabilities. With a lot of excitement, she asked if I watched NBC Dateline the night before. Before I could answer, in even more excitement, she said, “that guy did that strategy you were talking about in class!”
Let me give you a little insight into what she was talking about. She was referring to the segment on NBC Dateline called “My kid would never do that: gun safety”, and the guy was Dr. Raymond Miltenberger.You can check out the segment here.
Hand and Foot is a Canasta variant involving three to six decks. The number of decks used is typically one more than the number of players. You need to pick up the Foot and have one natural and one mixed Canasta to go out. Red threes are valued 500 points, always against you. And Black threes block the pile. When you pick up the pile, you only pick up the top 7 cards.
If you teach anyone, anything, behavior analysis has a secret to share with you. It’s the strategy the staff was talking about – Behavior Skills Training (BST). It is a method to teach students, staff, parents, and anyone else you are teaching a new skill. Dr. Miltenberger defines BST as “a procedure consisting of instruction, modeling, behavioral rehearsal, and feedback that is used to teach new behaviors or skills” (2004, p. 558). And that’s exactly what it is, a 4-step teaching strategy that works!
BST teaches a person what to do — that is, what behaviors to engage in under a particular circumstance.It allows for practice within the program so that the person can become fluent with the skills.It is an effective train-the-trainer procedure. And perhaps most importantly, can be individualized to each person. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Let’s break down each of the steps:
Instruction – Provide a description of the skill, its importance or rationale, and when and when not to use the skill. Repeat this step as necessary.
Modeling – Show your participant how to perform the skill. In-vivo modeling is recommended.
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Rehearsal – Practice, practice, and practice! Allow the participant opportunities to practice the skill. Recent research suggests that participants should be able to practice in-situ. The trainer should record data on correct and incorrect responding during this step.
Feedback – The trainer should provide positive praise for correct responding and some form of corrective feedback for incorrect responses.
Some requirements before you can implement a BST program include: the person receiving the training must have the pre-requisite skills required for the behaviors you are teaching, the skill must include a chain of behaviors (a number of skills), and you must be able to role-play or video model the skills.
In a Registered Behavior Technician training course I was providing, I used BST to teach various skills to participants. Any skill I was teaching that met the afore-mentioned requirements I taught using BST. Based on the feedback forms from eight cohorts, participants reported that they enjoyed and learned the most when they got to practice the skills being taught, and got immediate feedback.
Here’s an example of how it was used in the training. The skill was implementing preference assessments with clients.
Instructions were provided on why preference assessments are done, when and with whom to do them, how to use the data sheet, the materials required, and how to complete the assessment.
I modeled completing a preference assessment, using one of the course participants as my “client.”
Participants paired up and practiced administering the preference assessment with their colleagues.Participants were able to practice the skill as each preference assessment included 30 trials!
I went to each group and provided feedback on what each person was doing correctly and incorrectly.
What have been your experiences with Behavior Skills Training? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
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Johnson, B.M., Miltenberger, R.G., Egemo-Helm, K., Jostad, C. J., Flessner, C., & Gatheridge, B. (2005). Evaluation of behavioural skills training for teaching abduction-prevention skills to young children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 67-78.
Miles, N.I., & Wilder, D.A. (2009). The effects of behavioral skills trainingon caregiver implementation of guided compliance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(2), 405-410.
Miltenberger, R. (2004). Behaviour Modification: principals and procedure (3rd ed.) Belmont, CA. Wadsworth Publishing.
Miltenberger, R.G., Flessner, C., Batheridge, B., Johnson, B., Satterlund, M., & Egemo, K. (2004). Evaluation of behavioural skills training procedures to prevent gun play in children. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 513-516.
Everything's Going To Be Okaydialectical Behavioral Training Program
Steward, K.K., Carr, J.E., & LeBlanc, L.A. (2007). Evaluation of family-implemented behavioural skills training for teaching social skills to a child with asperger’s disorder. Clinical Case Studies, 6, 252-262.
Everything £5 Going To Be Okaydialectical Behavioral Training Reliaslearning
Zainab Fazal, M.ADS, BCBA, began her career in the developmental disabilities field in 2002, and has dedicated her clinical work and research in the area of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). She has worked for many years in assessing and developing comprehensive programs plans for children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), learning disabilities, other developmental disabilities, behavioural challenges and mental health issues. Her recent work includes training front-line staff and teachers to use ABA in therapeutic and school settings, and has successfully trained individuals for the Registered Behaviour Technician credential with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board. She is also an adjunct professor at Seneca College teaching ABA courses in the Behavioural Sciences program. Zainab is the founder and director of Phoenix Behaviour Services, a private practice in Toronto, Canada. You can follow her on twitter @Phoenix_ABA and reach her at [email protected]