Learn, Do Not Copy!

Work with an individual to identify and agree the factors which will motivate them to manage their behaviour

For an individual to successfully make adjustments to manage their behaviour, they must have the right motivation. They must have a good reason to make the necessary changes because changing habits is difficult so there must be some sort of incentive in them to put in the requisite effort.

Motivation will vary between individuals and the right motivation for a particular person will depend a lot on the things that are important to them or what makes them ‘tick’. You will need to discuss with the individual what they think will be the right incentive for them to encourage behavioural change.

It is also useful to ensure that the motivation is directly related to the behaviour change (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly, they are more likely to get a girlfriend). There are times when it may be necessary to have an unrelated incentive (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly they reward themselves with an extra chocolate bar each week), however for long-term success it is important that the motivation comes directly from the behaviour itself.

Some examples are:


Behaviour to manage betterMotivation
Telling liesPeople will be more likely to believe them in future
Assaulting othersWill not be detained under the MCA again
Damaging own propertyWill have more money to buy other things
Verbal abusePeople will be more likely to listen

Encourage the individual to consider the impact of their behaviour

Following a behaviour by an individual, it will be useful to encourage them to consider the impact that their behaviour has had on themselves and others as part of a debrief.

This can help an individual understand the consequences that their behaviour has and can build motivation to manage it better in the future.

Some of the repercussions of the behaviour may be:

  • Injury to self or others
  • Exclusion from activities in the future
  • Friends/family/staff not wanting to associate with them
  • Embarrassment
  • Damage to or loss of property (own or others)
  • Financial costs
  • Police intervention/prosecution/litigation
  • Upset, anger or sadness to themselves or others
  • Being late for an activity or the activity being cancelled
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased health or hygiene

Support the individual and others to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations

Part of your role as a health and social care worker will be to support individuals (and others) to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations.

To do this, you will first need to have spent time with an individual and understand the kind of situations that may result in an inappropriate behaviour. This information could be obtained from observations or previous experiences as well as from the individual’s family, other professionals and their care plan.

You can help an individual recognise their behavioural responses before, during and after a situation has occurred.

If a behaviour is regular you can discuss it with them using their preferred communication methods whilst they are at baseline. You may want to discuss the triggers for the behaviour, the behaviour itself, the negative consequences of the behaviour and what they might like to try in future to manage the behaviour and obtain a more favourable outcome.

When a situational trigger occurs, you can help an individual to manage it by offering support and guiding them through the alternative behaviours that you may have previously discussed.

After a behaviour has occurred and the individual has returned to baseline, it will be useful to have a debrief and discuss the repercussions of the behaviour (this could include positive reinforcement if they have managed the situation well).

Describe why it is important to establish a professional relationship

Study Notes

It is important to establish a professional relationship so that the individual understands that although you would like to help them, there are professional boundaries that must be maintained.

This can include things like disclosing information that has been told to you in confidence for safeguarding purposes and not meeting up outside of work. The difference between personal and working relationships can be found here.

Initially some individuals may not want to have a relationship with you at all – they may be disengaged or confrontational. It is important to work hard on these relationships and over time build rapport, common interests and trust to increase the efficacy of the support that you provide.

The more time you spend with an individual to help and support them, the more trust you will establish and this will pave the way to the individual being more accepting of any ideas you have to help them to manage their behaviour.

Describe the potential effects of the environment and the behaviour of others on individuals

The potential effects that the environment and the behaviour of others can have on individual include:

  • Discomfort e.g. too hot, too cold, too noisy, too quiet, too cluttered etc.
  • Other’s behaviour may scare or intimidate
  • Other’s behaviour may be mimicked
  • Boredom, under-stimulation
  • Unexpected circumstances
  • The communication of others
  • Level of support and guidance