The last two weekends have been busy in my house with the necessary chores of getting ready for winter. In our village we have a curbside service that comes by and sucks up all the fallen leaves, all we have to do is get them to the curbside. This is in and of itself no easy task…. We are a family of five aged from 8 to 50 and preferred technique varies for each of us.

At our disposal we have a large tarp (used to drag leaves from back yard to front, a leaf blower or sucker for the patio and roof terraces, an Agri-Fab© leaf sweeper, collapsible leaf totes, lawn mower and of course, a multitude of rakes. Now this collection has evolved over time and initially we just had a rake each. But every year we found new ways to get the job done. Part of the reason was at least once per year one of us would have a meltdown about having the do this tedious chore.

While the job remains a chore we have at least found a route to completion that works best for each of us given our different size, age and technique preferences. In the Mandt system we use a similar approach in our Positive Behavior Intervention & Support teaching. We know that all of us at times have to do things that are not on our favorite list of things to do and the challenge for those tasked with a ‘support role’ is to find the approach that will work best for each individual and allow us to ‘get the job done.’

One year the snow fell before we managed to get the leaves around to the curbside and they stayed under snow until April when we had a thaw. You can probably imagine the nasty black slimy gunk that those leaves had become after a winter left on the ground. Needless to say the job was far less pleasant when left to the spring and the impact on our lawn was noticeable also with patchy grass all summer. The analogy with not addressing behavior is pretty obvious here so no need to labor the point. What I like about the Positive Behavior Support approach as we teach it in the Mandt System is the way it is integrated into all aspects of what we do and not just as a strategy when it comes back round to leaf raking time.

Simon Kemp – SVP North America Development