So this was a week of apologies on the political landscape. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (US Supreme Court Justice) and Boris Johnson (Newly appointed Foreign Secretary to UK Government), both issued a public ‘mea culpa’ for comments made without consideration to appropriateness, feelings, or cultural sensitivity (on part of Mr Johnson). Our feelings are our own and generally not subject to public scrutiny unless position or politics are our field.

Most users of the Mandt System work in health, education, and human service fields, where scrutiny is at a local team level rather than national or international like the examples above. However, on rare occasions, practice or more likely mis-practice can receive the glare of public or media attention. For example, when a physical intervention (restraint) goes wrong and staff or service user is injured, or when a verbal tirade by a teacher against a pupil is caught on cell phone.

One of our core mantra within the Mandt System is “Affirm your feelings and choose your behavior.”™ This comes from our belief that all of us are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. What we also know is that when our emotions are involved sometimes inappropriate feelings or words may leak out and have us facing our own ‘mea culpa’ moments; we are only human after all. This is why a team approach is so important. As a team we can look out for each other and step in or step up when we see individuals beginning to take behavioral challenges personally.

It is often better to reflect on what you did not say than have to defend what you did.

Simon Kemp