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(Part of the PRO-ED Series on How to Manage Behavior)
How to Negotiate a Behavioral Contract, Third Edition is for parents, teachers, childcare workers, counselors, employers, and others who may want to negotiate behavioral contracts. It is designed for use under the supervision of a counselor or other professional person familiar with behavioral contracts. This many include an instructor or colleague. The format enables the instructor or colleague to review the fill-in information provided by the reader, and to use that feedback to assure the reader's proper understanding, development, and use of behavioral contracts.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we use some kind of formal or informal behavioral contracting each day, along with some form of negotiation in our interactions with other persons. With this booklet, the time for trial and error and hoping for the best when using contracting as an effective behavior change technique is past. Using properly negotiated contracts, two or more individuals are provided a say and an opportunity to suggest alternate behaviors or rewards, thereby facilitating ownership leading to greater behavior change successes. If the behavior contract negotiation is carried out in good faith, individuals feel positive about signing the contract, understand its features and expectations, know that it is fair, and have an interest in seeing that it brings about the desired changes in the behaviors of everyone involved.
Changing someone else's behavior is often a necessary and difficult task, which can only be accomplished when people negotiate in good faith and are willing to give up something in return. This includes interactions between various individuals such as parents with children, teachers with students, friends with friends, coworker with coworker, or employer with employee, to name a few. Users of this book will learn how to negotiate and draw up a behavioral contract for use in the home, school, or workplace by ensuring that (a) the behaviors to change are clearly defined and agreed upon; (b) the rewards for the behavior change, including how the rewards will be delivered, are clearly spelled out; (c) the contract benefits everyone involved; and (d) once a developed and signed document, there is no misunderstanding about its contents, delivery, and outcome.
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