; Addressing Challening Behaviour - Youth Work Essentials

There are a range of ways to help limit challenging behaviour:

  • Maintain relationships and build up trust by being honest, fair and consistent, and having a sense of humour.
  • Develop positive body language, for example aim to look relaxed, confident, assured and calmly assertive. Maintain eye contact.
  • Praise can be instrumental in changing attitudes and boosting self-esteem, so learn to look for positive behaviour and comment on it.
  • Be aware of what can make a conflict situation worse:
    • Talking over, or interrupting, the other person.  
    • Showing disrespect, e.g. looking away, appearing bored or disinterested.
    • Mood matching. Often people respond to anger with anger. If someone raises their voice, or begins shouting, the other person may do the same thing. This is called mood matching, and is likely to hinder the likelihood of resolution

Three Steps to Conflict Resolution

Step 1 - Listen to what the other person/s has to say

In conflict situations people often talk over one another. They focus so much on putting their own points across that they give little thought to what the other person is actually saying. When this happens, the likelihood of a positive resolution is reduced. One of the keys to conflict resolution is having good communication skills.    

Step 2 - Tell them how you feel and what you think should be done to resolve the problem

Be assertive - inform group members that conflict can only be resolved if both parties are prepared to address the problem.  So, when faced with conflict, all those involved must express their opinion.

Step 3 - Negotiate a mutually agreeable solution

The goal in any conflict resolution is to achieve a win-win result for the people involved. This may mean that compromises are made but essentially people go away feeling that there are no losers.

youth scotland