CPI’s Five-Step Approach to Setting Limits is a productive way to deal with out-of-control individuals.
1. Explain which behavior is inappropriate.
Saying “Stop that!” may not be enough. The person may not know if you are objecting to how loudly he is talking or objecting to the language that he is using. Be specific.
2. Explain why the behavior is inappropriate.
Again, don’t assume that the person knows why her behavior is not acceptable. Is she disturbing others? Being disrespectful? Not doing a task she’s been assigned?
3. Give reasonable choices with consequences.
Instead of issuing an ultimatum (“Do this or else”), tell the person what his choices are, and what the consequences of those choices will be. Ultimatums often lead to power struggles because no one wants to be forced to do something. By providing choices with consequences, you are admitting that you cannot force his decision. But you can determine what the consequences for his choices will be.