THE BEHAVIORAL GUIDELINES

1. MAINTAIN ATTITUDE OF RESPECT AND DIGNITY. 


a. Politely greet, welcome, and acknowledge efforts of all. 

b. Calmly request space if emotionally overwhelmed. 

c. Apologize for any possible offense, including accidents.*


2. USE LANGUAGE AND BODY RESPONSIBLY. 


a. Avoid offensive words, including those of a racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual nature. 

b. Refrain from using language or body to intimidate or injure.

c. Calmly ask for explanation of any confusion, disagreement, conflict or concern.  


3.  PROACTIVELY COOPERATE. 


a. Seek opportunities to assist others, and resist urges to embarrass or undermine. 

b. Gratefully acknowledge authority of leaders. **

c. Treat all members as teammates, regardless of personal feelings. 


4.  CAREFULLY ATTEND TO HEALTH AND SAFETY. 


a. Alert an adult to any physical pain or danger. 

b. Control body movement such that self or others are not injured. 

c. Wear activity-appropriate clothing. 

d. Keep body properly groomed (e.g., daily bathing, teeth brushing, etc.). 

e. Take good care of all furniture, equipment, facilities, and environment. 


5.  HONESTLY GIVE BEST EFFORT. 


a. Calmly communicate all perceived offenses. 

b. Earnestly participate in just resolution of dispute. 

c. Put education, wellness of self and others, and responsibility to community ahead of personal image and interests.


* See Wholeistic Apology

** See Wholeistic Leadership

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WHY AND HOW TO USE THE GUIDELINES

The Guidelines is the "social code" of a healthy group.  It's a collection of social habits that will make your life easier when it comes to having good relationships with others.  You'll probably agree that many of these guidelines are common-sense and you may even use most of them in your daily life.

Perhaps more important, the Guidelines help us in our interactions with people with whom we may NOT be getting along with, have conflict with, or don't even like. This might be a parent, a sibling, a peer at school, a teacher, a boyfriend or girlfriend, whatever.


By "practicing" the Guidelines, you'll get better at getting along with people who are being reasonable, as well as people who are NOT being reasonable, without allowing your anger, anxiety, or other emotions to cloud your judgment and potentially make the situation worse.  

More importantly, if you practice the Guidelines, you are likely to have healthier relationships, and less likely to end up in difficult social situations to begin with.

The Guidelines are social habits, and like any other habit, the only way to get better at them is through practice and repetition.  Doing it over and over. You'll make mistakes, but if you stay committed and stick to it, they'll become second nature.

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WHOLEISTIC APOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP

* Wholeistic Apology



Wholeistic Apology is true apology. It is a promise that although we did something wrong, we want to have a good relationship, and it is concrete plan to prove that. Because wrongdoing is a natural part of being human, apology is something everyone must do well.

                                    

To truly apologize, we do three things: 


  1. Accurately understand what we did wrong. This means we must not minimize, ex. “Why are you making such a big deal of this?” That is criticizing the hurt person. Nor can we maximize, ex. “I’m the worst person in the world”. That is an attempt to lower the expectations of others. Both are manipulative ways of avoiding responsibility.

  2. Clearly communicate, “I am sorry” – and really mean it!

  3. Make restitution. This is how we attempt to “repay” whomever we hurt, and fix or replace whatever we damaged.

            

We can do the first step on our own, so we may find it relatively easy.  If we accomplish that, the second step is often where the going gets tough. Do we have the strength to remain compassionate? Will we try to minimize or maximize when facing others? This can be especially hard if we have been hurt as well.

            

Even if we succeed at steps one and two, the third step usually has moments that are difficult. Making restitution can be a long and painful process, because it’s hard to know what it will take to re-earn trust. We may have to work at it long after we are again trustworthy and long after we feel we’ve proven it. So, in a way, whomever we apologize to has some control over us. This can make us feel afraid, sad, and angry.

                                                

But it’s hard to truly apologize when we are full of our own feelings. Our emotions preoccupy us – we focus on ourselves, and usually place blame or responsibility on someone or something else.  If we do that, even a little, we are not truly apologizing – and others will know it.


If, when we do wrong, we can really focus on caring for others and can truly apologize, even our wrongdoing can be transformed into educational experience.



** Wholeistic Leadership



Wholeistic Leadership” is gratefully acknowledging the leadership of whomever is most effectively practicing the Behavioral Guidelines at any given moment, regardless of age or other criteria.  It is a most powerful way to increase trust in the group. Wholeistic Leadership helps us prove that we are genuine in our commitment to practice of the Guidelines. Through our own honest practice we become trustworthy group members and may lead by example. 

 

WHY AND HOW TO USE WHOLEISTIC APOLOGY

We all make mistakes.  Learning to apologize for them is one of the most important things -- not to mention hardest -- we can do.

Properly apologizing is a skill that most kids haven't learned, and one that even many adults never learn.  Admitting you were wrong, or may have caused someone offense, can seem like "giving in" or a blow to one's pride.  In fact, it is nothing more than acknowledging we are human.  

Mastering this skill when you are young will undoubtedly make your life easier when it comes to relationships.

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