Reposted from healthresearchfunding.org
William Glasser introduced the Choice Theory of Behavior Management in 1996. It is based on one core idea: that the most important need that people have is love and belonging. In order for anyone to be able to satisfy any of their needs, they must have a certain closeness or a feeling of connectedness with the family, friends, and acquaintances they care about.
This causes the Choice Theory of Behavior Management to put forth 3 statements.
- The only thing that humans do is behave.
- Almost all of the behaviors that we have are chosen behaviors.
- Because of our genetics, we are driven to satisfy our basic needs, which are love and belonging, survival, power, freedom, and fun.
What Glasser proposed through this theory is that behaviors could change if we stopped focusing on external control as a basic need to be satisfied. External control destroys the satisfaction which comes from relationships and is blamed within the theory as being the source of nearly all individualized human problems.
By being supportive instead of critical, encouraging instead of blaming, and listening instead of complaining, we can make real choices to change our behavior.
How the Choice Theory of Behavior Management Is Able to Work
According to Glasser, the ability to choose new caring habits is based on our recognition of specific axioms about our behavior. An axiom in this instance would be defined as a proposition that is regarded as being true through self-evidence, allowing it to become established and then accepted.
There are 10 unique axioms within the Choice Theory of Behavior Management that are implemented when attempting to modify behavior on a personal level.
1. There is only one person whose behavior can be controlled and that is our own.
2. The only thing that we can offer to other people in an attempt to influence their behavior is information, allowing other people to make their own choices.
3. Every long-lasting psychological issue that is being experienced by humanity today are problems that have come from broken relationships.
4. Problematic relationships are always a component of our present life.
5. The events which occurred in the past help to define the people we are today. The experiences learned from those events are only able to satisfy our basic needs in the current moment, but they will plan to continue meeting those basic needs in the future.
6. If we are able to satisfy the pictures we have in our Quality Worlds, then we are able to satisfy our basic needs in this moment.
7. The only thing that humans actually do is behave.
8. Our behaviors are comprised of four different components. We think, then we feel, then we act. Physiology is the fourth component of behavior.
9. All behavior might be chosen, but we only have complete control over how we think and how we act. People have indirect control over their feelings and their physiology based on how we each choose to think and act.
10. Total behavior is an action that people can take.
How We Transition from Total Behavior to Meeting Needs
Instead of having choices shaped by rewards or consequences, the Choice Theory of Behavior Management suggests that we always have the ability, at some level, to make choices that control our behaviors. We are motivated, but only by what we want at that very moment.
This is what the creation of a Quality World is all about. We compare our Quality Worlds to our perceptions after we’ve engaged the four components of our behavior. Once this comparison has taken place, then we can transition toward meeting our needs through the behavioral choices that have been made.
Glasser suggests that this is why it is important to continually build and maintain positive relationships with other people. By forming alliances with individuals who have a similar or shared vision, it becomes possible to pursue common goals. This allows for collaborative work to be achieved.
What Is the Quality World in Choice Theory?
When an individual has the need to feel satisfied, but total satisfaction is not met, then there will be a desire to seek out a nurturing environment. This is the Quality World. It is the place where we have our basic needs met in a different way. It may be through values, beliefs, or even activities that we decide to either add or delete from this world.