One of the key concepts in coaching is the functions of behavior. Behavior is defined as the ways and the modes that we use to explain things to ourselves, our friends, our partner, our children or others. The concept of the functions of behavior can be applied to all areas of life and can help us understand ourselves better.
The functions of behavior are as follows: Identification, action, intent, expression, motivation, impact, consequences, goal, achievement, and maintenance. An action word is a term that gives an individual or an event its identifying characteristics such as name, place, time, cost, or any other specifics. An action word then links the subject to an action that took place or will take place in the future.
For example, when I say to myself, “I’m having my coffee,” it links me to a particular event or situation (coffee) and I create a link between the event and my behavior. I may then say, “That’s great.” This action shows me what I have done; however, the impact that result from that action is not the same as the resulting behaviors or outcomes that I desired. The difference between these two actions is the result or end result that I wanted. This means that the functions of behavior do not just link one person to an event or to a particular action, they link all people to the same general state of mind or feelings.
The functions of behavior then combine the actions with the end result in order to give a concise description of what happened, as well as a description of the resulting behaviors or outcomes. A very useful acronym is MBWA – Merely According to What. An MBWA is very important because it allows clients to have clear and concise descriptions of their actions, which then allows the coach to assess the effectiveness of the client’s actions. Coaching clients then understand how effective they are in relation to their goals, and how they can improve.
These two functions of behavior are very important to coaching because they are so simple and natural. They are also very logical and intuitive. Because they are so closely related, I often use the term intention to describe them: My intention is to do x. However, the intention or desire to do it also needs to be coupled with the other functions of behavior in order for the intention to be satisfied.
When I say intent, I am talking about your mental state at the time of your actions. I am not talking about your intentions or desires, when you do the action. Because you don’t intend to hurt people or to do things in a certain way, you don’t have an intention to do those things and therefore, you do them without having your intentional state at the time of your action. Thus, your actions are unintentional, but because you have your intention to do something, your intention can turn into your desired state which then can become your intentional state when you finally act on your desired actions.
Functions of Behavior – Key Components of Success
If you want to make a major impression on people or want to improve your social life, learning the functions of behavior acronym can be one of the best decisions you will ever take. The functions of behavior acronym basically describe the four major areas of behavior which are impulse control, empathy, self-discipline and responsibility. Impulse control is all about controlling ones own thinking processes. This area can easily be improved by using the right acronym. When we say impulse control we basically mean that we are able to control our thought processes and apply the right reasoning to make quick decisions
Empathy is about looking and understanding the thoughts of others. It involves putting yourself in the place of others so that you can understand what they are feeling. It is often the first step to changing ones own thinking pattern. Self-discipline is the most important area to achieve success. People are very bad at making decisions unless they have a goal to achieve.
The final area is the responsibility; this area is more about applying the right decision making tools to accomplish one’s goals. I find it best to use the acronym PRICE followed by people’s name. For example if I want to buy a new car, I would search the internet and apply the acronym PRICE to it. In addition to using the acronym PRICE, I also would search for the company name, company website, product brand, model year. By doing this simple exercise I was able to turn up hundreds of results that pertain to the company name and product brand. Learning the functions of behavior can make any decision making task much easier.