Most discipline plans include some kind of warning as the first step in issuing consequences. This is true in both classrooms and businesses. If there is one thing that I have learned in my study of effective discipline, it is that little things can sometimes make a big difference. The way that a teacher or supervisor handles warnings is no different. Here are a few tips for issuing successful warnings:
*Make sure that the warning is written down! This may be the most important tip that I have to give on this topic. Verbal warnings are often useless. There is something about having a record of the warning that adds greatly to its effectiveness. There is almost something magical about it. It doesn’t matter if the supervisor writes down the record of the warning, or if the supervisee writes it. You will be glad it was done.
*Do not issue multiple warnings in a short time period. Excessive warnings show weakness. Give one warning only, and then be ready to act again if another infraction occurs.
*Be as unemotional as possible when issuing the warning. There is no reason to show that you are mad about giving the warning. The warning itself is enough of a consequence. There is no need to add anger and/or intimidation as part of the punishment.
*Avoid sarcasm when issuing the warning. Sarcasm is a quick way to make the situation uglier than it needs to be.
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