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What we are up to: Positive Culture Framework Training

What we are up to: Positive Culture Framework Training

Next week, many of the HEARTS staff will be traveling to Portland, Oregon to attend the Positive Culture Framework Training to help us better identify Models for Engaging in Behavior Change; the Challenge of Perceived Culture vs the Actual Culture; and Leadership Skills. 

The framework embraces a cultural approach, is grounded in the latest science, and includes positive norms in improving health and safety. The training is presented by Montana State University.  Over 80% of HEARTS Alcohol Prevention Project strategies involve using positive community norm messages to community members to increase positive behaviors.  We want the community to be focused on the positive aspects of the community and not only  hearing negative messages leading the “listening audience” to behave in a certain negative or harmful way. 

Research indicates that when youth or adults hear media or conversational messages that only point out the negative behaviors of others, a trend begins to take shape increasing that negative behavior.  

Therefore, if people and organizations can speak in the reality: “87% of teens choose not to drink alcohol” rather than “most teens drink alcohol… it’s just what they do”; then more teens will feel confident in their decision to not drink alcohol while others may want to be associated with the ‘in-crowd’ and choose to live a sober young life.

The same is true in parenting.  If a child hears or is labeled in a certain way –

  • he’s the bad one;
  • she’s always in trouble;
  • he’s so clumsy;
  • she’s always late;

then whichever behavior is associated with that label, continues to increase. Children or most adults become the label placed on them and believe it must be true.  Since childhood and adulthood are learning environments, we need to guide positively and to speak in reality –

  • “Was that a poor decision you made?”  or   “Some children learn quicker from their experiences”
  • “This is the 3rd time you have had to stay after class.  Is there something going on you’d like to talk about?” or “She learns through trial and error”
  • “Carrying a few less things at one time may help you not drop any.  Would you like to try that the next time?”  or “He’s practicing skill coordination”
  •  “What can you do to be more prompt?” or “She’s learning to manage her time better”

As we are together, learning better how to communicate with one another and with our work-related communities, I hope we also learn better ways to impact our families, friends and neighbors and then share those experiences with you from time to time.

–  Sue Laney, CEO

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