Tip – Setting firm boundaries with millennial employees

Tip! It happens during the push and pull of our boundaries with people. Boundaries are not something we draw once and walk away from, they are more fluid and we human beings push up against each other’s boundaries every day.

If you are a parent or have spent a lot of time around children you may recognize the behavior I talk about right away, Iit is known as the “Extinction Burst” behavior.

You know the one, when you deny your child some toy or treat, and they ramp up and yell or cry or throw a tantrum to try to get what they want, sometimes they just go from a “please can I have that”, to a tear-filled performance, whatever the range is that they bring to the table, when you set a firm rule.

No more candy?

Cue the tantrum, Time for bed? Drop to the ground and go limp.

When you hold firm and reinforce the boundary this extinction burst will play itself out eventually, it may crop up from time to time to test your resolve, but humans are incredibly intelligent creatures.
This behavior is not only present in children but it is most recognizable with these examples.

The same type of ‘extinction-burst’ can show up more subtly in your peers, clients, staff and frankly any individual in your life when you draw a new boundary or reaffirm an old one that is being pressed.
Change is not only inevitable, it is hard. And sometimes people want to take the path of least resistance, and can get lazy, when it is change that they want, they are motivated, When it is change that they didn’t want, or that we didn’t expect well that’s the dressing room for extinction burst behavior and can be even more difficult to deal with.


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