Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – April 2003

Volume 3 Number 4


  1.  Welcome
  2.  Promoting Responsibility
  3.  Increasing Effectiveness
  4.  Improving Relationships
  5.  Your Questions Answered
  6.  Implementing The Raise Responsibility System:
    Free Mailring
    Your Questions Answered
    Impulse Management Posters and Cards
  7.  Promoting Learning
  8.  About the book


As people in leadership positions become attuned to my approach of noncoercion, high expectations, and empowerment, they often comment that I should write a book for the BUSINESS


The mantra in the book industry is that a book is sold by its cover and/or byits title. I would appreciate your assistance in choosing a title. It will take only a moment of your time.

If you are in business, government, or in any field where you are responsible for other people’s performances or supervise others, please look at the titles below and HIGHLIGHT and COPY THE TITLE that would be the most appealing to you.

In other words, if you saw the book on a bookshelf, which title would most prompt you to pick up the book. (You are not limited to the selections below. If you have a title or subtitle that would appeal to you more, please send it.)

THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: How to Manage with Less Stress and Greater Results
THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: Three Keys to Motivate Your Employees and Achieve Greater


THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: How to Motivate without Stress

Motivation without Stress

THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: How to Motivate through the Power of Persuasion
THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: Management for Greater Results
THE INFLUENCE FACTOR: How to Manage for Greater Results

After you have highlighted and copied your selection, click on the activated e-mail at mailto:Marv@MarvinMarshall.com. Paste your selected title (or your own suggestion) and “send” it.

Thank you.


Until the 1960’s, school books were replete with vocabulary words like integrity, industry, work, perseverance, self-reliance, self-examination, honesty, character, and responsibility.

There was glorification of hard work and an emphasis on education and self-discipline. Many of our founding fathers wrote down principles which directed their thoughts and actions. Among the best known of these people were Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.

The vocabulary words noted above were the basis of many of the principles found in these people’s journals.

To the chagrin of many of us who want to retain high standards of civility, it is very common to hear expletives and formerly unacceptable four-letter words used in daily conversations.

Not long ago, I was talking with a group of students who brought up the topic of how a four-letter word was used so often in their conversations. I responded by saying, “Autonomous people don’t need to use such language.”

We talked about the meaning of autonomous behavior and the difference between it and behavior to conform to others.

The next time I met with the students they reported that, since our last meeting, they had not heard the word used.


I share with you the greatest two-word tip of all time.

These two words are the single, best advice in improving your effectiveness in any endeavor.

I encourage you to write these two words down and perhaps tape them to your bathroom mirror so you will look at them every morning as you begin your day. These two words can enhance your career and bring more satisfaction and joy to your life. They can literally change your life. If you are a classroom teacher, use the two words with your students. If you are in an educational or leadership position, use these two words to prompt improvement in others. The two words are, “Extend yourself.”

Write one more thank you, acknowledge that e-mail, make that phone call, spend a little more time with those important to you, share one more experience, help one more individual, do one more thing today that you might have put off until tomorrow.

Extend yourself–and see the results not only for the other person but, and perhaps more importantly, for yourself.


Here are five suggestions for improving relationships–with others as well as with yourself.

First, give affirmations. A simple acknowledgement can have dramatic results. This is especially important with young people.

They want to assert their independence and autonomy. Just acknowledging that you have heard their point of view–regardless of agreement–can have a profound effect on how your growing young one feels about the relationship.

Second, use quality listening time. Quality time is quality-driven, not necessarily quantity-driven. Simply give your full attention to the person speaking. By using eye contact, a nod now and then, and occasionally interjecting a clarification communicates that you are “with” the person–that you are not only listening but hearing what the person is saying. Third, share quality activity time. Engage in activities together that are enjoyable. Walking and talking; watching the same video, DVD, or movie; eating out. These are simple approaches to togetherness.

Fourth, perform an act of service. Cleaning the table or other ways of assistance in household chores, helping to take in the groceries, making that extra cup of coffee in the morning in case your mate would like it are all simple and easy examples.

Fifth, give gifts. Gifts do not necessarily have to be tangible.

Certainly a dozen roses, a fine dinner out, a new piece of jewelry are welcome, but not necessarily necessary. Try touching; give a pat on the shoulder; a rub down the back; or a hug, cheek, or kiss. These are gifts–both to yourself and to the other person.

Just remember that relationships are emotion-driven as well as cognition-driven and that it is the little things in life that really mean the most to all of us.

The connection between these and the counsel in “Increasing Effectiveness” above should be readily apparent.



I viewed your website and agree totally with your ideas. However, in order for your ABCD model to work, would it not require compliance throughout the hierarchy?


I don’t think you would want people to comply to anarchy or bossing others. Also, you can only operate on one level at a time–although we operate at different levels at different times.

Complying to directions is natural and acceptable. Parents teach youngster to say, “Thank you,” other cultural amenities, and manners. These are not “intrinsic.” They need to be taught and learned. This is the prime reason why I refer to “internal” motivation, rather than “intrinsic” motivation.

All young people are on level C as they grow. At a certain developmental state, the youngster will, for example, say, “Thank you” because it is the proper way to respond (level D) and the parent will no longer have to tell or ask (Level C) to say,

“Thank you.”


You can share and learn more about the


at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RaiseResponsibilitySystem


I am returning to teaching after a 30-year absence and find that CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT is once again my biggest challenge. Typical high school behaviors I have experienced include LACK OF INTEREST, MANIPULATION, INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE, and DISREGARD FOR


I recently attempted to implement the Raise Responsibility System in my substitute teaching assignments and have experienced some degree of success. Students seem to be somewhat dumbfounded when I explain the behavior levels and start to quiet down and get busy soon after I begin the first phase of reinforcement –identifying the behavior level.

Since these subbing assignments provide so little time to implement and reap the benefits of this system, I would welcome any suggestions you might have for a substitute teacher.


Re: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT – Most educators confuse classroom management with discipline. Management has to do with procedures.

Teach your students procedures for EVERYTHING you want them to do–how you want materials passed out and collected, how you desire them to address you, etc. Also let them know your expectations. Don’t assume they know what YOU expect.

Re: INTEREST – Let students know that if they decide not to learn, it is their decision. You will not even attempt to force learning; it can’t be done. But you will not allow a student to disrupt another person’s learning. In this mini-lecture, let your students know that no one suffers from their lack of learning but themselves–that if they decide to put forth the effort, they will be better off, more satisfied, become more knowledgeable, and more pleased with themselves.

Emphasize that the choice to learn or not is theirs, not yours.

(Don’t be surprised that when you use this approach, more students will put forth effort. The reason is that you are using noncoercion and are prompting them to reflect and self-evaluate.)

From an instructional viewpoint, tap into their curiosity–a great motivator. Have them grapple with a problem/challenge about the lesson BEFORE you start teaching. After they’re involved, then do your sharing.

MANIPULATION – Revisit level C. Discuss external motivation. When people are manipulated, they become victims. A victor examines the effort to manipulate him/her and then chooses to follow or not. In contrast to Level C behavior, Level D behavior always starts with the questions, “Will this help me become more responsible?” “Is it the right thing to do?” and “Will others benefit from my actions?”

INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE – Discuss the words “appropriate” and “inappropriate.” Pajamas are not worn to school, you no longer drink from a baby bottle, and you don’t yell at your parents if you want something from them. These are simply inappropriate behaviors. Similarly, when inappropriate language is used at school, it is an attempt to gain favor or show off. Everyone seeks, desires, and wants feelings of competency, importance, and wishes to be liked.

Unfortunately, the immature person who uses inappropriate language is operating at level C – Conformity–using inappropriate language because the person believes it is the “in” thing to do–to conform to the peer group. The person believes esteem will be gained with peers, not even realizing that the person is being manipulated by external motivation. In essence, the person becomes a victim by allowing peers to define the appropriateness of the person’s language.

With this introduction, put the topic on the table for discussion. After this little reflection exercise, you will see dramatic improvements.

Finally, review # 2 of this e-zine. Be ready to use the statement –or a variation of it such as, “Strong people don’t need to use such language.”

Re: RULES – Use the term “Responsibilities” instead of “Rules.”

Rules are expectations or procedures. If they are procedures, teach them–as mentioned above. 


Learning a procedure to respond appropriately to impulses is described on the Impulse Management link.


 Impulse Management posters are now available for purchase.



   How Teachers and Parents Promote Responsibility & Learning”

“This is an important, highly readable book for beginning teachers struggling to find techniques that work-as well as for experienced teachers and administrators tired of maladaptive educational practices. Coupling solid research with countless practical examples, Dr. Marshall has made a valuable contribution to the literature. I highly recommend this book for everyone’s professional library.”

Larry Litwack, Ed.D., Professor Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology Northeastern University Editor-in-Chief International Journal of Reality Therapy