One of the reasons for the current furore surrounding the Luis Suarez biting incident is that he hadn’t been managed firmly enough previously.
It is a real temptation for managers in business (as well as in sport) to allow their Golden boy or girl to get away with behaviour, which should not be tolerated.
And because he got away with it before, Uruguay now have a situation where he has put the chances and reputation of his team and country at risk.
It is so easy as a manager to convince yourself that the results a great performer brings in (clients, revenue, ideas, technical brilliance... goals!) outweigh the less than acceptable behaviour they may display (arrogance, aggression, critical or offensive approach to others... biting!) Isn’t that just the pay-off we need to accept for their brilliance?
That is the very mistake Suarez’ managers have made and he is now about to cost them dearly.
Each time you try and justify the poor behaviour of one of your best people by the amount of money they are bringing in or the new ideas they are generating, start to think about how quickly that revenue is simply walking out of another door as a result of demotivated team members and colleagues, whose own performance drops off or who leave rather than put up with it.
There is another thought for managers here too – Kenny Dalglish’s exit from Liverpool is widely thought to have been, at least in part, due to his defence of Suarez and his lack of action to manage his aggressive behaviour. Managers should be accountable for their teams and it is right that Dalglish paid the price for his lack of firm management.
Don’t be a Dalglish. If you have a Suarez on your team, address the issues and ensure you do not risk the reputation of your team and the hard work and contribution of all your other players.
The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...