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Managing Inappropriate Behaviour

In many cases, “workplace banter” can cross the line and quickly become inappropriate. Our work brings clarity to where humour and behaviour tips into something that is not OK, creating clearly defined boundaries.

The way we work with you is built around our 4 key steps:

Diagnose Create Apply Maintain

Inappropriate workplace behaviour is often not overtly discriminatory and may not amount to bullying. The people involved are, in fact, often unaware of the effect they are having. Even so, there is usually something happening to make people feel uncomfortable.

Left unchecked, things can deteriorate until it becomes damaging to workplace relationships and productivity. For example:

  • Workplace banter and jokes cross the line, making people feel uncomfortable
  • Lack of courtesy amongst team members starting to cause resentment
  • Sarcastic comments which are wearing people down
  • Behaviour that may be misjudged, but falls under the definition of sexual harassment
  • Increased use of instant messaging groups which can quickly stray into inappropriate territory

The move to more flexible working from a variety of locations has only served to blur behavioural lines further than ever.

We work with you to understand what’s going on, the underlying causes and how managing inappropriate behaviour in the workplace can make a difference.

Armed with this knowledge, we design a programme to help bring clarity to where the behavioural lines are and equip everyone to know what to do if they see or experience behaviour crossing the line

Our approaches may include:

  • Workshops for team members to help individuals understand the subtle and often unconscious ways in which their attitudes and behaviours impact others
  • Workshops for managers to help them clarify where “the line” is with their team and confidently step in when behaviour starts to cross that line
  • Workshops that support a drive for more diverse and inclusive workplaces, such as understanding unconscious bias at work and how biases can lead to stereotypical thinking, inappropriate comments and decisions
  • Workshops to help everyone understand what constitutes Sexual Harassment and how to prevent it happening in the workplace, in line with the upcoming statutory code of conduct
  • Our specialist Risk to Reward coaching to support individuals whose behaviour has crossed the line

The combination of approaches we suggest will always include:

  • Advice on positioning (we explode a few myths around this subject area, such as “this is political correctness gone mad” and “we can never have a laugh and a joke”)
  • Identifying where “the line” is in terms of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour (for example, when does “harmless workplace banter” become inappropriate)
  • Raising awareness around the impact of communication – both verbal and non-verbal
  • Identifying tangible actions which will make a difference
  • Ensuring that sessions are led by facilitators who are able to sensitively facilitate discussions on difficult topics, where there are often “blurred lines”

Because research tells us only 15% of participants apply what they have learned, we work hard to support you in following up the workshops and ensuring learning sticks. This is a key point of difference with Focal Point.

Our approach is outcome-orientated at every stage, with a huge emphasis on transferring learning, creating new habits and embedding skills.

Risk to Reward Coaching

When someone in your organisation is behaving in an inappropriate or unacceptable way the risks are huge, to your staff, to your reputation and to your bottom line. We provide specialist one to one support for individuals whose behaviour has crossed the line.

The behavioural areas we tackle

  • Inappropriate behaviour and comments fuelled by alcohol or drugs
  • Sexist and racist comments – often brushed off as “banter”
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Demeaning, undermining and patronising comments
  • Aggressive or manipulative behaviour – particularly using a position of influence

We have developed a specialist, results-oriented coaching approach from years of working with people whose behaviour is putting other staff and the company at risk.


What our clients say