Manager says upsetting people is part of role

What if England had lost? How would the managers disciplinary action against one of his best players be viewed? 

So some members of the England team thought the manager over-reacted to an incident in the canteen. However the manager was adamant he made the right call and does not fear any long term repercussions. He believes his tough stance will eradicate the possibility of having to discipline others in the future.

This happens a lot in amateur football. You don’t come to training on Wednesday you don’t play on Sunday. So the team’s top goal scorer doesn’t show up for training, no apology , no excuse offered. Manager says he doesn’t play but the rest of the team want him to play , it’s a cup game, he is their best player. The captain on behalf of the team tells the manager, “the lads feel not allowing him to play punishes us all”. Mind you the lad who is normally sub and turns up to training every week doesn’t agree.”one rules for him another for the rest of us”.

This type of problem also happens in the work place . An individual who has been reprimanded is a key member of the team. The rest of the team feel a disgruntled, disaffected team member could seriously undermine the work of the team at a crucial point in a major project. The team member has publicly apologised and you the manager believe they genuinely regret their actions. The rest of the team think that should be enough. Do you relent?

Stick to your guns most people would advise, it important to show them who’s boss. All very well if team goes on to win 7-0 but it doesn’t always workout. If the team gets knocked out of the cup it will be the managers fault for not selecting the top scorer. If the project over runs it will be down to the manager. In the work place this is where HR come in as a sounding board. They will advise on wether your proposed action is proportionate to the offence. But really this is not about a one off decision its about how your decision will be see in the context of the way you manage. If you have a reputation for being fair and consistent, if individuals feel they are valued and respected, if team members believe you genuinely try to do the right thing and care about them, then even if they think you got it wrong, even if there are upset by your decision they are much more likely to accept it and not let it effect their work.

Both good and bad managers sometimes upset their teams but the team get over the unpopular actions of a good manager where as the actions of a bad manager are seen as part of a pattern that leads to resentment and effects performance. 


Blair Mcpherson former Director ,author and blogger 



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