You can make tough decisions when required. Just because you’re
understanding and supportive that doesn’t make you soft.
Everyone wants a supportive manager some one who recognises your
value to the team and acknowledges your skill and work ethic, some one
who is sympathetic when some difficulty in your personal life makes
you less effective than normal, someone who is understanding when your
naivety or passion gets you into trouble. But if you are that manager
how do you determine whether your understanding nature means you’re
going to go easy on them and defend them, if not their actions, or
come down hard because this is an important lesson to learn?
Your management style is to coach and mentor, it's to trust
people until or unless they prove unworthy of that trust. You believe
in second chances. But you are an experienced manager you recognise
that some individuals have a self destructive personality trait and
you have the reputation of team / organisation to consider. You
defiantly don’t want other team members to think you’re soft, that
might encourage them to try and take advantage of your good nature.
Alternatively you don’t want to treat some one who has let you down
badly excessively harsh just to prove to the wider audience you’re not soft.
It would be easy if you were a different type of manager more
authoritarian, less understanding, someone people didn’t mess with,
maybe someone people were a little scared of upsetting. But that’s not
you. Talk it over with HR, not to ask them what to do but to go over
your options. If it’s your style make your disappointment clear and in
private, you have been let down they will now have to rebuild and
regain your trust. But whatever you decide to do “ to your own self be true”.
Blair McPherson former Director author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk