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New Solutions to Repetitive Old Problems … ‘Dealing With Difficult People’ Fourth Annual University of Leeds Learning & Teaching Conference. Ian Lawrence Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Who Are ‘Difficult People’?. Who Are ‘Difficult People’?.
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New Solutions to Repetitive Old Problems … ‘Dealing With Difficult People’Fourth Annual University of Leeds Learning & Teaching Conference Ian Lawrence Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Who Are ‘Difficult People’? • Look in the mirror! • Family issues at Xmas? • Who did you fall-out with? • Why? Give me 5 typical reasons! • What would make you behave 100% of the time? • Most problems are with our managers/supervisors … but aren’t we all managers at some level? • Poor management causes large scale employee dissatisfaction • Research: How long you stay and what you contribute depends on the relationship with your immediate supervisor or manager
Applications of Football Management Research • Why? • Media attention intensifies the problems and accelerates them • High profile managers are the best practitioners … demonstrated by their results • In business they are difficult to identify … lost in the fog of bureaucracy and corporate politics • Lack of openness/visibility damages management performance … meritocracy suffers (Rothenburg, 2001) • Access to key personnel difficult … need to establish trust … bung scandal • Autobiographies, biographies, personal interviews, media reports
Agents International Manager Peers WAGS Players Football Manager Chairman Support Staff LMA Media Fans / Shareholders
Evidence from Professional Football Management? • Conflict often naked and highly visible
What do we want from our managers? • Integrity • Passion … • "There are those who say maybe I should forget about football. Maybe I should forget about breathing." Gerard Houllier • Ability to relax • Analytical skills • Hunger to learn • Attention to detail • Ability to get things done • Self-belief • Enthusiasm • Ruthlessness • Presence • Luck?
“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that” • Bill Shankly
I believe leaders in my organisation are genuinely in touch with how people are feeling • 62% DISAGREE • There is a good buzz and feeling of energy in my organisation • 50% DISAGREE • We work hard but senior management also make sure that we have fun • 54% DISAGREE • One-third of followers admit that they have never worked for an Inspirational Leader! • 50% of city workers in London expect to stay only 1 more yr in their job • 20% plan to move within 2 yrs • Institute of Management Survey found that 43% of Britain's senior managers said that their loyalty is to their own careers and not their employers • Source: Chartered Management Institute
‘ABC’ of Behaviour Modification for Inspirational Leaders • A – ANTECEDENTS events that prompt, precede or trigger behaviour • B – BEHAVIOUR the specific actions of an individual • C – CONSEQUENCESsubsequent events that make the behaviour more or less likely to occur • The model is powerful in that it offers the possibility of altering behaviour by changing either antecedent or consequence ... • Prevention better than the cure
A cycle of classroom managementBill Rogers (1998) produced this framework of key principles for successful classroom management
Prevention • Teach and establish rights, rules and responsibilities. • Have a major focus on positive relationships and self-esteem. • Build rituals and routines for starting and ending lessons and for gaining attention. • Consider learner states and styles – play to their strengths – differentiate. • Develop scanning – intervene early and quietly.
Encouragement • Create a relaxed, peaceful environment. • Have high expectations of all learners. • Achieve a 6:1 ratio of encouragement : correction • Use verbal and non-verbal encouragement. • Give clear instructions, positive feedback and set realistic targets. • Frequently ask yourself: “Why would learners want to return to my class?”
Consequences • Discuss when establishing ground rules • Should be fair, reasonable and related to appropriate behaviour • Emphasise they are in direct response to learner’s choice • Certainty rather than severity • Offer some negotiation and opportunity to make restitution where appropriate
Repair and rebuild • Correction can erode relationships and damage self-esteem. • It’s our job to develop and manage positive working relationships. • A simple acknowledgement of improved behaviour is often enough. • A friendly and courteous word as learners leave goes a long way.
Inspirational Leadership in Football Management • What defines an inspirational leader? • Personal ‘make-up’ • Novel outlook • ‘Turn-on’ capability • N.B. They communicate effectively
Communication • British people tend to talk around issues! • You need to be succinct and polite • Unambiguous • “so many managers need 20 minutes to get their point over, Arsene will do it in 10 words, so succinct and so simple” • “If you're in the penalty area and don't know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we'll discuss the options later.” Bob Paisley • Eriksson lesson? • Quiet authority can later be interpreted as devious prevarication!
Ground rules for life : practice what you preach to your children • Share • Play fair • Don’t hit • Remember to flush • Hold hands in traffic • Tidy up after your own mess • Put things back where you found them • Don’t take things that aren’t yours • Say sorry when you hurt someone
Sample of References • Bolchover, D. & Brady, C. (2006) The 90-Minute Manager. Prentice Hall. • Bramson, R.M. (1981) Coping with Difficult People. Ballantine Books • Buckingham, M. & Coffman, C. (1999) First, Break all the rules. Simon & Schuster. • Carter, N. (2006) The Football Manager: A History. Routledge. • Capelli, P. (2000) ‘A market driven approach towards retaining talent’, Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb. • Crust, L. & Lawrence, I. (2006) A Review of Leadership in Sport: Implications for Football Management. Athletic Insight: The Online Journal of Sport Psychology. Dec, Vol 8 (4). • Hopcraft, A. (1971) The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer. Penguin. • Rothenburg, R. (2001) ‘Arie de Geus: the thought leader interview’. Strategy and Business, No.2. • Szymanski, S. & Kuypers, T. (1999) Winners and Losers: The Business Strategy of Football. Viking. • Wagg, S. (1984) The Football World: A Contemporary Social History. Brighton: Harvester.