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New Solutions to Repetitive Old Problems … ‘Dealing With Difficult People’ Fourth Annual University of Leeds Learning & Teaching Conference Ian Lawrence.

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Presentation on theme: "New Solutions to Repetitive Old Problems … ‘Dealing With Difficult People’ Fourth Annual University of Leeds Learning & Teaching Conference Ian Lawrence."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 Who Are ‘Difficult People’?

3 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

4 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

5 Football Manager Agents International Manager Chairman LMA Fans / Shareholders Media Support Staff Players WAGS Peers

6 Evidence from Professional Football Management? Conflict often naked and highly visible

7 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?

8 “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

9 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

10 ‘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 – CONSEQUENCES subsequent 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

11 A cycle of classroom management Bill Rogers (1998) produced this framework of key principles for successful classroom management Prevention (of disruptive behaviour) Encouragement (of positive behaviour – correcting as necessary) Repair and rebuild (the relationship following correction) Consequences (for unacceptable behaviour – certainty rather than severity) Exercise: Work in four groups, each group taking one of the areas of the cycle above. Each group will develop strategies for their area of the cycle.

12 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.

13 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?”

14 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

15 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.

16 Inspirational Leadership in Football Management What defines an inspirational leader? 1.Personal ‘make-up’ 2.Novel outlook 3.‘Turn-on’ capability N.B. They communicate effectively

17 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!

18 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

19 Conflict resolution … Anfield style!

20 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.


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