When there is a loss of self-control behaviour is considered in law as the degree of provocation and the qualifying trigger contributable to the actions taken. There are two aspects to the objective test: whether a reasonable person would have been provoked and whether a reasonable person would have lost self-control and done the same thing under the same circumstances.
In the workplace, there are recognised types of behavior that we display and expectations that are then defined by the work and role we carry out and are employed to do. This forms the basis of our employment contract and has both implied and explicit terms, that are sometimes not recognised by the individual until they have to be tested. For example our psychological contract recognizes that we are jointly responsible to and with the company for reasonable behaviour and actions. Reasonable behaviour and the degree to which provocation could be justified, outside of legal definition is subject to individual circumstances.
Research indicates that the majority of people moderate their behaviour at work. That is the individual balances any extreme tendencies towards the accepted, or perceived accepted form of behaviour.
People generally recognise their own extreme personal tendencies especially when they are opposite to what is expected or perceived to be expected. For instance, a gregarious, flamboyant behaviour and personality traits would often be accepted in the fashion sector or other creative sector’s as being associated with creativity. Imagining this personality type in the prison sector, police force, legal system or armed forces gives an idea of personality fit and misfit into organisational culture.
From this description we can recognise that some of our personal behaviour may not always be considered appropriate in a workplace, therefore adjustments are usually made during the working day. Adaption of our behaviour in the workplace is sensible it indicates a level of self-awareness and recognition that the individual has viewed the company culture and ethos and taken a view, about what is and what is not acceptable. From the interview and the recruitment process a certain amount of experience and other information gathering, has determined what a new employee could consider as being accepted and valued as appropriate this can be described as ‘the fit’ (the degree to
which personality and behaviour are aligned or compatible to the business and culture).
To modify our behaviour and our reaction to circumstances is not always easily achievable, especially when there are circumstances that are directly controversial or in conflict with our values and principles. A managerial role is expected to retain and to display certain attributes, to enable them to earn the respect of the team, or the people that they are responsible for. As a manager they are representative of the type of behaviour that the company expects, the type of behaviour that earns respect and gives direction. There is a level of decorum that is associated with the degree of responsibility the managers role carries, this is because people look towards their manager as being a person to guide and bring balance to extreme or unexpected situations, as well as being able to organise an effective and efficient working process and environment that achieves expected outcomes.
When any behaviour steps outside the boundaries of what is recognised as acceptable, and deviates from the expected norm there are going to be consequences for the organisation and relationships. There will be questions raised from those above the role in the managerial hierarchy and by those
reporting into that role.
Relational values are essential to any organisation and to effective business practice. How we relate to others the customer, internally and externally is what builds the company reputation and credibility.
To regain the balance after a manager has been involved in an incident that causes a relational employee or other relational impact, due to the way that they behave or respond, is a sensitive issue. Trust and integrity are built over time; therefore required consideration is necessary to rebuild.
To regain control:
Recognise that relationships are everything! The most cash rich affluent and successful company is dependent upon the personal relations it makes and maintains. Your individual reputation and ultimate success is recognised as being an integral part of the success of those relationships by how you relate to them when carrying out a particular role and function.
Avoid being defensive, adopt a learning from approach to the way that you respond and be magnanimous about the recognition that we are all dependent on each other.
Examine the facts and be honest about mistakes and behaviour, you may win or lose some ground; however your integrity and honesty will be appreciated and will form a foundation which can be built on over time.
Be reliable and take responsibility going forward.
Protect your team members and adopt a lessons learned approach towards their behaviour.
Give credit to the team members for their forgiveness and willingness to move on. Make certain that they are recognised for their contribution.
Remain mindful of what is expected of you and what you are doing; focus on the priorities and the impact and quality of your decision making, without being manipulated into impulsive decision’s.
Manage the expectations of others recognising what is fair with the time and resources available.
It will take time, consistency of practice to re-establish balance, trust and reputation. It is by looking at ourselves and our experience that we learn the greatest lessons.