Confront Bad Behaviour

Bad behaviour, when allowed to flourish, can destroy a good business.

Like talking detrimentally about clients, treating colleagues with disrespect, or bullying new salespeople. No doubt you’ve seen your share of bad behaviour over the years. Such behaviour must be stepped on quickly.

Some leaders say, “I’m too soft“. Leaders who say that they are ‘soft’ shouldn’t be in leadership positions. Soft people do not make good leaders.

By this I don’t mean softly spoken, I mean weak, scared of confrontation, afraid to fire people, and afraid to have the difficult conversations that form part of a leader’s job description.

Soft leaders create the perfect environment for selfish salespeople to run roughshod over the team, paving the way for those salespeople to turn into ‘600 kg gorillas’.

These are the salespeople who claim all the leads as their own, who say to new salespeople who prospect, ‘That’s my client!‘, even though they may not have spoken to the client in years.

When is the best time to confront bad behaviour?

As soon as you detect it.

Fail to do so and you may soon find that your good people leave, leaving you with people who have a poor culture, who give poor client service, and who tarnish your agency’s reputation.

You do your people no favours when you tolerate bad behaviour. Care enough to confront bad behaviour as soon as you detect it.

Leaders themselves are not always paragons of good behaviour either. Sometimes we behave badly. What do you do then?

If we detect that we have behaved in a manner that sets a bad example, own up to it. Tell your team that you did the wrong thing and apologise. Even though you might have not set a good example with your original behaviour, detecting it and calling yourself out will earn the respect of your team.

You will repair any damage that may have been done to your Culture.

Bad behaviour must never be tolerated. It’s like the tip of the iceberg – you don’t see most of it. If you detect bad behaviour, you can bet that there is more bad behaviour you haven’t seen.

Have you ever had a salesperson leave, and then the stories come out? You get told of how the salesperson used to speak about you behind your back, or how negative he or she was. Sometimes we hear that the salesperson indulged in behaviour bordering on sexual harassment.

Bad behaviour must never be tolerated in your company. Deal with it in a private conversation and, if it happens again, be prepared to terminate the person.

No ‘three-strikes-you’re-out’ when it comes to bad behaviour. Two strikes are all you can afford, or your company will suffer.

Gary Pittard

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