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