Don't React - Respond


I live in the centre of Manchester and it has many advantages: the restaurants, the bars, the vibrancy, the demonstrations……… the what?

The demonstrations. Democracy. Civil rights in action.

And people management.

We lived in the city centre through the Glasgow football incident of 2008 and the Manchester riots of 2011 and there’s the odd Saturday that can get tasty up around Piccadilly Gardens but Sunday was a lesson in people management.

It appears that EDL and affiliated groups came to town - branded as a march against hate.

They may have had a drink and there were no public facilities laid on for them.

Eventually, they were encouraged to head for home and the majority did just that.

But not all. A small group of 20 or 30 settled in outside a city centre pub and continued their exercise of free speech but extended it to stopping cars and being a bit of a nuisance really.

And here began the lesson in people management.

A contingent of the 400 police from various forces arrived to resolve the situation. No cavalry charge. No shouting. No noise. No excitement. Helmets on – but then you can get a nasty crack off a can of Fosters at ten paces.

And they stood there.

So steady and peaceful was there approach that the residual drinkers hardly noticed the contingent blocking the other end of the street and containing them.

And they stood there.

Some of the residuals got a bit agitated and tried to enter into healthy debate.

But they just stood there.

They bored them into submission and then over an extended period, allowed them to leave one at a time after a brief interview.

All except for the one member who had got past the barbed wire and got onto a roof and perhaps couldn’t get down.

And the people management lesson?

Don’t React – Respond

When plans go awry in business and you are agitated by it. Don’t react – Respond

When your supplier lets you down leaving you with a problem. Don’t react – Respond

When a key member of your team is a being a bit of an idiot. Don’t react – Respond

Oh and tell them to find their own way off the roof.

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