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  • Writer's pictureacoachsdiary


I was talking to our director of safety and security about leadership development and how he manages his team, and he said so often we focus on the discipline reactively when we should put more of an emphasis on being proactive by focusing on development.

He was having to discipline some of his team members for simple things that just required a conversation and some additional training. One of his team members said he would have easily and readily done what he was supposed to do if he just knew what it was.

A second team member said they just didn't know how to do something, and now that they did, they would make the changes that were being asked of him.

Another team member had a track record of non-compliance, and this was their final straw.

We talked about how 2 out of the 3 team members he had to discipline were wanting and willing to do the right thing; they just didn't know what it was or how to do it.

I see this often in coaching. When I am having to discipline my athletes, I first ask myself, "Did I do a good enough job teaching them what to do, and what my expectations were?"

If not, that is not fair to them.

If not, I am holding them to a higher standard than I am holding myself.

Discipline is a requirement of most great teams, but so is development.

Now if you look at the true definition of discipline: to teach up and train up, it can be both proactive and reactive, but so often we look at discipline through the lens of consequences.

If we can see discipline as the proactive ability to teach and train the people we lead while reactively providing consequences that change behavior and mindset, we might be able to find a healthy balance of both.


1 - When you are disciplining your people, ask yourself, "What is it that I want them to do, and have I clearly taught and communicated this to them?

2 - If you HAVEN'T clearly taught and communicated this to them, what are your next steps?

3 - If you HAVE clearly taught and communicated this to them, what are your next steps?

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