Rethinking Discipline | Selection Partners | Executive Recruitment, Melbourne

Rethinking Discipline

For me I didn’t really understand discipline until I had a child. Just as there are numerous ways to motivate there are numerous ways to discipline. Unlike when your child is 3 and you can send them off to the naughty corner, at work this is not an acceptable strategy. 


By nature, I am a supporting person who works hard and recognises that I am responsible for my actions and hence my results. I also expect others to be the same. The reality is that some people are, some are at times and some simply aren’t. 

I have seen average people succeed through sheer drive and tenacity, whilst on the other hand I have seen talented people fail through fear, not pushing themselves and lack of effort.

When someone is not behaving in a manner you would like or expect them to – you need to ask yourself, some questions.

  • Is what they are doing not what I would do, but is it okay and do I need to accept this difference?

  • Is what they are doing, unacceptable and if so is it down to understanding of expectations, motivation, skill, or attitude?

If it’s understanding of expectations, then often an authentic conversation about what is expected and the result of the behaviour is enough to get the person back on track. If it’s motivation, we need to ask if it is intrinsic or extrinsic motivation that is lacking? Sometimes it’s simply the wrong job, or the person needs different responsibilities to motivate them. If it’s skill, then training may be better than discipline as long as the person takes on board the need for change.  If it’s attitude, this is the most difficult. If someone has a ‘bad attitude’, unless they become aware of this and actively seek to change themselves, a bad attitude is like a rotten apple in a barrel of pristine shiny crunchy apples. A person with a bad attitude can undermine, infect and damage even the most positive of cultures.

This is where in my view discipline is important.  I don’t think standing the person in the corner will work, but then again.

Selection Partners offers HR consulting services delivered by experience consultants, all of whom have worked in this area for over 15 years. To learn more, contact us today at (03) 9832 8100.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>