Does Your Discipline Process Work (Part 4)?

In Part 1 of this blog series, I wrote about the underlying assumptions that makeup the positive discipline process. Part 2 was focused on overcoming some of the common and costly mistakes leaders make that derail behavioral change. Part 3 was about the scaling levels of the Discipline Continuum. Today’s post is focused on having the actual discipline conversation. Here is a simple 5-Step process for helping employees make commitment to change and reinforcing their ownership in the process. Step 1 – Situation:Begin by describing the behavior you saw as specifically as possible – either a performance issue or behavioral problem. Step 2 – Impact: Next, describe the impact of the behavior — on you, on other team members, your customers, etc. Describing the impact helps the employee understand the consequences of his behavior. Step 3 – Input: Ask the team member for his input. For example, “What is your perspective on the issue or problem?” and “What ideas do you have to improve?” You are much more likely to gain a team member’s commitment to change by actively involving him in the process. Step 4 – Commitment and follow-up: Summarize the discussion, agree on an action plan, and schedule a follow-up. Literally pull out your calendar and set aside time to review progress. Follow-up reinforces behavioral change and increases the likelihood of improving performance. Step 5 – Confirm continuum: Communicate where the team member is within the discipline continuum and provide encouragement. Remember, positive discipline is designed to help a team member be successful. There are no threats. There are no warnings. There are no ultimatums. There is simply transparency, open communication, and ownership to change.

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