Do you work with two year olds? You know, those people that focus on themselves and think the rules don’t apply to them. They get to be late and take extra-long breaks. They seem to get away with everything. If something doesn’t go their way they whine and talk about how they’re so mistreated and work isn’t fair. You start to think maybe there is a different standard for them than for you because one little infraction and you’re in the boss’s office while they seem to be immune. You ask yourself why you even try to follow the rules.
Don’t let them fool you. It catches up to everyone eventually.
Discipline has many facets. Punishment is just one part—and should be at the bottom of the list as a last resort. At the top should be self-control so that punishment isn’t necessary. Discipline has more than one definition:
- training to act in accordance with rules.
- activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.
- punishment inflicted by way of correction and training
- the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc
- behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control.
Discipline keeps your mind ordered so that when difficulties arise you can act and not react. You are in control, not the situation. You’re able to think more creatively to come up with a good solution. If something goes wrong and the situation is being investigated, you’ve done the right thing and don’t have to fear recrimination.
Some things to consider:
- Believe you can be disciplined.
- Pick your battles. Discipline isn’t just following rules blindly.
- Believe discipline is needed.
- Be accountable for your actions.
- Be self-disciplined so you don’t have to have disciplined imposed on you.
Without discipline there is no professionalism in the workplace. It’s more than just following the rules. It’s actively seeking to learn and grow in your career. Discipline encourages us to strive for excellence in work and life.