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Do you discipline people in a public setting?

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Do you discipline people in a public setting?

  • Regularly — people need to see there are consequences for failure: 1.1%
  • Occasionally — sometimes I like to send a message to everyone: 7.98%
  • Rarely — only in extreme circumstances: 48.42%
  • Never — I only punish in private: 42.5%

Punish in private. Discipline is hard enough to dole out and receive as it is — no need for an audience. In those rare circumstances in which folks said they discipline in public, I’d ask how many of those instances were truly necessary. Before you open your mouth and deliver some harsh feedback, ask yourself if you have the time to go find a closed office or conference room to deliver your message.┬áThose extra couple of minutes will do more to preserve morale and credibility than you might think.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”