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An Introduction to the Discipline® CliftonStrengths Theme

Looking to learn more about Discipline? Whether you want to know more about how to use your Discipline theme to succeed, or how to help someone harness theirs, you've come to the right place.

You'll find definitions and descriptions made popular in the international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0, plus ideas for how to better understand and use this CliftonStrengths theme.

What Is the Definition of Discipline?

Discipline and the rest of the CliftonStrengths themes are comprised of natural talents that Gallup has identified through decades of research.

People exceptionally talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.

People complete the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn which of the 34 themes, like Discipline, are strongest in them.

The following theme description highlights the thoughts, feelings and behaviors you are likely to experience if you have strong Discipline:

Your world needs to be predictable. It needs to be ordered and planned. So you instinctively impose structure on your world.

You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work through each plan diligently. You are not necessarily neat and clean, but you do need precision.

Faced with the inherent messiness of life, you want to feel in control. The routines, the timelines, the structure, all of these help create this feeling of control. Lacking this theme of Discipline, others may sometimes resent your need for order, but there need not be conflict.

You must understand that not everyone feels your urge for predictability; they have other ways of getting things done. Likewise, you can help them understand and even appreciate your need for structure.

Your dislike of surprises, your impatience with errors, your routines, and your detail orientation don't need to be misinterpreted as controlling behaviors that box people in. Rather, these behaviors can be understood as your instinctive method for maintaining your progress and your productivity in the face of life's many distractions.

Discipline is a theme in the Executing domain of CliftonStrengths.

People with dominant Executing themes like Discipline make things happen.

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths sort to one of four domains -- Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. These domains help you understand how to use individual CliftonStrengths to succeed when you join, create or lead a team.

Learn more about the CliftonStrengths domains

How to Better Understand Your Discipline Theme

Making the most of your Discipline talents starts with gaining valuable insights into what you naturally do best.

How people with strong Discipline talents describe themselves:

  • "I am a meticulous organizer."
  • "I need a structured and organized environment."
  • "I love things that are organized and orderly."
  • "I hate chaos, confusion and improvising."
  • "I bring precision and detail orientation."

How to Apply Your Discipline to Succeed

The most successful people invest in their strongest talents. The only way to develop your Discipline talents is to use them every day -- at work, at home and everywhere else.

The following are a few ideas for how to apply your Discipline to achieve your goals:

Work With Discipline: Timelines motivate you. When you have a task to complete, you like to know the deadline so you can plan your schedule accordingly. Apply your Discipline talents by outlining the step-by-step plan you will use. Others will appreciate your cues because they will help keep everyone "on task."

Lead With Discipline: Increasing efficiency is one of your hallmarks. You are a perfectionist at heart. Discover situations in which time or money is being wasted because of inefficiency, and create systems or procedures to improve efficiency.

Live With Discipline: Accept that mistakes might depress you. Precision is a core part of who you are; however, you must find ways to move through these moments of annoyance to prevent becoming discouraged.

Check out our in-depth videos from Gallup experts for more ways to use Discipline to make the most of your potential.


If You're a Manager With Discipline

Your Discipline talent makes you stronger. Lead with your strengths so both you and your team can succeed. A strengths-based approach to management will lead to:

  • better conversations
  • stronger partnerships
  • higher team engagement
  • greater collaboration

For manager-specific insights and strategies, check out your CliftonStrengths for Managers report and explore your top 10 themes and how you can use them to reach your goals.

Managing Team Members With Strong Discipline Talents

Discovering the collective talents of your team using the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step.

To successfully manage or lead others, you must individualize your approach. You must understand what makes each of your team members unique. And you must lead meaningful conversations about performance that focus on what each person naturally does best.

An Example of Managing Team Members With Discipline

Help them clarify their role expectations. These team members need to get work done ahead of schedule, and they cannot do so if they don't know what others expect of them. Help them understand, in detail, what they are supposed to do; how it fits in with what everyone else is supposed to do; and how those expectations change when circumstances change.

Use the CliftonStrengths Assessment to Discover More About Discipline

How Strong Are Your Discipline Talents?

Purchase CliftonStrengths 34 to reveal your complete unique talent profile and learn just how strong your Discipline talents are. You'll get personalized insights into your CliftonStrengths results and ideas for maximizing your potential.

How to Work With Others With Strong Discipline Talents

Gallup offers resources and products you can use to help others succeed by developing their Discipline theme and all their CliftonStrengths.