tion, which is the basis for true discipline, has few
The following paragraphs differentiate between
positive discipline and negative discipline:
Positive discipline is the force that originates
within individuals that prompts them to obey rules
and regulations. People in a Navy organization do
what is right because they do not want to hurt the
group as a whole and because they believe that by fol-
lowing the accepted rules, they will help the group
achieve its objectives. This is called esprit de corps.
The supervisor who builds esprit de corps has little
need to resort to negative discipline. Discipline and
high morale go hand in hand. Positive discipline is
closely tied to the admiration and respect personnel
have for their supervisor. This, in turn, is based on
good human relations.
Negative discipline is fear based on the threat
of punishment. It originates from without. If you sub-
ject people to negative discipline, they will do only
enough to get by when you are watching. Then, when
you leave for a few minutes, discipline also leaves.
Their only motivation for working is fear of reprisal.
A good supervisor gives much thought to the art
of giving orders. Properly giving orders really is an
art that you must practice. Proficiency in giving or-
ders will reap many benefits. Since most disciplinary
problems are the result of personnel not carrying out
orders, this subject cannot be overemphasized. There
are three basic types of orders: (1) direct command,
(2) request, and (3) suggestion.
You should always consider (1) the situation under
which you will give the order, and (2) the personnel
who will carry out the order. The following subsec-
tions discuss the three types of orders, based on each
of these two considerations.
SITUATION. The situation may involve a di-
rect command, a request, or a suggestion.
Direct command: In a military formation, the
direct command, or formal type of order, is always
used. It is also used when there is immediate danger,
fire, accident, disobedience of safety rules, etc.
Request: The request is the best type of order
to give for daily routine work. It is used for most
orders given by good supervisors.
Suggestion: The suggestion is excellent when
you wish personnel to proceed on their own when you
do not know exactly how the job should be done. It is
also excellent for building initiative. Suggestions
build morale and show your personnel that you have
confidence in them. However, it is not clear-cut, and
you certainly will have no recourse if the job is not
PERSONNEL. The personnel involved in
receiving orders may respond to a direct command, a
request, or a suggestion.
Direct command: The direct command is nor-
mally used to direct careless, lazy, insubordinate, or
insensitive personnel. Except in unusual situations,
the direct command is normally reserved for those
who must be spoken to in a firm and positive manner.
Request: The request is, by far, the best type
of order to use with most personnel. To them, a sim-
ple request in the form of a question has the full effect
of a direct order. Moreover, the request fosters a feel-
ing of cooperative effort and teamwork.
Suggestion: The suggestion is excellent for
those to whom a suggestion is sufficient. It stimulates
people to show what can be done. People with real
initiative like to work on their own. In dealing with
sensitive, highly intelligent personnel, a mere hint that
something is desired should be enough to get a project
started. Toss this person an idea by saying something
like, Petty Officer Jones, I wonder if it would be a
good idea to do this? or Seaman Smith, do you have
any ideas on how this can be done? This makes the
individual a key person in the project and provides a
feeling of importance. It also shows that you have