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Leadership style: Progressive discipline vs. coaching culture

Do you agree with cohost Chris Cebollero that progressive discipline is “antiquated” and should be phased out?

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“Sometimes we made decisions and wound up getting corrective action where maybe a culture of coaching would have taught me to grow.”

Kelly Grayson puts the spotlight on fellow cohost Chris Cebollero this week as the pair discuss whether progressive discipline still has a place in EMS or if a move to a culture of coaching, as written about extensively by Chris, would have a more positive impact on retention rates, turnover, burnout and overall career satisfaction.

Top quotes

  • “Experience comes from mistakes and mistakes come from lack of experience.” — Chris Cebollero
  • “I’ve gotten enough progressive discipline, enough paper that I can wallpaper a small closet.” — Chris Cebollero
  • “This isn’t about me wanting to fire you. This is about me wanting to make you the very best that you can be.” — Chris Cebollero
This series ID’s the top disciplinary issues facing leaders and what they can do to mitigate bad behavior while preserving trust among members.

This episode of the Inside EMS Podcast is sponsored by LogRx. Learn a better way to track your narcotics at

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The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs