Blues players lost their cool when beaten 1-0 by Villa in the corresponding fixture last season via a controversial penalty.
Centre-back Roger Johnson was fined £5,000 by the Football Association for remarks about the match officials and skipper Stephen Carr was given a one-match ban for gestures made towards Villa fans after the final whistle.
McLeish admitted: "We lost our discipline, we crowded around the referee so these are lessons we've got to take forward.
"If decisions go against us again, we've got to learn from that and we don't want a reputation for that.
"I spoke to the players at the start of the season about discipline. We had seven bookings up at Bolton in our last game of last season and there was a lot of whingeing and shouting at the referee in that game.
"I said to them 'we've got to cut that out.' There is a way to speak to people and I'm sure the players have learnt from that.
"It will be vital on Sunday. We have to respect the officials."