Management Insights

One Minute Manager – Key Lessons

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is one of the best-selling books of all time with 13 million copies published in 37 languages. It is written in story fashion about a young man searching for an effective manager that he can work with. He finds mostly managers who just care about the organization and its results not about the people. He also finds managers who care about the people but their organizations suffer due to lack of attention to organizational goals…

He continues searching for someone who has equal concern for people and the organization and one day, he finds such a man – a balanced manager who calls himself the One Minute Manager.

This manager calls himself the One Minute Manager because he claims it takes him very little time to get things done by people. He shares his three managerial success secrets with the young man and these are as follows:

Secret 1: One Minute Goals

One minute goals are called so because it take only one minute to read and understand the goal. Oe minute goals provide clarity on what is expected and what progress needs to be made. Both the employee as well as the manager know what is required right from the start. A written down goal is better to assess and review performance.

Secret 2: One Minute Praisings

Every time the manager finds someone doing something right, he or she immediately gives praise. It just takes a minute or less to tell someone they have done a good job. After telling the team member they have done a good job, the manager also explains what they did well and encourages them to continue doing well. Catching someone doing something well is a big motivator for staff especially when every other manager is catching them doing something wrong.

Secret 3: One Minute Reprimands

There are two components to this reprimand and both are necessary. In the first component, the manager tells the employee what was done wrong and the adverse impact this has had on the manager and the organization. This is followed by a short silence during which the employee has time to reflect on this. Then, the second component is telling the employee that he/she is capable of doing much better and how much the manager values him/her. As with all feedback that is correctly given, one minute reprimands are immediate, relevant and critique the task or the work, not the person.

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