The One Minute Manager book by Kenneth Blanchard, Spencer Johnson is an international bestseller that has been translated into more than 30 languages. The basic premise of One Minute Manager is that one-minute tools can help managers get their teams on board with plans and ideas to stay productive. It includes the three secrets for getting employees to want to do what you want them to do:
- One minute goals
- One minute praisings
- One minute reprimands
In today’s blog post, we will dive deep into each of these three secrets.
One Minute Goals
“Tell me what you expect, I’ll tell you what you get.”
The basic premise of One-minute goals is to define clear, measurable expectations for your employees. This way, they either know what has to be done, or if it’s unclear, they can ask about it and make their own plan towards the goal. The goal should be SMART (SMART in this case is an acronym for specific| measurable| achievable| relevant| and timebound).
Having clear expectations will minimize employee frustration as well as increase productivity. Once the outcome of the task/goal is achieved, it’s important to praise your team member(s) for achieving something that was previously only an idea/hunch/thought in their minds. Praising someone who brought out the best in themselves is one of the simplest yet most effective tools to use on a daily basis.
One Minute Praisings
“The most efficient way to achieve greatness is to praise others when they least expect it.”
The premise of One-minute praisings is that employees become motivated and experience positive feelings after being praised. Even if your employee is working hard every day, you still need to remember to give them the attention they deserve once in a while.
It’s important to praise an employee and do it at the right time; otherwise, it might seem like you are trying to make yourself look good or gain something from it. The timing for each employee will depend on their personality, what they and how much feedback they typically need.
One Minute Reprimands
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all.”
The premise of One-minute reprimands is that when an employee messes up; let them know right away and in a kind way what they did wrong. The main idea behind this concept is to catch mistakes before they turn into big problems down the line by letting your team member/s know about any negative impact their mistake had on the situation or project.
After letting them know what went wrong, you should explain how it can be avoided in the future, so this mistake doesn’t happen again. Reprimanding someone will only work if done properly; otherwise, employees will think of themselves as random persons who are underappreciated for their hard work.
13 Key Takeaways from One Minute Manager Book
- Listen to what your employees have to say: When you ask your employees for their opinions, they will feel included in the discussion/decision-making process, making them feel more accountable. The word respect comes up a lot when it comes to 1 Minute Manager; what better way to show your team how much you respect them than by asking them their opinion?
- Be proactive instead of reactive: When an employee lets you know about an issue before it’s too late, come up with a solution together and assign roles/tasks accordingly to get this problem out of the way right away. This way, not only do you get rid of an annoying task that is weighing on both your minds, but you also eliminate any stress caused by a lack of organization or planning beforehand.
- Stop micromanaging: One of the most detrimental things you can do as a manager is constantly checking on your employee’s work progress. This takes away their (motivation which you should maintain) and wastes valuable time both of you could be using towards something productive.
- Give employees room to grow/make mistakes: It’s healthy for your employees if they are given the freedom to experiment with different tasks during their working hours. Letting them move around will allow them to find out what fits best with their abilities, interests, strengths, etc. As long as they reach the end result that was assigned in the beginning, this freedom should not be seen as a waste of time but instead an opportunity for growth.
- Try asking “How Am I Doing?” Before you start to worry that your employees could be falling behind or not doing their part, let them know once in a while how they are doing. This will be a perfect opportunity to listen more closely about any concerns/issues/feedback about their job role etc. One of the best things about asking this question is that it allows you to see if there’s an issue before it turns into a serious problem that can’t be fixed easily.
- Never go to sleep with unresolved problems: Before going to sleep, make sure you have a plan for the next day. Not only will this minimize your stress when you wake up, but it also shows your employees that their work matters and is in good hands when they leave for home.
- Give praise liberally: If an employee does something well/goes above and beyond their duties, give them positive feedback immediately. This will encourage them to keep up the good work and stay motivated during tough times. Remember that this recognition should not just be given once in a while; we need more of this in our daily lives!
- Stop Dumping: When employees tell you about their problems at home or in general, don’t just listen to the problem but ask about their feelings too. Dumping all of your problems on them won’t do you any good, so showing some empathy instead would be more beneficial in the long run.
- Remove Obstacles: Stop obsessing over whether or not an employee is doing their job correctly and focus on removing obstacles that are stopping them from achieving what they need to, regardless of whether this means changing your role. This way, you show your employees that you care more about their potential than anything else.
- Encourage Self-development: Instead of randomly assigning tasks to your employees, give them tasks related to what they want/hope to achieve in life. This will probably mean more to them than any work assigned by their boss (you), which makes it easier for them to get excited about finishing the task at hand.
- Offer resources: If you notice that your employee is struggling with something on an assignment, offer them resources they can use in order to achieve what they want faster. This doesn’t mean they don’t have to do any legwork; instead, it means showing how much you care and encouraging them to keep up the good work!
- Try holding 1-on-1 sessions every now and then: A great way of catching up with your employees is by meeting with them one-on-one every so often. During these meetings, spend no more than 5 minutes talking about any major problems before shifting the conversation towards topics they are interested in. This will help you get to know them better and enable your employees to see their boss as human beings instead of just an authority figure.
- Stop multitasking: Do not try doing multiple things at once if it means compromising on either/both tasks. Not only is this highly ineffective, but it shows that your time isn’t valued much by you, which can drive away your employees even more than before!
One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson might not be your typical management book; however, it does have some practical advice that can be applied in a professional environment. For example:
- It’s important to catch mistakes early on before they pile up and turn into a huge project/problem, which can either lead to frustration or, even worse–making someone feel underappreciated at work!
- Listening to employees will make them more willing to help you with future projects because they feel included in the decision-making process.
- By being proactive instead of reactive, you can avoid wasting time answering questions or doing things that were not previously discussed or assigned.
- For your team members/employees not to feel frustrated about their lack of freedom, find ways for them to learn new things and grow in their current role/job.
- Instead of worrying about what your employees are doing, ask them how you’re doing every now and then; answer any questions or address any concerns they might have. You’ll instantly know if there’s something bothering them (and be able to fix it before it becomes a problem).
In overall, One Minute Manager is an exciting read that provides some good insight into the lives of managers who don’t always get things right the first time but learn from their mistakes and try harder next time around. Each chapter can easily be completed within 30 minutes, so I highly recommend this book for people looking for quick reads in the self-development/management genre.