The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is a very short and concise book, available in both Audio and Hardcover. It is a quick but useful read that highlights three secrets to productive and efficient management. It is creatively presented as a story of a young man in search of perfect managing and leading skills. Who, after an exhaustive search, finally meets a highly esteemed leader-The One Minute Manager, whose approach to leadership and management consists in three secrets;
- One Minute Goals. This involves a manager and the employee meeting to agree on goals, write them down in a brief statement so that they can occasionally be reviewed to ensure that productivity is taking place. The whole process takes a “minute”, which in essence means, it is a quick meeting. Not literally limited to just sixty seconds. The purpose of this one minute goal setting is to confirm that the responsibilities of the employee are well understood, to avoid confusion that may later lead to inefficiency and unproductivity.
- One Minute Praising. This involves catching the employee when he/she is doing something right as opposed to the common practice of catching them making mistakes. Praise them immediately and tell them specifically what they did correctly. It involves being open with employees about their performance. After the praise, create some silence to allow them to “feel” how good you feel regarding their importance to the organization, and finish off by shaking hands or giving them a pat if you relate well with them.
- One Minute Reprimand. This involves pointing out the wrong as and when it occurs, especially if the employee has enough capacity to perform a task right but fails to do it. It involves a high level of honesty with the employee. Start by reprimanding immediately and specifically (like in Praise). It facilitates an understanding of responsibilities and how to complete them correctly. After the reprimand, shake hands and remind the person that he or she is important and it was simply their performance that you did not like. Reprimand the action and not the person and quickly affirm their capacity to do better and excel at it. If the affirmation is not done, the reprimand will not be effective for the employees as they will tend to attribute their mistakes to them being worth less, a claim that is nowhere near reality.