A Classic And Simple Management Tale
It is likely reasonable to deem The One Minute Manager as a classic among management books. The obvious theme is managing people and employees, but the cover promises ways to simplify one’s life, get more done and be less stressed. Along these lines, the authors have penned several other tomes including The One Minute Father/Mother, The One Minute Sales Person and others.
The One Minute Manager emphasizes human dynamics and managing people as a means of achieving results. It might seem foreign or simplistic to some who espouse technology over people, blame employees first due to a preference for a top-down culture, care more for corporations than people, and ironically end up serving neither or those whose books and programs are not served by conceding to the fundamentals, but that highlights the need for the book even more.
At first, the notion might seem absurd or a stretch, but the book is not a gimmick. The authors are a Ph.D. holder and M.D. respectively and have based the short and straightforward book on research into human behaviour and stimuli. This was my second time reading The One Minute Manager (The ‘One-Minute’ Manager?) and it felt as interesting as the first time, which was back in 1996. After all these years, the advice of Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson rings true as does the endorsement of C-level persons from firms like Chevron and Jack In The Box.
Perhaps like the reader, the book’s narrator is a somewhat incredulous and curious person who is justly sceptical about the concept. He meets a man who is a ‘One Minute Manager’ and has three tips. While these might sound simple and obvious the detail and methodology is the key. Using a story format, the book hones in on the three basic components of human management each of which should take approximately a minute to accomplish following the initial discussions and training that come with being a new employee or the initiation of a new project.
1- One Minute Goal Setting. The technique insists on writing one’s actionable goals down in a concise format of one page with no more than 250 words. That leads to knowing how to constantly measure performance, reviewing them and agreeing to them with one’s manager.
2- One Minute Praising. This is part of an upfront contract. Praise should follow the commendable action immediately and be specific. Impart sincerity by offering a slight physical touch and encourage more of the same.
3- One Minute Reprimand. This is also part of an upfront understanding. The criticism happens as soon as the manager knows of the mistake and is very specifically about a behaviour and not the person. This is followed by a few seconds of silence and a reversion to the praise of the person overall. Do not dwell on it. Be tough at first in order to make sure the pleasant part comes second.
People Who Feel Good About Themselves Produce Results. The number one motivator for humans is feedback on results.