But the problem with recommending books is that we never get round to reading them. I know because people recommend their favourites to me. Sometimes I buy them. But they stay on an increasingly chaotic shelf in my study or get relegated to my book archive in the garage.
So I have decided to share on an ad hoc basis the essence of key books I use and recommend. I will
concentrate on the points I have put into action in my work so that you can read (in less than 4
minutes) and decide for yourself.
You never know you might even pick up the book and read it in full!
The book whose ideas I am sharing with you now is The New One Minute Manager by Ken
Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. This is a significantly updated version of the original One Minute
Manager books first issued in the 1980’s.
They key action points are;
Set one minute goals
- Agree with your team member a few essential goals. Then have them written down so that it is very clear what the person is taking responsibility for and aiming to achieve. The goal should be written so that it is on no more than one page and can be read in one minute. There is something powerful about the agreement being a joint one and ideally not imposed by the manager.
- If the staff member is new, or an experienced person taking on a new responsibility, they should have the opportunity to get regular feedback. Both formal and informal. You are aiming to catch the person doing things right. If it is early in the work it is good to catch them doing things almost right with a clear understanding of where they are trying to get to with their performance.
Give one minute praisings
- Look for opportunities to give praise to your team members. This praise should be sincere and specific so that it is useful in clarifying to the person why they have been praised and to reinforce their positive behaviour. The praise should be as soon as possible, specific and should tell the person how you feel about this. The feeling bit works by emphasising that you care both about the person and the performance. You then pause to help the person to absorb and process the information. This is followed up with a few words of encouragement to do more of the same and make it clear you have confidence in them and are there to support their success.
This can take as little as one minute but can be remarkably powerful. It is however important to be authentic in your actions and words and to focus on the individual (not multi tasking)
Give one minute re-directs
- If you need to get your team member to adjust their actions, the book recommends a simple but very powerful technique called the one minute re-direct. It has many of the similarities of the one minute praising. Firstly re-direct people as soon as possible. You do this by confirming the facts first and review the mistake together and be specific.
It is powerful to express how you feel about the mistake and its impact on results. You pause for a moment to allow the person to absorb your comments. Then let them know they are better than their mistake and that you think well of them as a person. Now remind them you have every confidence in them and support their success.
Final thoughts from me
Set clear goals. Take the opportunity to praise specific results and actions. Re-direct where necessary and again be very specific.
When things have gone wrong in the past I can usually trace it back to a lack of clarity in the goal. A failure to encourage sufficiently and a failure to address and redirect behaviour at the earliest opportunity.
I hope you have found the last 4 minutes of use and you can reflect on how the three secrets of The One Minute Manager can help you.