Lessons from The One Minute Manager

Most managers don’t realise that the people that work in the business are the most important resources of a company. That is why an effective manager should highly value his people and not just be focused on the profit of the business.

The One Minute Manager is a book written by Dr. Kenneth Blanchard and Dr. Spencer Johnson, the authors of Who Moved My Cheese?. It aims to remind managers that the people he worked with acquire their wisdom from him. Just like what the young man realised, “Effective managers manage themselves and the people they work with so that both the organization and the people profit from their presence.”

Three practical management techniques of an effective manager:

  • One-Minute Goals: Make clear what our responsibilities are and what we are being held accountable for.

The One-Minute Manager communicates with his people their goals and describes what good behaviour looks like. He takes a minute every once in a while to monitor performances and see how their behaviours match the goals, in order to give proper feedback.

Just like what the young man mentioned in the backstory, One-Minute goals “sounds like a philosophy of ‘no surprises’—everyone knows what is expected from the beginning.”

  • One-Minute Praisings: Catch them doing right and praise them.

The One-Minute Manager lets his people know upfront how he feels about what they did right and how it helped the organisation and the other people who work there. He takes a minute to let the people “feel” how good he feels about it. He also encourages other people to do more of the same.

  • One-Minute Reprimands: Tough on performance not tough on the person.

The One-Minute Manager is immediate and specific in describing the poor performance. Just like in One-Minute Praisings, he should also tell them how he feels about what his people did wrong in no uncertain terms. Encourage them and remind them how much you still value them as a person because it’s the performance that you’re reprimanding and not the person itself. Most importantly, make them realise that when the reprimand is over, it’s over.

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Nicholas Sinclair

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