Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review (#68 of 2014) The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson

The One Minute Manager
This short book is a classic that everyone should read. It outlines a simplistic approach to management that calls for managers to empower their employees while fostering open and positive communication. This is a book on management, not leadership. There is no information on whether or how a One Minute Manager communicates the company's vision, his own vision, or holds departmental meetings. My highlights:

"The One Minute Manager always makes it clear what our responsibilities are and what we are being held accountable for...(he) feels that a goal, and its performance standard, should take no more than 250 words to express. He insists that anyone be able to read it within a minute."

You create goals for the most important tasks-- for the 20% of your tasks that are 80% of your productivity or key responsibilities. If there is a special project that comes up, you set another concise goal for it. The manager doesn't micromanage, the manager and employee agree upon the goal and it's up to the employee to figure out how best to accomplish it.

One-Minute Praisings:
"Tell people up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing. 2. Praise people immediately. 3. Tell  people  what  they  did  right—be specific. 4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right,  and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there. 5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel. 6. Encourage them to do more of the same. 7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization."

One-Minute Reprimands:
"1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms. 2. Reprimand people immediately. 3. Tell people what they did wrong—be specific. 4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong—and in no uncertain terms. 5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel. 6. Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side. 7. Remind them how much you value them. 8. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation. 9. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it's over."

Every reprimand has two parts, the initial pointing out of the error and the personal affirmation at the end: "If you are first tough on the behavior, and then supportive of the person, it works."

Goals Begin Behaviors
Consequences Maintain Behavior
Also, the One Minute Manager never repeats himself as that's a waste of valuable time. That'd be nice but most bosses I've had tend to forget both what they've said and what I have previously told them.

Here's the summary diagram:

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Short and sweet, without a lot of psychological research thrown in.

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