Our Business Book Series brings you summaries and stories from classical and contemporary business books that can be usefully applied for the success of your business; thinking that changes lives; tools that transform businesses.
The first book in the series is ‘The One Minute Manager’, by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Told in story form, the author accepts that management can’t always be performed in a minute but the overriding principle is that managing people is much less complicated than we think.
The book came as a breath of fresh air when first published in 1982. It was firmly based on behavioural psychology and dressed up by Blanchard and Johnson as a story about the techniques of an effective manager. The premise is based upon three simple practices:
1. Agree goals and write them down – one-minute goal setting.
Record goals in simple language on one sheet of paper. The important part is to do this collaboratively with the employee, so that they have a clear direction to buy in to, an understanding of what is expected and a motivation to add value and take forward.
2. Catch people doing things that are ‘on track’ – one-minute praise.
Don’t labour the praise or wait for appraisals – give immediate feedback. What did they do right? How did you feel about it? Encourage them to do more of the same.
3. Tell people when they do something wrong- one-minute reprimands.
The scold is most relevant at the time they commit the mistake – 8 weeks later at a review it has no impact. If a mistake is pointed out straight away it can be immediately corrected, remembered and learnt from.
At the heart and soul of this book is a fact that was true when it was published and is even more relevant today – one minute can make the difference to your relationship with your employees. Make it the most important minute of your day.