The One-minute Manager

An effective manager gets the best out of his people and steers his team towards attainment of organizational goals. Managing is no more lashing out at people for doing wrong things, rather it is redirecting, catching people doing a good job and sharing in their success.

I stumbled across an interesting book ‘The One-minute Manager’ that outlines simple one- minute techniques to motivate people to do their best. The book is an easy-to-read story of a young man in search of a good manager.

I have outlined the simple one-minute techniques to coach people to perform better.

One-minute Goals

Most struggles a company faces are due to miscommunication. Problems can be prevented if goals are planned and communicated accurately. One-minute goal setting is about specifying your team’s responsibilities and holding them accountable.

  • Once the manager specifies the goals to be accomplished, record each associated task with due dates on a list in not more than 250 words. Reading aloud the goals would take only a minute.
  • Both the manager and employee keep a copy to review performance and track the progress periodically. Encourage people to introspect what they’re doing and ascertain if their behavior matches the goals.
  • The goal setting theory adopts the pareto principle- 80% of your important results will come from 20% of your goals.

One-minute Praise

The art of telling people what they excelled at is also important. Most managers hunt down people doing the wrong things or when they commit a mistake. However, very few managers have a habit of acknowledging people for the right things.

  • Whenever you come across a job well done by an employee, offer a one-minute praise telling them how their contribution matters.
  • Give them a minute of silence to let it sink in and encourage them to contribute more.
  • Applauding people for their excellent work inspires them to keep-up their work and increases job satisfaction.

One-minute Redirects

One-minute redirects are given when you spot something going off-track. It is appropriately termed redirects as it gets people back on track faster by clarifying goals.

  • When something is amiss, call attention to the error and let the team know it is unacceptable with few seconds of silence to reflect.
  • Commend their usual good work and reliability. Remind them how valuable their work is but not their performance in this specific situation.
  • Remind people they are capable of much more and trust them to make immediate corrective actions. Redirects are highly effective because it leads to improvement.
  • And once the reprimand is over, it is over. Move on to the next task.

I am amazed by these simple tricks that boil down the complexities of management to doable steps. I nod in complete agreement to these practical steps for managing people.