Last week I mentioned that I would start honing up my business skills by reading more business books/blogs. I haven’t started on blogs yet, but I have picked up a book that’s called “The One Minute Manager ” written by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson. This book is light weight and only contains 106 pages. It’s a fairly easy reading book, which is good for me. Having very low business skills, I think it’s a bad idea for me to start reading books that is very in depth and hard to follow.
The writers deliver their ideas in a form of a story of a young man who was looking for the most effective manager, so that he can work for him and learn from him. His search led him to many kind of managers, and they can be sum up to two categories: managers who were primarily interested in results (autocratic, bottom-line, hard-nosed, realistic, and profit-minded), and managers who were primarily interested in people (democratic, participative, supportive, considerate, and humanistic). He learnt that those two type of managers are just partially effective, because they can only benefit/profit either the organization or the people, not both. The young man search finally led him to the “One Minute Manager” where he finally learnt the most effective way to be a manager.
The book promotes three management techniques, which are: 1 Minute Goal Setting, 1 Minute Praising, and 1 Minute Reprimand. If you wander if 1 minute actually means 1 minute, it’s not. It’s just an idiom to remind us that they are not as complicated as they seem. They should be clear and simple.
Management “lifecycle” has to always start from 1 Minute Goal Setting. Before starting any work/project, it’s important that all the goals/objectives and the desired output clearly defined and agreed on. The purpose of this is so that the people you’re managing are able to see what good performance behaviors look like. They’re encouraged to constantly review their performance to see if the current behaviors/situations match with the goals. The goals should be written on a piece of paper, and should not be more than 250 words. The idea is to keep them easy to read and simple to understand, so that re-reading them will re-clear your objectives.
After all the goals have been set, it is important to give constant and ongoing feedback of how your team is doing. This is where the 1 Minute Praising and 1 Minute reprimand come into play. Praising and reprimand should be given out immediately whenever you see good and bad behaviors. Constant feedbacks motivate people, because they become completely aware of how well they’re doing and progressing in achieving the goals set by the 1 minute goal setting. Here are some tips given by the writer on how to give praising and reprimand effectively:
- Let them know that you’re going to observe how they’re doing and constantly give feedback of their performance from the very start.
- Praise/Reprimand immediately.
- Tell them specifically what they did right/wrong.
- Tell them how you feel about what they did right/wrong.
- Additional steps for reprimands:
- Remind them how much you value them.
- Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation.
- Additional steps for praising:
- Encourage them to do more of the same
I think that the book gives a simplistic approach to management. It is more like the macro or brief general overview of what managers should do to give benefit to both the organization and the people their managing. His approach is pretty basic, and it sounds like it can be practical in real life. I think this book has met my expectations. I expected to gain basic knowledge in management and I believe that’s what I have got. I think I’m going to look something more of a heavy read next time.