The Beauty of One-Minute Management: you can actually do a lot in one minute

Blog > The Beauty of One-Minute Management: you can actually do a lot in one minute
SSBM’s Faculty Member and Advisory Board Member Ken Ip, shares his thoughts on “The Beauty of One-Minute Management”.
Written by: Ken Ip

Managing a team can sometimes be extremely stressful and difficult, especially when your team is sizable and diverse. If you want to become a great manager, you must have the right skills to lead them.

“One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is one of my favourite books on management. In the book, it depicts a story about a young man who is looking to identify an effective management style.

During his quest, he met several “authoritarian” managers who are purely focusing on results. These companies benefited, but their employees suffered. He also met with a number of “democratic” managers who are primary concerned with peoples welfare. Their employees are extremely happy, but at the same time, these businesses have suffered. Ultimately, he wanted to meet an effective manager who are interested in both people and performance, so that people and organizations can benefit from his management.

At the end, the young man met a manager who labelled himself a “one-minute manager” because he could get effective results from people in a very short space of time. The one-minute manager shared the secrets of his success with the young man. These secrets are as follows:

  1. One Minute Goals

The idea of One-minute goals are to ensure expectations are set and understood from the beginning. When determining the required goals and performance standards, record them on a piece of paper. It is named this way because each item only needs one minute to read.

Why it works?

It is an useful process because it can provide immediate feedback to staff. This feedback becomes the goals that one works towards to achieve.

For example, if you are playing a game without knowing the rules, you will lose interest in the game at some point. However, if you know that that you are only 50 metres away from the winning, you will push yourself to get over the line.

In other words, if one does not know what the expectations are, then they are unlikely to produce desirable outcomes.

  1. One Minute Praising

After setting one-minute goals, the second step in one-minute management involves getting people to do the right things. This requires one-minute praising – which is simply letting someone knows that he or she did a good job.

The praising should be done immediately, highlighting the right things they did, explain why it was desirable, and encourage more of the same in the future.

Why it works?

For example, a child will not learn to walk right away. He/she will stagger first, then try again to stand up but fall. As he continues to fall, you are there to provide guidance and make him feel comfortable. Then he will try to do more of the same things and finally learn to walk. Similarly, one minute praising is used as a way to encourage your employees.

  1. One Minute Reprimands

When an individual did something undesirable, he or she will be condemned in one minute. The one-minute reprimands consisted of two stages:

The first stage involves telling the individual what and why they did wrong, and let them digest the information. Shortly after, ensure that you express how much you believe in the individual and that they are valued by the company. An important aspect of one-minute reprimand is to criticize on the undesirable behaviour rather than the individual.

Why it works??

It is highly effective because the feedbacks are immediate. Unlike annual appraisals, in which you are criticise for mistakes you made long ago, it will hardly affect you in any way. In contrast, if you are scolded for your mistake yesterday, it will definitely affect you.

If an error is pointed out as soon as it is discovered, it can be more readily rectified.

To summarise – set a one-minute goals to make sure expectations are aligned and understood; give one minute of praises, not just criticisms, but provide timely feedbacks on undesirable behaviours, not when it is long expired.

Hopefully with these three tips of one-minute management, it can help enable you to become a better manager, achieve more success, in lesser time.