Management lessons come in many shapes and forms. We learn to manage people through trial and error and while there is a plethora of information on how best to handle employees, few books simplify it as well as “The One-Minute Manager” written by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The book aims to help managers empower employees and help them reach their full potential in the workplace with minimal direct intervention. There basic fundamentals offer a way of managing talent in short one-minute sessions.
Goal setting in a minute involves giving specific, clear and concise commands… for example the difference between, ‘clean up that space’ vs ‘tidy the table and dust it’. The premise is to ensure clarity of thought from the management end that results in definitive and achievable goals for the employee. Praising is the act of offering positive and specific feedback, such as ‘I liked the ideas in your concept report’, rather than a nod and a desultory ‘yes, this is fine’ approach. Crucially, the authors state that critical feedback should really be looked at as redirecting, not a put-down as that can kill off enthusiasm and initiative. Redirecting involves non-personal feedback that puts staff back on track to get the job done. Of course, the crux is the communication that requires the manager and staff to sit down and distil the tasks into a brief that can be read in under a minute.
The book offers valuable communication lessons and is a must-read for managers who like to call for long-meetings to split hairs on the simplest of tasks. As a book, it is a simple, elegant read, written in engaging language that makes it unputdownable. The essence of the book stays long after one has read it and imprints on the subconscious owing to the simplicity of the message. This one is worth having in print and on your desk – it will prove to be an invaluable guide in the getting the best out of your employees and saving you and your team valuable time… which can only translate into a better bottom line.
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