Sunday, February 12, 2017

Book Review : The One Minute Manager

Title: The One Minute Manager
Author: Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
Pages: 110
By: Rajesh Meena Bujeta

In today’s hectic life, we often run from pillar to post to get things done. This may include the work at home, in office or at other work place. According to the author, the key to come out of such messy situation is to take out a minute in planning things carefully and then chasing them for results. The term ‘one minute’ is more symbolic in nature, but it indicates that we should take some time out to ponder on the work we do and people we manage, so that better outcome can be achieved. The author has described through a story, his theoretical concepts with ample practical examples to relate to.  According to him, there are three most important activities, through which you can convert your workplace a much better unit. One can invest more or less in each one of the activities as per the quality and efficiency of the staff. The three activities and their ingredients are as follows:-

One Minute Goal Setting: Each worker should know clearly what is expected from him. There are no surprises as everyone knows about their role. This is what it says:-
  1. Agree on your goals.
  2. See what good behaviour looks like.
  3. Write out each of your goals on a single page using less than 250 words.
  4. Read and re-read each goal, which takes only a minute or so each time.
  5. Take a minute every once in a while out of your day to look at your performance, and
  6. See whether or not your behavior matches your goal.

One Minute Praisings: ‘Help people reach their full potential…Catch them doing something right!’ is the main purpose of this activity. The summary may be as follows:-
  1. Tell people right from the start that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
  2. Praise them immediately.
  3. Tell people what exactly they did right – be specific.
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there.
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them feel how good you feel.
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same.
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization.

One Minute Reprimand: It will work well when you do the following:-
  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing an in no uncertain terms.
  2. Reprimand people immediately.
  3. Tell people what they did wrong – be specific.
  4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong – and in no uncertain terms.
  5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel.
  6. Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side.
  7. Remind them how much you value them.
  8. Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation.
  9. Realize that when the reprimand is over, it’s over.
But while doing it, you should reprimand the behaviour of a staff, not the person himself.

Hence it becomes very clear that the author tries to focus on the manpower. It is the human resource that makes or breaks an organisation. Hence proper attention should be given to the staff as and when needed. I would simply put the words of author which are self-explanatory:-

‘The best minute I spend, is the one I invest in people’
Everyone is a potential winner. Some people are disguised as losers; don’t let their appearances fool you’
‘Take a minute; Look at your goals, look at your performance. See if your behaviour matches your goals.’
‘We are not just our behaviour; We are the person managing our behaviour’
‘Goals begin behaviour; consequences maintains one’

The above concepts and philosophy is very vividly described through a simple story, which makes this book much better to digest. Finally, it may not be applicable to all situations or organisations, but it will at least give you some idea about managing yourself and your subordinates. So I would suggest that you go for it. It’s a small book of around100 pages and will not take more than 2 hours to finish. That’s a good deal.

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