The One Minute Manager

By: Kenneth Blanchard, Spencer Johnson

The One Minute Manager

A classic business parable, “The One Minute Manager” tells the story of a young businessman’s quest to learn how to lead empowered employees.

I enjoyed the lessons that were taught in this book but found it to be a little corny. The conversations were obviously authored to prove a point but they didn’t feel authentic. If I were the young man in this book I would have asked better questions.

But I do appreciate the conciseness the book provides. The authors could have easily made this a 250-page book and I am glad they did not.

This book teaches the reader how to use psychological triggers to encourage positive action. I enjoyed being reminded of these and it made me reflect on the last few meetings I have been a part of.

I would recommend this book to any manager (Jr. or Sr.) level as it’s a good reminder of how to set goals, communicate, and deliver feedback.

Biggest Insights:

One Minute Goal Setting

  • Agree on your goals
  • See what good behavior looks like
  • Write out each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words
  • Read and re-read each goal, which requires only a minute or so each time you do it.
  • Take a minute every once in a while to look at your performance
  • See whether or not your behavior matches your goals.

The One Minute Praising

  • Tell people upfront that you are going to let them know how they are doing
  • Praise people immediately
  • Tell people what they did right – be specific
  • Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there
  • Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel
  • Encourage them to do more of the same
  • Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization

The One Minute Reprimand

  • Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms.
  • The first half of the reprimand
    • Reprimand people immediately
    • Tell people what they did wrong – be specific
    • Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong – and in no uncertain terms
    • Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel
  • The second half of the reprimand
    • Shake hands, or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side
    • Remind them how much you value them
    • Reaffirm that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation
    • Realize that when the reprimand is over, it’s over

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