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The new one-minute manager

3 min read


Catch them doing something right.

In today’s busy work environment, we’re all wearing multiple hats and moving at the speed of sound. It’s easy to get caught up in the web of customer demands, staff workload and the drama that occurs when things go wrong. Deadlines missed, customer complaints, quality of work issues… it seems commonplace to follow-up on an issue when something goes wrong with an employee, but how often do we catch our people doing something, right?

If you know the three practical secrets of managers who effectively use techniques from “The New One Minute Manager,” you will experience real results with a more effective workforce and increased productivity – which spells profitability for your organization. Out this week, “The New One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, M.D., has been updated for a new generation, and is an easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets:

  • One-minute goals
  • One-minute praisings
  • One-minute reprimands

When effectively managing a team, it’s important to understand what success looks like and that’s why setting up goals is a vital step. But many times those goals aren’t revisited unless an employee does something wrong, or even worse, when feedback is held until an annual review takes place. As a manager, getting into the habit of addressing only problems with people can be a dangerous pitfall – when did we stop celebrating successes?

The one-minute praising

According to “The New One Minute Manager,” one-minute praisings are when you catch an employee doing something right! Managers who regularly give crystal-clear feedback on how a person is doing their job will empower an employee to succeed. Staying in close contact with team members is an important component, and allows a manager to catch their employees doing things the right way.

And “doing something right” doesn’t always mean it needs to be perfect. One-minute praisings allow an employee to understand that they are on the right path to doing things an expected way. Growth through positive reinforcement — wow! That’s why one-minute praisings work.

Let’s face it. As managers we are viewed as effective leaders when we have employees who are productive and happy. Seeking to stay in close contact with our team, especially with a new employee or during the start of a new project, may take us from our comfort zone. But in the end, catching people doing something right culminates in positive results for all.

Susan Mazza works with leaders and their organizations to transform their performance from solid to exceptional as a business consultant, leadership coach and motivational speaker. CEO of Clarus-WORKS, founder/author of Random Acts of Leadership, and co-author of “The Character-Based Leader.” She was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders by Trust Across America in 2013.

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