The One Minute Manager Summary

The One Minute ManagerAfter its first publication, The One Minute Manager was dismissed by many scholars as being shallow and not helpful. However, this book is anything but shallow and up to now has sold over 13 million copies worldwide and translated into many languages. 

The book is short at only 100 pages, but it is packed with many valuable lessons that will change the way you see or manage your employees. In the book are three fundamental teachings which will be highlighted in this The One Minute Manager summary.

One Minute Goal Setting – This is presented as the first secret and the foundation for being an effective one minute manager. In one-minute goal setting, the goals are clearly defined together with their performance standards in less than 250 words. With this level of clarity, the employees understand what they are supposed to do clearly. 

The employee keeps a copy of what they are supposed to do and the manager also. This means that they can check periodically on the progress and they are on the same page all the time. 

The employees immediately understand what is expected of them. The 250-word statement also states what the manager expects in terms of performance standards. Having things this way helps the employees also to be able to tackle problems on their own instead of having to run to the manager for solutions to their problems. 

The one-minute goal setting is done following the 80 – 20 rule. That is to say that 80% of the solutions come from 20% of the goals which have been set. 

The summary to one-minute goal setting is given as this;

  • Agree on your goals
  • See what good behavior looks like
  • Write each of your goals on a single sheet of paper using less than 250 words
  • Read and reread each goal. 
  • Take a minute once in a while during your daily work to look at your performance. 
  • See whether or not your behavior matches your goals

One Minute Praisings – this is the second secret used by the one minute manager. This secret is all about giving feedback. The feedback provided to the employees should be clear and should indicate when they have failed but most importantly also where they have done well. The one minute manager uses the motto “Help people reach their full potential: catch them doing something right.”

The manager strives to get the employee doing something right instead of focusing on the negatives. When he catches the employee doing something right, he gives them a one minute praising. This motivates the employee to perform better. When presenting the one minute praising, the manager will make sure they have made contact with the employee by looking at them in the eyes, holding their shoulder or showing friendliness. 

This shows that the manager cares for the employees, what they are doing and wants them to prosper. The one minute praise entails telling the employee exactly what they have done right. The praising is done consistently to the employee who is caught doing something right even when other things are not going on well. This personalizes the praise to individual performance and not generalizing everything when things are going on well. 

The summary for one-minute praisings;

  • Tell people beforehand that you will be telling them how they are doing
  • Praise people immediately
  • Tell people what they did right – specifically
  • Tell people you feel good about what they did right and also how it helps the organization and others
  • Stop for a moment to let the person feel good about the praise
  • Encourage them to do more of the same
  • Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear you support their success in the organization. 

One Minute Reprimands – the reprimand works just in the same way as the praising; however this time it is when a significant mistake has been made. The one minute manager will ensure that they have made contact with the employee, tell them exactly what they did wrong and then share how he feels about it. The manager then gives the employee time to let that reprimand sink in.

Finally, the manager will tell the employee about how competent they are, and the only reason he is angry or frustrated is due to the mistake they have made. He also makes sure to tell the employee not to make the same mistake again. 

The summary to the one minute reprimand given at the end of the chapter is as follows:

  • Tell people beforehand that you will let them know how they are doing
  • Reprimand people immediately
  • Tell them exactly what they did wrong
  • Tell them how you feel about what they did wrong in no uncertain terms
  • Wait for a few seconds for this to sink in, so they feel how you feel
  • Shake their hand or touch them to let them know you are on their side
  • Remind them you value them
  • Reaffirm that you think well of them, but you are disappointed with their work
  • When the reprimand is over, then it is over

After reprimanding the employee let that be the end of the issue and do not hold it against them any longer. This will help them to move past the reprimand and perform better next time. It also makes them feel that you are not holding a grudge against them or judging their performance in a bad way.

What I Love About the Book

The book is simplified to a level that nothing the author is trying to pass forth can pass you by. It is well written detailing the story of a man who went looking for an effective manager until he found the one minute manager. The book is easy to read and highly actionable with summarized points at the end of every chapter.

Why You Should Read the Book

This book will help you to become a better manager. It will help you to connect better with the most important resource that you have which is your employees.

Next summary: The Power of Less

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