The One Minute Manager

by Kenneth H. Blanchard, Spencer Johnson

Troy Shu
Troy Shu
Updated at: April 24, 2024
The One Minute Manager
The One Minute Manager

Discover the secrets of one-minute management! This page summarizes The One Minute Manager's proven strategies for empowering employees, providing immediate feedback, and driving continuous improvement. Learn how to boost productivity and develop your team with this actionable guide.

What are the big ideas?

One Minute Management

The book introduces a unique 'One Minute Management' strategy, emphasizing quick, concise interactions for goal setting, praising, and redirecting, which contrasts traditional, time-consuming management practices.

Setting One Minute Goals, offering One Minute Praisings, and performing One Minute Re-Directs.

Empowerment through Clear, Quick Goals

One Minute Goals are designed to be concise and clear, enabling employees to frequently review and align their efforts without constant supervision, fostering a culture of accountability and self-management.

Employees reviewing their concise goals daily to stay aligned with company objectives.

Immediate Positive Feedback

One Minute Praisings provide immediate, specific feedback for positive actions, enhancing motivation and clarity, contrasting with typical delayed feedback mechanisms in many organizations.

A manager quickly acknowledging an employee's successful completion of a task right when it happens.

Constructive Approach to Mistakes

One Minute Re-Directs focus on immediate, constructive feedback for mistakes, emphasizing learning and fast correction, which differs from punitive or delayed feedback approaches.

A manager addressing a mistake by first discussing its impact then reaffirming trust in the employee's capabilities.

Integration of Personal Development and Work Performance

The book highlights the importance of personal growth within the workplace, suggesting that effective management involves developing individuals' potential as much as accomplishing business goals.

Managers being expected to develop their team members into future leaders, emphasizing training and growth.

Adaptability and Continuous Improvement

The philosophy of constant adaptation to change and continuous improvement is central to the book's management strategy, advocating for responsiveness and flexibility in leadership styles to meet shifting demands.

The One Minute Manager adjusting management techniques based on employee experience and project phases.

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One Minute Management

The One Minute Management strategy offers a more efficient and effective approach to leadership. Rather than relying on lengthy, time-consuming processes, it emphasizes quick, concise interactions to drive results.

At the core of One Minute Management are three key elements:

One Minute Goals: Managers and employees collaborate to set clear, measurable goals that can be reviewed in about a minute. This ensures everyone knows what they are accountable for and what good performance looks like.

One Minute Praisings: Managers actively look for opportunities to "catch people doing something right" and provide immediate, specific feedback. This positive reinforcement helps build confidence and motivate high performance.

One Minute Re-Directs: When mistakes occur, managers provide a structured, one-minute feedback session. They first address the specific issue, then reaffirm their trust and confidence in the employee. This allows for quick course correction without damaging morale.

By focusing on these streamlined techniques, managers can achieve 80% of their desired outcomes while only investing 20% of their time. This frees them up to be more strategic and collaborative, rather than bogged down in lengthy processes. Ultimately, One Minute Management empowers both managers and employees to succeed.

Key Insight: One Minute Management

  • One Minute Goals: Teresa explains how the Manager works with employees to develop clear, concise goals that can be reviewed in about a minute. This helps ensure everyone knows their responsibilities and what good performance looks like.
  • One Minute Praisings: Paul describes how the Manager provides immediate, specific praise when he catches employees doing something right, even if it's just an approximation of the desired behavior. This encourages and motivates people.
  • One Minute Re-Directs: Jon explains how the Manager provides a quick, two-part feedback session when someone makes a mistake. The first part focuses on the mistake, while the second part reaffirms confidence in the employee.

These quick, focused interactions contrast traditional management practices that are often time-consuming and ineffective. The 'One Minute' approach helps make a complex job more manageable, allowing the Manager to achieve 80% of the desired outcomes through just 20% of the activities.

Empowerment through Clear, Quick Goals

One Minute Goals empower employees by providing crystal-clear objectives that can be quickly reviewed and adjusted as needed. This approach fosters a culture of self-management and accountability, where workers take ownership of their responsibilities and align their efforts with the organization's goals.

The beauty of One Minute Goals lies in their conciseness. Each goal is described in a paragraph or two, making it easy for employees to read and understand their key priorities. This allows them to frequently check in on their progress, ensuring they stay focused on what truly matters.

By involving employees in the goal-setting process, the manager ensures everyone is on the same page about expectations and performance standards. This collaborative approach builds trust and empowers workers to take an active role in their own success, rather than waiting for constant supervision.

The 80/20 rule is a guiding principle, where 80% of the desired results come from 20% of the goals. This selective focus helps workers prioritize their time and energy, maximizing their impact. When special projects arise, additional One Minute Goals can be quickly established to address them.

Overall, One Minute Goals create an environment where employees are empowered to manage their own work, stay aligned with the organization's objectives, and achieve success through clear, concise, and collaborative goal-setting.

Here are specific examples from the context that support the key insight of empowerment through clear, quick goals:

  • One Minute Goals: Teresa explains that the manager works with employees to develop concise, one-page goal descriptions that can be reviewed in about a minute. This ensures everyone is clear on their key responsibilities and performance expectations.

  • Self-Management: Teresa notes that with One Minute Goals, "it helps us succeed sooner" because employees can "look to see if you're doing what's expected, rather than waiting for your manager to tell you." This enables self-management and accountability.

  • Frequent Review: Teresa says employees are "encouraged to take a moment every now and then to look at what we're doing and see if it matches our goals. If not, we adjust what we're doing." This frequent goal review keeps employees aligned.

  • Clarity of Expectations: Teresa states that the manager "makes sure we know what good performance looks like" through the One Minute Goals, providing clear expectations.

  • Remote Work: Even for remote employees, the manager finds ways to provide this clarity, as Teresa describes how he guided her on a problem-solving task when she was traveling.

The key is that these concise, frequently reviewed goals empower employees to manage themselves and stay aligned with company objectives, without constant oversight from the manager. This fosters a culture of accountability and self-management.

Immediate Positive Feedback

One Minute Praisings provide immediate, specific feedback for positive actions. This contrasts with the delayed feedback common in many organizations, where recognition often comes much later, if at all.

The power of One Minute Praisings lies in their timeliness. A manager can quickly acknowledge an employee's successful completion of a task, right when it happens. This immediate positive reinforcement enhances the employee's motivation and clarity about what good performance looks like.

Rather than waiting for an annual review or other infrequent feedback, One Minute Praisings allow managers to continuously recognize and encourage good work. This consistent, constructive approach helps employees stay engaged and confident in their abilities, even as the organization and their roles evolve over time.

Here are specific examples from the context that support the key insight about One Minute Praisings providing immediate, positive feedback:

  • When a child is learning to walk, the parents get "all excited and say, 'He stood, he stood!' and you hug and kiss the child" when the child takes their first wobbly steps, rather than punishing the child for not walking perfectly.

  • When a child is learning to speak, the parents praise the child even for approximations like "Waller" instead of waiting for the full phrase "Give me a glass of water, please." This immediate positive feedback helps the child progress.

  • The manager explains that "the most important—and natural—thing to do to help people become winners is to catch them doing something approximately right in the beginning. Then you move on toward the desired result." This immediate positive feedback is key.

  • The manager says that "most managers wait until people do something exactly right before they praise them. As a result, many people never get to become high performers because their managers concentrate on catching them doing things wrong." In contrast, the One Minute Manager provides immediate positive feedback.

  • When the young man started working at the organization, the manager "made it very clear to me what he was going to do" - which was to provide "crystal-clear feedback on how I was doing" and let the young man know "in very specific terms when I was doing well."

  • The manager "stayed in close contact" with the young man, "observing my activities" and having the young man "send him reports of my progress" in order to "catch me doing something right" and provide immediate positive feedback through One Minute Praisings.

Constructive Approach to Mistakes

The One Minute Re-Direct is a powerful management technique that takes a constructive approach to addressing mistakes. Rather than punishing or delaying feedback, it focuses on immediate, specific feedback to help the employee learn and improve.

The key steps are:

  1. Clearly identify the mistake and its impact. This ensures the employee understands exactly what went wrong.
  2. Express how the mistake made you feel, in a direct but not overly emotional way. This helps the employee appreciate the significance of the error.
  3. Briefly pause to let the feedback sink in. This reflective moment encourages the employee to own the mistake.
  4. Reaffirm your trust and confidence in the employee's abilities. This reinforces that the mistake does not define them as a person.

The One Minute Re-Direct is effective because it balances critical feedback with encouragement. It treats mistakes as learning opportunities, not personal failures. This constructive approach helps employees stay engaged and motivated to do better, rather than becoming defensive or disheartened.

Here are key examples from the context that support the insight about the constructive approach to mistakes:

  • The One Minute Re-Direct involves two parts:

    • First, the manager specifies exactly what went wrong so the employee knows the manager is on top of the issue and doesn't want poor work.
    • Second, the manager reaffirms their confidence and trust in the employee, making it easier for the employee to not become defensive.
  • The manager takes responsibility if a goal wasn't clear, showing fairness in the Re-Direct process.

  • The Re-Direct only takes about a minute, but the employee remembers it, and the supportive ending motivates them to get back on track.

  • When the manager forgets the second, supportive part of the Re-Direct, the employee points it out and asks for that feedback, showing how the constructive approach builds trust.

  • The manager encourages employees to speak up if they notice the manager may be mistaken, further demonstrating a culture of learning from mistakes.

  • The manager and employees laugh about mistakes, seeing them as opportunities to improve rather than punishments, fostering a positive, productive environment.

Integration of Personal Development and Work Performance

Effective managers recognize that their role extends beyond simply achieving business goals - it involves developing their team members' full potential. This integrated approach to personal growth and work performance is a hallmark of successful leadership.

Managers who invest in their employees' development create a culture of learning and advancement. They provide clear goals, constructive feedback, and opportunities for skill-building. This nurtures a workforce that is not only productive, but also motivated, confident, and equipped to take on greater responsibilities.

By blending professional development with day-to-day work, managers harness the synergy between individual growth and organizational success. Employees feel valued, empowered, and inspired to contribute at the highest level. This fosters a dynamic, high-performing team that can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.

The integration of personal development and work performance is a strategic imperative for modern managers. It unlocks the full potential of both individuals and the organization, driving sustainable growth and excellence.

Here are key examples from the context that illustrate the integration of personal development and work performance:

  • The Manager emphasizes that "The Best Minute I Spend Is The One I Invest In People." This suggests a focus on developing employees, not just achieving business goals.

  • The Manager reveals that when he first started working, his own manager "made it very clear to me what he was going to do" - which was to provide "crystal-clear feedback" and "catch me doing something right" through One Minute Praisings. This shows the manager investing in the employee's personal growth.

  • The Manager explains the importance of One Minute Goals, where he works "side-by-side" with employees to set clear expectations. This collaborative approach develops employees' understanding of their responsibilities.

  • Teresa describes how the Manager "makes sure we know what good performance looks like" through the One Minute Goals process. This focus on clarifying expectations supports employees' ability to succeed.

  • The Manager contrasts the "leave-alone-zap" management style, which neglects employee development, with his approach of "catching people doing something approximately right" and praising them. This highlights his emphasis on nurturing employees' growth.

  • The Manager uses analogies like teaching a child to walk or speak to illustrate the importance of providing positive feedback and encouragement, rather than just criticizing, when developing new skills. This underscores the personal development aspect of effective management.

Adaptability and Continuous Improvement

The New One Minute Manager embodies the principle of adaptability and continuous improvement. Rather than rigidly applying the same management techniques, this leader dynamically adjusts their approach to meet the evolving needs of their team and organization.

For example, the Manager adapts the "Three Secrets" - One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Re-Directs - based on the experience level of the employee and the phase of a project. This flexibility ensures the techniques remain effective and relevant, rather than becoming stale or outdated.

The core insight is that great leaders must be willing to continuously learn and evolve their management style. They cannot rely on a one-size-fits-all approach, but must be responsive to changing circumstances. This mindset of adaptability and continuous improvement is essential for driving sustained success in a dynamic business environment.

Here are key examples from the context that illustrate the importance of adaptability and continuous improvement in the One Minute Manager's approach:

  • The One Minute Manager adapted the Third Secret from the "One Minute Reprimand" to the "One Minute Re-Direct" to better fit the changing needs of the organization and employees. This shows how he continuously updates his management techniques.

  • The One Minute Manager explains that the One Minute Re-Direct helps people "learn, because it can let me see what I need to do differently." This demonstrates his focus on continuous learning and improvement, both for employees and himself as a manager.

  • When the young man asks about using the techniques to manipulate people, the One Minute Manager emphasizes the importance of "being honest with people" and that "being dishonest eventually leads to failing with people." This highlights his adaptability in modifying his approach to maintain trust and engagement.

  • The One Minute Manager states that he observes new employees closely at first "to catch them doing something right" and provide timely praise. This adaptable onboarding process helps new hires learn and succeed.

  • When discussing One Minute Praisings, the One Minute Manager uses the examples of teaching a child to walk and speak, showing how he tailors his approach based on the employee's experience level to foster gradual improvement.

The key is the One Minute Manager's willingness to continuously adapt his management style and techniques to meet the evolving needs of his team and organization, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach. This adaptability and focus on continuous improvement are central to his successful management philosophy.


Let's take a look at some key quotes from "The One Minute Manager" that resonated with readers.

Take a minute: look at your goals, look at your performance, see if your behavior matches your goals.

Regular self-reflection is essential for success. Take time to evaluate your objectives, assess your progress, and ensure your actions align with your goals. This habit helps you stay focused, make adjustments when needed, and ultimately achieve your desired outcomes.

Secret #1 : One minute Goal Setting "People who feel good about themselves produce good results

When individuals have a positive self-image, they tend to perform well and achieve desired outcomes. This is because confidence and self-esteem boost motivation, leading to better focus and effort. As a result, people who feel good about themselves are more likely to produce high-quality results and excel in their tasks.

Help People Reach Their Full Potential Catch Them Doing Something Right

Effective leaders focus on empowering their team members to excel by recognizing and reinforcing positive behavior. By acknowledging and celebrating small achievements, managers can foster a culture of motivation and growth. This approach encourages individuals to strive for excellence, building confidence and competence that ultimately leads to reaching their full potential.

Comprehension Questions

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How well do you understand the key insights in "The One Minute Manager"? Find out by answering the questions below. Try to answer the question yourself before revealing the answer! Mark the questions as done once you've answered them.

1. What are the three key elements of the management strategy that focuses on quick, concise interactions?
2. How do One Minute Goals benefit both managers and employees?
3. What is the purpose of One Minute Praisings in the workplace?
4. Describe how a manager should handle a situation using One Minute Re-Directs when an employee makes a mistake.
5. Why is this quick, concise management style considered effective in achieving desired outcomes with minimal time investment?
6. What is the main advantage of One Minute Goals in the workplace?
7. How do One Minute Goals encourage employee empowerment?
8. What principle underlies the prioritization process in setting One Minute Goals?
9. How does frequent reviewing of goals benefit employees?
10. Why is clarity of expectations important in the goal-setting process?
11. Why is it beneficial for feedback to be immediate rather than delayed?
12. How do One Minute Praisings differ from traditional methods of feedback in organizations?
13. What impact does immediate positive feedback have on an employee's performance in the workplace?
14. What is the primary focus of the One Minute Re-Direct technique?
15. Why is it important to identify the mistake and its impact in the One Minute Re-Direct?
16. How does expressing feelings about a mistake in a direct manner benefit the employee?
17. What role does pausing briefly after providing feedback play in the One Minute Re-Direct?
18. How does reaffirming trust and confidence in an employee after a mistake affect their performance?
19. How does investing in personal development of employees influence their work performance?
20. What key strategies do effective leaders use to integrate personal development with daily work responsibilities?
21. Why is it essential for modern managers to focus on both personal growth and meeting business goals?
22. What is the significance of a leader being able to modify their management techniques?
23. Why is it important for management strategies to evolve over time?
24. How does adaptability in management impact employee development?
25. Why might a rigid, one-size-fits-all management approach be ineffective?
26. How can continuously updating management techniques contribute to organizational success?

Action Questions

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"Knowledge without application is useless," Bruce Lee said. Answer the questions below to practice applying the key insights from "The One Minute Manager". Mark the questions as done once you've answered them.

1. How can you apply the One Minute Goals approach in your next team meeting to enhance clarity and focus on key objectives?
2. How can you implement One Minute Goals in your daily work routine to enhance focus and productivity?
3. What strategies can you use to ensure frequent and effective review of your goals to stay aligned with your main priorities?
4. How can you integrate the practice of immediate, specific praise into your daily management routine to enhance team motivation and performance?
5. What methods can you employ to ensure that you provide timely and specific feedback in fast-paced work environments?
6. How can you implement the One Minute Re-Direct in your next team meeting to address a recent oversight?
7. How can you adopt a management style that prioritizes both professional development and achievement of business objectives in your team?
8. How can you modify existing management techniques to better align with the current needs of your team?

Chapter Notes

The First Secret: One Minute Goals

Here are the key takeaways from the chapter:

  • One Minute Goals: One Minute Goals are a key part of the "One Minute Management" approach used by the Manager. They involve setting clear, concise goals that can be read and reviewed in about a minute.

  • Shared Understanding of Responsibilities: The Manager works with employees to ensure there is a shared understanding of their job responsibilities and what they are being held accountable for. This helps avoid situations where the employee's understanding differs from the manager's.

  • Collaborative Goal-Setting: Rather than simply setting goals for employees, the Manager listens to their input and works with them to develop the goals. This helps ensure the goals are meaningful and aligned with the employee's work.

  • Frequent Goal Review: Employees are encouraged to frequently review their One Minute Goals, rather than waiting for the manager to check in. This allows them to self-manage and adjust their work to stay aligned with the goals.

  • Demonstrating Problem-Solving: When an employee encounters a problem, the Manager guides them through a process of defining the problem, envisioning the desired state, and brainstorming solutions. This teaches the employee how to effectively solve problems on their own.

  • Empowering Employees: By teaching employees how to solve problems and manage their own work, the Manager is able to reduce the amount of direct involvement required. This empowers the employees to be more self-sufficient and responsive.

  • Focus on Key Priorities: The organization follows the 80/20 rule, focusing One Minute Goals on the 20% of goals that drive 80% of the important results. This helps employees stay focused on their most critical responsibilities.

The Second Secret: One Minute Praisings

Here are the key takeaways from the chapter:

  • One Minute Praisings: This is the "Second Secret" of the One Minute Manager. It involves the manager regularly observing their employees' activities, and then providing them with immediate, specific feedback when they catch the employee doing something right. This feedback is given in a brief, "one minute" interaction.

  • Purpose of One Minute Praisings: The purpose of One Minute Praisings is to:

    • Help employees succeed and reach their full potential
    • Build the employees' confidence, which is important for dealing with change and innovation
    • Provide consistent, positive feedback, even when the manager is dealing with other issues
  • Benefits of One Minute Praisings: One Minute Praisings provide several benefits:

    • Employees don't have to wait for a performance review to get feedback on how they're doing
    • Employees know the manager is paying attention and is sincere in their praise
    • Employees feel motivated to keep up the good work
  • Timing of One Minute Praisings: One Minute Praisings are used more frequently when an employee is new or starting a new project/responsibility. As the employee becomes more experienced, the manager relies on them to self-evaluate and praise themselves.

  • Efficiency of One Minute Praisings: One Minute Praisings are efficient, as they take less than a minute to deliver. This allows the manager to provide regular positive feedback without it being overly time-consuming.

  • Connection to One Minute Goals: One Minute Praisings are connected to the One Minute Goals, as they provide feedback on how well the employee is performing against those goals.

The Appraisal

  • The New One Minute Manager's Operation is the Most Efficient and Effective: According to Liz Aquino, the New One Minute Manager's operation is the most efficient and effective of all the company's facilities, despite having some of the oldest equipment and technology.

  • The New One Minute Manager Adapts to Changes: Liz mentions that no matter how things change, the New One Minute Manager adapts, which contributes to the success of his operation.

  • The New One Minute Manager Has High Turnover, but Develops People: While the New One Minute Manager's operation has a high turnover rate, Liz reveals that the company usually gives the people who leave his division their own operations, as he is the best developer of people within the company.

  • The New One Minute Manager is a Valuable Resource: Liz expresses her desire to visit the New One Minute Manager to learn his "Secrets," indicating that he is a valuable resource within the company, and the young man is eager to discover these Secrets as well.

  • The Young Man is Fascinated by the New One Minute Manager: The chapter portrays the young man as being deeply fascinated by the New One Minute Manager's unique management style and success, and he is determined to uncover the Secrets behind it.

The Third Secret: One Minute Re-Directs

  • One Minute Re-Directs: This is the new version of the Third Secret, which is used to address mistakes made by employees. It is a more constructive approach compared to the previous "One Minute Reprimand".

  • Structure of a One Minute Re-Direct: A One Minute Re-Direct consists of two parts:

    • The first part focuses on the specific mistake, where the manager clearly explains what went wrong and expresses their feelings about the impact of the mistake.
    • The second part focuses on the employee, where the manager reaffirms their confidence and trust in the employee, and expresses their belief that the employee is better than the mistake and will not repeat it.
  • Benefits of a One Minute Re-Direct: The Re-Direct helps the employee to:

    • Understand the mistake and its impact
    • Reflect on the mistake without becoming defensive
    • Feel supported and motivated to get back on track
  • Importance of Timing: The manager delivers the Re-Direct as soon as they become aware of the mistake, ensuring the issue is addressed promptly.

  • Quiet Pause: The brief pause after the first part of the Re-Direct allows the employee to reflect on the mistake and its impact, making the feedback more impactful.

  • Responsibility and Accountability: The manager takes responsibility if the goal was not clearly communicated, demonstrating fairness and building trust.

  • Continuous Improvement: The manager encourages employees to point out any mistakes they notice in the manager's own work, helping to prevent future errors.

  • Sense of Humor: The manager's ability to maintain a sense of humor and laugh at their own mistakes helps to create a positive and supportive work environment.

  • Combination of Goals, Praisings, and Re-Directs: This comprehensive approach of setting clear goals, providing positive feedback, and addressing mistakes helps employees feel better about themselves and produce better results.

The New One Minute Manager Explains

  • The New One Minute Manager Adapts the Three Secrets: The New One Minute Manager continuously adapts the Three Secrets - One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Re-Directs - to ensure everyone on the team knows what they are accountable for and what good performance looks like.

  • One Minute Goals: The manager and the team set One Minute Goals together to clearly define what people are being held accountable for and what good performance looks like. This helps ensure everyone is aligned on the objectives.

  • One Minute Praisings: The manager "catches people doing something right" and provides them with a One Minute Praising, which is a quick, positive feedback session to reinforce good behavior and performance.

  • One Minute Re-Directs: When the manager notices people have made a mistake, they provide a One Minute Re-Direct, which is a brief feedback session to course-correct the behavior or performance.

  • The 80/20 Principle: The Three Secrets (One Minute Goals, Praisings, and Re-Directs) only take about 20% of the manager's time, yet they help achieve 80% of the desired outcomes, demonstrating the power of the 80/20 principle.

  • Investing in People: The manager emphasizes that companies often spend more time and money on maintaining physical assets (buildings, technology, equipment) than they do on developing their people, even though it is the people who drive results. The manager believes the best minute a manager can spend is investing in their people.

  • Clarity and Feedback: The manager's previous experiences working in organizations where he didn't know what he was supposed to be doing or whether he was doing a good job motivated him to manage differently by providing clear goals and regular feedback to his team.

Why One Minute Goals Work

  • Feedback is the Number One Motivator: The chapter emphasizes that the primary motivator for people is feedback on their results. Without clear feedback on their performance, people feel unmotivated, similar to bowling with a sheet covering the pins or playing golf at night.

  • Managers Often Withhold Feedback: The chapter suggests that many managers withhold feedback from their employees, either by not providing clear goals or by only giving feedback during the annual performance review process. This can make employees feel like "losers" and discourage them.

  • One Minute Goals: One Minute Goals are a key tool in One Minute Management. These goals are written down on a single page, including due dates, so that employees can quickly review them daily and check their progress. This ensures that employees have clear, strategic goals to work towards.

  • Everyone Has Potential to be a Winner: The chapter emphasizes that everyone has the potential to be a winner, and that managers should either hire winners or systematically develop potential winners, rather than relying on "prayer" that an employee will work out.

  • One Minute Praisings: One Minute Praisings are another key tool in One Minute Management. These are sincere, immediate praises for good work, which can help motivate employees and reinforce positive behaviors. However, the Praisings must be merited and sincere to be effective.

Why One Minute Praisings Work

  • Catching Approximate Behavior: The key to helping people become successful is to catch them doing something approximately right in the beginning, rather than waiting for them to do things perfectly. This approach provides encouragement and positive reinforcement, which helps people learn and improve over time.

  • Setting Achievable Goals: By setting a series of smaller, achievable goals, people can more easily progress towards the desired result. This is more effective than expecting perfection from the start.

  • Praising vs. Punishing: Punishing people for mistakes or shortcomings is an ineffective management style, often leading to disengagement and poor performance. Instead, managers should focus on praising and encouraging people when they do something approximately right.

  • One Minute Praisings: One Minute Praisings are a powerful tool for recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors. They provide immediate, specific feedback that helps people understand what they are doing well and encourages them to continue improving.

  • Observing New and Inexperienced Employees: Managers should closely observe new and inexperienced employees, looking for opportunities to provide One Minute Praisings. This helps these employees feel supported and motivated to learn and grow.

  • Redirection vs. Punishment: When employees make mistakes or fail to meet expectations, managers should focus on redirecting them towards the desired behavior, rather than punishing them. This approach helps people learn and improve, rather than becoming discouraged or disengaged.

  • Engagement and Interest: Employees who are managed using the "leave-alone-zap" style, where they are left alone until they make a mistake and then punished, often become disengaged and uninterested in their work. In contrast, the One Minute Management approach helps keep employees engaged and motivated.

Why One Minute Re-Directs Work

  • One Minute Re-Directs work well because they provide feedback in small, manageable doses, rather than waiting until frustration builds up and unloading all the negative feedback at once. This approach is more effective because it allows the person receiving the feedback to focus on and address one behavior at a time, rather than feeling overwhelmed by a long list of criticisms.

  • Separating the person's behavior from their worth is crucial. The goal is to address the poor behavior without attacking the person's character or self-worth. This is achieved by first addressing the specific behavior, then reaffirming the person's value and potential.

  • Providing praise in the second half of the Re-Direct is important. This helps the person focus on the behavior that needs to be improved, rather than becoming defensive or resentful. It also reinforces the idea that the person is valued and capable of doing better.

  • The "tough and nice" approach, where the critique comes before the praise, is more effective than the reverse. This order helps the person understand the importance of the feedback and take responsibility for their actions, rather than dismissing it.

  • One Minute Re-Directs can be effectively used in various contexts, not just in the workplace. The example of a basketball coach using a similar approach to improve a player's performance demonstrates the broader applicability of this technique.

  • Respect and caring are essential for a successful Re-Direct. The manager must genuinely care about the person's growth and success, rather than using the technique as a manipulative tool.

  • Repeated mistakes may require a more serious intervention. If a person continues to make the same mistakes despite receiving a Re-Direct, the manager needs to carefully evaluate the situation and consider whether the person is a good fit for the team.

  • Goals and consequences are closely related. The goals set for an individual or team influence their behaviors, and the consequences (both positive and negative) that follow those behaviors will shape future behaviors.


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