The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph. D. and Spencer Johnson, M. D. , seems like a practical simple plan on managing people and there for other areas of one's life, however I must admit I am a little skeptical.
The three philosophies do make sense especially once analogies are used to put them into more simple terms. Being in the work force for more than fourteen years I have witnessed many types of mangers. I have worked for hostile managers, calm caring managers and managers who fit somewhere in between. My skepticism with this theory is simply applying its use.
On paper this method sounds great and makes a lot of key points, but again after seeing first hand the types of people in management positions I think the challenge comes from undoing current behavior. My observation of people in general, is that they unwelcome change and find it uncomfortable. The first philosophy "One Minute Goal Setting" makes tasks assigned to the individual clear and precise. The manager first expresses goals that need to be accomplished. Once an agreement is made, each goal is written down in 250 words or less. It is strongly held that it should take no more than a minute to read.
You should reinforce each goal throughout the day. Also take time to look at your performance and see if your behavior matches your goals. I agree with this theory and think there should be more interaction at the beginning of an assignment. With One Minute goal setting everything is out on the table.
There is no dispute on what should have been done or didn't get done. The bowling analogy used has a lot of truth to it. If there were a sheet in front of the pins with a supervisor standing behind it, it would be hard to tell how well your doing because you can't see the pins or goal. Only the supervisor knows your score. I see this a lot in staff meetings. There are usually conflicts between my manager and staff because of misunderstanding on the task assigned.
This is where the conflict resides. The employee feels they did exactly what was asked while the employer thinks the job was done incorrectly. This usually causes my boss to criticize the work and most if not all people take it personally. Then, once the meeting is over, my peers will get defensive and complain that the project wasn't clear and gain animosity toward my manager. I believe if One Minute Goal setting was implemented it could greatly alleviate these problems and produce productive results. The "One Minute Praising" is a pleasant philosophy.
As a manager tell the employee up front that they will receive updates on their performance. Give your employee praising every time he or she does something right to point them in the direction of the ultimate goal. Specify what they did right and how it made you feel. A moment of silence should then be kept to give off your good feeling. This concept teaches the employee how to praise him or herself.
The praising is followed up by a handshake or physical gesture to show you support their success. I agree the more you praise the individual the closer they are to praising themselves. When people feel good about themselves and the work they perform, it makes them want to do better. I could be categorized as one of those people. My performance reviews have always been happy times for me. After going over my review, I find myself on a high for weeks.
My boss will then critique me on something that was not done right and I go into "I don't care" mode. I get defensive and my attitude reflects in my work. It takes longer for me to accomplish that task and I do not put as much effort into it as when I am feeling good. Giving praise gets people in the routine of praising themselves. I have a habit of patting myself on the back when I feel I have done a good job or figured out a solution to a problem that seemed complicated. I actually think that's why I enjoy my job.
My daily activities involve troubleshooting problems and figuring them out by trial and error. I look to take on more challenges when I praise myself. This is how I know first hand that it makes employees more motivated and effective when they feel good about their accomplishments. The one thing about the One Minute Praising I don't agree with is the physical contact. There are a lot of people who do not like to be touched. Especially being a female and having a male boss.
I think if I worked for someone who used physical contact along with praise it might make me feel uncomfortable. I also think managers need to be careful as people scream sexual harassment and make it their part time job. The third Philosophy, The "One Minute Reprimand", works similar to praising. Tell your employee how they are doing in no uncertain terms. Reprimand people immediately. Tell the person what they did wrong and how it made you feel.
Follow up with Silence thus making the impact more extreme. Finally shake hands so that the person receiving the reprimand know that you still think well of them and that no personal feelings are spared. Out of all three theory's, this is the one I have the hardest time with. Not because I think it will not work, but I believe it takes a strong individual to keep personal feelings aside when giving reprimands. I do however agree on dealing with behavior right on the spot. The One Minute Manager makes a good point that people get more defensive when there are multiple behaviors to deal with.
Employees feel as if they are being attacked. I agree with that. I am guilty of this in my personal life. In my relationships with family, friends and loved ones I have a habit of not dealing with disappointing feelings right away because I don't want to cause conflict.
My feelings begin to fester and I become more sensitive to other things that normally wouldn't tick me off, but do, because I am still upset about the first problem. Before you know it, I blow up and everything comes out anyway. Usually the person I am upset with has to hear about what they did a month ago and everything in between. This puts that person on the defense and nothing really gets accomplished until a few days later when we all calm down to discuss the issue. So logically if I dealt with my feelings in the beginning, the blowouts could be avoided and I could calmly get my point across with little conflict. Overall the "One Minute Manager" concept seems like a dynamic way to keep employees happy and content in their jobs.
In my opinion, I think the theory appears too good to be true. I am skeptical because managers would need to struggle with changing their current behavior. I think for me to be convinced that this would work in the real life of business, I would need to experience it first hand.