Blog Post

    One Minute Management: Become a Better Leader in 60 Seconds a Day

    If you manage a team, you know how important face time is to keeping team members prioritized and engaged. But there just aren’t enough hours in the day to sit down with each employee… or are there?

    Swap out stuffy 6-month performance reviews for 60 seconds a day with each team member. With the one minute manager approach developed by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, you can build great relationships with your team and become a better leader in the time it takes to pour another cup of coffee.

    This Will Only Take a Minute

    “The best minute you spend is the one you invest in people.”

    —Ken Blanchard, PhD, co-author of The New One Minute Manager

    One minute doesn’t sound like much, but if you have ever attended a boring company meeting where all you did was doodle for an hour, you know that it’s the quality of time that matters, not the quantity. 

    Turn 60 seconds a day into quality time with each team member by clearly focusing on one of three topics:

    1. Setting goals
    2. Recognizing great work
    3. Reprimanding poor performance

    We’ve broken down this trio of one minute management strategies below.

    One Minute Manager Situation #1: Goal-Setting

    Less than 33% of senior executives’ direct subordinates clearly understand their company’s objectives and how they fit into the broader organizational strategy, according to the Harvard Business Review. That number gets even smaller as you go down the corporate ladder.

    In other words, most employees have no idea what they should be focusing on or why.

    Rather than forcing them to trek to Mordor and back trying to figure it out, spend some time at the start of each project agreeing which top goal(s) to pursue. Write it down in 250 words or less and make two copies—one for you and one for your employee—so you can both spend a minute every day rereading your common goals to ensure that your behavior matches objectives.

    Goodbye, goal confusion. Hello, happier employees.

    One Minute Manager Tactic #2: Recognizing  

    Turns out that our moms were right—“thank you” really are the magic words. At least, that’s what Westminster College determined. Their study found that more employees prefer praise from their direct manager and attention from leaders than financial rewards like company stock options.  

    Consistent recognition can be a huge motivator in helping your employees, particularly the Millennials of the bunch, reach their potential. When the occasion arises, use your one minute to unleash a pep talk worthy of Rocky Balboa himself:

    1. Mention that you’re going spend a minute on praise (and watch your team member’s eyes light up!)
    2. Praise the specific thing they did well
    3. Explain how you feel great about their actions, and how their actions help the organization and other employees
    4. Let your words sink in
    5. Encourage them to repeat the behavior
    6. Shake their hand to show support

    Use this formula to make your minute as effective as possible, but don’t be a robot. If you and your team member often high five or hug instead of shaking hands, for instance, then go for the epic high five after praise so the whole interaction doesn’t feel forced.

    One Minute Manager Tactic #3: Reprimanding   

    Letting things stew should be reserved for the kitchen, not the office. When your team members inevitably make mistakes, addressing the issue as quickly as possible can prevent further wrongdoing and nip any hard feelings in the bud.

    Follow the same formula as you would when giving praise, but explain what your employee specifically did wrong instead of right. The key to a successful 60-second criticism session is to remind them that while you’re not a fan of their performance in that particular situation, you still value them as a team member and want to help them succeed.  

    Open Discussions, Open Doors

    If you find that these one minute discussion sessions create better relationships with your team members, consider implementing an open door policy in your workplace with our step-by-step open door policy guide!

    Topics: HR
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