Management in one minute
Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
This essay is about the book called one-minute manager written by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The book describes the three management techniques that have proven to be effective when it comes to management. The three techniques are one-minute goal setting, one-minute praising’s and a one-minute reprimand. The brief book describes a story of a young man who is seeking to become an effective manager and hears about a company that is able to produce effective results as well as keep its employees satisfied.
Different management styles in theory
At the start the book goes on to explain about the general understanding of management and how there are 2 different types of managers in a company, an autocratic manager and a democratic manager.
An autocratic/ authoritarian manager defined by verywellmind.com is when an “individual controls over all decisions and takes in little input from group members.” (Cherry, 2019) This sort of management style is understood to be common in companies where results are the main objective and the happiness and well-being of the employees is a secondary objective.
A democratic leadership style as defined by the study The Impact of Autocratic and Democratic Leadership Style on Job Satisfaction is when “a leader will make the final decision, he/she invites other members of the team to contribute the decision-making process.” (Nadeem Bhatti, 2012)
As a result, all different opinions are taken into account when making decisions and according to the study “Employees and team members feel in control of their own destiny” resulting in increased job satisfaction and people skills management.
Another management style that was not mentioned in the book but is well known is the Laissez-Faire Leadership Style which summarized, allows for the workers to have complete freedom when it comes to different tasks. Defined as “a type of leadership style in which leaders are hands-off and allow group members to make the decisions” by verywellminded.com the management style can lead to a team to be least productive when it comes to reaching a common goal or target. (Cherry, 2019)
As a reflective point I would personally challenge this statement as when it comes to the leadership of teams in Proakatemia this seems to be the most common leadership style and from the evidence that is presented every month by each team, in terms of their monetary success, it works as I believe the model of operation in Proakatemia suits this style of management due to each individual being responsible for their own studies and progress.
1 Minute manager
1-minute goal setting
For one-minute goal setting the person should define what they want to achieve and how they are going to achieve it in less than 250 words on a single sheet of paper. This helps the goal setting to be concise and to the point allowing for a lot of waffle to be eliminated. After a person has set their goals likes this they can start reflecting on the goal. In the book the young man who is interviewing different managers to find out the secrets of becoming a one-minute manager, is told that the person who sets this goal should reflect on it every day. Just to take a minute out of what they are doing and see if their current behaviour matches the behaviour that has been set in order to achieve their desired goal.
While reading this point one thing came to mind which was how to manage and how to reflect on one’s own behaviour, there is of course a bias when it comes to self-analysis as one wishes only the best for themselves. Therefore, having a performance report from your manager with an external view on your own situations can help give another perspective on your own development.
One minute praising the book points out that what most managers do when it comes to consulting their employees or team-mates, they look for things that their co-workers do wrong and not right. As a result, the book explains that it can be a serious demotivator for someone to only get critical and negative feedback on their behaviour.
The book recommends that manager should instead look for things that their co-workers do right instead. When you praise someone for their behaviour and how their behaviour matches their goals what they have set, it allows for the person to feel good about themselves and it boosts their motivation levels.
A motivated worker will therefore produce better quality work for a company and when an employee can see what behaviour is good and appreciated by their manager, they can start identifying patterns that allows them to recognize when they have done a good job. This then results in the worker him or herself to start becoming a one-minute manager as they can set their own goals and start reflecting and matching their good behaviour towards the jobs that they do.
The important steps to make one-minute praising’s work are as follows:
· Tell people upfront that you are going to tell them how they are doing
· Praise immediately when good behaviour has been recognized
· Tell people what they did right and be specific
· Tell how good you feel about the thing they did right
· Stop for them to feel how you feel
· Encourage to do the same thing often
· Make physical contact with the person you are praising e.g. Shake hands, touch shoulder etc.
As a contrast to the previous point of the book a big part of one-minute management is also the feedback on negative behaviour. It is important to notice that when giving reprimands the manager should not be criticizing the personality of the person who has made a mistake, but the most important point is to criticize the behaviour that does not match to the workers normal standards of working. When giving a one-minute reprimand one needs to keep in mind that they are telling people how much they appreciate them and explain why they are disappointed in the person who has made the mistake. Again, it is important to notice that when explaining this the manager should talk about the behaviour and not say why they are disappointed in the person itself e.g. Their personality.
It is also important to recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that the manager themselves who is giving a reprimand is also just a human being and they are not perfect. In the book it is emphasized that people should learn to laugh about their mistakes. This of course should happen only after the mistake has been fully recognized and understood by the employee/co-worker.
When giving a reprimand the book recommends giving the reprimand as soon as possible so that there is no confusion about the situation as the worst thing that can happen is that the reprimand is given much later. When giving feedback one needs to be specific about what the co-worker did wrong, and how the manager feels about the mistake. This needs to be made clear so that the co-worker understands the severity of the situation and can recognize what it has done to the company.
The last thing that needs to be kept in mind when giving feedback is to be consistent with it. This means that when standards such as specifying and telling immediately what has been done wrong the person giving the feedback needs to make sure they stick to those standards.
The book One-minute manager allows for the reader to gain some new and interesting insights into management. In the final chapters of the book the main character, the young man who had interviewed 3 managers of the company, was offered a job from the company as he had learned the three secrets of becoming a one-minute manager. His mission after learning the 3 secrets was to spread the knowledge, he had gained from working in the company. In summary the three secrets to becoming a one-minute manager are, 1-minute goal settings, 1-minute praising’s and 1-minute reprimands. When all of these elements are combined it produces a manager who can effectively produce results in their company as well as create more impendent workers who can then act as their own managers and take more responsibility over their actions.
When reflecting on this book and what kind of things it goes over some questions come to mind that I want to answer in this essay. Can this sort of a management style be adopted into any organization? Does the size of an organization matter in case of management style? Is this management style situational?
Can One-minute management be adopted into any organization?
When it comes to the size and style of an organization there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Different styles of companies have different hierarchies and different methods of communication and chains of commands. Would this style of management then be appropriate for any style?
Tall hierarchical structure
In a tall hierarchical structure, there are usually sets of rules for communication and chains of command. Organizations such as those that are owned and operated by a government usually have a tall hierarchy as they require specified chains of command and spans of control. As defined by hierarchystructure.com a tall structure is when “an organization contains many managers, but such managers are present there for a limited period of time and are in charge of a small group of their own.” (hierarchystructure.com, 2018) These managers like mentioned are in charge of small groups of people at a time allowing them to have smalls spans of control meaning they are in charge of a small amount of people. In these sorts of organisations companies will have large chains of communication and chains of command where messages can take a long time to reach upper level management and the CEO if need be. In this kind of a structure One-minute management would be highly effective as the manager is in charge only of a handful of people allowing them to get to know their employees very well. This would be hugely beneficial for a manager as then they can monitor their co-worker’s behaviour and having a smaller amount of people would make it easier to have 1-minute goal setting as well as all the other previously mentioned secretes of one-minute management.
Flat organizational structure
In a flat organizational structure, a company has less levels of management meaning that the managers who work in these kinds of structures have a larger span of control and are therefore in charge of a large amount of people.” There may be one or two layers between the top
management and lower levels of employees. The structure is short and wide and is usually adapted by small scale businesses.” (hierarchystructure.com, 2018)
When it comes to one-minute management, having more people that the manager is in charge of can pose a challenge as this sort of management style is very heavily centred around personal development and growth. The number of people on the one hand could pose a challenge in terms of 1-minute goal setting as sitting down with every employee and talking about their goals as a worker will take time but on the other hand it could be hugely beneficial for the company as when done right ,as the book suggests, employees can become their own one-minute managers allowing them to detect good behavioural patterns in their work as well as give constructive criticism to themselves and others when needed.
When it comes to Proakatemia, one can observe that out of these two general structures, companies are generally formed in the latter style. This I believe is due to the fact that all members of the companies are students and are all on the same level as far as experience and knowledge goes. Even though the structures are flat the number of members in each company is quite small allowing for all members to get to know each other very well. This I think would greatly enable the One-minute management style to be put into practice in Proakatemia teams.
Does size matter?
With the style of organization being one question for this style of management, the size of a company is another. When thinking about the size of a company one thing does come to mind which could give rise to a challenge for a manager who is using this style. As companies get larger their number of employees also increases meaning consulting with all the different employees of the company in terms of their personal goals will take a lot of time. On the other hand, the structure of the organization matters a lot at this point as depending on the style of the organization, managers will have larger or smaller spans of control. Each organization of course varies with their own set of standards and rules but in general this specific job gets easier the smaller the span of control.
Is this management style universal?
When thinking about the answer to the question about is this management style universal meaning can it be used in any situation, I believe this would not be one. Every situation requires a different approach when it comes to management. Some situations need executive power and decision making quickly such as the army. In this type of an organisation an autocratic management style is the most appropriate as an autocratic manager will make decisions on a split-second judgement and the rest of the team have to obey orders and comply with that decision. In this case one-minute management would not necessarily work. One can speculate that when in the army and when there are different life-threatening situations leaders are not concerned with what soldiers do right and praise them all the time. When on a mission a group of soldiers will need to be effective and are trained so that they are able to take and obey orders from their superiors.