Making the Most of One Minute

August 5, 2011
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What can you accomplish in one minute?

August is the last full month of summer and is usually packed with family vacations, parties and barbeques before kids head back to school. 

Many professionals struggle with work/life balance- even on the weekends.  According to the 45th Annual Email Addiction Survey 2009, AOL, 62% of at-work email users check work email over the weekend, and 19% check it five or more times in a weekend. More than 50% said they check it on vacation, with the highest amount coming from mobile device users at 78%.

This fact may not cause alarm because more than likely, you are someone for whom checking email is a common, constant practice.  Consider this, according to Tom Pisello of ITBusinessEdge.com organizations lose approx.:

  • $1,250 per user in annual productivity because of time spent dealing with spam
  • $1,800 unnecessary emails from co-workers
  • $2,100 – $4,100 due to poorly written communications

Many professionals have optimized their time and employer productivity in terms of dollars by applying tactics revealed in The One Minute Manager, one of the best selling business books of all time. In it, authors Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson tell the story of a young manager who applies the following three rules to increase his time efficiency and overall effectiveness as a manager. 

One minute goal setting: The One Minute Manager instructs his team members to write out their goals in 250 words or less and encourages them to revisit their goals weekly to ascertain how closely their behavior matches the goal.

One minute praisings: These enable the One Minute Manager to determine who is doing things right or approximately right.  Once the manager observes the behavior, he/she communicates what the person did correctly in specific terms and how it makes the manager feel, e.g. proud, excited, etc.  Most importantly, the manager encourages the employee to continue their good behavior, followed by a hand-shake to reinforce the positive behavior.

One minute reprimands: Inevitably, an employee does something incorrectly when one minute reprimands are used to correct and redirect behavior. When the One Minute Manager observes this, he/she will tell the employee specifically what is being done incorrectly and how it makes him/her feel, e.g. confused, frustrated, etc. and then redirect the employee back to the one minute original goal description of what good behavior looks like. As with one minute praisings, this conversation is followed by encouragement and a hand-shake. 

If you’re thinking, “this sounds too simple,” you are somewhat correct given that it is not always easy to provide constructive criticism when someone is doing something incorrectly.  Thousands of managers have learned to optimize their time and mentor employees by applying these easy-to-use basic management skills.  So, try it out and remember that like anything else in life and as Dale Carnegie once said, “Practice makes permanent.”

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit:  Matthew Wild

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