I’m not entirely sure how to rate this book. The text is incredibly short: about the length of a magazine article. The takeaways are even shorter; much of that short text is a parable about a young man learning the ways of the one-minute manager. That said, I got this book from the library so I’m inclined to be generous regarding the amount of actual content, and there is something to be said for expanding on a simple idea at a little more length in order to fix it in readers’ minds.
The takeaways are basically this:
Goals: Employees need to know what their goals in their positions are, so that they can figure out for themselves whether or not they’re succeeding without having to wait for infrequent performance reviews. The manager and employee should figure out together the employee’s goals, which should be written down with timelines in a short form that’s easy for the employee to review regularly. (I’m having trouble figuring out how to implement this one in my workplace due to the nature of our work.)
Praising: Managers should try to “catch people doing something right” and offer specific praise when they see it to make employees feel good about themselves. People with confidence and who like their jobs do better work, so focusing on people and focusing on results shouldn’t be a choice between two different goals. Also, you shouldn’t wait until people are doing something perfectly before praising them any more than you’d wait until a kid has learned to talk before praising their attempts. (I need to work on this but at least the how-to is obvious.)
Redirects: When people do something wrong, the authors suggest that you discuss it with the person as soon as possible; confirm the facts and review the mistake together; tell the employee how you feel about the mistake and pause for a moment for them to be concerned; and then express that you know their work is better than this, have confidence in them and think well of them as a person. Then, let it go. (All this seems challenging to do, but probably a good idea. I haven’t tried it yet.)
Overall this seems to me to pack some good advice that goes beyond what you’d expect from the brief page count, though yeah, it is really short. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to use it.