The One-Minute Manager Book Exercises

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The One-Minute Manager" by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Looking for The One-Minute Manager book exercises? How can these exercises help you work towards becoming a better manager?

A one-minute manager is one who empowers their employees to do the best work they can. They do this by setting goals, giving praise, and redirecting poor behaviors.

Below are some exercises from The One-Minute Manager to help you assess your own management practices.

The One-Minute Manager Exercises

The One-Minute Manager is a guide for managers looking to empower their employees and teach them to succeed in their jobs, with minimal direct guidance. As the title suggests, most of what we consider “management” takes one minute or less. One-minute managers build their employees up by defining success through short one-minute goals and performance standards; providing immediate and direct positive feedback through one-minute praisings; and offering constructive criticism aimed at correcting behavior through one-minute redirects. This management style motivates employees and gives them the confidence and skills to become stewards and champions of their own success.

Here are The One-Minute Manager book exercises:

Setting the Objective

Think about these questions to help you set goals and manage expectations.

  • Have you ever struggled in a job because you were unclear about what you were supposed to be doing? Describe the situation. How do you think you could have avoided this ambiguity?
  • Write out 3-5 one-minute goals for yourself in your personal or professional life, as well as clear performance standards for each. 
  • How can you hold yourself accountable to these goals? (Suggestions: check your goals regularly to make sure your work aligns with them; send reports on progress regularly.)

Praise in Action

Work through these exercises to think about how one-minute praising can improve your performance.

  • Think of someone you would like to praise for their work. Write down praise that’s specific that relates to exactly what they did, and why you appreciated it.
  • Have you ever waited too long to deliver praise to someone? Describe the situation and why you chose to delay giving positive feedback. In future situations, how do you think people would be more motivated by you giving them immediate praise?

Reviewing the Redirects

Work through these exercises to discover how you can use one-minute redirects in your life and career.

  • Think of someone in your professional or personal life whose performance needs some correction. Describe the situation. 
  • Write out how you would use the one-minute redirect to get them to produce better results. Use the ideas from the chapter.
  • In a few sentences, describe how you can redesign your feedback process to give people immediate and specific criticism, rather than saving it up for a later date. 
The One-Minute Manager Book Exercises

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Here's what you'll find in our full The One-Minute Manager summary:

  • How to empower your employees and teach them to succeed
  • Why immediate and direct feedback is the most effective
  • How to offer constructive criticism to correct behavior

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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