The Second Secret: One Minute Praisings
As the young man left Trenell’s office, he was struck by the simplicity of what he had heard. He thought, “It certainly makes sense. After all, how can you be an effective manager unless you and your people are sure of what they are being asked to do. And what an efficient way to do it.”
The young man walked the length of the building and took the elevator to the second floor. When he got to Mr. Levy’s office, he was surprised to meet so young a man. Levy was probably in his late 20’s or early 30’s. “Well, you’ve been to see the ‘ole man.’ He’s quite a guy, isn’t he?”
He was already getting used to the One Minute Manager being called “quite a guy.”
“I guess he is,” responded the young man.
“Did he tell you about being a One Minute Manager?” asked Levy.
“He sure did. It’s not true, is
it?” asked the young man, wondering if he’d get a different answer from Trenell’s.
“You’d better believe it’s true. I hardly ever see him.”
“You mean you never get any help from him?” pursued the young man.
“Essentially very little, although he does spend a fair amount of time with me at the beginning of a new task or responsibility.”
“Yes, I know about One Minute Goal Setting,” interrupted the young man.
“Actually I wasn’t thinking so much about One Minute Goal Setting. I was referring to One Minute Praisings.”
“One Minute Praisings?” echoed the young man. “Are they the second secret to becoming a One Minute Manager?”
“Yes, they are,” Levy revealed. “In fact, when I first started to work here, the One Minute Manager made it very clear to me what he was going to do.”
“What was that?” the visitor asked.
“He said that he knew that it would be a lot easier for me to do well, if I got crystal-clear feedback from him on how I was doing.
“He said he wanted me to succeed. He wanted me to be a big help to the organization, and to enjoy my work.
“He told me that he would try, therefore, to let me know in no uncertain terms when I was doing well, and when I was doing poorly.
“And then he cautioned me that it might not be very comfortable at first for either of us.”
“Why?” the visitor asked.
“Because, as he pointed out to me then, most managers don’t manage that way and people aren’t used to it. Then he assured me that such feedback would be a big help to me.”
“Can you give me an example of what you are talking about?” the young man requested.
“Sure,” Levy complied. “Shortly after I started to work, I noticed that, after my manager had done One Minute Goal Setting with me, he would stay in close contact.”
“What do you mean by ‘close contact’?” asked the young man.
“There were two ways that he did it,” explained Levy. “First of all, he observed my activities very closely. He never seemed to be very far away. Secondly, he made me keep detailed records of my progress which he insisted I send to him.”
“That’s interesting,” said the young man. “Why does he do that?”
“At first I thought he was spying and didn’t trust me. That is, until I found out from some of the other people who report to him what he was really doing.”
“What was that?” the young man wanted to know.
“He was trying to catch me doing something right,” Levy said.
“Catch you doing something right?” echoed the young man.
“Yes,” responded Levy. “We have a motto around here that says:
Help People Reach Their Full Potential
Catch Them Doing Something Right
Levy continued, “In most organizations the managers spend most of their time catching people doing what?” he asked the young man.