One Minute Reprimand

“The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.”

pocket watch

Every manager wonders “How do I get more out of my people?” Every workers at times has wondered “Am I doing a good job? What is the boss thinking?” The One Minute Reprimand and its partner the One Minute Praise provide the framework for communicating to your employees’ desired future behavior. Below we will discuss the strengths of the One Minute Reprimand, the weakness, and minor tweaks and application for my situation.

The One Minute Reprimand contains nine steps:

  1. Tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms
  2. Reprimand people immediately
  3. Tell people what they did wrong – be specific
  4. Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong – and in no uncertain terms
  5. Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to let them feel how you feel
  6. Shake hands or touch them in a way that lets them know you are honestly on their side
  7. Remind them how much you value them
  8. Reaffirm them that you think well of them but not of their performance in this situation
  9. Realize that when the reprimand is over it’s over

The One Minute Reprimand stands as a strong feedback model. Often managers don’t give out feedback which leaves the employee wondering in the dark about what is expected. The necessity of feedback is echoed in the book “12: The Elements of Great Managing.” Four of the four of the foundations essentials in that book rest on feedback.

  • I know what is expected of me at work.
  • In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  • My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • There is someone at work who encourages my development.

Several elements of the One Minute Reprimand weave a strong message to the employee. First, the employee knows up front the manager will be giving feedback. No secrets. The manager communicates beforehand I care about you and your behavior so I will be communicating how I feel. Second, the feedback is given immediately. I can personally appreciate this because I have been victim of an “ambush review.” Early in the year I made a mistake and the boss waited 9 months to tell me. I left the review demotivated and upset that she would take that long to help correct me. I never want to do that to my employee. Another strength is the specific nature of the reprimand that focuses on behavior and not the person. This is what you did, this is the result, and I know you can do better. The last strength is the reaffirming at the end. The manager communicates that the behavior is the issue, not the person.

Now I am not here to suggest that I could come up with a better system than the One Minute Reprimand but I think telling people about how you feel about the issue will not work for several types of personalities. Some people will do what they want despite what the boss thinks. They had their reasons and they will do what they feel is best no matter what anyone else says. Other people care about getting things right and your feelings matter little to their internal fear of being wrong. There is a podcast I listen to that suggests we use people’s natural personality types to offer feedback to get better results. They offer free podcasts and you can listen to their ideas here They use the DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) model and tailor feedback to get to the driving behavior of a person. This is too much content for this review, so I will just give a personal example. I am an S or Steadiness person. If my boss came to me and said “You did not turn in the report on time and this makes work difficult for me and for Jim. If you keep this up Jim will not like you” I would respond to that. A Dominance personality type cares little about Jim’s work and doesn’t need Jim to like him so explaining how it makes Jim feel would not be effective. However, if the boss said to the D personality “You were late which makes people disrespect you and you will be look like a failure” would motivate them.

The above example is a tweak to improve effectiveness. After that I would say don’t forget the relationship outside of the Praise and Reprimands. Make sure you have your weekly meetings to discuss goals. This communicates so much value to the employee. My boss is a busy person, but he takes 30 minutes or an hour or whatever is best to develop me. The feedback works best in the context of a good relationship.

To apply the One Minute Reprimand in my situation I would need to lay some groundwork:

  1. Introduce the change of management in a team meeting
  2. Set up regular 1:1 with my directs 3-6 weeks
  3. Start praising people 4-6 weeks
  4. Start with reprimanding my best people 4 weeks
  5. Start reprimanding everyone

You can ask me about the delay in starting reprimanding if you want. There are people who say you need to build up the relationship (1:1) before starting new feedback models because without the relationship those feedback methods can feel manipulative.

Notes from the Book “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson


Insight of the Night: Rise Above

I heard the saying “Rise Above” in a podcast yesterday and it stuck with me. “Rise Above” talks about being greater than the problems facing you. I suppose this is easier to say than to do. How do you rise above poverty? How do you rise above abuse? How do you rise above a failed marriage or the death of a child? In this video Seether sings about Rising Above Suicide.

Rise Above is not about the problem – it is about you. Who will you be when faced with the problems of life? How will you react? Will it be with malice, jealousy, anger, or fear? Or will it be with courage, determination, kindness, and grit? Rising above is the internal response that is independent of the current problem. Lastly, I think Rising Above is a community mission. I work with people who have no internal hope and they need to borrow it from others who believe in them and make it to the next day. We Rise Above together.

How do you Rise Above?

Insight of the night: 18 Minutes To Do List

I do not manage distraction well. I am often working long hours, but at the end of the day when I turn out the lights to go home, important tasks are left undone. If you have ever been in that position you know how frustrating it feels to get behind a little bit at a time even while you work your tail off. You can take this quiz to see if have trouble with distractions. 

I am trying out a new system to manage my to do list called the 18 Minute To Do List. The heart of the issue boils down to:

  1. Identify 5 priorities which you spend 95% of your time and a 6th category for the “Last 5%”
  2. Divide up the tasks you want to accomplish in 2×3 grid with the headers of your priorities
  3. Take 5 minutes each morning to decide what you can reasonably accomplish
  5. Every hour ask yourself “Am I working on the most important item right now?”
  6. At the end of the day evaluate your day

To learn more about this system you can visit the web page here. 

What get written down gets done consistently. What doesn’t get written down doesn’t get done consistently. Write it down to get it done. 


Crucial Confrontations: Part One Work On Me First

I am terrible at conflict. I normally give in or back down. the problem is I stew and become angry over every further violation. I think “Don’t they know they have already stepped over the line? Don’t they understand how much I am giving in already?


The answer is – they don’t know. They don’t know the stories in my head because I don’t confront them. Silence is not the answer. So, I am working to become comfortable with confrontation.

I decided to memorize the strategies in the book to help me since I am terrible at confrontations. I have made some flash cards on Quizlet that can be found here.

I will add more to them as I read the book. I will have a new card deck every two chapters. I hope you use them to learn the ideas on making things better through confrontation.

Insight of the Night: Which dog are you?

Yesterday I posted on doing the important things. Today this video shows up in my feed. Which dog does the important things in this challenge? While it might be fun to be the Lab and eat the food and play with the toys, the Lab does not win the contest. I am sure the winning dog was rewarded after the game was over.

Set your priorities, eliminate the unimportant, stay the course. Winning is fun.

Wiinnie-the-Pooh on Management: Doing the important things

Quote of Note

Many managers let themselves get distracted by tasks that will not make a major contribution toward achieving their objectives and then complain because they do not have enough time to do the important things.
Winnie-the-Pooh on Management
Lost time is never found again.

Lost time is never found again.

Take Note
Time, the ultimate equalizer. No matter how rich you are, how creative you are, or how connected you are you still only have as much time as everyone else. The use of time sets effective managers apart from average ones. Here are a few lessons from our favorite bear on time management.
Managers set priorities. Managers chart their course by the important things. “…they must force themselves to set priorities and not allow themselves to be distracted.” Priorities define the yes and no decisions a manager makes. Is this meeting hitting my priorities? Does this expenditure enable me to achieve results?
Managers spend time on the important priorities. A manager will eliminate the unimportant tasks from their schedule and focus their limited time on important tasks. What task will produce results? Do those. If you don’t know the most beneficial task ask your boss what their goals are and align around them.
Sometime the task that saves time in the future is the important task. For example, customer complaints that can be solved on the front line take much less time then complaints that reach customer service or the CEO. I work in a field where insurance companies pay many of the bills. For one complaint I turned in 100 pages of documentation which took hours to collect. Clearly, solving the customers problem early is a priority.
Managers know how they spent their time. How much time did you spend on the important things last week? How do you know how your time is spent? Do a time log to record actual activities and how log those activities take. Analise the data and reduce or eliminate tasks that don’t contribute to results. Then the manager uses the data to schedule their priorities. Schedule about 60% of your time. Put the important tasks in. Think or your calendar as a soup where the ingredients can be moved around without damaging the final product. At the end of the day make adjustments for the next day.
End Note
“A manager should always remember what he is trying to achieve and what tasks are really important in reaching his goals. Then he should concentrate on those tasks.”
Quotes and Notes from Winnie-the-Pooh on Managementby Roger E. Allen


Whinnie-the-Pooh on Management: Getting the most from your People

Quote of Note
“…that a good manager systematically works on helping people grow and improve…”

Take Note
Managers can only get so far on talent alone. At some point the success of the manager depends on the people they develop. The higher the manager goes the more they need the support of their people. Here are seven tips on getting the most from your people:
  1. A manager does not try to change a person’s basic personality.
  2. A manager provides an environment where there people can be successful.
  3. A manager must know their people
  4. A manager selects their people carefully 
  5. A manager gets out of the way to let their people do their job
  6. A manager allows their people time to grow
  7. A manager provides appropriate and relevant training for their people 
End Note

“Remember that the manager’s objective is for each individual to achieve excellence within the limits of his or her talents and abilities. Once the manager makes it plain that excelence is the objective, her people will strive for it themselves.”
Notes and quotes from Whinnie-the-pooh on Management by Roger E.  Allen

Insight of the Night: Don’t go All in on Hope Alone

The risk in playing cards and the risk in business share some common insights. My favorite rule for playing cards is “Don’t bet on hope.” Hoping for that three of a kind or paying to see the next card knowing you have nothing of value in your hand often leads to disappointment. I thought that was a good lesson in business as well. Spending money on hope alone in business is foolish. So I made a few other connections between business and cards.
card 2
  1. Playing involved risk. There is no reward without risking something.
  2. Don’t risk more than you can safely loose. Last night I bought in with a Wal-Mart gift card given to me 3 months ago. Clearly this was money I wasn’t going to miss.
  3. Don’t go all in on hope alone. Hope is great and keeps us alive, but depending on hope is a false security in business. Don’t just hope for good numbers, know and act.
  4. You can check on hope. Checking is to pass without adding anything to the pot or folding. If you are not required to risk anything and your cards are bad, don’t fold. Maybe the next card will change the game. Sticking around without risk doesn’t hurt.
  5. Don’t throw good money after bad. Wasting money on a bad hand prevents you from putting your money towards a good hand later. Don’t let ego keep you in longer than the cards can sustain.
  6. You play the game with the cards dealt. No use whining about what cards are in your hand. Do the best with what you have.
  7. As more cards are played tactics change but the goal does not. The goal is to win, but how you win changes as more cards are dealt.
  8. Know the rules of the game you are playing. Last night we played 5 different card games with 5 different rule sets. It was fun and fast paced. Yet with different rules there were different strategies for winning. If you were playing the wrong game (which happened before) you lost, even though you had a “good hand.”
  9. If you loose move on. Evey hand is a new game. Getting emotional about a loss and chasing a big win lead to disaster.
  10. Pride goes before the fall. Winning changes behavior. I was winning early and ended up with almost nothing at the end. I Remember getting loose with my money when I had a lot of it.
  11. Play the game with people you like. The best part about the night was we laughed and had a good time. Nothing ruins a game (or a business) faster then people you can’t get along with.
  12. Sometimes paying to see the next card is worth it and sometimes it isn’t. If someone raises the bet, to stay in the game you must put some more money in. You are investing in the cards in your hand. Sometime that investment pays off and sometime you lose it all.
  13. Push your advantage early to drive out the competition before they get stronger. If you are dealt a great starting hand pushing people out is a good strategy for winning. Failure to push them out only gives them time to build a better hand.
  14. Folding on bad hands is better than investing money in them. There are good and bad hands. Saying no to a bad hand lets you say yes to a good hand.
  15. Sometimes you win with a bad hand. Luck happens to everyone.
  16. Sometimes you lose with a great hand. Luck can happen to other people too.
  17. Most games are not won or lost in one hand. We played for about 3 hours. Most hands were only a few dollars. Remember if you lose one hand or win one hand the game is not over. Keep playing.
  18. Remember no matter what happens at the table you still have to go home. Home life trumps everything. Whatever happens at the table (or in business) at some point it is time to go home. Make sure your behavior will support what you are trying to do at home. For example: no one bet our cars or houses in our game, and we could all go home and tell our significant other about what we did without embarrassment.
What lessons from cards would you add?