One Minute Praisings

22 Nov

I received word today that I’m going to transfer to a different location within my company.  This becomes the perfect time to use One Minute Praisings.

One Minute Praisings work like this:

  1. Tell people up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
  2. Praise people immediately.
  3. Tell people what they did right—be specific.
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and the other people who work there.
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel.
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same.
  7. Shake hands or touch people in a way that makes it clear that you support their success in the organization. (One Minute Manager, p. 44)

The real tricks to a One Minute Praising are 2 and 3: immediate, specific feedback.  Wendy’s used to call it “laser-specific feedback.”  It was one part of a long-forgotten acronym.

“You did a good job today.”  That isn’t a feel-good praising.

“You made all of the sandwiches according to procedure today, and I didn’t get a single callback or customer complaint at the counter.  It’s good to know that I can count on you–thank you.”  Short pause, then: “I trust I’ll see even more of the same from you as we go into our lunch rush.”

The second one feels better because at least this time, the employee knows exactly what he did right. That’s what’s important: that the employee knows why he’s being praised so that he can continue the same behaviors in the future.

These are good to use at the beginning of a new store assignment because the crew isn’t going to know you, and they are not going to know what you’re looking for–unless you tell them.  Through the magic of One Minute Praisings, you will be able to communicate to your new crew what behavior you want to see from them.

If you’re generous with the praisings, you won’t seem like such a hard ass when you must do the inevitable One Minute Reprimand.


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