April 21, 2010

Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager

Someone asked me yesterday for tips on how to develop an entry level person that has strong potential.  My primary goal is to build the person’s confidence.  I do this by spending meaningful time with them to improve their skills.  This tends to improve their confidence in two ways.  First, my spending time with them makes them feel valuable and worthy, which builds confidence.  Second, their skills will improve, which will build their confidence.

Ken Blanchard uses situational leadership to discuss this in his One Minute Manager series. Briefly, if someone is new at a skill or goal, he or she needs to be patiently shown how to do it.  The person needs direction and frequent follow-up for feedback.

Once the person has learned the skill fairly well, he or she needs little direction and more support.  If they are frustrated, they may need to vent and hear another’s perspective for support.

As managers, we often do the opposite.  Someone is new at a skill and we often do not give enough direction or appropriate follow up.  We show them one time and expect them to know it.  When they feel frustrated, we either shame them for not getting it right or give them support rather than more direction. We should observe them doing the skill and then show them how to do it better.

Sometimes when someone knows the skill fairly well but is in a slump, we show them how to do it.  This feels like micromanaging and often takes away confidence.  They know the skill, they probably need support.

I recommend the One Minute Manager series by Ken Blanchard to learn more about self leadership.