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Sports Managers Do Something Business Managers Should Also Do

April 24, 2014

After each professional game, sports managers or coaches give a critique of the game and key players.  This is done whether their team wins or loses.  I often wonder what effect this has on the players’ performance.  When they lose, do they play better the next time and when they win, are they lulled into complacency?

Business managers do not provide such instant evaluation.  At best, there is a review when a project is completed and at customary annual intervals.  I have been a part of many of these evaluations and have noticed very little, if any, sustained changes because of them.  I am imagining what would happen to performance if a valuation was done almost daily such as in sports.  I can suggest what might happen.  A continuous stream of these negative reports would have the manager thinking about why they are subjecting themselves to this employee?  It also might trigger an “aha” moment for the employee causing them to improve their performance.

My style has always been different than the periodic valuations and closer to what the sports manager does.  If someone does something they shouldn’t have or just something bad – I tell them right away.  My technique is not much different than the One Minute Manager’s.  I tell them that they are better than what they did; that they screwed up and need to fix it and make sure they don’t do that again.  And then I walk away and forget about it and those that know me know that I won’t bring it up again.  Of course, too many of these One Minute Reprimands indicates unchanging unsatisfactory performance, and that will need to be looked at.

I also promote the One Minute Praise.  When I see someone doing something good, I tell them.  I also try to catch them doing something good and tell them that also.  I noticed from my varied consulting that bosses are stingy with their compliments.  That makes no sense.

The One Minute Manager was written by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson and is worth reading or rereading. Also chapter 20 in my Power Bites book addresses this very effectively.  My next blog will post this entire chapter.

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