One Minute Manager
by Ken Blanchard
Situational Leadership II
More than 3 million managers have been trained in situational leadership,
the contingency model I developed with Paul Hersey more than 25 years ago.
Each year, new applications of the model are created as managers look to
build on its framework and utility during dynamic, changing times. One of
these applications was recently brought to my attention by Bob Nelson, a
vice president at Blanchard Training and Development and author of the best-selling
book, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.
Situational Leadership II promotes the philosophy that the best managers
provide employees with direction and support for successful task completion.
A similar differentiation concerning employees' developmental levels can
be made when deciding how best to recognize them for their efforts-an increasingly
important activity when managing today. The following provides an overview
of the four developmental styles that make up Situational Leadership II
Enthusiastic beginner (D)-A new employee is
usually motivated, enthusiastic and excited about the opportunity to do
something new. This person is already very motivated, requiring only a limited
amount of support from his or her manager. What the person doesn't have
is much information about the job-what exactly is needed, how best to approach
the task, etc.
How to recognize: Managers of enthusiastic beginners need to provide specific
instruction. As beginners progress and have questions regarding the task,
the best way to recognize them is to provide specific answers to get them
back on track. Employees need specific direction and redirection; they need
Disillusioned learner (D2)-This stage of a
job occurs when "the honeymoon is over." At this stage, the initial
excitement of the job has worn off, and some aspects of the job have proved
more difficult than originally anticipated. Because the employee is still
learning and has little to show for his or her effort, the difficulties
are especially frustrating.
How to recognize: Employees at this stage need performance feedback. Praisings
that are sincere, specific, timely acknowledgments of progress toward the
desired goal reinforce desired performance. The best praisings are done
face to face, but written praisings are also effective. And don't forget
to redirect your employees.
Capable but cautious contributor (D3)-Once
employees complete a task successfully, they demonstrate that they can do
the job. But having only done it once, employees haven't had enough time
to gain confidence in their abilities. As a result, employees tend to be
overly cautious and reluctant to repeat their success with the job.
How to recognize: Managers of D3 employees need to provide clear, positive
recognition. This can be done in hundreds of ways-the best of which often
cost little or nothing.
At the same time, managers need to encourage employees to repeat their performance
and continue to be available to listen or brainstorm with the employee about
improvements or problems. At the D3 level, recognition for achieving a goal
is the best form of reinforcement.
Self-reliant achiever (D4)-At this stage of
development, an employee has demonstrated competence and commitment to doing
the job, and has essentially become self-managed.
How to recognize: High performers also need recognition, or they may come
to feel taken advantage of. Their needs have shifted, and although they
may still appreciate a sincere thank you for a job well done, they are apt
to feel even more appreciated if you use a "higher order" incentive.
Asking them to train others, granting them more autonomy, allowing them
to select job assignments, involving them in decisions and increasing their
visibility in the organization are all appropriate.
All behavior is a function of its consequences. As managers harness the
power of this statement in providing recognition and rewards to reinforce
desired behavior and performance within the established framework of Situational
Leadership II, the result will be more satisfied and productive employees
About the author
Ken Blanchard is chairman of Blanchard Training and Development Inc. in
Escondido, California. He is author and co-author of 12 books, including
the One Minute Manager series.
© 1996 by Blanchard Management Report, Blanchard Training and Development
Inc. Telephone (800) 728-6000, ext. 5201, fax (619) 743-5030.