From p. 31:  “If you can’t tell me what you’d like to be happening,” he said, “you don’t a have a problem yet.  You’re just complaining.  A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.”

As much as I enjoyed the goal setting, praise and reprimand ideas, this was the concept that kept coming back to me.  It was a total lightbulb moment for me how much time is spent wallowing in the complain stage and how much more productive and forward-moving life would be if we could get to the actual problem-solving stage.  It made me think about my year ahead, being the mentor teacher for 10 staff members going through their first or second year of BTSA.  We are all intensely busy and I want to maximize the quality of our time together.  I would love to be able to apply some of the ideas from One Minute Manager, especially the emphasis on problem-solving.  

My question is: how do you change your relationship to others so that you take on qualities of the One Minute Manager without seeming fake, harsh, or drastically different than people already know you?  How do I establish with my mentees that, as much as there is value in having a chance to vent frustrations with peers, the ultimate goal should be to focus on potential solutions?

I used the hopes/fears protocol and set a few norms at a whole BTSA kick-off meeting last week.  This week we’ve started our weekly check-in meetings and I focused on sharing the BTSA resources and schedule, answering questions etc.  I think next week I will share the “it’s not a problem unless you have a solution in mind” mantra and see how my mentees feel about it.  I think, if we are working together, they’ll feel that this is not an effort to minimize their frustrations or problems, but a way to make sure that they are getting support in solving those problems.

Lastly, I think the ideas of the One Minute Manager are ideal for use in the classroom.  I feel I do fairly well with behavior strategies, but I need to have a conversation with my students in advance letting them know that I am striving to carry these same principals into my feedback with their work.  I always get that icky feeling when you have a hard-working, eager-to-please student asking for your feedback and their work is really sub-par.  Tip-toeing around the issue is not going to make it any better, however!  So, preparing students in advance, making sure they understand that I am never critiquing them as a human and also being cognizant to heap on genuine praise–I think it will make for a very productive and safe work environment.

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