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Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,903 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
A compendium of straightforward techniques on how to accentuate the positive and redirect the negative, increasing productivity at work and at home.

What do your people at work and your spouse and kids at home have in common with a five-ton killer whale?

Probably a whole lot more than you think, according to top business consultant and mega-bestselling author Ken Blanchard a
ebook, 144 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Free Press (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gina Harper
Apr 30, 2011 Gina Harper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because all the managers at work had to read it. It looked like an easy read and, hey, I like killer whales :)

The book started off like most "power of positive persuasion" books, but as I read on, this one became a little different for me. While it definitely had good ideas for the workplace, half the work was about using positive methods to better your marriage and relationship with your children. I really enjoyed the if only I can get my husband to read it!
Hung Nguyen
May 07, 2012 Hung Nguyen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great book on the power of positive relationship. It's just short and concise. We can apply the philosophy and take it into practice with not only in the workplace but in our daily life, our beloved family.
Apr 05, 2010 Alisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good principles, hokey story.
Aug 10, 2011 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
I read this for the Women's SIG Online Book Club (the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy). They like to select short books, since the members are busy. I was skeptical from the start because I have a bias against fictional short stories where the author uses the characters to introduce "principles" that they've discovered to be true in their personal experience. I prefer a more evidence based approach.

There's nothing wrong with the advice given, really. Accentuate the positive. Praise
Melissa Sonntag
May 15, 2013 Melissa Sonntag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It has inspired me and helped me realize how much power I have to affect those around me. I am currently reading the Parenting version and I am beginning to implement these things with my family. I think one of the biggest things I am learning is the importance of setting up success! People may never meet our expectations if they are not clear on what those expectations are. Finding positive things to praise is not always easy, but makes all of us much happier and mor ...more
Viet Hung Nguyen
Apr 09, 2012 Viet Hung Nguyen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Positive relationship is the key to open and turn all of the difficult situations. Why? In a nutshell, it is human being and only human being to build and develop or destroy this world. This short book inspires and reminds this through the experience with how to train a whale, the "monster" of the sea. The principle is exactly the same to build positive relationship with all people around you, including your co-workers, your friends, your parents, your kids, your relatives. Once you can do that ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Kelsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My boss wants me to give a little blurb on this book for our next staff meeting. It's a super quick read on how to improve relationships at work, in marriage and with children.

I honestly liked reading it. I thought I'd worn out from reading marketing/business strategy books, but this one renewed my desire to keep focusing on rewarding progress rather than using and practicing negative attention; this of course comes easier to most of us.
Dec 05, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whale Done! applies the principles behind training killer whales to building relationships with people. Instead of focusing on what employees, partners, friends, kids, etc. are doing wrong, the authors advocate for pointing out what people are doing right. I liked this book because it makes a powerful argument for applying the principles of youth development to all areas of life. (While reading this book I joked with my coworkers that we could all become highly paid management consultants for bu ...more
Apr 25, 2009 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I picked this book up because I had previously read "Raving Fans" and found it cheesy, but valuable. I feel similarly about this book. It's short and an easy read. It's cheesy. And it has some really good basic concepts and tools that can be put into use to make a difference in your communication and effectiveness.
Mayank Garg
Jan 24, 2015 Mayank Garg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mayank by: Preeta Pradhan
Today I have completed reading one more book. This time, the book is "Whale Done!”. In this book Ken Blanchard, the writer, has explained how trainers of Whale (or Dolphin) Show, train the whales for their performances on the show by focusing on the positive and not the negative. How they ignore the mistakes and redirect their behavior. Ken also explained how the same thing can be applied to humans for improving their performance in work and also to improve their relationship with family and fri ...more
LeikHong Leow
Dec 05, 2014 LeikHong Leow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my latest reading, on Ken Blanchard's Whale Done!

I really like how the authors related managing human relation with training killer whale in Sea World. There are no much of different between both.

Seriously how the animal trainer at Sea World able to get 2 tons weight killer whale to jump one feet high hitting a hanging ball.

The gems of the secret is to praise and reward the killer whale on doing the right things; this is the same with human. We often spend our attention spotting at people on the
Ash Ryan
If you liked The One Minute Manager, you'll like Whale Done! This time around, Ken Blanchard teams with trainers from Sea World to write a parable about how the principles for training killer whales can apply to management and family life. This book is even more centered around focusing on the positive, praising progress rather than waiting for perfection, and redirecting unwanted behaviors to get people refocused on your shared goals.[return][return]I'm currently reading Ed Catmull's Creativity ...more
Hana Osman
Nov 27, 2010 Hana Osman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It takes a long time to build trust & friendship with whales which is also applies on human beings.
The book talk about ‘How to build trust’ at work & with family, by directing your energy in accentuate the positive, ignore what the whales / or the person did wrong, by redirecting their mistakes.
Very smart method which I can’t wait to start applying in my personal & professional life.
The book thought me the main 3 ABC, that I should start to apply in my life:
1- Activator = Setting Goa
Allan Elder
May 13, 2012 Allan Elder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
As a behaviorist myself, the book Whale Done is a good introduction to the topic for those with no background in the topic. Basically, behaviorism is the result of B. F. Skinner's work to explain why we do what we do. The argument is normally held between internal motivators and external motivators. Skinner claimed we do things because they are reinforced. While psychologists love to denigrate the idea of behaviorism, product managers have long known its power.

If you are positively reinforced,
Cathy Allen
I like how-to books, especially when they are fun little fables. Blanchard's story can be read in an hour, but the lessons are likely to last a lifetime.

Any manager or supervisor (or teacher or parent) who seeks to promote new behaviors in others, or train people how to do a task well, can apply the Whale Done! method. In a nutshell, rather than getting after someone for doing something wrong, praise them for what they do right. If they are learning a new skill, give an "Atta Girl" for their pr
I am currently reading this book..HOWEVER, goodreads is not giving me the option of putting it in currently reading. Thus far the book has talked about the positive reinforcement used to train Shamu the whale and how one should not put all their energy in negative reinforcement. Mainly, what it is telling me thus far when someone is doing good praise them or give them "treats" but when it is something address it and move on. Do not waste energy fighting over the bad. I will keep you po ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: industry
This is an interesting read very similar to "What Shamu Taught Me About Love, Life and Marriage." The main point is to focus on behavior modification through positive reinforcement. It is certainly a simple concept that should be used much more. Ken Blanchard is a very well respected author on managerial topics. The book follows the story of a family man who uses the WHALE DONE technique. If you just take the concepts early, it is more helpful then following a seemingly perfect set of conversati ...more
Liza Fireman
I would give it 4 stars for the main point, but decided on 3 stars since the book is very repetitive and the story is not that good. The main point can be summarized with: in your relationship at home and work, build trust, accentuate the positive and when mistakes happen redirect the energy. Praise progress, and try to catch people doing something right instead of waiting for them to do something wrong (as most people tend to do). It is aligned with other books that Blanchard wrote, and overall ...more
Mead Z
Jul 08, 2012 Mead Z rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I boyfriend's boss gave him this book. He loves working under her constructive and friendly supervising atmosphere and she recognized that he also tries to find ways to make his students successful at what they can do.
When I was asking a co-worker about advice on running meetings an how she works with her team she recommended the same author.
So it seemed it was time to read the book :)
I liked this book very much. It is easy to read and reiterates the methods in family and work situations.
The who
Krisanne Stewart
Dec 28, 2010 Krisanne Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband loaned this book to me to read and I knocked it out today inbetween my son's basketball games. I enjoyed it! The premise is, that the killer whales at Sea World do what their human friends ask them to because the humans take the time to develop good relationships with the whales. Funny, but the whales are considered the "teachers" in the relationship. I loved the simplicity of this book, and the story of a man who tries out the "Whale Done" strategy back at his office that he learned ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Super cheesy. I agree with the vaguely Dr. Phil-esque message of 'you find what you look for' and the goal to accentuate the positive. I sadly find myself being a 'gotcha' type parent and paying a lot of attention to what is going wrong. So the message was a good reminder, the vehicle it was delivered in was hard to get through. At least it was a short quick read!
Nov 23, 2013 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
I didn't enjoy "Whale Done" as much as I did "Raving Fans." I appreciate and understand the concept of rewarding positive behavior and redirecting negative behavior, but the entire method of illustrating the concept (relating it to training killer whales like Shamu at Sea World) fell very flat and was disappointing. I recently saw the documentary "Blackfish" and thus I know that the whales aren't happy performing shows and being trained by humans.

It's difficult to take a story that was written b
Feb 08, 2015 Dominika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cheerup-shit
Great advice for work, relationships... It's VERY rosy, I can see how that could bother some people, but I find that these 'techniques' that make you cringe when you first hear about them actually DO work. Definitely will try it out.
Mar 24, 2014 Imti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-likings
I have read d book. its ausumn work of explaining basics of behaviour managament. the easyest technques to motivate people and improve productivity. special recommendation for d newly managers and d team leaders. Good Job.
Dave Applegate
-Well thought out, short, easy read about about the power of positive relationships and positive reinforcement.
-The book hits a little too hard on inspiration and not enough on the piratical application of the principles.
Feb 25, 2009 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While I wait for my book on hold at the library I continue to purge my shelves of the books I need to take to Bookman's (used book store) or Goodwill. We got this signed copy as part of a white elephant gift a few years ago (Mindy, are you out there?), and I have a hard time throwing a book away without reading it first. Anyway, it had a good message about accentuating the positive in work and personal relationships, but I couldn't stand the way the author used a corny hypothetical story to get ...more
Joe Sanchez
Feb 07, 2015 Joe Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good short read telling a story on how most of us as leaders leverage the "gotcha" method versus looking for the good that people generally aim to accomplish. This method not only deters confidence and diminishes creativity but can ruin a leaders credibility.
Mar 12, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Cute story to illustrate the concept of positive response. This way of thinking and acting creates better relationships and improves behavior/productivity. An easy read, and good content.
Aug 30, 2011 Mim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mim by: TEAM
I believe accentuating the positive in are relationships really does work. It's already made an impact as I make an effort to focus on the positive instead of the negative with my children and my husband. "catch them doing things better, if not exactly right, and praise progress. That way, you set them up for success and build from there." p. 37

As Orrin Woodward put it, "Be a good finder."

"A lot of us often do things exactly backwards. We focus our attention on poor performance rather than on g
May 22, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read- with a powerful message. I loved the concept and everyone needs to read this simple book. It will remind you of what is truly important in life!!!!
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Ken Blanchard, one of the most influential leadership experts in the world, is the coauthor of the iconic bestseller, The One Minute Manager, and 60 other books whose combined sales total more than 21 million copies. His groundbreaking works have been translated into more than 27 languages and in 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time.

More about Kenneth H. Blanchard...

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