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Summary of Whale Done Approach


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What can you learn f rom the techniques used to train killer whales that will help you
teach and motivate other people — from employees to co-workers to your kids? That’s
the question Wes Kingsley — the main character and a stand-in for the author — asks
when he visits Orlando, Florida, for a business conference and goes to SeaWorld for the
killer whale show.
He wonders how the trainers get these huge, potentially dangerous animals to perform
so well? Wes is having trouble getting people to perform well at work, and wants to
know how he can use whale training techniques to improve their performance. Chuck
Tompkins, head trainer at SeaWorld, and his boss, Thad Lacinak, provide some of the
answers. The whale trainers teach Wes how to coach his employees to be as responsive to his instructions as Shamu is to theirs

Summary of Whale Done Approach

  1. 1. Some Impressionistic takes from the book Ken Blanchard “ Whale Done” The power of positive Relationship Ramki
  2. 2. Ken Blanchard is the “Chief Spiritual Officer” and Chairman of the Board of the Blanchard Companies, and the author of a dozen bestselling books, including The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans and Gung Ho! His books have sold more than 12 million copies in more than 25 languages. Thad Lacinak is VP and nationwide director of Animal Training for Busch Entertainment Corporation, and has trained marine mammals for more than 28 years. Chuck Tompkins is VP and curator of Animal Training at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, and has worked with killer whales for more than 25 years. Jim Ballard is an educator, corporate trainer and writer who worked with Ken Blanchard on Mission Possible, Everyone’s a Coach and Managing By Values About the Author
  3. 3. Manager Wes Kingsley is married with two daughters. He visits Orlando to attend a business conference, but the real reason is to escape from family and the office, since he’s having trouble balancing the two. With a view to relaxing he decides to visit the famed Killer Whales show at the Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld. Here 11000-pound killer whales play in harmony with their trusted trainers who weigh less than 200 pounds. Wes starts to think about the interaction between the two and about what might motivate the whales to put on such a mesmerizing show. His meeting with the trainer of these whales gives him a surprising insight in this regard: while it is natural to see man -- the most intelligent animal -- training other animals like dogs, parrots, etc, what Wes sees here is a role reversal. Obviously, as the trainer says, “When you are dealing with an eleven- thousand-pound animal who does not speak English, you do a lot of learning.” The patience required for convincing the whales to consistently co-operate, trust and befriend their trainer involves a formula, which the authors term as “accentuating the positive”. Prelude
  4. 4. In different situations of our life, while dealing with people, we are always eager to discover mistakes, errors and shortcomings. Maybe that’s why they say “Love is blind” – after all it’s only when a person is in love that he sees or looks for only his partner’s positive qualities. This is also because the goal then is to keep the partner motivated to sustain the relationship and because when you are in love, you watch over rather than be watchful of your partner. But after some time greater attention is paid to the negative qualities of the individual. Obviously that negativity gets repeated. This holds good for the work environment as well. But what Wes sees at SeaWorld is that the trainers pay more attention to catching the whales doing something right and then they reward the whales. But whenever they see some negative behavior, they either ignore it or redirect the energy of the whales to something entirely different. Hence the whales find their trainers always loving and adoring, and this is the foundation for their trust in them. This poses a lot of questions to the reader and hooking him to the book. Prelude
  5. 5. Today’s organizations experience…….  Increased service expectations from Customers  High service standards amongst competitors  The need to constantly increase efficiency & effectiveness  Challenges in retaining the employees  Improving the employees loyalty, dedication & engagement with the organization Business Challenges
  6. 6. The Whale Done Approach  Build trust  The first part - The feeling part that indicates trust  The second part -Performance track record that confirms trust It is confidence, absence of suspicion, confirmed by track record & our ability to correct
  7. 7. The Whale Done Approach  Accentuate the positive & not the negative  When mistake happens , redirect energy
  8. 8. Creating a playful Learning Environment  Another key to successful motivation and training is treating each person as having “unlimited capacities for development and accomplishment,” just as the trainers view the whales.  They try to show the animals that they are trustworthy friends, and they then use that friendship to create a playful environment.  They turn the whole training process into a game, starting with simple lessons the whales can learn easily. Starting slowly & keeping the training fun and friendly works with people as well.  Having key expectations helps, too, since people, just like the whales, will adapt to what you expect of them.  Expect more and they will do more.  Then, as you guide them & redirect employee behavior, look for a person doing something right and offer immediate praise.  To accentuate positive behavior, the trainers give a whale a treat as soon as it does something correctly.
  9. 9. Build ABC’s of good Management  Encourage the behavior you want by providing clear input on the consequences of different behaviors, both desirable and undesirable.  For example, try an exercise with a group of people where you greet them as if they are not important. For comparison, greet another group as long-lost friends.  You will see immediate differences. When people feel welcome, they respond warmly and with enthusiasm, whereas people have much lower energy and are detached if they are treated as unimportant.
  10. 10. The ABC of Performance  A= Activator  Whatever gets performance going  B= Behavior  The Performance that occurs  C= Consequence  Your response to the performance
  11. 11. Build ABC’s of good Management  The activator can be a person, set of instructions, training process or an incident or event.  But goals, if they are set properly, are the most common and effective activators.  To produce good performance, goals have to be clear and achievable.  Once you motivate people to perform, observe the behavior that results.  For whales, the behavior might be a segment of a show, such as jumping high out of the water; for people, the behavior might be anything you want to improve, such as sales volume
  12. 12. Four Types of Responses  No Response  Most popular one , People are accustomed to being ignored  Negative Response  The response people really pay attention to this  Which comes in the form of angry look, Verbal criticism or a penalty  Redirection  Most effective way to address the undesirable behavior  Redirect their energy & attention either back to what they were suppose to do or onto something else  Redirect to another task & observe their performance & catch them doing something right  Best way to turn countless low-morale situations around  Positive Response  Least used & very powerful
  13. 13. The Redirection Response  Describe the error or problem as soon as possible , clearly & without blame  Show its negative impact  If appropriate , take the blame for not making the task clear  Go over the task in detail & make sure it is clearly understood  Express your continuing trust & confidence in the person
  14. 14. Whale Done! Response  Praise immediately.  Be specific.  Share positive feelings.  Encourage them to keep up the good work. GOTcha Catching people doing things wrong Whale done Catching people doing things right
  15. 15. Our Emotional Bank Account with Others5  When we have positive interactions, we are making deposits  When we have negative interactions, we are making withdrawals.
  16. 16.  I can motivate people  Money is a good motivator  Fear is a good motivator  Motivation is too hard Common myths about Motivation I know what motivates me, it should motivate others Increased job satisfaction=increased performance
  17. 17.  Communicate  Define expectations  Set goals  Treat employees with respect  Recognize performance  Celebrate success  Offer opportunity for professional development  Create community  Have fun Fundamentals to raising Employee Morale
  18. 18. 18 Positive Relationship What’s in it for you  Reduce stress  Get more done  Just plain feel better What’s in it for the Organization  Increase retention of top performers  Increase creativity and innovation  Improve service to team members & customers  Inspire passion and boost performance!
  19. 19. Steps in training Killer Whales
  20. 20. The trainers use at Sea World to train killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other animals is to "build trust" with the animals. Strange as it may seem, a multi-ton killer whale is much like a little lap dog or a small human child in one sense- --a killer whale "doesn't care how much you know, he wants to know how much you care." It's true---Sea World trainers get MUCH better cooperation from their animals during the training process if they actually LOVE these animals! The killer whales seem to KNOW when they're loved---and respond accordingly First Step
  21. 21. The second step in training killer whales and dolphins is to "reward positive behavior." That means, if a killer whale performs the action that the trainer wants (or even if the killer whale comes CLOSE to performing the action correctly), then the SeaWorld trainer needs to reward the killer whale immediately. What types of rewards can a Sea World trainer give to a killer whale? A nice bucket of fish makes a good reward! Second Step Surprisingly, a back rub is another reward that killer whales at Sea World like! Of course, their backs aren't the only thing that killer whales like rubbed---they like their heads rubbed, their fins rubbed...and even their tummies scratched. Don't they sound just like the family dog! No wonder so many people think the Sea World killer whales are so adorable---not only are they cute to look at, but they also act just like the family pet, at times!
  22. 22. The third step in training a killer whale is to "re-direct" his behavior when he makes a mistake. Perhaps the killer whale has done the trick wrong. Or, perhaps the killer whale has ignored the trainer's instruction. Whatever the problem has been, the trainer must try to get the killer whale back on-track. First, the Sea World trainer will NOT reward the killer whale. Instead, the trainer does a "three second pause." That is, the trainer doesn't move or make a sound for 3 seconds. The killer whale knows he usually gets a bucket of fish...and notices that he isn't being rewarded this time. Third Step
  23. 23. The Sea World trainers never punish a killer whale. For one thing, the trainers will eventually have to get back into the pool with the killer whales---and it isn't very wise to get an animal who weighs several tons mad at you! Another reason that the SeaWorld trainers don't punish the whales is that they don't want to damage their relationships with the whales. Since whales are sensitive and will only perform when they feel loved and content, it doesn't make any sense to make them feel angry! To get a whale back on track, the trainer might next ask the whale to perform an older that the whale DOES do well. Afterwards, the trainer can praise and reward the killer whale, and everybody's happy again! Never Punish
  24. 24. How would a SeaWorld trainer teach a new animal---for example, young grandbaby Shamu---how to do a trick? Let's say that a trainer wants to teach a young killer whale how to jump over a rope. First, the SeaWorld trainers would place the rope down in the water where the killer whale could swim either under it or over it. After every time that the killer whale swims over the rope, the Sea World trainers would reward him with a bucket of fish---and soon, the young whale will come to understand the connection that, "hey, if I swim OVER this rope, I'll get a treat!" Next, the SeaWorld trainers RAISE the rope a little bit at a time. They keep rewarding the killer whale for swimming over the rope...but, in time, that means that he'll have to JUMP into the air and over the rope to get his reward. Of course, this is easy for a killer whale---killer whales jump naturally while they're "in the wild." So, actually, a killer whale doesn't really need to be trained in HOW to jump...just trained to jump when the Sea World trainers want him to do it! Finally, the Sea World trainers raise the rope so high that the killer whale is making spectacular leaps in the training pool. Trick accomplished! Even so, the killer whale will still get a nice reward EVERY time he performs the trick. Training to improve performance
  25. 25.  Some of the techniques used to train Shamu and other killer whales at SeaWorld can be used to train and motivate people.  Pay attention and praise people when they do something right.  If someone makes a mistake, redirect his or her energy to do it right or to do something else.  Accentuate the positive, rather than offering no response or a negative response.  Use the ABC’s of Performance, by starting with an Activator, observing the Behavior that occurs and noticing the Consequences of that behavior.  The least common responses, the Redirection Response and the Positive Response, are the most powerful.  Offer a positive response to any good performance, even if it is only partial.  The Whale Done response is to praise people right away, clearly tell them what they did right or almost right, and show you feel positive about their performance.  Use this response to praise someone strongly and clearly, with sincerity.  Learn what motivates people by observing them or by asking what reward matters to them. Key Learning's/Take Away
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