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127 Reviews
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Blanchard
Whenever Ken Blanchard (one of my favorite authors) comes
out with a new book, I usually rush to read it . . . so when I
saw that WHALE DONE! THE POWER OF POSITIVE
RELATIONSHIPS had just been released, I got hold of
a copy and devoured it in one sitting.
You'll be able to do so, too, in that it is real short . . . but
don't be fooled into...
Published on June 9, 2002 by Blaine Greenfield

versus
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another parable blunder - Needs tools and resources to help
Whale Done is another parable style (story telling) book that has (1) a singular theme, (2) is very easy to read and (3) is overpriced. If you buy this book you will find yourself delighted by the easy read and may think you have found a gem but most parables are simply overpriced information. Let me elaborate further.
This book, like other parables, are a great...
Published on June 15, 2002 by Dan E. Ross


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Blanchard, June 9, 2002
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
Whenever Ken Blanchard (one of my favorite authors) comes
out with a new book, I usually rush to read it . . . so when I
saw that WHALE DONE! THE POWER OF POSITIVE
RELATIONSHIPS had just been released, I got hold of
a copy and devoured it in one sitting.
You'll be able to do so, too, in that it is real short . . . but
don't be fooled into thinking that there's not a lot of "meat"
contained in its 128 pages . . . Blanchard, along with
coauthors Thad Lacinak, Chuck Tompkins and Jim
Ballard, takes a simple tale and uses it to get you
thinking about how both whales and people perform
better when you accentuate the positive . . . that information
may sound basic, but it is far too often never used.

The story revolves around a gruff manager who visits
SeaWorld and is impressed with how animal trainers
of killer whales can get them to perform amazing
acrobatic leaps and dives . . . he begins to see how
these same techniques could be applied to his
business life, as well as his situation at home . . . in
addition, he learns the difference between "GOTcha"
(catching people doing things wrong) and "Whale
Done!" (catching people doing things right).
I particularly liked the many examples that were used,
and the fact that these could be applied to countless
work and home situations.
There were many memorable passages; among them:
"The point here is that progress--doing something better--is
constantly being noticed, acknowledged, and rewarded.
We need to do the same thing with people--catch them
doing things better, if not exactly right, and praise
progress. That way, you set them up for success and
build from there."
"Killer whales can 'take out' any other animal in the
ocean. We sometimes use that information when we're
working with dog trainers. Some of them scold and yell
at their animals. They use choke chains and sometimes
hit them. When they talk about that kind of treatment, I
ask them, 'If your dog weighed eleven thousand pounds
like Shamu, the whale, how would you treat him? Would
you use a choke collar or smack him around?' I don't
think so."
If you don't hire people on a performance review curve,
why grade them on one?
My only criticism is that some of the material seems
recycled from Blanchard's first bestseller, THE
ONE MINUTE MANAGER . . . but maybe that's not
such a bad thing, in that I still consider this his best
work . . . and a "must" read for anybody who has not
yet had the pleasure of experiencing it.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another parable blunder - Needs tools and resources to help, June 15, 2002
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
Whale Done is another parable style (story telling) book that has (1) a singular theme, (2) is very easy to read and (3) is overpriced. If you buy this book you will find yourself delighted by the easy read and may think you have found a gem but most parables are simply overpriced information. Let me elaborate further.
This book, like other parables, are a great read for the following reasons.
* It is a quick read. I read it in about 2 - 3 hours and I am a fairly slow reader.
* The book is able to illustrate one point extremely effectively. For example, in this book they show how we tend to associate negative or positive feelings to individuals or situations and it affects our quality of life due to the way that we interact with people.
* These are the kinds of books that employees will read (great for training programs) as they are 100-200 pages in length and easy to read so a massive investment of time and energy isn't required by employees.
The simple theme illustrated in this book is that both whales and people perform better when you accentuate the positive. It is tougher to actually implement such behavior but it can be done and it can have a substantial impact on your life if you learn the tools and key behaviors to look for and modify in your life. The problem with this parable is that they give the reader very few tools to work with and actual exercises to implement. As a result, it is difficult for 95% of the people who read this to actually integrate this into their lives for the long-term.
Psychologists have been talking about this for decades in what they term "neurolinguistic programming." People are attracted to what they have positive experiences with and try to avoid painful or uncomfortable situations. Pain=bad, pleasure = good.
My concluding thoughts: If you read this book try and seek out some other resource that will help you form the concepts into habits. Most experts say that it takes 21 days of continual implementation for something to begin forming a habit amongst people.
[....]
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Msg that's already having an impact @ home & office, February 15, 2002
By 
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
I just finished Whale Done and I loved it. I've been a fan of Dr.Blanchard's books for years and feel this latest book really gets to the essence of what he's been teaching for years. One of the big take aways I had from the book was paying attention and noticing. I find myself at work and home either not noticing or keying in on the negative behavior that I don't want repeated. In talking with a member of my staff about this I learned how I need to focus much more of my attention on noticing and praising the positive. The issue was very emotional for this person and I was a much bigger deal than I ever would have imagined. Ken and his co-authors emphasize building relationships where people feel that you mean them no harm. If the majority of the feedback I'm providing my people is how they can do things differently, dare I say better, they can misinterpret my suggestions as catching them doing things wrong. I've been making a concetrated effort to catch my staff doing things right. I've been amazed at how my natural tendancy is to revert back to seeing the mistakes and not encouraging all the things being done right. The concept seems simple and yet I can't say enough about the change I've seen in the energy level in my department. I still need to redirect behavior from time to time but I'm looking for what is partially right and building off of that verus focusing valuable energy on what was wrong. This approach has been equally as impactful with my son and wife. I've been married for ten years now and admit that I've stopped noticing all the incredible qualities that caused me to fall in love with my wife to begin with. The qualities are still there I just stopped pointing them out like I did when I was courting her. I've gone on far longer than I should but I must end with the change I've seen in my relationship with my 4 year old son. His behavior and more importantly our relationship seems to be headed in the right direction after just 5 days of coming home and noticing all the things that he is doing right or partially right. He runs to the door to greet me now and seems to get in much less trouble. The suttle or not so suttle difference has been the attention he has recieved from me. I was a little skeptical applying the concept with him because he is testing us all the time trying to find out what he can and can't get away with. Its only been 5 days but he seems much more interested in getting the positive attention from me than he does finding out what he can't get away with. Its sad that the we had to learn the importance of developing trusting relationships in this manner because killer whales won't tolerate anything else from trainers that would otherwise be little more than a lite snack. A huge thank you to Shamu for forcing his trainers to treat him in a manner that we all deserve but rarely get.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Helpful if you need a refresher on positive reinforcement, January 29, 2005
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
"Whale Done!" was recommended to me in a setting where its principles had been badly needed, had been applied and had proven quite helpful. Nevertheless, as I read, I couldn't help but think that I had been taught about positive reinforcement decades ago - it's not a new psychosocial concept.

The catchy title quickly makes sense as the extended example, illustrating the ideas of rewarding desired behavior and ignoring undesirable behavior, unfolds. Mr. Blanchard tells a simple story about his own transformation from a grouchy husband, father, and boss to a genuinely humble, thankful and encouraging person - and the effect it had on his relationships. The author does an admirable job describing the various emotions he and the other characters experienced in their interactions, both before and after he employs what he learned by observing the Sea World whales being trained. Before you know it, all negatives are swept away and everybody's happy.

This is a lightweight book. It's a short book. And it's a quick read. If you find yourself habitually mistreating those around you, you might want this swift refresher course to get you back on track. If not, you might want to spend your time and money on something else.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Relevant for Teachers and Everyone else, March 9, 2005
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
I feel extremely grateful to the authors of this book for writing this gem.

I am an Elementary School Teacher, and I was handed a very difficult class to manage. The children in this class came from homes with poor parental support, and they had poor social skills causing them to constantly pick fights with each other.

I tried using the disciplinarian manner of dealing with them. It just didn't work. They were already so jaded and used to being punished that to them it didn't matter one bit at all. In fact, it only served to make them even more defiant.

Then, I happened to chance upon this book. When I read this book, I could instantly link the ideas of positive relationship to William Glasser's Choice Theory - where positive discipline is emphasised. They are really very complementary.

When I tried using just Choice Theory alone, it didn't quite work. But when I used Whale Done together with Choice Theory, it took me just two days and the class became much more well behaved and cooperative. It was too amazing for me to believe that it was happening! But really, seeing is believing...

I think for people who have given poor ratings to this book, it's probably because the book hasn't given very clear instructions with regards to how to redirect the undesirable behaviour appropriately. If you can't figure out how to redirect, it is a sure thing that the Whale Done method will fail hopelessly.

If you really wish to give positive relationships a shot, try this:

Read William Glasser's Choice Theory first.

Then, read Whale Done.

Finally, use the Whale Done method, coupled with using Choice Theory as the basis for all redirections.

And very importantly...never give up! It is sincerely a very trying process in the beginning especially when you do not witness immediate changes. But be patient and push through with both the Whale Done method and Choice Theory, and you'll be able to enjoy better positive relationships around you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simplistic book that should be no more than an article, May 4, 2004
By 
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
Written as a fictional story with unnatural dialogue, very simplistic message, does not even scratch the surface of human motivation. Nothing new here, this would not even be noticed as an article by a popular magazine. A typical example of low content book that is no more than a streched and pumped-up 4-page article. Nuff said. Leave on the shelves.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like Rusty Screws to the Eyes, February 12, 2004
By 
Kelly Hahn (Fort Wayne, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
Here we go again; more canned material from Ken Blanchard that involves characters who are stale and annoying, advice that is common sense and recycled, and a catch phrase that would get anyone laughed out of their office. Whale Done! is a waste of time.
Here is my advice pertaining to Ken Blanchard books: Read The One Minute Manager if you feel insatiably curious about how a guy can write some 30 books with cheesy titles and make people think he's a leadership genius. Then, assume you've read all 29 other books. Because they're practially clones of each other.
I should get more specific; I'm sounding more mean-spirited than critical. For one thing, Blanchard's books average a retail price of $20. Now I know that nowadays you should never actually pay retail, but they're still expensive without merit. For another, with a size 20 font size, it takes more time for me to read "Elmo Bakes a Cake" to my seven month old son than it does to whisk through an entire Blanchard book while I'm on my coffee break. The scant material, supplemented by its triviality, comes nowhere close to justifying the cost.
And by the way, if you're so relationally inept that you think reading a Blanchard book on relationships is going to turn you into Mr. Congeniality, spend your money elsewhere. If, by the end of the book, you think people are going to champion your leadership because you say to them, "WHALE DONE!" you obviously assassinated the former executive to get where you are.
Finally, Blanchard's characters exist nowhere within the known world we call earth. The way his characters talk with each other is as unrealistic and shallow as a third-grade reader. Just reading the conclusion of the speech Wes' mentor gives in Whale Done made me long for something more intellectually stimulating...like Madamoiselle for Teens or Cadavers Today.
You could trip over a newspaper and get a better idea of reality than by reading Whale Done. Don't waste your time with this book. If you're going to read in hopes of improving your relationships with subordinates, actually read. Read something that requires a bit of heavy lifting like Kouzes and Posner's The Leadership Challenge. The only extra expense will involve your time. But if it came down to reading Whale Done and watching two hours of televangelism through static...
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, February 19, 2002
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
I am always on the lookout for new tools to use not only in my family life, but in the business world as well. "Whale Done!" meets both of those requirements and was a good read for me.
It is fascinating to think that the same methodology used in the training of whales is so directly applicable to managing people in our business world. I have only had this book for three days and have already begun to apply the principles that are the foundation for bringing positive behavior out of Shamu!
I am purchasing a copy of this book for each of my direct reports in the business where I am a Vice President. I have also contacted the CEO of our company in a neighboring state to recommend the book to the corporate staff. Our morale and business climate is good, however, there are some gems in "Whale Done!" that are worth building a program on for our future.
Many managers are into "positive re-enforcement" as a teaching tool, but this book goes way beyond that in the methods that it explores. Imagine if you could have as much success with your staff as the trainers have with Shamu!!!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No harm done, March 28, 2003
By 
Tapetum (Kentuckiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
If the first principle of medicine is: first do no harm, then Mr. Blanchard's book is at least primarily successful medicine. If you choose to read it, you will do no harm to yourself or your work or family relations. On the other hand, you're not likely to do a heck of a lot of good either. Mr. Blanchard is attempting in this book to explain the principles of positive training (or conditioning) without ever actually calling his methods by their right name, and indeed without accurately understanding them. Fortunately it's awfully hard to do real harm by telling people to be nice to each other.
However if you really want to understand the principles behind the method (or in other words, to know what the heck you're doing and why it works), try "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor instead. Rather than being a business manager who talked with a killer whale trainer, Ms. Pryor actually was a dolphin trainer, and will give you the real deal. Kindness is necessary, but so is attention, timing, and a whole slew of other stuff tht Mr. Blanchard never goes into. Dealing with kids, dealing with co-workers, dealing with subordinates, or even dealing with bosses, find out how people learn how to treat you, and how to teach them to do better. Just find out from a different book than "Whale Done"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Over the Top, but A Positive Read, August 29, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships (Hardcover)
Hokey to an extreme, if you take this for what it is--a fable with a message--there are some pertinent gems to extract. Good premises, but wrapped in almost inane language at times.
Try to muddle through the story and live by the lesson.
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Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships
Whale Done!: The Power of Positive Relationships by Ken Blanchard (Hardcover - February 19, 2002)
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