Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kitchen talk #3; Whale Done

I love the book Whale Done, by Ken Blanchard.  If you haven't read it, it is a quick read and I highly recommend it.  And his other books, The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, Gung Ho.  His books are simple ideas that many of us learned early in life, but sort of forgot along the way.

Whale Done starts with the idea of how they train whales to do tricks at Sea World.  I've never been there, but I've seen it on TV.  So how do they get the whales to do tricks?  Beat them?  Starve them?  Would you want to be in the water with a mistreated whale?

According to this book, whales are trained by rewarding desirable behavior and ignoring undesirable behavior.  The book goes on to suggest that we translate these ideas to our personal relationships with the people who are important to us.  Just because the people around us aren't likely to physically hurt us (well, I'm hoping) doesn't mean that their sensibilities and sensitivities are less important.  And really, are negative interactions motivating or helpful?  Well of course not.

So there goes any form of criticism right out the window.  Along with it goes most sarcasm.  Darn, because I like sarcasm.  I'm really pretty darned good at sarcasm.  But it doesn't get you anything but a momentary sense of righteous indignation.  It doesn't teach anything.  And it doesn't encourage the behavior you like to see in the people around you.

So Well Done, Step Grand Daughter for careful stirring.  Ignoring the little mess on the counter.  Next time she does anything that looks like cleaning up, I'll try to praise her immediately. 

And Well Done, Brilliant Baby for closing the cabinet door.  Ignoring that he opened it. 

Oh, and Well Done, Good Husband for all the things you do to make our lives better.  Ignoring... well, let's not go there.

Remember to point out the positive.

1 comment:

  1. Love relationship building like this. Being human I complete this most of the time LOL! Years ago when my son complained, I knew I was doing a good job. He said "you always say I do a good job", I think at the time he was looking for more, as a 9 year old will do.