Kenneth Blanchard, author of the book “Whale Done!” believes that human relationships is now more that ever, in need of high attention from the society as it remains to be the sole binder of the whole human community all around the world. Obviously, increasingly there is economic interdependency among nations. A global communications network, like a gigantic central nervous system, links every nation of the earth. As ideas, information, and technology are exchanged, cultures merge and adapt to one another. Throughout the world, people dress more alike than ever before. Cities of the world share much in common—police, luxury hotels, traffic, stores, banks, pollution. Thus, as the peoples of the world come together, we witness what some describe as an emerging world culture.
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Nevertheless, while peoples and cultures intermingle, clearly not all see one another as brothers. “Everyone’s quick to blame the alien,” wrote a Greek playwright over 2,000 years ago. Sadly, the same is true today. The evidence is no farther away than newspaper reports of bigotry, hatred of foreigners, “ethnic cleansing,” racial strife, religious riots, massacre of civilians, killing fields, rape camps, torture, or genocide.
This is the main reason why Blanchard shows how important it is for humans to particularly handle the issues of human relationship today. The elimination of the major issues that are considered directly affective to the human society’s growth links the relations humans themselves establish between one another. If not the elimination, at least personal control of the situation could help in the process.
Content and Summary of the Book
Certainly, living in a world that is governed with diversity, it could be expected that in the workplace, diversity itself is also present and thus cannot be avoided. Many workers refer to this hardship as the common source of many conflicts within the working area. Hence, the performance of the employees is then directly affected. Diversity, when referred to in business terms may mean a lot of things. An organization’s workforce may be referred to as diverse for many reasons as well. Diversity may occur because of the differences of opinion because of the differences in personality, in age, in educational attainment, in status in life and even in culture. Mostly, as observed on different business companies, the main reason of such diversity is the existence of a much distinct group of races making up a single workforce for a company.
How could all these happen? As mentioned in the introduction, many people have already transferred from place to place and a lot of those people, the so-called immigrants, have already decided to stay and work on the foreign lands they have gone to. Hence, the main effect of this social move on achieving success on other places, the employment of the multicultural population has been the resort to supporting the lives of the said immigrants. Hence, the workforce of every company making up the business industries are at times having the same worries on how to face the challenge of dealing with and managing people who are widely different from each other.
To alleviate the issues from recurring within the workplace, the author further outlines the different procedures by which human relationship could be used as an effective tool in making the social progress rather as strong basis of success. In terms of business operations, his suggestions could be presented as follows:
Concentrate on the strengths of the employees. When a manager discovers the tasks where the employees usually excel in, they should be assigned to them as they are expected to be more productive on those fields of the job.
Understand the abilities and the potential of each employee present in the organization. These potential assets of the employees could as well be used by the company itself in aiming for the goals that it has set up for the future.
Allow communication lines t be open at all times. It is very important for managers to be good listeners. The ability of hearing what the employees want form the company as well as to how they could be of bigger help to the organization could be used as a resource of ideas for the company as well.
Make the employees feel that they too have a sense of authority in the company. However, this type of authority should not overstep that of the administration’s. It should be clear that this authority could only be exercised at specific times and places when it is permitted. This may often refer to an ‘open door’ policy that deals with an easier type of agreement between the employees, which could give them a chance to affect how the organization is being managed. They are then allowed to give suggestions; however, no suggestions are implemented unless approved by the administration.
Make sure that all employees understand the business goals and objectives. It should always be remembered that a well-informed employee, whether young or old, is a productive employee.
A manager should always remember that he is supervising people with feelings who are valuable members of the organization, hence, treating them with great respect at all times no matter what culture they come from is one of the most important virtue any manager could post as an example for his colleagues.
Treating everyone fairly and sensitively is the key to creating a fine working environment. It should be remembered that because of the different clutters of the people, they all have different preferences; they have different personal obligations and other more. Considering the fact that dealing with multicultural workforce also involve dealing with their differences of belief, a manager could as well consider fairness at all times to be able to set a common ground for everyone else in the organization.
Keep everyone else busy and going all the time. Feeling one’s worth is usually measured on the things they are able to do for the organization in a day. In this manner, it could be said that regardless of one’s difference from the others, being able to do something for the company and being of worth to the organization makes an employee feel that even though there are differences, he still belongs to the organization he is working for.
Keep employees informed of the ins and outs of the organization. Keeping employees in the dark when some changes within the organization arise may give them the notion that they are not given importance by the administration of the company.
Acknowledge the employees’ efforts, years of work, talent, creativity and good job attributes. Doing so would help everyone else strive for the best while they are working in the company.
Critique of the Reading
The book of Blanchard “Whale Done” is rather a fine yet short-time read. In all 128 pages, the author was able to make the suggestions and the process of understanding human relationships rather concise, making the readers more interested in the informations contained in the said book. Moreover, perhaps the expertise that the author have upon the subject has made it easier for him to make the reading an enjoyable source of knowledge that would be much useful for business organizations today.
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