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By: Crystal Miller, Director of Fitness Center Services

What are the best characteristics of a good leader? In my opinion, it’s someone who can allow for the foundation of trust, respect and positive relationships.

 I was introduced to the Whale Done! concept years ago and much of it has stuck with me throughout my years of managing a team. Wes, a corporate manager, went to Sea World’s Shamu show and walked away wondering, “How are they able to train killer whales to perform such feats with obvious enjoyment?”  He talked to the trainers and learned that everything is based on no harm, allowing the creation of trust and positive relationships. The trainers talked about how Shamu was THEIR teacher, as they learned the following:

  • Build trust – Showing the whales they mean no harm.  When the whales lose all of their fear towards the trainers, the positive vibes between the humans and whales are transferred to the audience. 

  • Accentuate the positive – Pay a lot of attention when the whale does what he is asked to do and performs something correctly.  Ignore what he did wrong and immediately redirect his behavior. You can’t use negative punishment with a 10,000-pound killer whale! The trainers understand that the more attention you pay to a behavior, the more it will be repeated.

  • When mistakes occur, redirect the energy - If you don’t want to encourage bad behavior, don’t spend a lot of time on it. Re-channel the energyby asking them to try the same thing again. Give them another chance to do it right, or go to another task that they know well and can do well so they can catch the whale doing something right.
  • Respect – They treat their animals as individuals, each of which has unlimited potential for development and accomplishment.

At HealthSource Solutions we have worked hard to create a cohesive team built on trust, respect and collaboration. And it all starts from the top down, beginning with our leaders. Managers discuss personal and professional goals with staff each month and celebrate their accomplishments along the way. By recognizing and praising their progress, we believe we are building trust and setting them up for success! In addition, we have an internal recognition system known as Shout Outs. We capture positive feedback from coworkers and clients. It’s a great way to empower our team and share accomplishments.

If our team is not cohesive, clients will notice. We trust one another, respect others strengths/passions, collaborate and share. We place a high value on healthy and positive team dynamics. Having a solid team, built on trust and positivity is the essence of great customer service.

High 85 everyone!