Short Story The Walrus-Fable

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The fable of the walruses highlights communication barriers that occur in the workplace. In the story, the older, wiser walrus, Basil, was not informed of the changing situations within the herd. The smaller walruses were too afraid to approach him, fearing his authority and potential outburst. This reluctance to communicate is similar to situations that can occur in a new workplace, where employees may be hesitant to approach their superiors with issues or seek guidance. Instead, they may choose to pick a representative who will present a rosy picture of the situation, rather than the reality. However, if employees are willing to communicate honestly with their leaders, solutions can be found to benefit both the workers and the organisation as a whole.

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The Walrus-Fable

The walrus fable provides a unique perspective on the realities of the workplace, highlighting several communication barriers present in this intriguing story.

There are obstacles that hinder the accurate transmission and understanding of information between individuals, known as barriers to effective communication. These barriers can arise from factors such as language differences, cultural backgrounds, or physical distance. Identifying and resolving these barriers is crucial for promoting clear and proper communication.

It should be noted that Basil, the walrus, was incapable of communicating the changes occurring within the herd, which was not his fault. Furthermore, the younger walruses also hesitated to inform their older and wiser counterpart about their current situation.

The herd experienced numerous changes, including the arrival of a new herd in the occupied area of smaller walruses. Smaller walruses often make the mistake of being cautious around larger, older walruses. The smaller walruses had the chance to inform the older walrus about incidents such as receding waters, diminishing herrings, and invasion of their space. However, they found it challenging to approach him due to his authoritative nature and fear of an outburst.

Lessons in communication at a new workplace:

Starting a new job can make someone hesitant to approach their boss and discuss any problems they may be facing. It can be challenging for a new employee to gather the courage to seek guidance from their superior and navigate through difficult situations. Similar to walruses, individuals often opt for representatives who will not address the real issues but instead present an enhanced version of reality to their leader. Consequently, the leader remains unaware of the actual truth; if they were aware, they would likely respond with disdain but also provide a solution that benefits both the employees and the company.

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Short Story The Walrus-Fable. (2017, Feb 28). Retrieved from

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