Team-building and Diversity Training – for Diverse Teams

A Lutheran Church in Namibia
One of the most exciting aspects of being nominated by our clients, as one of the top training companies in South Africa in 2006, is that we work in the much-maligned area of “Diversity Training“, Team-building  and Team Conflict Resolution.
When we started the Celebrating Humanity© programme, our main focus was

Fun diversity training

Enjoy Diversity Training!

on Diversity Training. And we perceived it as a huge opportunity, to transform teams and build organisations – through respect, understanding and unity.

As we have said, many times over, companies embarking upon a “diversity training initiative,” stand at the crossroads of danger and opportunity. Our Guide to Selecting Teambuilding Providers clearly states, that the opportunity lies in uniting the teams and the greatest danger, in the separation of team members by their “differences.”
Our main guiding principles, are:-
  • ·         “At the level of respect, all people are equal.”
  • ·         “We add to each other.”
  • ·         “There is only one race – the human race.”
Why Diversity Training/ Team building?
Normally a “diversity training/ team building” initiative, is based in the need to reduce at least one of the following:- 
  • Negativity and Arguing.
  • Incessant Gossiping and Backbiting.
  • Cross-cultural Clashes.
  • Personality Conflicts.
  • Silly Time-wasting Workplace Disputes.
  • Frustrating time spent in Dispute Mediation, and at the CCMA.
  • Unnecessary Labour Lawyers’ fees.
  • Misunderstandings and Mis-communications.
  • Inability to communicate with diverse clients and colleagues.
  • A lack of Professionalism and Accountability.
  • Excessive Absenteeism.
  • Racism and Prejudice.
  • Rankism and Departmentalism.
  • and/ or to lay the groundwork for improving the (Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) rating of the company/ organisation.
Everyone needs to feel safe.
Whatever the reason for the programme, it is essential that it is based in fun and respect, and is totally non-threatening, inclusive and motivational.
Everybody wants their place in the sun.
One of the biggest challenges with traditional team-building exercises, is that the focus is often on the needs, talents and abilities, of a core group, within a team. The less young, educated, physically talented, or fit the team member – the more they have to rely upon the “cool group.” And the less they enjoy the experience.
These results are often short term and limited.
Involving Diverse Teams
When working with a very diverse group of people, it is critical that the facilitators involve EVERYONE, in a way that is individually important to them, and their existence on the earth. This ensures that each person can, and does contribute.
In the Celebrating Humanity© – Transformational Team-building programmes, processes are fun, exciting, non-threatening and most importantly, everyone participates.
Each person adds value to their teams in some way. The process and methodology must show the value of everybody, in the group. Processes need to show at least some of the knowledge, skills and abilities of each person.
We all add to each other
In a public session, a partially literate Zulu-speaking housekeeper, maKhumalo – sat in a team comprising highly-qualified HR professionals. In the same team – was Kevin Turner, who was raised on a rural Midlands farm and who spoke excellent Zulu.
He and maKhumalo happily shared and communicated their knowledge on culture and tradition to the team. maKhumalo was the expert on Zulu culture, proverbs, ancestry. She brought great value, as did her team members. And similarly Kevin added to the team with his knowledge of Zulu and his warm humanness.
At the point where the team was asked to put together a Kwaito dance, maKhumalo suddenly stood out head-and-shoulders, above her more skilled and reserved team mates. It was delightful to watch her lead them. And they put on a wonderful 2 minute show, for the other teams.
Here was a wonderful lady, from the depths of rural KwaZulu Natal, and she was the stand-out leader for a group of University-educated Human Resources specialists! The exercise demonstrated, that we are all leaders, that we all bring value, and that we all need to respect and value each other.
Teams that understand, that we add to each other, will be far more secure. Through Transformational Team-building, they will know and experience, that the more diverse the team members, the more chances we have to win – through greater knowledge, skills, wisdom and understanding.
Some ways to involve people.
Some of the ways that we involve our delegates, are through their:- 
  • Workplace Knowledge.
  • History and experience
  • Background. 
  • Artistic ability.
  • Joke-telling skills.
  • Dancing skills.
  • Language and greetings.
  • Proverbs.
  • Body language.
  • Cultural knowledge.
  • Beliefs.
  • Religion.
  • Music.
  • Traditions.
· Other relevant Skills and Talents.
Diversity does not only mean culture and religion.
At Lake Kariba, we took the top executives of the Bank of Zambia, through a transformational team-build.
Now Zambians have, since the inauguration of Kenneth Kaunda, believed that they are all “Zambians.” “One Zambia, One nation”, was the clarion cry of former President Kaunda’s government. And it has worked!
The Zambians all stood as one. Not black, or white, Barotse, Ngoni, BaBemba, Nyanja, Batonga or as speakers of any of the over 69 dialects, just Zambians.
The World, South Africa, companies and organisations could learn a lot from the people of this beautiful country.
Thus, in Zambia – there was no desire to bring “cultural diversity” to the team-build. So we found out about the various skills and abilities of the team members, and involved them all in, in that way. They soon knew, just how much, they added to each other.
And one of the most brilliant dancers, in that small section of the programme, was wheelchair-based. He really made that wheelchair dance!
You never know just how your team members add to you, until you experience them as humans.
Skills Development
Any team-building/ diversity training programme that does not develop skills, is not worth the investment.
Transformational Team-building programmes are intended to improve the lives of delegates, by building their personal skills, communication and relationship skills – socially, at the office and at home.
The Celebrating Humanity courses, are now so much in demand, for the wonderful outcomes, that we are regularly asked to run public courses.
Some of the skills would include:-
  • How to learn more easily for your unique Learning Style.
  • How your unique Learning Style shapes your Communications Style.
  • How to assess the Learning Type of the person/s you are communicating with and get  stunningly better results, in your communications.
  • The impact of your Communications Style on your relations in all areas of your life.
  • Simple and easy, non-judgemental and team-based Personality assessment skills and how to get better results by adjusting your own behaviour.
  • Understanding body language from different cultural groups. Making adjustments for far better results, with clients and team members.
In a recent chat, with one of our Celebrating Humanity© facilitator’s wife – she said, “Fazal was amazing in the Free State. He greeted the local people in Sesotho and through body language showed his respect. The people were simply amazing to us.”
We know Fazal well and are certain that he would have used his other, easy-to-use communication skills, to further build the relationships, as he went along on his fishing tour.
Sustainability
It is critical to make sure that the team-build is not a once off injection in the spirit of the team! The programme has to include in-house follow up, initially guided by the teambuilding organisation. The Harvest programme ensures sustainability.
Ownership
Another great opportunity to add to this “diversity training,” (now “grown-up” to be Transformational Team-building,) is to ensure that your team owns the change.
In this way, managers and their teams, can drastically reduce the interpersonal war stresses, that once seemed inevitable within teams.
One of the big challenges to “managing” teams, as opposed to “leading” teams, is that most traditional managers still manage people, as if they are their children.
The moment that there is conflict, the traditional parent pulls the kids apart. “Stop that Mary! Go to your room Sipho. If you do that again Bavika, I will punish you!
The only difference is that you cannot fire your kids!
Managers/ leaders that spend all of their time “managing diversity,” are in a boiling pot. They will never be able to focus on their time on doing what they are paid to do and will suffer the consequences of unnecessary stress, both physically, emotionally and in their relationships.
The only way to reduce this stress on businesses, clients, teams and their families is to get all team members managing their own behaviour.
All people are leaders.
This is a fact ignored in most teams.
I was in a local hardware store, a number of years ago, and chatting to a “Shelf packer.” As we were speaking happily, in Zulu, his supervisor marched up and arrogantly demanded that his “underling” go and do his other work. With suppressed anger, my friend bid me farewell and went off, to do his “superiors” bidding.
Little did the young supervisor know, that this same elderly gentleman was the chairman of a number of multi-million Rand development contracts, in his rural village. He could have learnt a lot from him, with a little more respect.
Perhaps this is an extreme example, so let’s take our Kwaito dancer – maKhumalo.
She runs her own home in the beautiful City of Durban. She manages the cleaning, laundry, cooking and kids in a suburban home. She runs a home in far-away Mahlabathini, where she is building a new home and she educates her 3 children. She is not only a “Dance leader,” she is an every day leader.
So why not place the leadership of workplace relationships, in the hands of your team members. They may even guide you, as is the example with our young supervisor. He certainly could have used some gentle guidance!
Increase the Ownership and Accountability
A true Transformational Team-build, with the correct amount of time allocated to the process, will dramatically reduce stress through increasing the ownership, accountability and responsibility of each and every team member!
Once your team decides how they will behave around each other, and what is not acceptable behaviour – they own it and can manage it.
With the right clearing processes, constitution and a 1 hour monthly meeting, this peer-driven process ensures that relationship management – is no longer the responsibility of the managers/ supervisors or the board members.
Transformational Team-building – with the commitment, and full participation, of all management and leadership – has the power to transform teams. And we have the evidence to prove it!
Challenges to successful outcomes
Some possible challenges to your team-build for diverse teams:-
  • Leadership/ management sending only “them,” because “we” don’t need it.
  • Not involving your greater team in the decision-making process. This can lead to poor attendance.
  • Leaving critical negotiations in the hands of inexperienced and under-qualified team members ( a properly facilitated transformational teambuild will positively change the very way in which your organisation functions.)
  • Not having good committed project leaders.
  • Trying to cut costs by:-
  1. Going for the shortest possible intervention. Always dedicate the time to change.
  2. Paying for a once-off intervention. Transformation is a process, not a brief happening.
  3. Saving on the venue. “Let’s do it in the board room.”
    1. The programme will be interrupted, by “emergency situations. If a team members are not available, the emergency is always resolved quite easily, in their absence.
    2. People do not feel respected if the company is cheap, and not prepared to pay for an upmarket venue.
    3. Attendance will be poor and no team-build can be successful, without the team.
  4.  Cutting down on the quality and diversity of food and refreshments.
    1. Many diabetics, vegans, vegetarians, followers of Shembe, Judaism, Islam, certain branches of Christianity, Hindus  and numerous others – are often not properly catered for, during outings or training sessions.
  5. Utilising “cheaper” service providers who do not dedicate extensive time to understanding your people, your company and your country.
We hope that this story and these guidelines, will help you to select your next team building organisation, with great care.
And we will be delighted to hear from you, or just learn how the diversity training/  team-build worked for your team.

We have experience in Africa and other parts of the World – Such as the Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland, USA, UK and China.
Brian V Moore© Celebrating Humanity International,

Mobile: +27 79 643 4457

Email: trainers@africa-dreams.com / brian@africa-dreams.com
Projects Site: www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
Main Site: www.africa-dreams.com
http://www.diversitytraininginsouthafrica.com
Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.teambuildinginsouthafrica.com
or http://www.diversitytraininginsouthafrica.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Richard Branson on Managing Change | Share on LinkedIn

Another very interesting article…
Enjoy,
Richard Branson on Managing Change | Share on LinkedIn: “Richard Branson on Managing Change
Virgin Group’s founder shares advice on leading a team through a restructuring or merger.
Restructuring can be a difficult process. Even if you’ve done everything right, sometimes the company needs a new direction because circumstances and opportunities have changed. It is well known that over the years we have closed down or sold a number of the 400 or so Virgin companies we have created. 
Companies are tools designed to fulfill a particular purpose. If they are superseded or no longer needed, our group will sell or shut them down. We try our best not to lose people or know-how, but we do not allow ourselves to get nostalgic about the concepts of the companies. When Virgin renews itself, the critics who tut-tut about all the leaves falling to the ground have failed to spot the tree.
To lead your company through a restructuring, you need to take a cold, hard look at the business. (The entire article)
Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Why Most Corporate Diversity Programs Are Wrong-headed – Glenn Llopis – The Immigrant’s Perspective – Forbes

Glen Llopis shares his perspectives on diversifying the workforce…
It is a good read…
Enjoy,

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Why Most Corporate Diversity Programs Are Wrong-headed
The goal of most corporate diversity programs is simple: to increase the percentages of certain minorities in the overall employee pool to mirror the country as a whole. It’s a misguided approach, (more)
Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Celebrating Humanity and Associates Offering

Celebrating Humanity International is the brainchild of Arthie and Brian Moore.

They are both highly knowledgeable in the fields of project management, communication, culture, tradition, religions, relationships, behaviour, learning & personality styles and language through experience and dedicated study.

People and organisations looking to grow teams, build unity and professionalism and business focus will benefit tremendously, through their programmes, and those of their associates.

Human development offering are approached, with client needs in mind and are uniquely unifying through their Exhilarating Learning Methodologies.
Corporate and Government

  • Project Management of events, conferences, training and mainstream projects.
  • Diversity Consulting
  • Team Conflict Resolution
  • Transformational Team Building
  • Celebrating Humanity Diversity Programmes
  • Communication & Relationship Building – Personal, Electronic, Diversity
  • Leadership Development


Diversity Events/ Conferences


  • Small or large scale – focused on uniting, informing, motivating and delighting diverse teams.



International


  • Diversity Coaching and Consulting for International Clients
  • South African Diversity Management Training.
  • Dealing successfully in business with the Chinese.


Public Sessions


  • Motivation for alienated South Africans.
  • Abundance and Prosperity Consciousness” Re-invention and Action plans for those who are out of the financial cycle.
  • Communication in South Africa


Coaching

Relationship Coaching – with a focus on Diversity.

Training Project  Creation and Management

Personal Development

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for:-


  • Health, emotions, physical, allergies, phobias
  • Abundance & Prosperity Consciousness



Business Development Services

  • Facilitation
  • Consulting
  • Speaking
  • MC – utilizing motivation or diversity/ language skills
  • Diversity Assessments

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Traditional Diversity Training – versus Celebrating Humanity© Workplace Diversity Interventions.

Kailash, Brian, Lliam and Arthie Moore – Johannesburg 2011
 “At the level of respect, all people are equal.” Brian and Arthie Moore – 2001.

 It is our firm belief and experience, at Celebrating HumanityInternational, that “traditional diversity training”, can, by it’s very definition, be boring and divisive.

•             In our understanding, the word “diversity” begins with the same three letters as “divide.” This implies a separateness of people.
•             A simple definition of “training”: “Teach people what you want them to know and then test them to see if they got it.”

Training, by this definition, is prescriptive and based in the perceptions of the person/s delivering the “messages.”

A simple definition for traditional diversity training = “Making people understand about human differences – as groups and individuals.” Thus further dividing and separating them from the inner humanness – which defines our very existence.

Brian and Arthie Moore – our programme founders have spent the better part of 2 decades developing a highly successful, enjoyable and exciting series of programmes and methodologies, to build respect, understanding, communication and unity amongst people in teams, companies, organizations and general society.

Many years of experience in sharing human uniqueness, has led us to create the Celebrating Humanity© series of programmes.

Celebrating Humanity© programmes deal with Workplace Diversity Management, Diversity sensitisation, Cross-cultural sensitisation,  Team Building Communication, and Team Conflict Resolution.

A comparison

In this article we look at the various types of traditional diversity training, as compared to Celebrating Humanity.

Unite, or divide?

Traditional Diversity training is often divisive and can be misleading. It can be seen as a boring, time-wasting “punishment.” Often, and not surprisingly, team members run for cover when they hear that they are going on a “diversity training” course.

One can understand why people are so scared!

So many of us have been programmed to be wary of difference, in others. We have been separated from other human beings, through our daily lives, the media, our friends and family.

Whilst watching the Dr Phil show – I saw a 50 year old man coming to terms with his “programme.” His daughter had married a person from another background, and he could not, or would not associate with his daughter and her husband, nor see his “bi-cultural” grandchild.

His programming and societal norms had come into conflict with his love for his own family. He was begging Doctor Phil for help!

I never got to watch the and of the show – it was far too painful for me. I wish that their entire family had been on one of our interventions! It would have united them and opened up respectful, warm and open communication.

Choosing unity, many corporate and government teams, and even members of the public are lining up to get onto our Celebrating Humanity© programmes.

The exhilarating learning methodology, content and facilitators who celebrate individuals and their uniqueness, thus uniting people and their teams. Whilst at the same time developing a practical, experiential knowledge of diversity and opening up communication and further learning.

1.           Types of Diversity Training.

a.           Celebrating Humanity©

A programme of fun, participation, communication, skills development, problems solving resulting in respectful, co-operative teams.

Team members teach each other through team work, competition and celebration.

After a few sessions, other team members ask, beg or demand to attend. Respect, teamwork and communication open up in the workplace and in the family lives of delegates.

b.           Traditional Diversity Training.

Programmes of facilitated knowledge sharing, traditionally in a lecture environment – sometimes through controlled interactive and contrived board or physical games..

Facilitator shares – delegates “learn.”

Staff are instructed to attend, and often do as much as possible to avoid going to the training.

2.           More on Celebrating Humanity©.
A series of sustainable and effective programmes, with a unique exhilarating methodology, that extend from understanding people, removing team conflict and building powerfully united teams and companies.

a) Create the environment – create the results.

Richard Branson, in his book, “Business Stripped Bare”, says:-

“Put people together in a way that will have them bouncing ideas off each other, befriending each other, and taking care of each other, and suddenly they are coming to you, not with gripes and problems, but with solutions and great ideas.”

It is critical for companies and organisations, that wish to reach their full potential, to have the right diversity within their teams and to have their teams on board at the deepest possible level. This has the effect of:-
•             Reducing management stress by putting the control of interpersonal/ diversity challenges into the hands of your team.
•             Removing conflict, gossiping, and backstabbing from the workplace
•             Expanding markets, increasing their profits and ensuring that you all enjoy the journey!

b) Step back from control and get involved!

“I am really sick and tired of this in-fighting! Don’t these people understand anything about the cultures and traditions of their team mates. I spend more time playing mommy and daddy – to my team, than I do performing my work function. You have to come and DO some diversity training!”

So started a conversation with Sheila – the manager of a diverse, under-performing and conflicted team.

Sheila felt that, “they” did not understand each other and it was time to “force-feed” them with some cross-cultural understanding. “Then they will have no excuses for their behaviour!”

We spoke to Sheila about the potential to celebrate the diversity of her team – with them. It is simple to build unity within a team, when they are empowered, open, respectful, responsible and accountable. When they own their lives and their actions, and they are NOT “controlled” by a manager – but managed by themselves.

The Celebrating Humanity© programme is not only about who we are, in terms of background, history, religion, culture and traditions. It is also about the uniqueness of individuals and how we can all make adjustments in our actions, to ensure that we get better results – together.

Without personal ownership and whole team involvement – no amount of “diversity training” is going to transform workplace conflict and individual behaviour. The management and team stress will eventually raise their ugly heads again.

Matters of diversity can be obviously be learnt in a traditional diversity training course by individuals, who are looking for intellectual tools, or even weapons, to manage and control teams. These isolated soldiers for harmony, will carry out their task bravely. Their abilities to “manage diversity” will grow as time goes on, but they will be swimming against the stream.

Sheila took the powerful step, of letting go of her responsibility to “shepherd” her staff and “parent” them. Her team now works well and achieves far more through their diversity, with their diversity and their new responsibilities.

This has proven that the best way to manage diversity in the workplace, is to get your entire team involved in the process, by getting them communicating and managing their own workplace relationships – through peer-created and managed agreements.

a.           7 Basic Principles of Celebrating Humanity© Programmes.

i.             Principle 1. “At the level of respect, all people are equal.” Brian and Arthie Moore – 2002.

Of course we are different and we are all wonderfully unique. Yet if we can develop a respect for the core human being, we will resolve many issues of confusion and conflict caused by prejudice.

By respecting the individual, we respect their humanness and their ability to be good, do good, create, love, care, think, change and to add value to us and the World.

When we separate a person’s actions from their humanness – we see a huge difference between the person and the things that they do. Based upon our understanding we may not respect certain actions of individuals.

A growth in our awareness and understanding may, or may not change these perceptions.

ii.            Principle 2: “There is only one race and that is the Human race.” Brian and Arthie Moore.

Human beings have been given so many “titles”, such as:-

African American, Japanese American, French Canadian, French Belgian, Caucasians, Whites, Blacks, Coloureds, Indians, Muslims, American, South African, Italian, Christians, Communists, old people, men, women, gay, straight, fat, thin, rich, successful, bankrupt, lawyer, doctor, manager, worker, labourer, judge, plumber, maid, poor, fit or sick. Some words, that are used, are far less formal, or complimentary.

And each classification allows our logical brains to judge each other, as separate and different “things.” These words disempower us to be ageist, sexist, racist, paternalistic, judgemental, inferior, superior and marginalised! It is as if we are not all simply and wonderfully, “human beings.”

iii.          Principle 3: “We add to each other.” Brian and Arthie Moore.

Difference is a huge plus!

When we recognise the fact that we are not in opposition to each other, our uniqueness, or diversity and commonalities, bring us incredible human power. We do not take from each other – we actually add to each other.

And it is that very difference, that can make average teams powerful and multi-diverse teams explosively successful. The knowledge and understanding of these wondrous differences will grow ourselves, our children and the future.

The first step towards personal and business success is an excellent workplace diversity training/ managing diversity and teambuilding programme – such as Celebrating Humanity©.

iv.          Principle 4: We are all perfect as we are. Life rewards our actions.

Whatever their perceptions of themselves, or outside perceptions of them, all human beings were created perfectly. Far too much time is focused on our “imperfections and inabilities.” We are fortunate to be unique, as it is these very differences that challenge us to grow.

By our errors and mistakes, we learn the lessons that guide us to understand what we can do differently. Understanding our innate “perfection” alone will not suffice.

This is the point where our action, brings about personal growth, understanding and results – or negativity and unhappiness. As perfect humans we can choose the actions that we take.

v.           Principle 5: We all deserve a place in the society of our choice.

We all want to belong! Nobody wants to be marginalised by perception.

If we continue to live in our, well-defined, and often prejudiced, little bubbles we will never fully experience life, or the world. We will go to our end without having taken every opportunity to experience the wonders of humanity.


Isolation is normally a self-created and perpetuated state. When we are isolated we never fulfill our full potential. The people around us add to us as we add to them. Particularly those whom we most resist!

In order to be a part of the greater World, indeed to belong, we need to seek out others. We need to create the acceptance that “strangers” cry out for. Thus growing our knowledge through the wonderfully unique people, who surround us.

vi.          Principle 6: We are here to build each other.

When we remove negativity from our relationships, and look for the good in others, we transform ourselves, them and our relationships. This change builds respect and team work, at home, at school, socially and in the workplace.

In order to do this we have to develop our eye for the positive and gratitude, and remove sarcasm, meanness and prejudice from our lives.

The results of these changes have been phenomenal:-

•             Diverse Workplace Teams that came to us in absolute conflict, report back months and even years later, that they are united, successful and stress free. And it naturally flows that stress-free teams are a pleasure to work with! Their customers love to work with them and their focus is on success!

•             A once conflicted Namibian Diamond Mining workshop mining team, by changing their attitudes and actions, took their productivity from a very low 38% to 65%, within a month.

•             Members of the public, who attended a public Celebrating Humanity© session, talk of a fresh feeling of “belonging,” and a new awareness of themselves and of the people around them.

i.             Principle 7: Make it Fun!

Celebrating Humanity© programmes © adopt a fun, participative, competition based methodology. This ensures that people from differing, or even “opposing” backgrounds form knowledge sharing teams that compete with each other, in a very safe, enjoyable and inclusive space.

The methodology is such that there is no time for negative domination of the programme by any person/s with their own agenda/s. Teams operate and function from their uniqueness, their united value and their sense of fun.

Time disappears in a wonderful and warm learning experience.

2.           Traditional Diversity Training

Traditional diversity training can be described as a programme of developing understanding of “others”, through lectures, or game-based training – with the sole intention of developing a new intellectual understanding of “others.”

These lessons are often based in the understanding of the “lecturer”, or the books that are used in the development of the training.

This traditional “diversity training”, can add to our separations and is made more scary by a multitude of internet-based reports which list delegate complaints of “mind programming” or of people being “forced ” to learn about other cultures.

There is seldom any desire to attend such courses.

a.           Management Training
 

Often managers attend diversity training so that they can learn more about their people. This can have wonderful effects, on their understanding of their team members. It can also create a prejudiced “Them and us” effect.

“They” behave like this and “we” behave like that. Therefore I must do “this” when dealing with “them.”

These managers may have learnt far more by simply interacting and communicating directly with their team members, thereby developing wonderful, practical understanding of diversity through their team.

b.           “Offender” training.

When things go pear-shaped in the workplace, when there is conflict at work or with a client – the “offenders” are sent for traditional diversity training. They are seen to have offended and brought the company/ organisation into “disrepute.”

This is almost seen as a rehabilitation of the people concerned. They will often perceive it as a punishment, and that they have failed to fit in.

They will be condemned by their action, and no amount of diversity training, or behavior change, will remove the labels attached to them.

c.           International Diversity Training.

Prior to dealing with clients, or colleagues in other countries – a few of the wiser travelers / business people will go and learn about the cultures in those countries.

It is important to note that there are many different groups, languages, cultures, traditions and behaviours in these countries. For example, the official language in the People’s Republic of China is Mandarin Chinese – yet the number of individual languages listed for China is 293, on http://www.ethnologue.com!

With each of these languages will come a variety of differing cultures, religions, traditions, body language and personalities.

A UK-based report on doing business in South Africa – tells UK business people to maintain direct eye contact with South Africans.

That is wonderful advice, when dealing with white Afrikaans and English speaking communities – yet it could be highly offensive, and even seen to be aggressive – amongst most South Africans of African descent.

It is your choice.

Go the traditional way and have your managers to lead the actions and behaviour of your teams – with lessons learnt from their “diversity training.” When this does not work and tension erupts, isolate the offenders, hope the rest of the team gets a shock and transforms.

Your team and client relationships may improve, or could limp along, as normal.

Or, celebrate and unite your people, and your teams – whilst building a new workplace environment and business ethic – through a Celebrating Humanity© programme.

Either way, may we wish you the greatest success – because your greatest wealth lives in the diversity of your people.

Copyright – Brian V Moore

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457