At the level of respect, all people are equal.

What I love most about internet-based forums is the way in which they bring so many diverse people, with differing experience and views together. What challenges me most is the way in which some people see the forums as a place to force their views and positions on others.Instead of increasing input and bringing in more knowledge seekers, it has the opposite effect of shutting down people who could bring new ideas, or great questions. This diminishes all of us.Any of us who have been in a training session will know that many people, fearful of embarrassment, or ridicule, will keep quiet. They only discuss issues where they feel safe.


“It is not the role of the experienced, or angry, to prevent the input or questions of the curious, the knowledgeable, or the inexperienced. It is their role to open the way for questioning, sharing and learning.” (Because of the diversity of  knowledge, tasks and fields – we all are inexperienced in certain areas and experienced in others. And that is ok.)
If we could all stick to the concept, “At the level of respect, all people are equal”, and communicate in a way that brings in more people, we will bring about a better World. If we disagree, let’s do it in a way that increases dialogue.To those of you who are a little nervous to bring your ideas and questions, please be welcome here.

Your input is as important as anyone else. And remember, “Anything that is said is merely the opinion of a person – no matter how experienced they are, or appear to be.” 
In meetings, encourage input from everyone. Make it safe for all to have their say. Quiet people are often the greatest observers. Without their view of the situation – you are half-blind.

Kind regards
17 June 2012

 

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

How important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you?

People are different.
Our biggest challenge to building our businesses, lives, opportunities and experiences is the human need for conformity.
And most of us want everyone else to conform to our norms, experience and upbringing.
So how important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you? Are you prepared to learn more about yourself and others?

Diversity – the culture, religion and colour dance.

When people talk of diversity – a few delighted horticulturists begin to think happily of a wide variety of biological species.Most people begin to think of people differences. Some will become almost hysterical, screaming, “Brainwashing!” Others will take up their banners and flags and begin a verbal war dance. They will fight “their” cause and dance with power, anger and rightness. And sadly most of them will be stuck in culture, religion and colour.

Throughout history mankind has chosen to define everything, so that they can group and “understand.” So we have words to define white and black people. And when they happen to mix words such as mulattos, quadroons and octaroons were created.

Followers of the religions were divided into religion, race and sect.

And still the dividers tried to define and they threw in all the other possibilities into their people definitions and then proceeded to categorize these “groups” and their “behaviours.” Just so that we could understand “them.”

This incredible focus on race, colour and religious categorization is unnecessary and instead of bringing understanding – serves to separate people before they have a chance to learn from each other.

When we move into a state of openness and understand that there is only one race – the human race, we will then begin to respect at the level of the human being. This is the emotional intelligence stage that will bring an end to war and separateness. Or to borrow and modify a term from South Africa’s history – Apart Hate will end.

Diversity has much more to it, individual uniqueness, personalities, communication and learning styles, talents, abilities, education, age, gender, health, wealth, spirituality, history, country, employment, skills, upbringing etc. Add to those the wonders of our cultures, traditions, beliefs and experience and we have much to teach each other and to celebrate!

Let’s stop our vision impeding focus on Diversity through the culture, religion and colour dance. And begin the learning from the Human Wikipedia that surrounds us every day.

Brian V Moore
3 5 2011
brian@africa-dreams.com

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Latest feedback

From Sue Hall – 9/3/2010.
Brian and Arthie have worked with me on numerous occasions building teams through gaining greater understanding and acceptance of one another on a holistic level.

There were times when attitudes were so hard and fast that I thought it would be an impossible task to create teams within groups of people that we were working with but Brian and Arthie with incredible insight and genuine humanity was able to find the chink in the armour and break down barriers that had been built and protected for decades. From those tenuous and fragile beginnings, many teams soared to great heights achieving outstanding results.

I am forever indebted to their excellent work.”
Service Category: Business Consultant
Year first hired: 1990 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity

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

True Leaders know that we ADD to each other!

A story on the power that leaders and their organisations gain,
when they understand the true value of diversity in teams.

And we are ALL leaders!

We had been struggling with our basic team building aspects of diversity training. We simply had to move away from the chalk-and-talk, death-by-powerpoint methods of training.We decided to run our training, as a celebration of who we are, and focused into team competitions – as a way to change the spirit of the people and the environment.

But we were still struggling with the make-up of the teams. So many of our delegates, in the early days, were literally forced into the room. A great number were former combatants or had been isolated by propaganda – each one choosing to be “with their own people.” This limited the interaction and caused inter-team conflict.

As we worked at developing the team building methodologies – we had many realisations. A huge principal grew for us:- “In order to be true leaders, we have to accept that other people add to us.”

And we needed to ensure that our delegates experienced the fact that their unique skills, knowledge and wisdom must be shared and nurtured in order for them to be integral parts of of powerful and professional teams. In Zulu it is said “Inkosi yinkosi ngabantu” – a leader is only a leader by virtue of her/ or his people – the meaning was becoming clearer by the minute. People in their diversities make us who we are.

I have always understood that my sons and my wife bring unbelievable value and add to me. Now I knew that people who disagree with me, also add to me. People who are different, or who have different views and opinions, bring great value to me.

And perhaps they add to me far more than those who always concur with me. And 19th Century Poet Laureate, Lord Alfred Tennyson knew it, when he said, “I am a part of all that I have met.”

As our thoughts expanded, we realized that we also add to other people. That we too have value.

If only I had learned this as a child, as a teenager, or even 10 years ago. It would have stopped my “rightness” and my need to defend my opinions. I would no longer have had to “win arguments.” And as a consequence lose my friends and break relationships.

It was so simple. All people in their varied histories, religions, education, cultures, skills, experiences, pains and joys make us more human. And can, if we are open to their uniqueness, help us to build our lives, families, teams and organisations.

So diversity is a good thing. Not something to be feared but something to be sought out. Not something to be judged but something to learn from. Not something to be contradicted but something to be built upon!

We then realized that the more inclusive and diverse our teams are, the more we win! And, conversely, the more we follow the old proverb of “birds of a feather flock together”, the more we separate and stagnate. And the more we confirm our stereotypes and prejudices.

The birth of Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training Methodologies-

During our Celebrating Humanity©, our international transformational team-building and diversity sensitivity training programme, we needed to find a way to get people into diverse teams, without marginalising them.

Obviously to send people to their teams, as we perceived their skills, talents, genders and cultures to be, was manipulative. When people come to the programme they are often angry, in pain and very divided. And we have been told, on numerous occasions… “Mention race, or racism, just once and we will leave the room, and never come back.”

In our first 2 sessions, we tried placing the delegates’ manuals at the various tables, and asked the delegates to sit wherever they found their manuals.

We would guess by their names and surnames, where they “should” be. It was a time-wasting exercise and one that only partly had the effect that we wanted. People still felt as if they had been pre-judged. And it was true.

Once we had defined the teams, in this way, we would then get each person to introduce another, on a human level. Many of them knew little or nothing about their fellow team members. This was a good part of the exercise and there was good benefit. But the pre-selected teams did not truly gel.

Arthie and I took a step back and looked at the opening of the programme and we realized that the delegates had to select their own teams.

We know that people normally choose the people they are most like, or with whom they are most comfortable. If this were to be the case, they would not fully experience each other as human beings. Nor would they understand the value of diversity and the value of “different” people.

We then developed the team selection principle of “who adds to me.” In order for this to work, we honed the interview questions to be more in line with the programme outcomes, the competitions and the team points system.

Before the introductions, we advised the teams that they would be selecting their teams based upon competitions and we told them of the bases of the competitions.

In South Africa, this included eating habits of various groups, proverbs, cultural knowledge, language, traditions, religion, drawing skills, dance skills and hula-hooping skills. We also advise teams to get their gender split right, as there is much wisdom to be found in all people.

Internationally, we work with the artistic/ dance, hula-hoop, talents, experiences, local knowledge and the qualifications of the teams. For example, with the Bank of Zambia, one aspect of the team competitions, drew upon individuals’ knowledge of international financial markets.

In South Africa, once conflicted groups selected teams that went across, level, position,  ability, culture, age, gender, race, language and religion. And the team knowledge was incredible – thus their opportunities to learn were equally massive!

In Zambia the selections went across level, position, gender, age and experience.

Some feedback

Senior management delegates at Lake Kariba, said:- “Very well received, a unique delivery technique.”, ” Delivery standard – World Class.”, “The course has broken interpersonal barriers.”

One of our Ethekwini Municipality (Durban and surrounds) delegates had this to say… “Change goes deeper than a cross on an election ballot, or learning a “black” language, or being able to live wherever you choose, or even affirmative action… From President to petty thief, and city manager to general worker, we are all unique and yet all the same. We are all humankind – the South African way.”

Another delegate closes off his feedback, on his personal transformation, with… “We have a country rich in people who are unique in their variety. Our uniqueness is special. If we open our hearts to it we will all grow and become more special. Let us all embrace the uniqueness and utilize it to shine brighter for us all.”

Our change in Celebrating Humanity© team selection methodologies had multiple effects. Here are four…

Firstly, delegates now listen very carefully to the introductions. They begin to know each other better, from the earliest possible moment. A delegate from SA Container Depots… “Now I know my team members. For past 10 years I have walked right past them without greeting. Now I have friends who I know. I will greet them all in the future.”

Secondly, they chose their own team members, in a totally new and aware way. Because they add to each other, they almost always get the diversity right. When they do not, it shows up in their team’s lack of points. Delegate Luanne Schmidt, says.. “The experience has left me with a sense of joy that if each one of us in our wonderful “Rainbow nation” takes the time to really get to know and understand the traditions and cultures that make this such an exciting country to live in, we truly will become a nation to be envied.”

Thirdly, they began to experience the power of sharing wisdom and working together in diverse teams. This is extending outside of the training room. Another Ethekwini delegate had this to say… “I have accommodated all these people and other cultures in my heart, in a similar way. All of them are so important in my life. There is a lot that I can learn from them about my personality, their personalities as well as my country.”

And point number four, they begin to understand their own multi-faceted value and their marvellous uniquenesses! A once fearful, and now newly-trained, Celebrating Humanity facilitator in the Ethekwini Municipality Diversity Training programme… “Truly we are catalysts of change. We have the power, the ability, the training, the desire and the courage!”

They had taken the first step towards realizing that diversity and uniqueness in team members creates greater opportunities for learning, growth and success.

They also took the first steps towards becoming the leaders of tomorrow. Leading with each other, for each other – together.

And through them, we begin to lead and leave our legacy for the future!

Brian V Moore© 13/4/2005
“At the level of respect all people are equal”

There are many such simple yet innovating aspects to the numerous Celebrating Humanity© programmes. “The Celebrating Humanity© programme is not simply a “programme”, it is not just a “course”. It is a “cause.” – Celebrating Humanity Facilitator – Ethekwini Municipality.

And now something valuable at no cost to you!

Articles and Stories, PLUS information on the Celebrating Humanity© programmes, can be found on:- http://www.africa-dreams.com/

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

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