Video Testimonial. How a workplace conflict program helped me to build my family relationships

Celebrating Humanity International has run two Team Unity programs (Workplace Conflict Resolution) with a Swaziland City Council, over the past 14 months..

In this video testimonial, Benito Jones describes where he was as a family man, and the changes that he has made in his life as a direct result of the Celebrating Humanity Team Conflict Resolution programme.

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My personal change – since the Celebrating Humanity Team Unity program by Benito Jones

29 April, 2013. Ghost Mountain Inn – Mkuze, South Africa.

Transcript of video testimonial by Benito Jones

An un-rehearsed interview with Benito Jones, a City Councillor in Mbabane Swaziland. We had the fortune to facilitate two Celebrating Humanity Team Unity (Conflict Resolution) sessions, with the council. One in March 2013 and another – with the newly elected Council – in April 2013. Benito was at both.

Halfway through the second program, Benito shared the life changes – that he put into effect because of lessons he took from the initial program.

Here is a transcript of this video, which is one of three- by Benito.

Interviewer: Brian Moore.
Great. Benny, you shared with us during the Mbabane City Council Team Unity program, how the program helped you to change your relationship with your family. And you were telling me what happened when you got home, to your family, prior to the (initial) program.

Benito:
Prior to the program, I can honestly say that I wasn’t a capable father, in executing my duties as a parent – but … I used to shout at my children. I never understood my children better… before the program.

But after the program, I actually got to understand that there are no limits to being a parent. You need to give your children what is “worth” to them, as a parent.

But before, it was totally different. I had no time.

There were times when I came back from work. When they heard my car, coming into the yard, they run into their rooms, that the “monster” had come home.

But since, after, the program, everything has changed. Now we are more of a family, or more of friends, than we were before.

After the program – for once – after almost 10 years of marriage, I had a vacation with my family. Because they were able to trust me, that I won’t get upset and leave them wherever I had taken them on that particular day – something the children never did before.  Because they knew that we would go out to a particular restaurant, one teeny-weeny thing would upset me and I would leave them there. They would have to find their own way home.

So we had no bond. We had no trust with them. Up and ‘till I got into this progam which helped me a great deal. And when my wife heard that I am attending the same course, again – and for the second time – she was so elated that she asked me:-  What are you people feeding me, that is keeping me so calm? Which I never was before!

The objective that I was, was that it was always my way, or nothing else. But now I am able to listen to her, as well. For once, I am able to do as she wants me to do. We are able to coordinate issues as a family, as opposed to being “ordered.”

Now I am able to take orders, ‘though I don’t perceive them as orders, because we now live as a family.

So it had such a dramatic effect on my personal life and my family life…

Break

I want to thank you for such an opportunity and such an exposure. And I hope it can go a long way in helping other people, not only personally, I mean, not only professionally – but even personally, as well. And that they can take this into their homes and into their relationships. And into their working environments.

Because  you find that if you are upset at work, then you take this thing, into your home. If you are upset at home, you cannot perform properly at work, because you are still fighting with your wife. That she didn’t iron your shirt properly, or that she was late for work. Therefore you were late for work, and so you had to take her with you..

So, it is quite and eye-opener of a program which I hope that God will bestow the power to you and help other people, as well, that have the opportunity and the courage to face problems. – as well as the will to succeed. Because if you have the will to succeed – these are such programs that you should attend.

Because they give you the character and strength to face another day. Because sometimes you sleep and you have no reason to live, but if you attend such programs they give you the will and vigour to wake up another morning – with a smile on your face, to face another day with hope and faith that this is the day!

Brian Moore

Thanks my friend. Awesome.

Living and Teaching Unity – Arthie and Brian Moore

Da Moores 2012 Arthie, Brian and Family‘Living and Teaching Unity’

An excerpt from: Golden Room.

Many cross cultural couples will readily include in their list of the benefits of being in a cross cultural relationship, the delight in being able to have two weddings that reflect their dual cultural heritage.But for Arthie and Brian Moore of South Africa, two weddings wasn’t quite enough to reflect, represent and celebrate this couple’s inspiring journey. They have in fact married each other seven times, and the second wedding was a surprise wedding!

Their story begins with a dream. The amazing and almost unbelievably accurate dream of a young girl in year seven at school, about the kind of man she wanted to marry. And the dream of a nation that it would one day be free from apartheid.Arthie grew up as a fourth generation Asian South African in a Hindu family classed as ‘Indian’..

Unusually her family came from divergent socio- economic backgrounds, with entrepreneurs on one side and fishermen and carpenters on the other side, her roots stemmed from indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

From an early age Arthie’s family understood she was somewhat rebellious and determined, a person who knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. For a school project Arthie wrote out her dreams where she described exactly who she would marry and what they would do with their lives together; her future husband would also be tall with blue eyes and blonde hair.

Perhaps her family only gave cursory attention to this detail. After all in the South Africa of this time White people and Asian, ‘Coloured’ and Black people had very little interaction. There were separate neighbourhoods, separate schools, separate churches, and separate sports leagues. In effect, just as the policy intended, -apartheid meaning separateness- the people of South Africa were separated in every conceivable way.

The ‘races’ of South Africa certainly did not intermarry. (more) via www.goldenroom.co.uk.

Diversity is a good thing – not something to be feared!

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

And we are ALL leaders!

Arthie and I had just kicked off the Celebrating Humanity programme, in 2001 – which covered Diversity training, Team conflict resolution and Transformational team building. 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.

A decision was taken to run our training, as a celebration of who we and our delegates were, and focused into team competitions – as a way to change the spirit of the people and the training 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.

Brian V Moore Website

Diversity Training in South Africa

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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

Diversity Management in Schools.

Managing Diverse Teams in Schools

The Celebrating Humanity Way.
Celebrating Humanity International has over 20 years experience in diversity training, team building and team conflict resolution.
The focus of this enjoyable, inclusive, participative, non-threatening and effective team unity building© programme is to develop professionalism, trust, motivation, understanding, communication, relationships, unity, accountability and respect within your client’s team.
Challenges in conflicted diverse teams
1.     Poor inter-team relationships.
2.     Gossiping
3.     Quarrelling/ Back stabbing
4.     Personality and culture clashes.
5.     Bad attitudes.
6.     Poor or no communication.
7.     Racism/ Prejudice
8.     Low morale and commitment.
Resultant challenges for learners in this unstable environment

1.     Bad Educator and Learner attitudes.
2.     Low morale and motivation.
3.     Uncontrolled bullying.
4.     Learner absenteeism.
5.     Below normal performance.
6.     Learners ill-prepared for life
 

The secret is to lead diversity – not manage it.
In closing
“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.”
- Richard Branson, in his book, Business Stripped Bare 

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

Recent Celebrating Humanity Feedback – Judi Meyer

Feedback from our recent Celebrating Humanity work, near Pretoria…
This 1 day Celebrating Humanity Eye Opener Diversity Training program was facilitated at St Georges Hotel – near Centurion – on 3 May 2012.
Hi Brianand ArthieI have received very positive feedback from the day we spent with you and as you can imagine this experience has also set my thoughts into a different direction which I would like to share with you.

The main change I am experiencing at the moment is the realisation that we started this company because we felt that the corporate environment we where in was no longer “fun” and that we felt the working environment oppressive in the sense that there was no space for individuals and that each persons efforts and individual value add was not recognised. Unfortunately the challenges we face daily in the business environment and inter personally between the share holders has meant that this is the exact environment we have created!

I have learnt that I need to remember that it really is people who make a business and that we need to create an environment where these people can grow and have fun. That HR is about this and that this is where we now need to focus on this in order for us to create the business we set out to do! This will be my personal challenge and I hope that I will be able to integrate this into our company culture.

More than the content of your workshop I would like to thank you for sharing the “you” that you both are! I think this has had the greatest effect on all of us.

Judi Meyer | Financial Manager and Director
Delphius Commercial and Industrial Technologies

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 – Team Conflict Resolution©

Celebrating Humanity – Team Conflict Resolution©
24 May 2011 – Brian V Moore

Celebrating Humanity International has over 20 years experience in diversity training, team building and team conflict resolution.

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

The focus of this enjoyable, inclusive, participative, non-threatening and effective team unity building© programme is to develop professionalism, trust, motivation, understanding, communication, relationships, unity, accountability and respect within your client’s team.

From challenges – to unified and professional teams

The programme is a combination of diversity management, team building, leadership development, relationship building, communication skills development – ending with a solid long-term team agreement which guides the team to work together into the future. After the intervention all team members start afresh – with a clean slate – clear of all past challenges.

This is not a talk, a negotiation – or a traditional team building – this fun and exciting programme is an interactive, transformational and sustainable experience with wonderful lessons learnt and skills developed!

The Celebrating Humanity Mini Harvest© programme has 3 separate stages, with support and follow-up, to ensure long term success.
Team Conflict Resolution Process


Stage 1 – Initial 2 day programme.

EYE Opener Day 1

Designed to Celebrate the Humanity within your team and develop skills in an Exhilarating Learning© environment and thereby:
Create an environment of respect in the team.
Develop an understanding of communication styles and personalities and how to communicate with respect and effectiveness.
Develop an understanding of team members.
Develop interpersonal communication and respect
Create an environment of communication, solution-finding and praise.
Develop understanding of attitudes and their effect on relationships
Bring the team closer together as colleagues.

Values Circle – Day 2
 
Develops understanding of how the team should and should not behave and puts the team in charge of its own actions and behaviours.
1.The team creates and commits to a formalised peer-managed Code of Conduct, thereafter all team members clear past interpersonal challenges and commit to the team, and to manage their own actions.
The code of conduct ensures that all team members are committed to work together in a respectful way and commits the team to very brief monthly meetings to:
a.Praise and Honour those who deserve it.
b.Develop understanding
c.Give guidance to values breakers
d.Offer support to those with challenges and send those who will not be guided by the team and who break the agreed rules, for the normal company discipline processes.

Monthly meetings and follow-up +- 1 month after the initial programme.

Sets up the team to maintain the programme, through 1 hour 6 weekly meetings. The first meeting, 2 – 4 hours, is facilitated by a CHI lead facilitator, on site.

The team will receive:-
1.A fully explanatory copy of the Code of Conduct.
2.A copy of their signed commitment to the team.
3.An agenda for the management of the ongoing monthly meetings.
4.Photographs on CD or DVD.
5.Free access to telephonic or e-mail support.

Exhilarating Learning Methodologies


Exhilarating Learning© is non-threatening, effective, fun, lasting and unifying.
Exhilarating Learning© activates all of the human learning senses through group & team-focussed processes and exercises.
Learning is ensured through Inclusivity and the use of Intellectual, Visual, Audio & Kinesthetic sensors.
Inclusivity and Teamwork is ensured through Team reliance on each individuals’ Unique Talents, Skills and  Knowledge.
Knowledge and Understanding is developed though the Inclusivity processes.
Teamwork is developed through Group Achievement and the need for Total Participation of all delegates.
Mutual Respect is ensured through the Competition Points System.
Communication Awareness and Skills are developed practically.
Open Minds and Total Participation are ensured through the unique environment and processes.
Long-term Understanding is developed through introspection and the questioning environment.
Tools include the use of various languages, story-telling, music, video & competition.

Testimonials

“On behalf of Team US, from the U.S. Consulate General in Durban, I write to extend our appreciation for and unparalleled experience in cultural sensitisation and team-building!
The 2 day session made our diverse team stronger and more supportive of one another.  This (team building) was by far the most meaningful and effective in fostering good communication, mutual respect and a strong spirit of co operation amongst our multi-cultural staff. “
Jill Derderian – United States Consul General – Durban

“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 were 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.”
- Sue Hall & Associates

 
Celebrating Humanity International
Diversity Management, Team Building and Team Conflict Resolution Specialists

079 643 4457/ 072 439 4220/ brian@africa-dreams.com

http://www.africa-dreams.com
http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
http://transformdiverseteams.blogspot.com

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

I want that medal! Achieving against all odds!

The full Umgeni river thundered and surged around and over the mighty rocks in Graveyard rapid, as we paddled hard for the finish of 1986 Dusi Canoe Marathon. The rear cockpit of our blue racing K2 kayak was cracked from an earlier spill in the tricky uMzinyathi rapid. Suddenly the brown water threw our craft towards the Graveyard’s final obstacle a huge, partially submerged rock.

We pulled hard, Mother Nature laughed at our puny efforts and within an instant we were facing each other. Our weakened canoe was wrapped around the rock. As I fought to push off the rock, Terry elected to roll out into the current. As he did the old blue Foxbat lifted up its tail and sank into the pool below the rapid.

As we pulled the kayak to the bank Terry said in a matter-of-fact way, “Oh well Moore, that’s it.”I looked up from the boat, and said, “I haven’t come this far not to finish this race. I want that medal!.” He looked thoughtfully at me and, in his tough way, said “Ja, you’re right! Let’s fix this … thing!”

As he spoke, my old VW Kombi came winding around the corner loaded with our seconders and patching materials. It was a miracle that we met at this critical time on the 120km race. This merely proved to me that when we total commit to a goal, the necessary resources will miraculously be there for us. The kayak was broken in half, held together by a token strip of fibreglass and resin.

Dusi Canoe Marathon

Achieving against all odds. Brian and Terry Moore

 

As we began patching it with tree branches, duct tape and fibreglass, I reflected on the events of the past three days. This was my third attempt at the Dusi canoe marathon – an epic journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. I was ill-prepared on the first attempt and narrowly missed cut-off on a very dry river on the 2nd day of the following attempt.
Terry and I were known as the “Heavyweight Champions” of the Dusi – based only on our weight and little else! We weighed a combined 210kgs which we packed, tightly into a 45kg canoe. This excluded drinking water, wet life-jackets and paddles! We had already covered about 100kms in the intensely oppressive January heat in sub-tropical Natal (KwaZulu Natal) and had according to our growing tradition and a lack of training, just made cut-off on each of the previous days.

We had the strength and skills to negotiate rapids and the mental fortitude to handle long paddling sessions but distinctly disliked the many steep portage sections. In a full river portaging was the safest option, but we ignored the easy way – in pursuit of exciting paddling experiences.Now 20kms of paddle and portage lay ahead of us. There was plenty time left if the canoe was in good condition, but the need to carry the craft would make it difficult to get to the finish before the cut-off.

As soon as we had finished applying the wet resin, fibreglass and branches we picked up the misshapen craft and set-off. Good wishes of our crew and some local residents rang in our ears as we set off on our mission improbable. W

e laughed at the fact that we, of all people, were carrying a canoe next to a perfectly flowing river. We occasionally forded the river, climbed hills and forced our way through “wag ‘n bietjie” (wait-a-bit) thorn bushes. I carried the front of the boat. Behind me Terry was beginning to stumble. Suddenly he and the Foxbat hit the deck. The canoe took on a definite and permanent banana shape! “Are you ok?”, I asked. “Ja.” came the response, “Just a little bit goofed!” Unbeknown to me the resin and catalyst were beginning to gel and the Terry was breathing in the hot fumes. He had never been that high in his life!

After breathing in un-polluted oxygen for awhile we once more headed for the finish. Terry must have become accustomed to the fumes, or begun to enjoy the effects, as he never complained again.Eventually the repairs to our “banana boat” had set and we took to the water below the last rapids and paddled and emptied, paddled and emptied our way towards Durban.

We ran out of drinking water and at times a severely dehydrated Terry seemed a little delirious. We met a group who gave us ice-cold drinking water, just when we needed it most.The news of the pending arrival of the “Heavyweight champions” had preceded us.

Many hours later, with just 14 minutes to spare, we paddled our sinking canoe past hundreds of cheering spectators. We were stone last. As we crossed the line I silently began to cry tears of tiredness, elation and relief. This was my first Dusi finish. We had done it!

Terry still talks today of the steely look in my eyes when I refused to give up, saying, “I want that medal.” He says that knew then that we would definitely finish the race. Often in our lives we make choices. We go with the flow and the naysayers, or we say, “I have come this far… there is NO way that I will give up!”
It is at these points in our lives that our destiny is determined. And it is then, when the Universe celebrates our commitment, and brings to us all the necessary resources to attain our goals. In the power of a decision lies huge opportunity. It is at times like this that we need to honour not only the people who receive the awards, but those who made it possible. To our supporters – the unsung heroes – thanks it is your giving and caring that makes all of life’s successes possible.

Brian V Moore©brian@africa-dreams.com

PS… My Lessons

Whatever stress you are under now – there is a still another “medal” to be won.Live in gratitude for the people who love you, believe in you and support you! Set your goal, patch up your “canoe”, and head for your next critical stage in your life. Together, you can do it!

PPS.

The annual South Africa Dusi Canoe marathon covers approximately 120kms of mountainous terrain and the courses of the Umsundusi and Umgeni rivers. The Kwa-Zulu Natal based race starts in Pietermaritzburg, and ends in Durban – 3 days later.

Request a Team Building quotation, Diversity Training quotation
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal

“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.

Brian V Moore Website

Diversity Training in South Africa

Africa Dreams Website – Celebrating Humanity International

Celebrating Humanity Projects

Team Building in South Africa

Celebrating Humanity Blog

Celebrating Humanity on Facebook

Contact

Mobile: +27 (0)79 643 4457

Fax: +27 866 746 310

Video – Diversity Training and Conflict Resolution

Here is an a short video of a 3 day – plus 1 day follow-up team building/ diversity training/ team conflict resolution – facilitated by Mthimkhulu International (Now Celebrating Humanity International – the Team Building in South Africa specialists.

Enjoy,

Brian V Moore

Request a Team Building quotation, Diversity Training quotation
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal

“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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Ownership – Victor, or Victim

November 30, 2008

One of the most amazing things that I have observed, time and again, in our transformational team building programs – is how easily some people give away ownership for their lives. In so doing they destroy themselves, their relationships and groups that they belong to.

The deeply ingrained, Industrial revolution-linked, top-down management style prevalent in many families, companies and organizations, has left behind a bundle of non-performing victims. They do not take action for their own behavior and are constantly looking for reasons why things “just will not work.”

They are the perpetually unhappy, not-yet grown-up adults who constantly run to “mommy”, with their problems. Of course “mommy”, is either their manager, or some member of the team/ family or community who happens to listen to their stories.

In our more extensive Celebrating Humanity Harvest team-builds, teams set-up its own Values Circle. This is a peer-created and managed code of conduct – where the team determines what is acceptable and desired behavior within the team. And, as importantly, they decide which behaviors are undesirable and taboo. This invariably includes gossiping and backstabbing.

In these sessions there is a clearing, of all past inter-personal challenges. The team and its members are rewarded with an agreement, in which they are safe and accountable for their own behavior and for that of the members of their team. They are empowered to be in charge of their future interactions, as fully-functioning adults, working together in harmony. “Mommy” is no longer needed.

Case Study 1 – Still infiltrated by Victims

I met this team for our normal follow-up – 1 month after the initial team build, clearing and agreement session. And their case is not unusual.

Most of the team members had gained through the team building and found a marked difference in the way in which they, and the team related to each other. They commented in the following manner:-
“ I am feeling more comfortable with the care within the team. Previously no-one cared, and I felt it.”
“I really enjoyed understanding more about other cultures. I now know how to work differently with different people.”
“Understanding my communication style, and having the ability to assess other people, means that I now adjust my communication for each individual person.”
“When you know your personality type, and how it can affect others, you can change your behavior to get better results.”
“I am always monitoring my overbearing personality, to ensure that I grow my team without dominating them.”
“What I realised is that if I want respect, I must be respectful.”

The bulk of the members of the team had taken responsibility for their own behavior. One even owned up to gossiping, prior to the team building – saying that this had now stopped.

And yet there were a few strongly verbose people, of varying levels, within the room, who stated that “nothing had changed.” “There are still people not adhering to the agreements,” they said. These are the victims and they are very dangerous and will actively, or unconsciously, work to destabilise harmonious environments.

I was not surprised. These were the spectators, that will be found in any organization.

Spectators

Spectators are observers and complainers – they wait for things to change. They do nothing positive to ensure that good things happen.

If all is going well, they cheer for their team. Sadly, when there are problems – they immediately complain to, or about “mommy. “They must do something about this.” Or, “This was just a waste of money, nothing changed.” Challenges have nothing to do with them.

These poor people simply have no power whatsoever, unless they are bringing something, or somebody, down. Unfortunately their ability to destroy is very strong in weak organizations, and divided families and teams. They will never have anything because they are victims. And victims will make sure that they do not allow others to succeed either.

7 Rules to work with victims.

1. Set behavior principles and behavior rules with the entire team/ family. List and decide on what you will and won’t do. Set the amount of transgressions, before action is taken. Ensure that all of you manage the agreements, fairly. No-one is above the rules and they must be applied at all times.
2. Involve them in finding solutions. Challenge them to look for answers.
3. Don’t listen to their negative stories, or gossip. When they are complaining, ask them what they are doing about it – or put them in front of the person with whom they “have a problem.” Then open their conversation with, “X has a problem, with something you have done. You should talk about it.” And move on.
4. Never agree with, or get involved in their negativity. Once they have you in the “inner circle”, you will find it very difficult to get out.
5. Praise them for what they do well.
6. Guide them on what they can do differently. Never attack them, as a person. Always talk about the actions that they can change to get better results in their lives.
7. Remember to focus on your team agreements and love the victims anyway. If the team/ family environment is sound, they will either adjust their own behavior and fit in, or find other places to be destructive. Let them go.

Case Study 2: Once victims and now victors

15 months after the first intervention, the supervisor sent this feedback, about where their team was before the transformational team build, what had happened during the Celebrating Humanity© program and their new workplace situation:

“I had a group of 30 people from diverse cultures. They could not get on with each other.
There was continuous friction between the different race groups, and between people from the same race and cultural group. The people were negative and were not satisfied with anything.
1. Complaints were the order of the day; this also placed our team in a bad light with management. We decided on the Celebrating Humanity© training. The
2. people were very negative about the program initially.
3. As the course progressed the people’s attitudes changed from negative to positive.
4. Communication, respect and ownership improved from all sides by 100%. The respect between different race groups has been restored.
5. Some of the people who were negative have changed so much that they have been promoted to higher positions with greater responsibility.
6. The foundation of the entire course was so successful that the group is now going ahead with a leadership course.”

This team decided that enough was enough and took a strong hold of the power of ownership. They decided that they would work together, irrespective of the disrespect that had consumed their team for years before.

This was their chance to enjoy work, be more professional and above all to work in a safe and respectful environment.

Is your team suffering as a result of inter-personal, inter-level, or inter-group conflict. Are personality or mis-communication stresses tearing your team apart?

On a more personal note, are you a victor or a victim. Do you look for the good, or are you focused on the bad? If it is the latter, there is noting out there for you but misery and blame. These are normally attached to personal loneliness, stress and disease.

Here are 10 things that you can do.

1. Work from the principle that “at the level of respect, all people are equal.” Treat people with respect and you will get respect.
2. Take ownership for your life – because the quality of your life, your happiness and your successes are dependent upon your own actions.
3. Focus on making a positive difference. You will find opportunities for great change where “things are just not right.”
4. Look for ways to respect your family and your team, in the way that they want to be respected.
5. Learn to listen more and complain less.
6. Ask people – “What can I do to help.” Or, “What can I do to make this work.”
7. Don’t let your problems poison the people around you. Talk to people about your challenges and resolve them, or move on.
8. Speak up when you see something good and speak up if you are unhappy/ or uncomfortable with another person’s actions, or unacceptable situations.
9. And here is the big thing, speak to the people who are the challenge, for you – or to people who are responsibility to make changes. Never speak to people who have no power to make any difference at all.
10. And if you come across a spectator – use the 7 rules to working with victims. You will make a difference – and it will be positive.

The good thing in formulating the right kinds of team agreements together, is that those teams that powerfully guard and keep to their agreements, will take absolute personal ownership for their future. They will make sure that they have a positive empowering environment – and they will make things work.

When this happens – the victims will either change their behavior, or look for another place to be unhappy. Either way, the team and its future is safe.

Enjoy life! You only get one chance!

Brian Moore
Author – Team Conflict Resolution Strategies.
http://www.teamconflictstrategies.com
brian@teamconflicstrategies.com