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.

Team Building for Diverse Teams – A video testimonial.

Arthie and I are very fortunate to be able to work with people in a number of countries around the World. One of them is Swaziland.

In March 2013 – our client, in Hippo Hollow – Mpumalanga, South Africa was the Mbabane City Council – who needed to sustainability reduce conflict and improve relationships in the management and political team.

One of the delegates was Benito Jones, a passionate and very powerful person. Little did we know of the deep personal impact our Celebrating Humanity program has had on him, until we met again at a similar program for the newly elected councillors – on 28-29 April, 2013..

In this testimonial video Benito talks of where his family relationships were before the program and what has changed for him over the past year.

In another video Benito also ascribes his re-election to the changes that he has made in his life, since the Celebrating Humanity Program.

We wish him, his family and constituency well on their journey and look forward to more interaction with this awesome team.

Please contact us on brian@brianvmoore.com or call +27 79 643 4457, should you need any more information.

You can find the video – here.

Can diversity be effectively learnt in isolation?

Often we hear people say, “I feel your pain.” This empathetic and well-meaning statement is generally untrue. It is like a man saying that he understands, or can feel, the pain of childbirth. The closest he will ever get is to actively listen to women talk of the pain, and to watch a child being born.

Similarly it is almost impossible for a person to effectively understand diversity whilst learning about “others” in isolation.

Often management groups ask us to teach “us” more about “them.” This is a way of keeping themselves aloof and safe from their diverse staff. Or, we are asked to teach “them” about “our way.” This is a group form of isolation, which substantially reduces the positive impact of diversity awareness training.

It has been our experience that diversity is best learnt, practically, in groups of diverse people. The diversities need to include, as far as possible: Gender, age, race, language, sexual preference, levels, departments, cultures and religions.

When combined in this way the benefits are tremendous. It is firstly possible to upscale the methodologies to a level of fun and competition. Secondly, the resultant interaction ensures long-term learning through the relationships that are built across diversities. Thirdly, there is a huge element of cross diversity team building and respect-building and finally, the lessons gained are either first or second-hand experiential skills.

Diversity awareness, learnt in isolation, will build the intellectual understanding of diversity, the fairness and injustice of diversity. Strong understanding will be gained of diversity and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.

Sadly very little will be understood – at an emotional and experiential level. This can only be gained through interaction with people of different backgrounds.

Please comment below, or visit our site for more information on Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training programs.

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.

How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse

Published on 15 Jan 2013 in HR PulseFor more articles relevant to the HR Community

Brian V Moore

In 2002, we were called in to Eskom by Bruce Moody, a high-level HR officer at Eskom. He said: “We have some heavy cultural clashes in a technical service centre in the Northern Province [now Limpopo].

Do you think that you can you do something to change the situation?”

“I am sure we can.” I responded. “What are the challenges?”

Bruce pondered for a while and said: “There are some heavy racial attitudes from all sides. In fact, I don’t really know why I am asking you! What are you, a white man and your Indian wife, going to do to make a difference? This is a bunch of tough hardliners. They have a long history of conflict and nothing that we have done has worked.

“Let’s get this clear: These are heavy workplace disputes!” said Bruce. “There is continuous backstabbing and gossiping. They complain that everything is wrong and nobody is to blame! They are totally unmotivated and their productivity is very low, which is resulting in poor customer service.”

Arthie, my wife and business partner, asked: “What do you think is causing this?”

Bruce gave Arthie a knowing look: “Well obviously there is very low morale among them because of the constant bickering. There is racism, prejudice, laziness, no ownership, no accountability and poor communication – and I mean REALLY poor!” He took a deep breath, shook his head, and continued: “This is a hugely conservative area where old attitudes die very hard. It could be the worst case that you could ever take on.”

I felt confident we could take on the challenge

We were almost overpowered by his statements, but I had no doubts. If I could work in areas, as a peacemaker, where bullets were flying, we could duck a few words.

“We can do this. When do you want us to start?” We were given two weeks to prepare.

We hit the ground running

We had to find ways to build relationships swiftly with groups of people who we had never before encountered in an area of the country where we had NO experience. We spent the time studying the history of the area, and the cultures and languages of the people in the team.

Arthie and I then put together the Celebrating Humanity Team Conflict Resolution programme for diverse teams. This fun, exciting, inclusive and enjoyable programme included celebrating diversity, diversity management, team building and a sustainable long-term team-managed code of conduct.

And so we set off to the town where the centre was located

As we drew closer to the centre, we passed a huge flock of vultures feeding on the carcass of a wild animal. I silently prayed that it was not an ominous sign!

When we arrived, Jan – the depot supervisor – greeted us. He then took us aside and pleaded: “You must just motivate them. They need it.” I looked at his stressed face and saw a man in pain. He was ready to explode. Another senior member of the team said: “If you guys mention racism, just once, we WILL walk out.”

We had to change the mood from the outset. We spent that night in the training room transforming the venue into one of celebration: Balloons, happy colours, hand-drawn posters and a very unique seating arrangement…

The next morning we found separated groups sitting together. They were grouped by colour, language and level. All in their own comfort zones. All spiritually, emotionally and physically apart. Some were obviously angry and others totally disinterested.

Then we began to help them to celebrate their humanity

Three days and 21 working hours later, the same people were sitting side by side at a family barbecue. Children played with children. Wives chatted to each other while the men cooked meat, spoke about cars, sport and laughed as they shared jokes.

They had experienced each other in a fun environment, shared wisdom, seen value in each other, worked as teams, cleared all of their past interpersonal baggage, committed to a code of positive behaviours and removing their negative actions from their lives.

15 months after the first intervention, Jan sent this feedback

“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 not satisfied with anything.

Complaints were the order of the day. This also placed our depot in a bad light with management.

We decided on Brian and Arthie’s training. The people were very negative about the programme initially.

As the course progressed, peoples’ attitudes changed from negative to positive.

Communication, respect and ownership improved from all sides by 100%. The respect between different race groups has been restored.

Some of the people who were negative have changed so much that they have been promoted to higher positions with greater responsibility.

The foundation of the entire course was so successful that the group is now going ahead with a leadership course.”

Now that was the change that we had been looking for!

via How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse.

How Workplace Conflict Is Killing Your Bottom Line – Talent Management magazine

Just how much does workplace conflict cost your and your company, both financially and emotionally. Check out this article and learn how we Resolve Workplace Conflict.

Enjoy the article,

Best wishes,

Brian Moore

How Workplace Conflict Is Killing Your Bottom Line – Talent Management magazine.

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

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Africa Dreams Website – Celebrating Humanity International

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Contact

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Fax: +27 866 746 310

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