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.

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

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

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?

7 Steps to Resolving Team Conflict

The 7 Steps to Resolving Team Conflict – in the Celebrating Humanity© Way

From the book “Team Conflict Resolution Strategies – Fast and Effective ways to Remove and Reduce Stress in Teams”, by Brian V Moore.



Brian and Arthie Moore, of Celebrating Humanity International, have over 15 years experience in diversity management, transformational team building and team conflict resolution. 1000s of people have benefited and transformed through the Celebrating Humanity programme©, in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and the USA.

1.   Step 1 – Know what you want to achieve, AND know where you and your team are, before you begin. “Begin with the end in mind” – Steven Covey. It is critical to know and record, what your challenges are at the outset of this amazing journey with your team/s. The team needs a joint vision of what they can achieve through unity, teamwork and harmony.

2.   Step 2 – Follow the 8 Principles of Team Conflict Resolution through the internationally proven Celebrating Humanity© methodology. Celebrating Humanity’s unique, transformational team building and conflict resolution techniques are founded in these 8 amazingly simple and stunningly effective principles.

         1. “At the level of respect, all people are equal.” – Brian V Moore – 2001.
         2. “No man is an island” (English Proverb.) “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” (Nguni Proverb)
         3. We are perfect as we are.
         4. Life rewards action. Positive and negative.  
         5. It is simply impossible for any person to manage the behaviour of other people.
         6. People will manage their own behaviour, if they set the ground rules themselves.
         7. “People know and help those who speak up – not those who remain silent.” Oshiwambo proverb – Namibia.

3.   Step 3 – Build unified Teamwork across the entire team, company/ organisation. Apply a transformational team building process that will bring harmony, understanding, emotional and social maturity, communication skills, respect, ownership and accountability to your conflicted teams.

4.   Step 4 – Set the Peer-created, Peer-accepted and Peer-managed Team Code of Conduct. When your team makes these decisions, and all team members commit to follow an agreed and constituted process – you are well on your way to a conflict-free team, company/ organisation. This reduces stress on management and clients.

5.   Step 5 – Clear past interpersonal challenges – and open the way forward. Your team will no longer be dogged by its own conflicted history, the path will be clear for powerful and exciting results and successes.

6.   Step 6 – Place your team firmly in charge of their own behaviour. It is at this point that your team members commit to themselves, the company/ organization and immediately begin to operate in a new and safe working environment.

7.   Step 7 – Maintain – the new conflict-free status quo.
Properly constituted and maintained team agreements which will last for as long as you desire, and your and the team maintain the status quo.

8.   What we do NOT do.

         1. We never focus on the “problems”, or the “problem people”. If there is conflict in your team, there is far more going on than you will ever realise. And any direct focus on the particular individuals will empower them and ruin the process.
         2. We do not have mediation sessions with the “problem people” to clear the problems. This will isolate all of your team members, and the challenges will emerge again, in another form altogether.
         3. We do not judge, or work out of our own judgments.
         4. We do not send the “problem people” off for emotional, or diversity training, and ignore the rest of the team.
 

“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

 

 

Tight Teams Triumph in Tough Times

Diversity Training? Or Diversity Team Building?
Save your company plenty of Time and Money!
Build respect, unity and team work, in your teams’ whilst they learn about each other  and have FUN!
By Celebrating Humanity International—Established in 1989!

South Africa’s top local and International Team Building, Workplace Diversity Management and Team Conflict Resolution company is now 20 years young!
Celebrating Humanity International is Proudly South African and a Services Seta Recorded Provider.

Founded in 1989, by Brian V Moore, it is now 50% owned and managed by one of South Africa’s top woman entrepreneurs—the inspirational woman at work—Arthie Moore.

Our Level 3 Contributor status qualifies you 110% BEE recognition for Preferential Procurement!

Email us for more info! Get a proposal now!


Are your teams united? Or, are you losing productivity or money to any of the following Workplace Conflicts?

· Negativity and Arguing.
· Poor Team work.
· Incessant Gossiping and Backstabbing
· Low morale and a lack of motivation.
· Personality and Cultural Clashes.
· Silly Time-wasting Disputes.
· Frustrating time spent in Dispute Mediation.
· Unnecessary Labour Lawyers’ fees?
· Misunderstandings and Mis-communications.
· Inability to communicate with diverse clients.
· A lack of Professionalism and Accountability.
· Excessive Absenteeism.
· Racism, Sexism, Prejudice.

Or do you just need to have some FUN and to really get to know your team members better?

Email us for more info! Get a proposal

About us:

Celebrating Humanity International, a Proudly South African company, was formed in 1989, and is Level 3 BEE Accredited, and is currently  50% woman owned and managed.

CHI is Services Seta Recorded Provider and all programmes are Services Seta Accredited.
Majority Shareholder and GM, Arthie Moore – recognised by Ms Graca Machel – Former 1st Lady of Mocambique – for developing Leadership amongst Women in SA. She is recognised as an Inspirational Women at Work and is a published contributor in the book, “Inspirational Women at Work.”

 MD of CHI, Brian Moore, born in Zambia, grew up in SA, speaks a number of African languages and was “adopted” by a Zulu Chief in KwaNgcolosi, Ndwedwe. He received an award from Archbishop Desmond Tutu for bringing peace between the canoeists and communities along the course of the Dusi Canoe Marathon. He has spoken in the USA, London, Hong Kong and chaired World Learning conference in  Hong Kong.

CHI focuses on imparting change throughout SA, through facilitating pro-bono Celebrating Humanity programmes for community groups, schools and hospitals.

CHI operates nationally and internationally, facilitating the Celebrating Humanity programmes and speaking in the UK, the USA, Zambia, Hong Kong, Namibia and throughout South Africa.

Our Clients 

We have presented to, and delivered programmes, for:-
 The Bank of Zambia, Quinniapac University – Connecticut, USA, Times2 Academy, East Providence, RI, USA, Ethekwini Municipality Diversity programme, Sun-Coast Casino, Eskom, Namdeb – DeBeers Mine in Namibia, BMW, Reuters, Surgetech, Assmang Chrome and Manganese, Standard Bank, Connecticut State Troopers, USA, US Consulate-Durban, SABS, Nashua Mobile, FNB – amongst many others.

Our Transformational Team Building Facilitation Team, on the 2007 Namdeb Diamond Mining Corporation Team Building.

We ran Diversity Team builds for over 2500 people in Namibia!

In order to do so, our team had to practically transform into Namibians, and what a pleasure that was.

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

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.

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

Healing the Soul of Africa.

A letter to the many people of Africa and South Africa who suffer, or who have suffered, as result of the legacies of the past.
During our workplace diversity training programmes we often come across people who are in pain over matters that happened in the past. Not only the recent past, many people are still affected by events that harmed their ancestors. This pain can be healed but often group belief systems stand in the way of peace.

Africa has a history of incredible harsh acts, programmes and policies by various groups targeting other groups. The British against the Afrikaner. The British against African and Indian communities. African versus Eastern South Africans. The “whites” against the “blacks.” The Afrikaner versus the “coloured”, “Indian” and “blacks.” Clan against clan. One political group against another. There have been far too many to mention.
These events caused a deep-rooted legacy of anger which will not be cleared until the “descendants” lay down the past through apology and forgiveness.


There is a fairly commonly held belief amongst the more traditional African cultures that one’s well-being and good fortune is dependent on the well-being of one’s ancestors.


Should an ancestor still be in pain because of a past injustice his living descendants will suffer. The only way that life can be lived normally is if there is an apology from the “descendants” of the original perpetrators and if that apology is accepted. At this point the living can move on and their lives will become far better.


Thus the apology by the British government to the descendants of a Zulu King, who was buried in manacles and recently exhumed and re-buried a “free” man, has healed the spirits and souls of many South Africans.


In the Northern Province we came across a young Bapedi man who could not look at any “white” person without feeling aggrieved. He was a young boy when he was caught up in the 1976 Soweto riots, where apartheid forces shot at and killed friends, relatives and neighbours. He watched many people die and still lived with the anger. Two “white” people apologized to him and his relief was visible and immediate.


Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe continuously brings up the terrible British colonial past. He uses his anger and that of his people to build the deep-rooted hatred of the “whites.” That Britain is no longer a “colonial” force is irrelevant. The damage has been done and the healing path has not been walked.


Tony Blair and his nation stand now on a “moral” high ground – founded upon centuries of injustice and domination. The result of the injustices will not go away without any action. If the British, through their leaders and Monarch, apologise there could be an immediate reduction in tension.

Yes, it is time for us to lay down our past, but not in the Western way of “let bye-gones be bye-gones.”


If we believe that past events were unacceptable and that we can heal the hearts and souls of our fellow humans, we must take the time to publicly apologise for the actions of our ancestors. In order to do so we must accept that even if it was not directly “my” or “your” ancestors who are responsible, in the eyes of those aggrieved, we represent the people/ ancestors who are.


Everyone, including the British government, PW Botha, the “descendants” of those who acted badly in any nasty or violent acts can heal our people/ continent through apologies. In so doing we will have a chance of a brilliant future together.


In closing, we the undersigned, unconditionally apologise to the people of Africa for any pain that I, or my ancestors, have inflicted upon them or their ancestors.


We ask them for forgiveness and wish that they are healed with time and that we can find a way to be humans together for a better World.
0724394220 (Fax) or e-mail us on brian@africa-dreams.com.
Written in 2002. Relevant today.


Brian, Arthie and Jean Moore (Snr.)
Celebrating Humanity International – formerly Mthimkhulu International – Corporate Consultants

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

Get a team building proposal by email on brian@brianvmoore.com


Brian, Lliam & Arthie Moore