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.

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

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

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

 

 

Diversity Collisons

Linked in Discussion

From Billy Vaughn, PhD

Editor-in-Chief Diversity Officer Magazine.com

What are three examples of cultural collisions in the workplace?

Studies show that cultural diversity leads to increased innovation, competitiveness, and impact on the bottom line. However, harnessing that diversity is the key. One of the challenges is that cultural collisions increase as cultural diversity increases. This is one reason that cultural sensitivity training is so popular. What are some common cultural collisions you have experienced, witnessed or heard about?

My response

Good day to you Billy!

Our experience is that there are many very visible cultural collisions. Yet the most dangerous are those that run below the level of consciousness. These emanate from deep programming and affect the decisions that we make in terms of who to work with, talk to, confide in and select.

The visible results of these decisions often emanate in cultural them and us collisions. You always choose “them”, and never “us.” (This is not always cultural – in fact it is often other areas of diversity – be they gender, personality, communication style, history, experience, level, education, age etc.)

It is at this point that all the normal signs show up – backstabbing, gossiping, negativity, clashes and arguing. It is then that personalities clash and work styles just seem so incompatible.

And this is where transformational team building plays a huge role in building diversity intelligence, as a component of emotional intelligence.

Brian Moore
b@africa-dreams.com

7 easy steps to remove workplace conflict in just 3 days!

How to remove workplace conflict, gossiping and backbiting in just 3 days; follow these 7 easy steps to workplace harmony, and your teams will manage their own challenges, allowing you to drastically improve production and the bottom line!

Teambuilding for Diverse teams, makes it easy to transform your team.
Are you a stressed-out Managing Director, Company Owner, Manager or Team Leader searching for a solution to interpersonal workplace conflict? Are you losing customers and money through:-

• Incessant Gossiping & Backbiting?
• Cross-cultural Clashes?
• Personality Conflicts?
• A lack of Professionalism and Accountability.

Create a safe stress-free work environment, in a team building programme, by:-

Step 1.) Build respect
Set the ground rules. Keep the rules simple. Get a clear understanding of the rules. Enforce the rules. Reward respect, pro-activity and support.

Step 2.) Build understanding and communication
Team members come from different cultures, traditions, histories, genders and ages – these unique differences have the power to unite them. Get them sharing that which maakes them special. Create an environment of communication.

Step 3.) Build Teamwork
Develop the understanding and experience of teamwork, through interactive and exciting team processes. Let your team members experience their individual value, AND the value of their team mates.

Step 4.) Develop skills
Teach them basic communication skills through understanding learning and communications styles. Show them how to change their communication style for better results. take them through a team-based personality test and show them how to work with each other, differently, positively and more powerfully!

Step 5.) Guide your team to create their own peer-managed code of conduct
Remove these stresses from your workplace by getting your now-willing team, to manage workplace conflict for you! Get your team to create a interpersonal code of behavior and values to manage their own behavior!

Step 6.) Clearing all past conflicts
Set-up individual face-to-face private clearings to put past challenges behind them. And get them to sign a commitment to their team, the code of conduct AND agree to never mention their past challenges.

Step 7.)Get the team to manage their own professionalism, accountability and behavior.
Set-up brief and regular monthly meetings, based in the Code of Conduct.

Your team will praise & honor each other, build understanding, give support, bring guidance. AND send the defaulters to normal company discipline! help!

Your team can and will mutually decide and agree on acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Their “team-managed and ongoing relationship management program” will protect you, your team and your company/ organization from wasting time, managing and stressing out on inter-personal and inter-diversity challenges.

Place the challenges of workplace diversity management firmly in the hands of your team/s and let them manage interpersonal interactions, on an ongoing basis!

Remember, it can only take 7 steps and 3 days, to develop respect and united teamwork, within YOUR team!

Our multi-skilled, multi-lingual and multi-diverse International and South African Teambuilding facilitators , have successfully facilitated team-building and corporate training programs since 1989. And we have offered our services in the USA, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia!

Our clients include Namdeb Diamond Mining Corporation (2500 delegates) and have saved tens of thousands of dollars, through creating safe, respectful working environments with their teams. You can too.

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

Celebrating Humanity diversity training, diversity management and team building image

Team building for Diverse Teams can be powerful!

One of the most exciting aspects of being nominated by our clients, as one of the top training companies in South Africa, is that we work in the much-maligned area of “Diversity Training“, and Team-building.

When we started the
Celebrating Humanity© program, our main focus was on Diversity Training. And we perceived it as a huge opportunity, to transform teams and build organisations – through respect, understanding and unity.

As we have said, many times over, companies embarking upon a “diversity training initiative,” stand at the crossroads of danger and opportunity. Our
Guide to Selecting Teambuilding Providers clearly states, that the opportunity lies in uniting the teams and the greatest danger, in the separation of team members by their “differences.”

Our main guiding principle, is:-
“At the level of respect, all people are equal.”

Why Diversity Training/ Teambuilding?

Normally a “diversity training/ teambuilding ” initiative, is based in the need to reduce at least one of the following:-
• Negativity and Arguing.
• Incessant Gossiping & Backbiting.
• Cross-cultural Clashes.
• Personality Conflicts.
• Silly Time-wasting Workplace Disputes.
• Frustrating time spent in Dispute Mediation, and at the CCMA.
• Unnecessary Labour Lawyers’ fees.
• Misunderstandings and Mis-communications.
• Inability to communicate with diverse clients.
• A lack of Professionalism and Accountability.
• Excessive Absenteeism.
• Racism and Prejudice.
• Rankism and Departmentalism.

and/ or to lay the groundwork for improving the (Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) rating of the company/ organisation.

Everyone needs to feel safe.

Whatever the reason for the program, it is essential that it is based in fun and respect, and is totally non-threatening, inclusive and motivational. Everybody wants their place in the sun.

One of the biggest challenges with traditional team-building exercises, is that the focus is often on the needs, talents and abilities, of a core group, within a team. The less young, educated, physically talented, or fit the team member – the more they have to rely upon the “cool group.” And the less they enjoy the experience.

These results are often short term and limited.

Involving Diverse Teams

When working with a very diverse group of people, it is critical that the facilitators involve EVERYONE, in a way that is individually important to them, and their existence on the earth. This ensures that each person can, and does contribute.

In the Celebrating Humanity© – Transformational Team-building programs, processes are fun, exciting, non-threatening and most importantly, everyone participates.

Each person adds value to their teams in some way. The process and methodology must show the value of everybody, in the group. Processes need to show at least some of the knowledge, skills and abilities of each person.

We all add to each other

In a public session, a partially literate Zulu-speaking housekeeper, maKhumalo – sat in a team comprising highly-qualified HR professionals. In the same team – was Kevin Turner, who was raised on a rural Midlands farm and who spoke excellent Zulu.

He and maKhumalo happily shared and communicated their knowledge on culture and tradition to the team. maKhumalo was the expert on Zulu culture, proverbs, ancestry. She brought great value, as did her team members. And similarly Kevin added to the team with his knowledge of Zulu and his warm humanness.

At the point where the team was asked to put together a Kwaito dance, maKhumalo suddenly stood out head-and-shoulders, above her more skilled and reserved team mates. It was delightful to watch her lead them. And they put on a wonderful 2 minute show, for the other teams.

Here was a wonderful lady, from the depths of rural KwaZulu Natal, and she was the stand-out leader for a group of University-educated Human Resources specialists! The exercise demonstrated, that we are all leaders, that we all bring value, and that we all need to respect and value each other.

Teams that understand, that we add to each other, will be far more secure. Through Transformational Team-building, they will know and experience, that the more diverse the team members, the more chances we have to win – through greater knowledge, skills, wisdom and understanding.

Some ways to involve people.

Some of the ways that we involve our delegates, are through their:-
• Workplace Knowledge.
• Background.
• Artistic ability.
• Joke-telling skills.
• Dancing skills.
• Language and greetings.
• Proverbs.
• Body language.
• Cultural knowledge.
• Beliefs.
• Religion.
• Music.
• Traditions.
• Other relevant Skills and Talents.

Diversity does not only mean culture and religion.

At Lake Kariba, we took the top executives of the Bank of Zambia, through a transformational team-build.

Now Zambians have, since the inauguration of Kenneth Kaunda, believed that they are all “Zambians.” “One Zambia, One nation”, was the clarion cry of former President Kaunda’s government. And it has worked!

The Zambians all stood as one. Not black, or white, Barotse, Ngoni, BaBemba, Nyanja, Batonga or as speakers of any of the over 69 dialects, just Zambians.
The World, South Africa, companies and organisations could learn a lot from the people of this beautiful country.

Thus, in Zambia – there was no desire to bring “cultural diversity” to the team-build. So we found out about the various skills and abilities of the team members, and involved them all in, in that way. They soon knew, just how much, they added to each other.

And one of the most brilliant dancers, in that small section of the program, was wheelchair-based. He really made that wheelchair dance!
You never know just how your team members add to you, until you experience them as humans.

Skills Development

Any team-building/ diversity training program that does not develop skills, is not worth the investment.

Transformational Team-building programs are intended to improve the lives of delegates, by building their personal skills, communication and relationship skills – socially, at the office and at home.

The Celebrating Humanity courses, are now so much in demand, for the wonderful outcomes, that we are regularly asked to run public courses.

Some of the skills would include:-

• How to learn more easily for your unique Learning Style.
• How your unique Learning Style shapes your Communications Style.
• How to assess the Learning Type of the person/s you are communicating with and get stunningly better results, in your communications.
• The impact of your Communications Style on your relations in all areas of your life.
• Simple and easy, non-judgemental and team-based Personality assessment skills and how to get better results by adjusting your own behaviour.
• Understanding body language from different cultural groups. Making adjustments for far better results, with clients and team members.


In a recent chat, with one of our Celebrating Humanity© facilitator’s wife – she said, “Fazal was amazing in the Free State. He greeted the local people in Sesotho and through body language showed his respect. The people were simply amazing to us.”

We know Fazal well and are certain that he would have used his other, easy-to-use communication skills, to further build the relationships, as he went along on his fishing tour.

Sustainability

It is critical to make sure that the team-build is not a once off injection in the spirit of the team! The program has to include in-house follow up, initially guided by the teambuilding organisation. The Harvest programme ensures sustainability.

Ownership

Another great opportunity to add to this “diversity training,” (now “grown-up” to be Transformational Team-building,) is to ensure that your team owns the change.

In this way, managers and their teams, can drastically reduce the interpersonal war stresses, that once seemed inevitable within teams.

One of the big challenges to “managing” teams, as opposed to “leading” teams, is that most traditional managers still manage people, as if they are their children.

The moment that there is conflict, the traditional parent pulls the kids apart. “Stop that Mary! Go to your room Sipho. If you do that again Bavika, I will punish you!

The only difference is that you cannot fire your kids!

Managers/ leaders that spend all of their time “managing diversity,” are in a boiling pot. They will never be able to focus on their time on doing what they are paid to do and will suffer the consequences of unnecessary stress, both physically, emotionally and in their relationships.

The only way to reduce this stress on businesses, clients, teams and their families is to get all team members managing their own behaviour.
All people are leaders.

This is a fact ignored in most teams.

I was in a local hardware store, a number of years ago, and chatting to a “Shelf packer.” As we were speaking happily, in Zulu, his supervisor marched up and arrogantly demanded that his “underling” go and do his other work. With suppressed anger, my friend bid me farewell and went off, to do his “superiors” bidding.

Little did the young supervisor know, that this same elderly gentleman was the chairman of a number of multi-million Rand development contracts, in his rural village. He could have learnt a lot from him, with a little more respect.
Perhaps this is an extreme example, so let’s take our Kwaito dancer – maKhumalo.

She runs her own home in the beautiful City of Durban. She manages the cleaning, laundry, cooking and kids in a suburban home. She runs a home in far-away Mahlabathini, where she is building a new home and she educates her 3 children. She is not only a “Dance leader,” she is an every day leader.
So why not place the leadership of workplace relationships, in the hands of your team members. They may even guide you, as is the example with our young supervisor. He certainly could have used some gentle guidance!

Increase the Ownership and Accountability

A true Transformational Team-build, with the correct amount of time allocated to the process, will dramatically reduce stress through increasing the ownership, accountability and responsibility of each and every team member!

Once your team decides how they will behave around each other, and what is not acceptable behaviour – they own it and can manage it.

With the right clearing processes, constitution and a 1 hour monthly meeting, this peer-driven process ensures that relationship management – is no longer the responsibility of the managers/ supervisors or the board members.

Transformational Team-building – with the commitment, and full participation, of all management and leadership – has the power to transform teams. And we have the evidence to prove it!

Challenges to succesful outcomes

Some possible challenges to your team-build for diverse teams:-

• Leadership/ management sending only “them,” because “we” don’t need it.
Not involving your greater team in the decision-making process. This can lead to poor attendance.
Leaving critical negotiations in the hands of inexperienced and under-qualified team members ( a properly facilitated transformational teambuild will positively change the very way in which your organisation functions.)
Not having good committed project leaders.

Trying to cut costs by:

• Going for the shortest possible intervention. Always dedicate the time to change.
• Paying for a once-off intervention. Transformation is a process, not a brief happening.
• Saving on the venue. “Let’s do it in the board room.”
The program will be interrupted, by “emergency situations. If a team members are not available, the emergency is always resolved quite easily, in their absence.
People do not feel respected if the company is cheap, and not prepared to pay for an upmarket venue.
Attendance will be poor and no team-build can be successful, without the team.
• Cutting down on the quality and diversity of food and refreshments.
Many diabetics, vegans, vegetarians, followers of Shembe, Judaism, Islam, certain branches of Christianity, Hindus and numerous others – are often not properly catered for, during outings or training sessions.
• Utilising “cheaper” service providers who do not dedicate extensive time to understanding your people, your company and your country.

We hope that this story and these guidelines, will help you to select your next teambuilding organisation, with great care.

And we will be delighted to hear from you, or just learn how the team build worked for your team.

By Brian V Moore© Celebrating Humanity International, 415 Bartle Road, Durban, South Africa.

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

Teambuilding in South Africa

There are many fun and excellent teambuilding programmes for teams that already work well together.

However when challenges arise, such as the following , then it is time to go for transformational teambuilding:-

Diversity Training, Team Building, Team COnflict Reoslution – Articles and Stories

External workplace diversity training is now a legal requirement, in South Africa through the BEE Code 400. Yet, diversity training is only one aspect of the transformation of organisations and workplace teams and ultimately, the development of harmony in the workplace.

The opportunities

If diversity training is handled correctly in teams, respect and unity are built in a long-term and ongoing way.

The Celebrating Humanity© program is incredibly fun and successful and builds ownership, accountability and responsibility – whilst simply and successfully placing control over interpersonal behaviour in the hands of team members.

This increases Professionalism, Respect, Leadership and Communication whilst reducing:

  • Workplace stress
  • Backbiting and Gossiping
  • Racism
  • Genderism
  • Prejudice
  • Inequality
  • Infighting
  • Negativity
  • Isolation

There are many successful Celebrating Humanity Diversity training and workplace diversity management projects.

Read free diversity stories and articles here.

Or become an author of your own stories! Read all about the Celebrating Humanity© program in Transform your Workplace! Getting workplace diversity to work for you!©

The Challenges

If handled incorrectly the dangers of diversity training, to people and organisation are huge. Managers simply cannot manage people at the level of their behaviours and inapproriate interpersonal actions.

Unhappy organisations lose staff, quality and clients. The dangers are obvious.

Make the right choice!

You can make the right choice. Get a truly professional team to run your workplace diversity initiatives. You will save money, reduce stress and create the postive and respectful workplace environment that you and your team truly deserve! Request a proposal now!

 

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

Transformational Teambuilding

Transformational Team-building is a combination of Diversity Training and Workplace Diversity Management
Finding providers and programmes that meet your organisation’s needs.
By Brian V Moore – Managing Director of Celebrating Humanity International – South African-grown and based National and International providers of Transformational Team-building© through the Celebrating Humanity© series of programmes.
Mail: brian@africa-dreams.com Web: www.africa-dreams.com Call : +27 79 643 4457
Overview
South African companies are either under pressure to transform and include people from all backgrounds in a fair and equitable manner, or once transformed are often challenged by poor inter-diversity relationships and understanding of the need for transformation.
Companies and organisations who need this type of intervention are at a crossroads of danger and opportunity. The danger lies in the potentially divisive nature of such interventions and yet there are huge hidden opportunities to build individual, teams, organisation and to an extent the future of our country.
The first issue at hand is to establish what the challenges are, as seen by the greater team. It is critical to involve your team and/ or its representatives in a wide-spread interactive and inclusive survey to assess the challenges facing your team.

Teambuilding for Diverse Organisations

The biggest challenge facing companies, teams and organisations is the diverse nature of their team members. They have been raised differently, communicate differently and value different things is different ways. This can set the stage for some very difficult times in the workplace. Here follow 8 of 10 key steps to ensure that your teambuild is successful.

(Please go to www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com/10steps.pdf for the full article.

Step 1
Transforming ourselves, our teams and our lives

In order to develop ourselves and our team at work we need to develop an understanding of our dependency, independency and inter-dependency. Once we understand that we need each other to survive and succeed we will observe that our actions, positive or negative, impact ourselves, our teams and our dependents.
The quality of life that we lead, the clothes that we wear, the humanity that we exude, the food on our table, the education of our family depends on the quality of our relationships within and outside of the workplace.
And the more diverse the backgrounds, skills and talents of the team, the more we win. The
challenge is that diverse teams will only win through respect, tolerance and understanding and that is our starting point.
Step 2
Knowing who we are…

An ongoing process of humanisation and communication builds the group at a human level. Communicating and developing understanding of the commonalities and uniquenesses that we all bring.
The next steps would be to develop an understanding of our intra-personal uniqueness and the ability to assess the uniqueness in other people in terms of their personality types and learning/ communication styles.
These simple skills will develop and enhance interpersonal understanding and communication.
Step 3
Accountability for who we are…
When we take responsibility for our attitudes, our communication and our behaviour we can create a safe environment for ourselves, our families and other people.

To further develop a nurturing environment we develop problem-solving and solution-finding skills and learn to handle reactions to external stimuli.

Often we act out of historical programming when a short time for thought will break the cycle of anger. When we use the feeling of anger as a signal for thought, “Why am I feeling this anger?” or “Is this person saying this to hurt me?”, we have an opportunity to respond rather than react. This can saves lives, families, sales and relationships!

Step 4
Who adds to me and what do we contribute from our backgrounds, cultures, experience and traditions?

Through enjoyable, safe and non-threatening methodologies and processes we are able to learn – from each other – more about our lives, history, cultures and religions. In teams, selected by delegates on the basis of “who adds to me”, we are able to compete in fun and respectful ways on issues of diversity. In this way a safe environment of communication and life-long learning is created.

As these processes unfold team members will begin to identify and break down old prejudicial paradigms and the foundations are laid for an ongoing respect based inter-personal team agreement.

Step 5
Accountability for how we behave

Most companies and organisation send down a list of management-decided values. Very few people know, remember and subscribe to the values, especially management. These values are only paraded at disciplinary hearings.

In order for individual change to be perpetuated within the team it is critical that the environment is kept safe and empowering by a team-decided and managed set of interpersonal values. These values are set to manage how team members interact and do not impact or negate corporate values.

This people-centred guidance system, if properly designed and implemented, will develop an ethic of praising and honouring the praiseworthy.

Those who have personal challenges will often need professional support and those who continuously break the rules must be disciplined.

Step 6
Ongoing meetings

Regular meeting time must be committed to allow the development of understanding and to offer guidance to those who break their self-chosen values. The greater team manages the ongoing process offering support, guidance and discipline in a properly constituted system.

In this way we will have developed accountability and responsibility for our actions, within our team and an ongoing values structures to maintain respect and teamwork at the level of human interaction. This will definitely and positively impact family and social interactions.

Step 7
Involve all Leadership

A good leadership team will be part of the development and ongoing implementation of the program and will be subject to the decisions of the structure.

Step 8
Assess, Adjust and Motivate!

A follow-up team-build, assessment and adjustment program should be facilitated approximately 12 months after the Values Circle process is formally constituted. With 1 year history of monthly meetings groups will have transformed substantially and be ready to cement the process into the future.

Through this Transformational Team-building© program, people will understand their amazing relevance as individuals, team members & members of their organisations.

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