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.

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

What did they say?

This is a wonderful translation tool to get some idea of what your colleagues, clients, friends or family are saying – when they write in another language. And to write a few words back!

It si great for team building and workplace diversity training!

My name in Chinese is:布賴恩
And in Hindi is: ब्रायन

Enjoy,

Brian…

Tools – Google Translate
 

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

Always give more than you get!

The most important principle, of our Celebrating Humanity International team, is to give more than we receive.

This essentially means that we do, what we do best, for free for deserving organizations – or organizations that impact the lives of others.

On 2 October 2009, we will honor the giving of the Johannesburg Hospice by running a free team building program, for their staff.

If we all took some time to support the givers, and those who do not have, the World will be a much better place.

There are so many of us who sell our time for money – and passionately talk of “making a difference” in the World. Yet when there is free, unbooked and unpaid for time – do we all look for ways to make a difference, at our own cost?

We do. And we will keep on doing so!

Here is a little about Hospice…

Enjoy,

Brian V Moore

The Hospice Concept:

Hospice is a concept of caring derived from medieval times, symbolizing a place where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. The contemporary hospice offers a comprehensive program of care to patients and families facing a life threatening illness. Hospice is primarily a concept of care, not a specific place of care.

Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment; quality rather than quantity of life.”

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

Unparalleled experience in cultural sensitization and team-building!



Save Money and Time, whilst building your teams – through Celebrating their wonderful diversities!

Even in tough times, the Dept. of Labour requires all companies to conduct diversity training. Yet these times require, more than ever, that companies build and motivate their teams. Celebrating Humanity ensures that you can do both!

The Consul General of the US Consulate, in Durban South Africa described our Celebrating Humanity programme as:-An unparalleled experience in cultural sensitization and team-building!

Simply because you get both, at the same time – a Services Seta registered Workplace Diversity Training programme- and a stunning Team Build, that actually builds teams, respect, accountability and unity!

Why pay for both, separately?
 

Testimonial.

This is what the Consul General of the US Consulate, in Durban – South Africa, had to say:-

April 2009.

“On behalf of “Team U.S.” from the U.S. Consulate General in Durban, I write to extend our appreciation to the entire Mthimkhulu team for an unparalleled experience in cultural sensitization and team-building! The two-day session with Mthimkhulu made our diverse team stronger and more supportive of one another.

We have participated in team-building activities for the past several years, but many of my colleagues told me that Mthimkhulu’s program was by far the most meaningful and most effective in fostering good communication, mutual respect, and a strong spirit of cooperation among our multi-cultural staff– “exactly what was needed” in the words of one staff member.

I particularly appreciate your thoughtfulness and absolute dedication to Mthimkhulu’s goal of “bringing change to the world,” which came across in all that you did, and made the session so worthwhile.

Your organization was selected to conduct our team-building in large measure because follow-through beyond the event is an integral part of your method. We did not desire a once-off feel good event. You more than met our expectations, providing a kick-start and a path for us to engage in a fun but serious process of continually developing and nurturing our Consulate team.

I look forward to staying in contact with you and your team so that we can maintain the positive impact of our Mthimkhulu experience.”

With sincere thanks and warm regards,

Jill Derderian,
Consul General,
Durban – South Africa.

Email us for more info! Get a proposal now!
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

Managing a Diverse and Inclusive Organization


Here is a wonderful post that brings the importance of diversity management home,
by a Canadian expert.

Best wishes

Brian Moore

Managing a Diverse and Inclusive Organization: “Managing a Diverse and Inclusive Organization

As our work expands we are finding that more often supervisors are asking for assistance in managing a workforce that is becoming increasingly diverse and inclusive. This edition discusses the changes managers are experiencing in the ever changing workforce and the next edition will talk about diversity initiatives which may benefit your organization.

Some managers within organizations expect that, as the diversity of the population changes, so too will the diversity of their workforce. They believe that if people within the various diverse communities are ‘qualified’, then they would be hired into the organization. They believe that change will happen naturally over time.

However, a diverse and inclusive organization does not happen by chance. It requires a commitment from senior management and a plan to identify and address any issues. Diversity and inclusion is a journey that must be deliberately begun, boldly led, and constantly nurtured. Organizations must also recognize that”

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

Leadership through the eyes of a child

What’s that Daddy?

Deep within each of us lies buried a child. A free spirit with the power to access all wisdom. With the potential to become anyone that we want to be.

Our 18 month old son Lliam has begun to dance in modern Western, Zulu and Hindu styles.

He was recently paid by tourists as he danced to welcome them, with the Zulu dancers at Lesedi cultural resort!

He doesn’t know that there are styles of dance, or which one is which.

Lliam merely lives in the experience. He hears the music and dances according to the dancers around him. Each time he dances he gets better. His greatest assets are his lack of fear and his love of the experience. There is no self-esteem, pride or chosen “side” that can prevent him from learning something new.

I await with excitement the time when Lliam starts to ask questions. When he starts to ask “What’s that Daddy?” and “Why”. “Where, Who, When, How come?”, will all follow. For this is where we should all be.

You see little Lliam is lucky. He has no judgements to hide behind. He hasn’t formed an opinion on you, or me. He knows not of religion, race, colour, politics or borders. He loves everyone regardless of who they think they are…

Lliam learns better because he judges less. When he hears something he is not processing everything through his present knowledge. He simply lets it in.

If our ultimate aim in life was to be like Lliam, what benefits would that bring us?

Firstly, we could ask anyone any question that we choose. “Why do you wear a dot on your forehead?, “Why don’t you eat meat?”. “Is this the culture of all followers of your faith?”, What is your opinion of ……?”. We would have access to all the wisdom of the world!

Secondly, we would experience life at its very fullest. We would be able to dance when we wanted to, sing when the urge came to us and fully love who we are and who we are with.

There are many other advantages to being more childlike. Wars could be stopped through understanding. Racism would not exist because our unique humanness would be the basis for many of our questions. Leaders would learn from their people.

In the Zulu culture there is a saying, “Inkosi yinkosi ngabantu.” A King is only a King because of his people. In whatever way you lead, you are only that leader because of the people who you lead.

And – we are all leaders. The best leader is the one who asks questions, listens without judgment and thanks all contributors. This is the leader who has access to the wisdom of his community, team, family, friends and associates. When hearing something very different from current wisdom or personal wisdom, the response will be, “That is a very interesting way of looking at this challenge.”

The path to being more childlike, in our ways, starts the journey to our greatest freedom. I wish for you the openness of a child!

This story was written in 2002 – and shows how we can learn from anyone. In particular, our children.
(May 2008 update – Now aged 7 – Lliam greets in 30+ languages and speaks easily to anyone.)

Brian Moore© 2002. Durban – S. Africa. September 2002.
brian@africa-dreams.com

Postscript on blogs 9 2012

“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

 

Postscript on blogs 9 2012

“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:-