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.

Why Does Great Collaboration Require Good Conflict? « Center for Conflict Dynamics

When did the term ‘conflict’ get such a bad name? In my work with teams over the last 25 years all around the world, I have never found a high performing team that did not have moments when team members disagreed, debated, or argued. These teams all had a healthy respect for the value of not only having differences of opinions or perspectives, but for having learned how to manage themselves as they worked through the discord or tensions precipitated by their disputes. High performing teams have a high degree of emotional intelligence and recognize that they must go through a process of learning how to first listen to and understand diverging points of view before they can evaluate them and arrive at a converging consensus.

via Why Does Great Collaboration Require Good Conflict? « Center for Conflict Dynamics.

Learn How to Swim – a collection of swim videos

I have wanted to teach my sons how to swim properly, for a long time.

This would have been reasonably easy before the advent of technology! However young people seem to learn more easily through videos than having to listen to their dad talking and demonstrating. Sadly over time, they have picked up some bad habits and I need help – in order to help them.

So I searched the net for instructional videos on swimming and came up with these! Enjoy!

How to Swim Freestyle Stroke by JimmyDShea – YouTube.

And here is another by Jimmy Shea.This time on how to swim breaststroke.

And some swimming drill lessons from Jimmy Shea

More on How to swim BreastStroke from GoSwim098. This focuses on improving your technique.

Teaching a child how to tread water.

Teaching a child to swim…


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

Arthie Moore: Respect for Time.

espect for Time!

Now I realise that this is an age old discussion within the work place, within relationships, within individual encounters in social interactions and at home.

Yet, I find it imperative to bring it up again. Respect for time is not something that we as adults want to be chatting about, discussing and dissecting in a time when it has been spoken about and killed as a subject.

But I find that as we proceed with caution, trepidation and much fear into a world filled with diverse cultures within the workplace – time management, puntuality and a lack of respect for people’s time, has become really prevalent in a seriously negative way.

People seem to love the new excuse of “this is my culture”, that is why I am late, do not arrive or will even give you the courtesy of knowing that I am not attending a meeting or function.

When did we as human beings become so disrespectful that we believe that we can use our beautiful cultures and traditions as an excuse for our disgusting behaviour. There are millions of people who have similiar if not the same cultures who do not use their inability to respect time, as an excuse.

via Arthie Moore: Respect for Time..

Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? An outsider’s view.

This is my response to the Linked In discussion…

Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? 
“Do people of biracial/multiracial descent still face challenges in society today? On Linked in. “Being that the majority of America’s population will be of multiracial descent within the next generation, I wonder if mainstream America understands the significance of this change. Historically, multiracial individuals were rejected by society. It is my contention that innumerable individuals of biracial/multiracial descent still face issues with being accepted today. Your thoughts?”

This discussion has all the normal positive contributors and naysayers… This is my humble input to the discourse.

Thanks John and both Carlos’s for an awesome discussion and the human aspect that you bring to this discussion.This is not about the statistics and disproving the facts – it is about the realities of how people feel.

Men cannot talk about the pain of giving birth to a child, only a mother will have had that experience. Single race people cannot speak, from experience, of the pain of discrimination – that a bi-racial/ multi-cultural person feels. Nor can a white person experience what a “non-white person feels, or vice versa. (At this stage we must remember that there are so many variants of these broad classifications that we could go on forever with the “you can never understand us”, aspect. This could be related to many things – including something as simple as personality types.)

A little about my family.

My wife is a South African Hindu, of Indian (Bengal) descent. She comes from a huge and supportive family. I am a multilingual White South African, born in what is now Zambia, of Irish/ Scottish/ English and South African descent. (I am also an adopted member of a Zulu tribe.)Our two boys – Lliam (11) and Kailash (6) are the result of our wonderful relationship.

Lliam has identified himself, until recently as a white (Irish) boy. He now aligns more with the Indian side of the family. He speaks of “We Indians. And includes me in that statement!”

His school decided to classify him as “coloured”, in 2012. This is a still current Apartheid classification, for the product of a “white” and black” relationship. I refused to allow the school, or education department to do this and demanded that where they needed a “classification” for any of us – they write “human.”

Some adult white people talk to our boys in what they think is a clever and rather silly “Indian” accent. They get a verbal dressing down from me. Who are they to categorise my sons, by their prejudices?

Indian people are the most accepting, of me and our boys. To them the kids are just children. And I am just a member of the family. And what a wonderful and huge family it is. I am honoured to have been accepted into their lives!

At school the black kids call Lliam “Umlungu” (Whitey) and run away from his “heathen” Hinduness. He is told continuously that he is going to hell. (Fortunately Hindus do not believe in Hell. But that is a topic for another discussion.)

Lliam can greet in almost 40 languages. Both he, and our small boy Kailash, fit in easily in any company. They are able to adjust their accents, grammar and tone to be at one with the people, with whom they interact. Both are bright, sparky and extremely intelligent. They are assets to any society.

Obviously Kailash will experience more, as he grows older. He has just started Grade 1 today. He is just a child and loves being one. He sees kids, as kids. And his best friends, are simply his best friends – not a “colour”.

I have no idea what it is to be bi-racial. I have no idea hat is like to have been born on the disadvantaged side of Apartheid. I have just experienced life socially and professionally, as a white person in amongst many cultures and religious groups. And I have been isolated because of my links and friendship with people from other backgrounds.

What I do know is that this discussion is not about figures and statistics. This is about the feelings of the people who are involved. Not single culture “observers” – but those who have actually lived the life and felt the joys, wonders and the pain of their multi, or bi-racial upbringings and experiences.

It is neither the numbers, nor the accuracy of the data that will shape the world that we live in – it is the emotions and personal events that shape the human spirit and the resultant actions that are taken on their varied journeys.

John and Carlos, I salute your honesty, input and the brave and wonderful paths that you have taken. You are an example to all of us!

I truly believe that bi-racial and multi-racial people are advantaged by their multiple experiences of the World – in terms of language, culture, background and religion. This is the advantage that our sons share.

I know that Lliam and Kailash will change the World – because of who they are – and what they experience. Their acceptance will be ensured, in our country. In fact – I believe that single culture people will actually seek them out to learn from and share from their experiences and their stories.

Lliam and Kailash Moore

Our boys!

Free videos on how to save your marriage.

One of the biggest challenges that couples in romantic relationships have, is a lack of relationships skills – once the romantic phase dies down.

This is when life becomes frustrating. One partner may rage at the dying of the love, the other may withdraw into a cocoon. Either way, this is a frustrating time as meaningful and caring communication falters and intimacy goes out of the door.

At this point the relationship is in serious trouble. Unless you decide to save your marriage.

I have been amazed by the work of Bruce Muzik, a South Africa-born, international coach – in matters of relationship coaching.

If your marriage is worth saving, take this opportunity to invest in saving your relationship.

Click here to watch more of the free save my marriage video series!





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.

“This is an awesome article from the golden, on the “deaf culture/s””. Enjoy..

Deaf culture, like any culture is marked by certain norms of behaviour and etiquette which are often at odds with those of hearing culture. Pointing for instance, is a vital part of sign language, but is rude in hearing cultures. Similarly, prolonged eye contact is very important; deaf people read large amounts of information particularly emotions from the facial expressions and body language. It has often been described that touching is very popular in deaf cultures, such as a tap on the shoulder or arm. Directness, even bluntness is also often attributed to deaf culture, where it is not considered rude, as it would be in most hearing cultures. From getting attention, leave taking and even time, deaf culture has its own particular ways which connect deaf people to each other.


Religious Diversity: Beyond the Protestant Ethic

A very interesting article on religious diversity in the USA.

Religious Diversity, a topic that many organizations shy away from putting on the diversity agenda will gain more significance.

World ReligionsWhile Religious diversity is not new and organizations are required to comply with laws to make religious accommodations, in 2012, religious minorities became more visible and vocal in the US, where historically the symbols and values of the Protestant faith have predominated. In October Pew Research reported that Protestants are on the decline, scarcely holding the majority. Consider these “firsts”: Click the link below for more…

Religious Diversity: Beyond the Protestant Ethic.