Sunday, November 23, 2014

Respecting culture is GOOD business!

If you could do business with foreigners, would you learn how to understand and respect them? Of course you would.

When you start out, it seems as if they are from another planet. You know that any errors will offend them and your chances will be gone.

So, you quickly invest in training courses in respect. You learn a few words in their language.  You attend a course on body language and you learn about social norms, meeting rules and how to do business. Well prepared, you begin to do well, with your foreign client. All is well.

Learning how to do business with your own "foreign" team members makes sense.

You then you get back to work. Each morning your diverse staff arrives at your firm and, they too, often behave in ways which seem foreign. They arrive in varied transport from unusual places. Soweto, Inanda, Sandton, La Lucia, Phoenix, Giyani and the Cape Flats, spring to mind. Each of them lives life differently.

We ignore all that and expect them to know and follow our way. No adjusting to their cultures and traditions. We often get frustrated and ask, "Why do "they" do that?"

 Because who they are is not important, many become isolated and angry. Staff turnover is high. Team work is poor and commitment low. This shows up in gossiping, back-stabbing, cultural clashes and absent staff. We could force them to comply. Warn and discipline them. They will leave, or we could fire them.

Alternatively, you could invest in knowing each other by building respect and understanding thereby uniting the team and clearing conflict. This brings trust and ownership to the team. They will belong and you will release their full potential.

There are many opportunities through knowing and respecting the “foreign” people in your firm. Grow your firm. Build yourself and unite your diverse team.

Diversity Trainers South Africa

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New site - Diversity Training in South

Diversity Training in South Africa - a member of the Celebrating Humanity International stable has a brand new website. So too, does the founding director, author and diversity speaker - Brian V Moore. Learn more about  fellow director, writer and powerful catalyst of change - Arthie Moore
Make contact or speak to Brian V Moore

Spirit of African Leadership.
Traditional and Western Leadership has a legacy of “I tell - you do.” Although there is a growth in the concept of participative leadership this is not enough.

The young man and lady slouched back in their chairs during a recent 1 day Celebrating Humanity diversity training session.

She spoke up, “This is brilliant. But where are the managers and directors?”.
“Yes.” the young man agreed, “They always send us on courses, yet it is they who need the most change. They just decide that we must be trained. And they don’t know what it is about, nor do they follow the “new” way.”

Simply put team members are no longer pawns. They can be fully participating members of any organisation as long as:

• there is full ownership for their personal behaviours and actions, from all members of the organisation - from board level to the general workforce.
• all team members are valued, feel valuable and value the uniqueness and difference in others.
• all are part of a team where everyone operates within a peer-selected, peer-managed set of positive and values and behaviours and actively exclude non-acceptable behaviours from their interactions.
• a peer-controlled inter-personal values-based structure is constituted and managed on a regular basis.
• A separate set of organisational values/ principles has been developed and accepted by all role players to ensure that issues such as client relationships, theft, corruption, fraud, professionalism are all adequately covered by company regulations.
It is critical that no-one is above the rules of inter-personal respect and organisational values.
Leaders lead and work with people. Leaders are accountable to self, team and company.
Traditional managers manage resources. They are only accountable to their seniors.

Brian V Moore

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Racist name calling in South Africa.

Name calling never helps.

In South Africa it is deemed hate speech to use the “k” word, particularly if the person saying it is not black. However, as previously stated I have heard on very rare occasions black people using it on each other. The word (kaffir), whatever its origins, is simply hurtful and hateful and not acceptable.

However many black people find it acceptable to call a white person Umlungu (Zulu), Ngamla (Sotho); and Afrikaaner is called “iBhunu” (Boer or farmer); a Muslim would be called a “iSulumani”; and person of Indian descent a “iKhula”. The latter comes from the term Coolie. Any of these names group people in a manner which makes it easier to “define”, or “hate” them. This is simply prejudice at work. 

Our politicians – some of whom fought the “struggle” for peace against the Apartheid regime sing old struggle songs – such as “Kill the farmer.” This targets the white group in South Africa, in particular people of Afrikaans descent. 

The challenge here is that everything else except the use of the “K” word are not seen as hate speech – by the perpetrators. They believe that they have the right to say and sing divisive and hateful things. Until we can build a nation where we can clearly state One South Africa, One Nation and “At the level of respect, all people are equal” we will still live in a land of “them and us.”

To add a few other dimensions even within, so-called similar races, there exist names for each other. English speaking South Africans are some-times called “Rooineks and Soutpiele” the first meaning rednecks – from the sunburnt appearance of the British soldiers fighting in the Anglo-Boer war. The second is a bit rough and I will not translate it here. Some English speakers call Afrikaners “Dutchmen.” None of which are acceptable. 

Amongst Indian-speaking South Africans the word “Coolie” and it’s African language equivalents are not acceptable. Many of this group will call themselves “Charous” - very few however allow others to do so. There are further divisions amongst those who originate from North and South India, with the Hindi-speaking northerners being known as Roti-ous and the Tamil speaking as Porridge-ous. This is derived from the flat bread cooking of the Hindi speakers and the porridge used in prayer ceremonies by the Tamil speaking people. This has become a more fun way to describe each other.  

The descriptions of other groups by South Africans of Indian descent - such as vet-ous (White people), Slam-ous (Muslim people) and Bruin-ous are some of the many colourful ways to single out members of other race and religious groups. (The word “ous” is Afrikaans slang for people.)

And then in Africa, tribalism enters into the equation. This is becoming more and more prevalent. We are occasionally called in to resolve team conflict where there are no white people. One of the main challenges listed is racism. Because the cultural beliefs and traditions are so different one group may describe the other as, “animals.”

We do not need to separate by group, this prevents us from knowing people as humans. The time has long come that we should respect each other and venture into other diverse circles to find out what makes us tick. Are we so different? Or are we a bunch of human beings from wonderfully different diversities that have been tainted by our histories. Sadly we are being poisoned by the new wave of political utterings, too.

Let us not make the mistakes of the past. Let us build the future together - based in respect.

Brian V Moore 14 June 2012

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

How important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you?

People are different.

Our biggest challenge to building our businesses, lives, opportunities and experiences is the human need for conformity.

And most of us want everyone else to conform to our norms, experience and upbringing.

So how important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you? Are you prepared to learn more about yourself and others?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Follow us on Facebook

We have a number of articles on our Celebrating Humanity page - on FaceBook and even more on our Transforming Diverse Teams blog.

So take the time to have a look at our stories, comment, add your own articles and let us change this World into a more positive place! 

And visit our new sites - Brian V and Diversity Training in South

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Free Book on Diversity Training

Just sign up for the newsletter on Celebrating Humanity Int. - UK and you will get the link to download your own FREE Diversity Training book. Transform Diverse Teams by Brian V Moore!

Your FREE Diversity Training Book

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Obama leads the way in honouring diversity, at the White House. This time he is celebrating diwali with Hindu devotees.

Well done Mr President!