Sunday, October 19, 2008

Team Conflict Resolution Interventions. Standing at a Crossroads.

Team Conflict Resolution Interventions.
Standing at a Crossroads.

Teams, businesses and organizations that are under pressure to transform their troubled teams, are often challenged by the wealth of “solutions” offered, by companies. Some of these solutions are great - and many are doomed to failure.

If your team is being forced to find a solution, your team is at a crossroads of danger and opportunity.

The danger lies in choosing the wrong “solution(s”) and yet, if you get your choice right, there are huge hidden opportunities to build individuals and teams, and thereby reap great rewards.

Self-defeating team conflict resolution programs will have strategies that:-
• try isolate to the “troublemakers”, and get them to resolve their differences.
• exclude any member/s of the team in the process.
• hand the management of the team’s behaviors, with agreements from “team agreed resolution”, to your managers/ supervisors.
• isolate, intimidate, or simply ignore certain team members.
• neglect the development of communication skills, team and individual personality skills, understanding of the carious diversities within the team.
• Go with a talk-down and divisive diversity training program.
• Use unsuitable and un-focused team building programs - that isolate even 1 member of your team..

If any of these factors form part of your attempts to resolve team conflict, the process, and your money, will be wasted. More so, it could negatively impact your team - in the long term..

The opportunity to build teams is found in the wisdom, uniqueness, talents and skills of your team. When we hire people, we hope that they are mature enough to manage their own behavior. After we sign the employment contracts, we then begin to control their every action. We put managers in charge of all decisions. Soon we have people who will not even go to the toilet without permission.

Our over-control has taken away their sense of value, ownership, accountability and responsibility. And this is where team conflict begins.

The methodologies included in Celebrating Humanity Diversity Training and Transformational team-building programs - outlined in our book - Team Conflict resolution Strategies - ensures that team transformation is non-threatening, unifying and inclusive. It ensures that we give the power back to your teams - to manage their own behavior - through their own agreements.

This takes incredible stress off managers and supervisors, and the business/organization. In turn, empowered people drive your business in a safe and respectful place created by themselves.

Our teams have been called in to resolve conflict when the psychologists, and conflict resolution specialists have been unsuccessful. The people that we meet are often disillusioned, angry and isolated. Management is stressed, backstabbing, gossiping and labor disputes are the order of the day. And all of this is after numerous “conflict resolution solutions.”

Our teams bring fun, communication, respect and understanding into the team - before we even look at developing team-based codes of conduct. And when we leave - we have put in place ongoing team-managed processes - supported by our follow-up processes. Our feed back is always taken at least a year after the initial program. And the results are always excellent - without fail!

Read the book - and use the lessons therein, or call in our teams. Whichever way your go - this will be the best decision you will ever make.

Brian Moore - Copyright. October 2008
Mobile: +27 82 552 3352
Mobile: +27 82 774 5521

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why be stressed about diversity training - when you can Celebrate Humanity?

The answers to all problems, lie hidden deeply within mankind.

As a very fortunate human being, who has travelled amongst many diverse groups of people in the world, it always surprises me when people have challenges with "diversity training." I can see absolutely no reason to fear the skills, knowledge and perspective that other human beings bring.

Our own self built blocks to growth.

One of the biggest obstacles to growth, is our natural focus on building our "own identity." This begins the process of separation from people who are different to us.

I am a boy, I am a girl, I am American, I am African, I Portuguese, I am Chinese, I am white, I am black, I am Indian, I am Christian, I am Jewish, I am thin, I am fat, I am old and I am young.

All of these statements ensures a separation from others, as if they were not not your human equal. Because from here we can make statements like, "Why would I want to have anything to do with them - they are not even (add your "identity" here.) No, in fact they are (add their "identity: here)".

And unfortunately, the very same people who strongly identify themselves with their own personal, group, physical, National, colour, religious classifications, are those who invariably limit their experience of people and the world. Many of them will angrily speak out against "diversity training", as if it were a punishment and a mockery of who they are, as human beings. Why should I learn about THEM? Why don't They learn about US?"

And of course the people that they are asked to learn about, are never spoken of as being remotely human. They are spoken of in their classifications. These "whites". Those "Muslims". The "blacks". And a lot of really rude name tags. This always makes it easier to slip back into the comfort of our own personal identity.

Living in the question and in a state of "Wow!"

Those of us who have no limitations to who we associate with, learn from and understand, are so fortunate. We simply love the fact that, as small children do, we can live in "the question." Living in the question allows to spend most of our time asking questions and learning from others. It allows us to have our own little University of life and everyone that we meet, becomes a teacher. And we the students. "Why do you...?", "What does this mean...?", "How do you greet and ..."

This is the state of "wow!" And many children live there. This way of being puts us in the most delightful position of continuously building respect, understanding and wisdom.

Living in the answer - the dangers.

The opposite way of living in the question, is to live in "the answer." The biggest danger here is when one has an absolute impression of one's personal identity and the absolute knowledge that it brings. This is the state of "rightness." I am right and you are wrong. It is at this point that we limit ourselves.

And it is people in power, be they powerful in families, companies, teams or countries, who invariably bring aggression to their interactions. They deeply fear losing their power. And they hate the fact that the may be proven "wrong."They will fight to protect what is theirs. They will fight to keep the status quo. Because the have "the answer." They KNOW what is "right!"

We all add to each other.

When we get to the point of understanding how much we add to each other, we begin to tap into the incredible richness of humanity. The wealth of knowledge and wisdom that is encapsulated in the very difference that cause fear in some of us.

No-one wants to change others, nor take away their sense of personal identity. In fact that is your very unique human value. That is what ensures that YOU add to other people. Show it, share and enjoy it - and add to it with questions. Do not let it limit you. Or cause you to be a source of conflict.

Diversity training, or Celebrating Humanity.

Now Diversity Training has it's positives, however if incorrectly presented, it keeps on separating people as if they were of a different species. Almost as if we are curiosities - to be observed from a distance and "accepted."

This is not true. We are all human beings. We all have something unique to share, even if we are the "same." Yes, the answers to all problems lie hidden deeply within mankind.

And it is at this point where our programmes change the perspective ,from one of Diversity Training, to one of Celebrating Humanity. As Steven Covey says, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

When we are celebrated, we can celebrate others. These unique programmes are developed to bring that safety and celebration to all of our delegates.Through these programmes, we remove team conflict and build families - through better life skills.

We deliver our particular brand of Team building in South Africa - anywhere in the world. We have worked in the USA, Zambia, South Africa and have Celebrated Humanity with 2500 miners in Namibia. And our principles are simple.
  1. At the level of respect, all people are equal.
  2. We all add to each other.
  3. There is only one race, ad that is the Human race.

Our new Personal identity.

We are most unstable, when we continuously seek to confirm our stability and who we are. Conversley, we are most settled when we understand that we do not know everything, and that is OK. And we ensure our sense of well being and value, by continuously seeking understanding.

And that is why we should always spend time learning about others, and attending course similar to the Celebrating Humanity programme. And therein lies our own personal freedom and a new personal identity - as a member of the human race. And with our freedom comes the freedom of all human beings.

Yes, the answer to all problems, lie deeply hidden within all human beings.

Kind regards,

Brian Moore

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Team Conflict Resolution: Simple, Effective Team Conflict Strategies that Really Work: For Teams, Office & Workplace

Here is a snippet from my book, Team Conflict Resolution Strategies.



Team Conflict Resolution: Simple, Effective Team Conflict Strategies that Really Work: For Teams, Office and Workplace: "How To Clear Stress and Conflict from Your Teams in 24 Hours!

These Fast, Effective and Simple Team Conflict Resolution Strategies Will Get Your Team Members Communicating, Supporting Each Other and Working Together - in the Long Term...

And You Can Use That Unity To Explode Sales And Get A Huge Advantage In Your Business...

... You Will See Results In As Little As 24 Hours... Without Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Therapists, Labour Lawyers or Psychologists,"

Protecting one's Turf - McDonnel's road

Conflict will often arise in the workplace, when we cross into team members "domains", the special little side-empires that they have built. Their "departments", or their offices. They live in fear that this space will be changed, by those around them.

They live in a small space, and suffer their pains alone. They believe that no-one else has felt their pain. And they feel the need t0 fight to protect their turf and keep their pain, as a reason to live.

I was on one of the Isles of Aran, off the West Coast of Ireland, yesterday - with my beautiful wife, Arthie.

We were taken on a tour of the island by a man, on his horse and carriage... His name was McDonnel and a very talkative man was he. He explained at length about his 100 year old carriage, where it came from, how it was made and how it was built with special wood. "Steamed it to bend it, they must have." he said - a number of times.

As we went along the beautiful, rock-walled roads, he began to discuss every aspect of the road, and how "they" could make it better.

As each vehicle, bicycle and person entered into his 5 mile "domain", he complained. They should not be on his road, they should move over...etc.

When a mini-bus needed to pass, he told us, "They shouldn't be here. It's not right. They are too big for the road." He almost shouted under his wind-burnt lips.

As he went he commisserated with Jimmie, his beautiful horse. And if Jimmie could talk, he would complain about the stopping, too. His head bounced high, after each stop - he too was on Jimmie's (McDonnels's) road.

Now I understood McDonnel, I could see how this was his whole world was wrapped into those short and beautiful 5 miles of road. I could understand why he repeated himself to me - because surely, I would never understand - I was not from McDonnel's road, or the Isles of Aran. McDonnel earns about 50 Euro per day (+-R600), for the one trip that he and Jimmie will make.

Poor McDonnel. Alone, in his perception, saddened by his circumstance, because all of his life was based in his little road. Alone by choice, and looking for somewhere or somebody to blame.

This is one of the many challenges that we face in the workplace and can be likened to departmentalism.



McDonalds Road

What road are we stuck on?

Too often when we live in a small space, and we suffer our pains alone, we believe that no-one else has felt our pain. 

I was recently on one of the Isles of Aran, off the West Coast of Ireland, yesterday - with my beautiful wife, Arthie. We were taken on a tour of the island by a man, on his horse and carriage... His name was McDonald and a very talkative man was he. 

As we went along the beautiful, rock-walled roads, he began to discuss every aspect of the road, and how "they" could make it better. As each vehicle, bicycle, person entered into his 5 mile "domain", he complained. They should not be on his road, they should move over...etc. 

When a mini-bus needed to pass, he told us, "They shouldn't be here. It's not right. They are too big for the road." He almost shouted under his wind-burnt lips.

McDonald earns about 50 Euro per day (+-R600), for the one daily trip that he and Jimmy, his horse, make. As he went he commiserated with Jimmy.
I am sure that if Jimmy could talk, he would complain about the stopping, too. His head bounced high, as he pulled off strongly, after each stop. He too was struggling on McDonald’s road.

Now I understood ole McDonald, I could see how this was his whole world was wrapped into those short and beautiful 5 miles of road. I could understand why he repeated himself to me - because surely, I would never understand - I was not from McDonald's road, or the Isles of Aran. 

Alone, in his perception, saddened by his circumstance, because all of his life was based in his little road. Lonely by choice, and looking for somewhere or somebody to blame. Poor old McDonald.

What road, or rut, are we stuck in? What do we need to do differently?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Team Conflict Managment

Mthimkhulu International are the leading South African specialists, in team conflict conflict managment

We have just returned to Johannesburg from an incredible break and a wonderful teambuilding session, with Description C&S Audio - in Cape Town.

Cape Town - South Africa - is an incredible place and our teambuild was facilItated in the quaint Train Lodge conference centre. If you visit Cape town, this must be one of the most incredible places to stay. you can dine on a train coach and sleep in one of the stationery train coach rooms.

Our team of Arthie Moore, Suraj Haripersad and myself, were delighted to spend time with this incredible team. Lead by Donald and Liezl Clark - this extra-ordinary group of bright young people - really got into the teambuild - in a huge way! And we are truly grateful that they selected us, as their teambuilding provider!

Our team is incredibly professional and they know exactly what to do, and when. And their work was made far easier by our amazing client.

Here is the feedback from Liezl Clark of C&S Audio:-

Building your team

As employers and business owners, we are all faced with the problem of motivating and building our teams. I would like to share our personal journey and experience with you.

As I write this the sound of the vuvuzela and our team’s new found slogan still resound in my ears…
Imphilo Enhle!! Yes, life is indeed beautiful.

The C&S team was transformed over the past weekend. From a diverse team divided down lines of race, language, religion, job title and background we have gone to a team of human beings with a common goal and new values founded in respect.

You may call this a miracle, but it is incredible what can be achieved when you work from a foundation of “at the level of respect all people are equal”.

Fellow BW Brian Moore and his wife Arthie of Mthimkhulu International took our team through an amazing rollercoaster of a weekend.
Not only did we learn more about ourselves, our other team members, the ways we learn and communicate and our different personalities but we had FUN!!

Never would I have imagined our team dancing the Macarena in unison on a cold Sunday morning on a converted train platform in Cape Town!

I would recommend Mthimkhulu International and this experience to all businesses and teams without hesitation.

Brian and his team were absolutely wonderful. They have a way of relating to people on the level they can understand and feel comfortable with and help you to stretch further than you ever imagined possible while still feeling safe and respected.

Under their guidance past issues were cleared and a way forward was mapped out.

This past weekend a new unified team was born.
Viva C&S Viva! Imphilo Enhle! Yes, Life is Beautiful!

(Impilo Enhle means beautiful life in IsiXhosa - the mother tongue of Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.)

International Teambuilding that works, and works and works

Teambuilding Projects

And whilst you are looking for info on Team conflict management - please visit our Teambuilding South Africa Blog!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A bean is revealed when you open its shell...

A bean is revealed when you open its shell. - Zulu proverb.

(First written in 2004 and very relevant now to the xenophobic incidents in Alexander and Diepsloot - Johannesburg, South Africa.)

We live in such a wonderful country. We have had an incredible past and that strange history has been used by many of us as a catalyst for personal change and growth. And sadly others still hark after the past, or operate as if nothing has changed!

And change it has! South Africa has gone from skunk nation status to a place of beauty and wonder. A place where all people can live their lives with self-respect and respect for others.

I can remember when it was difficult to move around the world with a South African passport. When people in love could not be married - by virtue of their colour or race. Where we were separated into groups, denied or benefited by virtue of our birth. When cars were driven across the beautiful highways of our nation at 70kms an hour because of fuel sanctions. (A trip from Johannesburg to the coast took up to 12 hours in holiday season!)

It was a time when we were so divided that we did not know how others lived. And we did not know or understand the realities of life for people who were not white.

I am delighted that Apartheid has all passed behind us. I am excited to be a part of this new country where we are an example to the world. I am happy to be a pioneer laying the groundwork, through affirmative action and employment equity, for the children of the new generations. Sometimes it is hard to be white and male in South Africa. But nowhere as hard as it was to be "non-white in Apartheid South Africa! Yes, we are the new “voortrekkers”, we are the “star fleet” boldly opening up new frontiers and horizons. And we are opening up our country to all of it’s peoples. What a legacy to build for future generations!

Arthie and I are delightfully and ecstatically married. In the old South Africa this would have been impossible! We would have been hunted down & exposed. Here is a piece from that shows just how far we have come.

"The Immorality Act was one of the most controversial legislative acts of South African Apartheid. It attempted to forbid intermixing of couples of different race both in the area of marriage as well as casual sex.

Mixed marriages and the immorality act became the first major pieces of apartheid legislation. In 1949 mixed marriages were banned in South Africa. In 1950 the act was followed up with a ban on sexual relations between blacks and whites.

One of the first people convicted of the immorality act was a Cape Dutch Reformed minister; he was caught having sex with a domestic worker in his garage. He was given a suspended sentence and the parishioners bulldozed the garage to the ground.

On the grounds of the Immorality Act, the police tracked down mixed couples suspected of being in relationships. Homes were invaded and doors were smashed down in the process. Mixed couples caught in bed were arrested. Underwear was used as forensic evidence in court. Most couples found guilty were sent to jail. Blacks were often given harsher sentences than whites.
In 1985 the Immorality Act and Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act were both repealed."

The full extent of forgiveness in our country from 1990 until now will never be quantified. It has been hugely miraculous that we are where we are now.

Imagine my surprise when attending a recent birthday party for a 3 year old, when the other young parents banded together. And allowed a few of their group to make loud comments on Arthie and my relationship. "These mixed marriages are not on," said one. After a few more similar comments another stated. "At least the child came out o.k." Referring to our son Lliam who has a light Italian complexion.

Arthie has always maintained that we are indeed a mixed couple. "One boy and one girl. That is a good mix!", she says. And of course any couple comes from mixed backgrounds. They were raised differently by their respective parents, with different morals, in different homes and in different circumstances. And some times even when your complexion is similar it is hard to mix. Have you ever heard the one about "My mother-in-law...?"

Back to the kiddies party. We did not feel aggrieved. And we felt no hurt from the "injustice" of their words, we only felt the pain in their souls. These poor & misguided people were still living in a mind-view set by a law repealed nearly 20 years ago. Most of them were only 5 or 6 years old at that time! I wondered what their parents taught them & how they programme their own children.

Yes, we wish that one day they will find love and peace. And that they too can be human beings first and not live in judgement of the first thing that their eyes see.

Which leads me to a Zulu proverb. "Uhlubu’ dlube ‘khasini" Literally - "A bean is revealed when you open the shell." It is used when one is surprised by the wisdom, skills or talents of another, or when a person does something amazing that you do not expect. This is similar to the English proverb, "you can’t judge a book by its cover."

Somehow we were being judged by our ‘colours" and a muddled perception of a "perfect relationship". Just as others are daily judged, by people from all backgrounds, by their religion, race, language, favourite sport or soccer side, hair colour, heritage and education. And anything else that makes them different to the judges.

Arthie and I have the most beautiful relationship. With our marvellous uniquenesses we add to each other. We grow each other and complement each other. We are soul-mates. Ours is a match made in Heaven! Our multi-lingual 3 year old son Lliam is a stunning, loving, warm and intelligent child.

So before you judge us - take time to get past the shell. We may be three very beautiful beans! When our true selves are revealed you may find something special within. The multi-diverse people of South Africa are all incredibly unique beans in diverse shells. They are the reasons that we have such a marvelous country. They are what makes this such an exciting place to live in!

My greatest understanding is that people, who are different to you and I, add to us. They bring wonderful knowledge, wisdom, traditions and cultures. They bring new ideas and new views. And they only add to us when we open the shell, question, experience and delight in their uniqueness.

Let us step away from our simplistic programmed assessments and move into today. Right here, right now, with the human beans (beings) who make you and I human. As Arthie and I have discovered, there is so much freedom in being human first and anything else much later.

(May 2008 update - This story pales with the shocking and horrific incidents of xenophobia in Alexander and Diepsloot townships. And to a less visual extent in Government and the workplace. We all have a right to a life, a right to opportunity. Xenophobia is absolutely unacceptable and we ALL have to stand up to it, and to those who perpetrate and perpetuate violence and prejudice - in the name of their "people."

There is only one race and that is the human race!)

Brian V Moore©
Mthimkhulu International 24 May 2004

Leadership through the eyes of a child

What’s that Daddy?

(This story was originally written in 2002- and shows how we can learn from anyone. In particular, our children.)

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 greeted 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!

(May 2008 update - Now aged 7 - Lliam greets in 30+ languages and speaks easily to anyone.)

Brian Moore - Mthimkhulu Training© 2002. Durban - S. Africa. September 2002.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our Own New York Taxi Driver!

All people are looking for, is a little respect and recognition; 4 steps to getting more from life.

Our Los Angeles shuttle driver looked bemused, after we had greeted and thanked our hotel porter, in Mexican.

“I thought you guys were from South Africa. Where did you learn Mexican?” He asked.
“Right here, in LA.” I answered.
“How long have you been here”, he asked.
“Two days”, I answered.
“Well, that is incredible! I’ve been here 45 years, and you know more than I do.” He shook his head in amazement, as we set off towards Hollywood Boulevard.

As we traveled down the road, we spoke of our journey through the USA, and how a little respect had built some great friendships. When we arrived in New York, we were guided to Pennsylvania station by a lady - suitcases loaded with South African wine. She was incredibly gracious and kind.

At Penn. station we boarded our first unmarked taxi, to our first rather scary Manhattan hotel. We asked the taxi driver where he was from and what his name was. “Hamid” - he responded, “and I am from Morocco. Where you from?”

“As salaamu alaikum Hamid.”
“Wailakum as salaamu.” he responded.

We greeted and found out how each other were, as we travelled through the busy New York traffic. We found out how long he had been in New York, where his family was and lots of other really human info. We told him that we ran team-building in South Africa. As we chatted, we asked if we could get his phone number, so that we could call him when we needed him. At the end of our journey, he gave us his number and we paid him for the trip.

The next morning, Arthie phoned him. “Ah, the South Africans, he said. And he was perfectly on time, outside our hotel. Off we went to Macy’s. Upon our arrival, we asked what the fee was.
“Twenty dullah,” he said, “You are on vacation.”

Hamid became our friend, our guide and on every occasion - bar the trip to the airport - charged us $20. He would be there at night and in the morning. He was our saviour. We respected him and he respected us. We learnt so much about this very private man from our conversations, and he about us. How many other people have had their own private New York Taxi driver?

Pat, our Irish American, taxi driver nodded and shook his head. He had never heard of that before - “New York taxi drivers are renowned for their focus on money, not on people. That is amazing!”

“And there is more ,” I told Pat. “When we were in Las Vegas, we had a taxi driver as our witness at our wedding!” We looked at each other and laughed, at the wonderful memory.

“No way!” said Pat, “tell me about it,” laughed the big, jovial 3rd generation American. (His grandfather had emigrated to the USA from Ireland, as a young man.)

Arthie took up the story, “As we left Flamingo Casino, we decided to find a chapel and get married again. (This is our 6th wedding to each other.)”
“Never divorced?”
“No, we just love to celebrate our love for each other through weddings and re-affirming our vows.” She continued, “As we stepped out of the hotel, the Concierge stepped up, and asked if we needed a taxi, and where we were going to. He was quite shocked when we told him that we needed to find a chapel, to get married. He asked the taxi driver, if he could do it. The taxi driver nodded, and we climbed in.”

Pat laughed, “And then you asked all about him, didn’t you?

Arthie laughed, “How’d ya know? How’d ya know?” He laughed and settled back to listen to her.

“So, Jahed - who was from Iraq - called his controller on the radio. “You know that chapel downtown, you told me about? I need the address.” After a little time and some strong words, with the controller, Jahed said. “I got it.”

A short while later, we arrived at the Stained Glass Wedding Chapel. Jahed switched off the taxi meter, for the duration of the wedding. Within about 15minutes - we were set and ready for our wedding - dressed in our denims and sneakers. The organisers tried to hire a wedding dress and tuxedo - for about $200 dollars each - but we wanted a quick wedding, without finery!

A short while later a little old lady, in a wig arrived. She was the minister. 5 minutes later, and with some very beautiful words, that we had repeated to each other - we were wed! And Jahed was our witness.”

Pat laughed, his deep Irish laugh and shook his head!

I carried on, “And we got his phone number too. But never needed to use his services again. We had tried another taxi driver - from Ethiopia, but he was really rude. He got the standard tip, and complained bitterly about it. A little respect goes a long way! And disrespect takes you nowhere.”

Pat looked at us in the mirror, and said, “You guys are a true example to us all. You will never want for anything.” We thanked him.

As we drove Pat spoke of his life, the recent death of his father - and how he was handling that. As we drew near Hollywood, he asked us where we wanted to be dropped off. We told him that we had just attended an amazing conference, on building our team-building company, and internet businesses.

“Wherever the red tourist buses are based”, said Arthie. “Oh look, there is one now.”

Our new friend, swung into action and chased the bus. When it came to a halt, he bounded out and asked the driver how we could get on! He was helping his new friends out and was going to do everything that it took to get us on that bus.

And indeed, that is what happened. We wished Pat well, “The top of the morning to you, Pat!” And he hung his head a little, and said, “You speak more Irish than I do.”

Arthie and I have built friendships and relationships, around the World, simply by respecting other people.

4 simple tips to get more from your life.

1) Care More - Life is not only about you. Start to greet people, and treat people, in the way that they want to be greeted and treated. Learn their languages - do not demand to hear yours. Ask about them, talk far less of your self.

2) Give More - Don’t be afraid to help others, be it by listening, caring and even sharing. Don’t always go with the “standard tip.” Look for ways that you can give, rather than seek ways to get. And you shall receive!

3) Love More - You are perfect as you are, however Life rewards action and not thought. When you really begin to like and accept who you are, in every way, then you are able to be more loving. When you love more - you are loved more.

4) Thank More - Live in a permanent state of gratitude. Be thankful for each breath that you take. Be grateful for your family and your friends - AND tell them. Thank people for every thing that they do. Humbly thank people for their compliments. Develop an “attitude of gratitude”, and the world will reward your thankfulness.

Arthie Moore and Brian V Moore
“At the level of respect, all people are equal.”
Durban, South Africa.
30th April 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Opening Hearts and building friendhsips.

“Bonjour”, I greeted the salesperson in Paris. Next to me the voice of the little man spoke clearly, “Bonjour! Ça va?” I smiled as the lady beamed at him and said Ça va bien! Et vous?”

As we moved through Italy, Switzerland and Austria he perfectly copied the words that he heard! “Buongiurno! Buonasera! Arrivederci! Guten morgen. Guten abend! Ciao,” echoed by my side. The local people were always delighted and excited and showered him with friendship and love.

In London, we were walking towards the underground train platform. I heard what I thought could be Zulu being spoken by two men. I excitedly moved up alongside them to hear if it was true. Suddenly a loud voice boomed out next to me, “Sanibonani! Dumela! (Zulu and Sesotho/ Setswana greetings.”)

The men stopped and looked at him, in disbelief. I then greeted them in Zulu and they beamed. Contact had been made. South Africans together in London. We spent the entire tube trip chatting, in Zulu, about home and their lives in London. The little man had opened the way again!

And little he is. Just a month away from his 4th birthday our son Lliam can greet in about 20 languages! Including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Sesotho, Sepedi, Setswana, Tsonga, French, Italian, German, Xhosa, Chichewa, Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Gujerati, Arabic, Hebrew, Chibemba and Township slang!

And if you know Lliam you will also know that he will greet people in any of the World’s languages. He only has to hear the greeting once!

Yes, he has learnt the power of greeting people in their own language to the extent where he asks people, “How must I speak to you?” A simple question indeed. “How should I greet you?” It is the starting point of all across language/ culture friendships and the beginning of a lifetime of language learning.

He has also learnt to greet respectfully in many local languages. People who are older are called uncle or aunt, mother or father in their own languages. When he meets our local car guard, he says in Afrikaans, “Hallo Oom.” And to his uncles and aunts he greets in Hindi, “Namaste Maamah/ Maamee.”

He has yet to get his tone and his volume right and as he grows up he will learn the importance of both in respect. Nevertheless he is already on a path towards great friendships and relationships. Arthie and I know this well.

When we go to a new country, we always learn the basics of greetings, thanks and goodbyes. This opens up opportunities for us to learn more and to spend more time developing friendships and understanding.

The next step is to take the time to learn how to pronounce people’s names properly. Arthie and I met a Nigerian man in London. The name he gave us was very western. “What do people call you at home we asked? “Olatunde.” he responded. With a little practice we began to use his name.

Upon our return to South Africa we found an e-mail from Olatunde inviting us to work in his country. We were delighted to have become his friend in such a short time.

Lliam has been our greatest teacher from birth and he carries that on every day in the way that he is. Is he naughty? Is he cheeky? Yes, of course, he is a child after all! And his life is one of testing and breaking physical, societal communication boundaries and barriers.

In his purity and total lack of teenage and adult fears he crosses many perceived borders and achieves many amazing things. He has danced with the Zulus, to the bagpipes and to Hindi music. He has sung his way through the streets of Venice, Paris, London and Edinburgh. And he never stops learning!

And that is perhaps his greatest lesson to “bigger” people.

On an overnight train from Paris to Firenze (Florence) I overheard a young lady say to the Italian bar person, “Just speak to me in English. I don’t speak your language.” All she needed to know was the price of the goods. It was clearly displayed on the till!

I watched as she battled to get service later. The young lady met frustration with frustration and eventually returned to her sleeper car. We found the bar person to be very friendly and open. All we did was greet and thank her in Italian. And we read the till for the cost of service!

We live in a multi-lingual country and a multi-lingual world. To live in the hope that we will only build strong and lasting relationships in our birth languages is to live in denial. And to believe that “my language is the only language”, is to deny ourselves the experiences of a wonderfully diverse world.

As tiny children we all learnt thousands of words in a language which was foreign to us. Even the concept of language was not yet in our understanding. Look how swiftly we learnt our mother tongue and how easily the language came to be a part of our being. Why then are so many of us are scared to learn a new greeting or language?

And getting the greeting right is one of the easiest ways to touch another soul and open another heart.

Take a lesson from Lliam and begin the process of learning to greet correctly and learning to pronounce peoples’ names and you too will find a new warmth in the world. A warmth that started with you.

Brian V Moore - January 30, 2005 for more please visit

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Talk straight, talk clearly and talk with respect.

Building teams and reducing social and workplace conflict.

In our International and South African teambuilding, we create an environment of respect. The following stories show just how important it is to be clear and open when communicating.

As the lift descended the two Zulu ladies made their observations of my well-rounded figure...

"Hawu! We sisi! Uwubonile umkhaba? (Gee Sister have you noticed the stomach.)

"Yebo, ngiwubonile. Yinkinsela yempela - sengathi inemali eningi!" (Yes, I have noticed it. Clearly a wealthy person - I'd imagine he has plenty of money)

All this gossip happened in front of me, as they innocently watched the floor indicator panel. I bided my time and as the two ladies prepared to leave the lift, I spoke to them in Zulu. "Sobuye sibonane bomama." (I will see you ladies around some time.)

"Hawu! Hawu!" They squealed in shock. "We didn’t know that you could speak Zulu!"
The event reminded me of similar events where people use their "superior" use of language to make negative observations of people.

Many years ago I used the services of a UK born dentist. I had an afternoon session with him. I had earlier washed my mouth out at a supermarket rest-room after eating a sandwich for lunch. It was not enough. He peered into my mouth and pronounced to his assistant, "It is a foggy day in Liverpool."

In his English way he had said that I had not brushed my teeth. I was very embarrassed and he lost me as a client and a number of others who I spoke to about the event.

In a recent training course my beautiful Hindu wife and I were subjected to abuse from a small group of England born delegates. In loud and profane tones they proceeded to malign the "Indians" and their "ability to speak the truth". This in the round about and sarcastic manner of certain English people. Very little is said directly. We are however well travelled and understood perfectly. As facilitators we have to be fair, pleasant and respectful to all of our delegates. Any mention of their meanness would reduce the programme to a series of personal attacks. It took us both a lot of internal and interpersonal talk to get close to our normal warm level of communication.

At an earlier course three of the many Afrikaners, on a Celebrating Humanity© course, walked into the conference venue and made similar attacks on Arthie and the programme itself. This time it was in Afrikaans. They too never believed that we could understand and speak their language. Their embarrassment was very visible as the programme unfolded with both of us speaking English, Zulu and Afrikaans.

Numerous African people from our many language groups speak of the way certain English speaking South Africans "Shaya ‘ma angles." (To speak indirectly and in a round about way.)

It is an old English habit to lighten the criticism and talk around a challenge, so as not to hurt feelings. Often the hurt is greater because no-one besides the speaker understands the true message until much later.

Some people find it necessary to joke in sexual manner. Their jokes are often below the belt and cause great embarrassment to their colleagues and friends who do not discuss these matters outside of their bedrooms. Most African and Eastern groups do not appreciate such jokes. Others try to get their laughs by bringing down "groups" of people. By race, by colour, by language, by religion and even by hair colour.

The message here is all about respect.

When we isolate ourselves into our common groups and use our cleverness to "secretly" or "publicly" attack others, we damage our ability to develop good working relationships. When we try not "to hurt others feelings", we often cause more pain than we would have by straight talk and without rancour. When we use our own "language" to communicate our jealousy or meanness towards those who communicate in other languages, we often isolate ourselves. When we joke in a manner that is sexual or which brings down other people, we bring ourselves, the listeners and our country down.

We live in a wonderful multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-spiritual land. All of our people have a right to respect and dignity. All of us have a duty to be respectful and dignified. One huge step of our journey, to a united land, will take place when begin to tell funny jokes that do not demean, or disrespect other people. And another gigantic step will take place when we talk straight, talk clearly and talk with respect.

And in this way we will ensure the success of organisations, International or South African and that teambuilding lasts. And workplace conflict is dramatically reduced.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to remove workplace conflict, gossiping and backbiting in just 3 days; 7 easy steps to workplace harmony

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 teambuilding 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 Moore
MD – Mthimkhulu International
“At the level of respect, all people are equal.”

Mobile: +27 82 5523352

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Brian Moore