Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

Diversity interventions

Transformational Team-building© Visit www.africa-dreams.com for more info
Diversity interventions - the Crossroads.

South African companies/ organisations/ teams are either under pressure to transform and include people from all backgrounds in a fair and equitable manner, or once transformed are often challenged by poor inter-diversity relationships and understanding of the need for transformation.
The need for transformation is also often brought to the fore when inter-personal, inter-diversity group communication and interactions are at a low. This negates the outputs of the team and makes work an unpleasant experience for team, clients and families.

Companies and organisations who believe they need a "diversity training" intervention are at a crossroads of danger and opportunity. The danger lies in the potentially divisive nature of such interventions and yet there are huge hidden opportunities to build individual, teams, organisation and to an extent the future of our country.

Transformation and diversity management programmes that isolate, intimidate and ignore people are self-defeating. If any person/ sector/ department or group feels threatened the process will be wasted and more so it could negatively impact your organisation.

The opportunity to build is found in the wisdoms, uniquenesses, talents, skills and histories of the group. The methodologies ensure that transformation is non-threatening, unifying and inclusive as possible. Learning is fun, motivational and exciting.

Inclusivity has two main dimensions, firstly, everyone feels valued and valuable and secondly all levels of the organisation/ team participate fully in the programme.

"In our early days in this field we operated through the shock therapy style of presentation. Some people survived and some didn’t! The main challenge was that we worked from a paradigm that judged people by their backgrounds. We now, through studying international learning methodologies and through personal experience and introspection, have found fun and non-threatening methods of bringing understanding, building relationships and accountability." Brian Moore - M.I. www.africa-dreams.com

Celebrating Humanity - The programme. www.africa-dreams.com
Transforming ourselves, our teams and our lives

In order to develop ourselves and our team at work we need to develop an understanding of our dependency, independency and inter-dependency. Once we understand that we need each other to survive and succeed we will observe that our actions, positive or negative, impact ourselves, our teams and our dependents.

It is true that the quality of life that we lead, the clothes that we wear, the humanity that we exude, the food on our table, the education of our family depends on the quality of our relationships within and outside of the workplace.
When seen in this context we begin to understand that there is a vital need for teamwork for us all to succeed. And the more diverse the backgrounds, skills and talents of the team, the more we win. The challenge is that diverse teams will only win through respect, tolerance and understanding and that is our starting point.
Knowing who we are...

An ongoing process of humanisation and communication builds the group at a human level. Communicating and developing understanding of the commonalities and uniquenesses that we all bring.

The next steps would be to develop an understanding of our intra-personal uniqueness and the ability to assess the uniqueness in other people in terms of their personality types and learning/ communication styles.
These simple skills will develop and enhance interpersonal understanding and communication.

Accountability for who we are...

When we take responsibility for our attitudes, our communication and our behaviour we can create a safe environment for ourselves, our families and other people.

To further develop a nurturing environment we develop problem-solving and solution-finding skills and learn to handle reactions to external stimuli.
Often we act out of historical programming when a short time for thought will break the cycle of anger. When we use the feeling of anger as a signal for thought, "Why am I feeling this anger?" or "Is this person saying this to hurt me?", we have an opportunity to respond rather than react. This can saves lives, families, sales and relationships!

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

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

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

At this point the 2 day Foundation© session ends.

Accountability for how we behave (1 day - Values Circle Process - by team and/ or department)

"At the level of respect all people are equal."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the Transformational Team-building© programme Celebrating Humanity©, people will understand their amazing relevance as individuals, team members & members of their organisations.
Mthimkhulu International
www.africa-dreams.com
for: Diversity Training, Transformational Team-building,Workforce Diversity, Workplace Diversity, Managing Diversity, Diversity Management

Comments:
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================================

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===============
"BREAKING NEWS"
===============

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