I have been thinking about the reasons why our Celebrating Humanity diversity training programmes are so successful, and thought I would share some of our most critical steps to success.
1) No death by PowerPoint, please!
Simply the worst kind of training, especially diversity training – is when the facilitator arrives with a PC/ USB and a data projector –with pre-conceived concepts and training agenda.
Widely known as death-by-PowerPoint – this is bound to do more damage in your organisation than good. Very few people learn, a limited number of relationships are built and the status-quo may just go on.
2) Set the rules up front!
With the overriding principle:- “At the level of respect, ALL people are equal.”
After a simple and brief explanation, the group all feel at home and welcome – no matter what their diversities are.
They also have a good laugh when we tell them that the “Go” rule is merely to let them know if they gotta go to the toilet – they should just go. (But please come back!)
3) Work with diverse teams
Help the teams to know each other better and then get them to choose teams that would represent the people of your country in diversity competitions. This enables them to easily share their diverse wisdom and grows the concept of individual and diversity value.
4) Make it fun and inclusive.
It is a fact that learning through fun is better than learning through talks. This is one of the keys to getting to building the relationships, strengthening diversity links and even to getting your children to love homework!
5) Manage the big mouths through competitions and points.
Often training is taken over by a few people who feel that they have the knowledge to pick apart any information shared by the team, or the facilitators. Some even believe that sarcasm is the way to keep the attention of their team.
Once they are put into their diverse teams, it becomes incumbent upon them to seek answers and share their own knowledge with the teams. Any rudeness, to the other teams, is soon capped with points being awarded to the non-offending teams. Their teams will soon bring them back in to line.
6) Get them interacting and sharing!
The sooner the delegates begin interacting, sharing and communicating the better. This is a foundation of a successful diversity programme – as they will continue to communicate back at work. It also creates better relationships, greater team work and a powerful understanding of individual and group value.
7) Work with issues that impact relationships,today.
One of the biggest challenges to successful diversity programmes is the out-dated focus on the past. People do not want to be blamed, or isolated by the actions of their ancestors. There are enough history programmes, courses, books and lessons available to the public!
Focus on relationships, difficulties, differences and commonalities that apply to today! Please do not exclude people through your own historical judgements. It simply does not do any good!
8) And as a bonus! Remember to celebrate the diversity of the people in the group at all possible occasions. This is after all the driving power of successful teams!
Good luck with your sessions!
Visit our site to get a copy of my eBook – Workplace and Team Conflict Resolution Strategies.
Brian V Moore
Contact: Brian V Moore AKA Mthimkhulu
Mobile: +27 72 677 0208
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