All Victims May, 1996. Durban bay, South Africa. *Note: Names changed to protect identities. The early winter wind and rain buffeted the canoeing clubhouse, on Durban bay. Shouting and laughing canoeists line up for their weekly dice and race into the wind as the start-master sends them off. With their muscles straining and lungs bursting the top group … Continue Reading ››
Mphephetha’s Wedding - Great lessons cushioned in a culture shock!
Joko laughed at my patent nervousness as he lead me into the traditional Zulu gear stalls at Dalton Hostel - in Durban, South Africa. Animal skins lay around willy-nilly as did drums, umbadada … Continue Reading ››
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Beware the poison of prejudice - A story of Molweni A child’s free spirit. Thirty Zulu community leaders sat in a dusty rural school room. It was 1995 in the newly free South Africa, at a village called Molweni, near the great harbour city of Durban. The delegates watched … Continue Reading ››
There are many decisions made in the cross-cultural workplace, that are seen to be grossly unfair. And they often are.
Most workplace systems and rules and regulations, are based on the historical cultures, beliefs and traditions of the people who founded the organisation. … Continue Reading ››
Often when people are in a rush, angry and unsettled, they will "tell somebody off”, in front of other team members. (Or family.) This is not a cultural challenge, it is actually a matter of disrespect. Should you wish to communicate anything, that may … Continue Reading ››
When communicating, with a person from a community-based background, it is important to be at their level. It has been the traditional way, in African cultures, to immediately get to the height or below that of other people. When entering a home, a person will sit down and wait to be addressed. When going into an … Continue Reading ››
When working in diverse groups of people, a lot of confusion can occur in the passageways. The more community-based cultures, will always try and walk around people who are in conversation. They have grown up to believe that one never breaks the human bond between people who are … Continue Reading ››
Handshakes are often a foundation, in building relationships. Yet, in religious and cultural terms there are many differences. If observed, relationships can be built at the first point of contact. Respect is definitely in your hands! To shake hands, or not. In some cultures, and religions, … Continue Reading ››
The current wave, of prejudice and racism that is sweeping through our country, will not change until you and I act to make a difference. I have put together, a series of simple steps, to change the way our people see each other. There are many things, that we would do if we are interacting with people … Continue Reading ››
When greeting, anybody from another background, your own body language could be a barrier. This barrier, can only fall when you understand the body language of the next person. This could be in the area of handshaking, eye contact, body position and amongst other things, personal space. Individually based cultures, often believe that the eyes are the windows … Continue Reading ››
It is at the point of greeting a person in their own language, with their body language, and in respect that we honour their humanness. Our nine-year-old, and 14-year-old sons, greet in many languages. As do their mother and father. I have seen the delight on people's faces. And I have felt it myself. Many years ago, … Continue Reading ››
Privilege is often a fact of unconscious bias. How do we deal with it? “Privilege is a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group.” To be privileged is not a failing, it is … Continue Reading ››
One Zambia - One Nation! One World - One Humanity! Dr Kenneth Kaunda - Leader of Diversity and Inclusion As a 12 year old white boy, I stood on the side of a Bancroft road in Zambia, and waved my Zambian flag at … Continue Reading ››
Welcome, respected and included. My 26 year journey, through many cultures and workplace diversity training, has taught me that people just want to feel welcome, be part of the team and be respected for who they are. No-one wants to be separated by gender, language, education, race, age, religion, level or any other so-called “difference.” This is what … Continue Reading ››
Would you choose Diversity Team building or Traditional Diversity Training?
Both diversity interventions have a place in the business, or government arenas.
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Learning how to business with foreign clients always makes sense! If you could do business with foreigners, would you learn how to understand and respect them? Of course. 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 … Continue Reading ››
Living as a multicultural human being is an incredible bonus. I have been called a Catholic, a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a White, a white Zulu, a white cockroach, a boer, an Englishman, a white Indian, an … Continue Reading ››