What is this workshop about?

Over the years, we have noticed that most teams work superficially or are openly dysfunctional. When it is superficial, then tensions lurk just below the surface. With an overtly dysfunctional team, there is open, often hostile, conflict. We have been at both extremes and the outcome is the same: conflict that destroys the human spirit. The tragedy is that people get hurt. This is the major cost to the organisation.

What is the challenge?

In our own journey, we learnt that these tensions are rooted deep in our personal history. Simply put, we all have “baggage” that makes us different. But, we are asked to leave that to one side when we enter work. We don’t think we should leave our history at the door. Our “baggage” is what makes us unique. At the same time, we all share common aspects of humanity at a very fundamental level. This is what binds us. We are all human. And this is our challenge: to be ourselves and be part of the team. These are the opposing forces: subscribe to the team’s values and live own values too, in harmony.

The solution is awareness and an inner balance

Our approach to this challenge is simple but not easy. If each person has an internal balance, then they have greater awareness of everyone else. Then, the team will naturally shift to a natural equilibrium too. We have attempted this in our own lives and our own teams. Without exception, when people in a team have a high degree of awareness, conflicts are resolved healthily. The team self-regulates and self-balances, adjusting as their world changes.

How do we gain internal balance? This workshop focuses on just that. We help each person to discover and acknowledge his or her deeply rooted personal challenges. We do this in a safe environment as a group. This allows each person to be aware of each other at that root level. For many, it is their first chance to acknowledge their differences and similarities, openly and without prejudice or judgment. For many, it is a powerful moment in self-growth that they reach in this workshop.

The choice is yours

The common choice is to continually manage the tensions in a superficially cooperative team. We offer an alternative. This is about collaboration at a very deep, human level. If that is what you seek – collaboration based on values; a real and meaningful way to keep moving forward, then join us and be human first.

Course Dates:

27 August 2014

14 November 2014

13 February 2015

15 May 2015

What can you expect after this workshop

We know that this workshop is not a trivial decision. It requires courage because there are no quantifiable benefits in the short-term. We are focused on the long-term development of people working together for a healthier organization. In working with individuals and teams, we have noticed a few outcomes.

  • People get in touch with their own self, appreciating their own values and that of others.
  • Most are able to resolve their own internal conflicts, prejudices and stereotypes for the first time in their lives.
  • We have seen that being aware of value differences has led to teams resolving conflicts with far less antagonism and aggression.
  • Many gain self-confidence because they walk away with their own tools and techniques to deal with their own lives, beyond the work place.
  • Over time, people tend to invest more in themselves of their own accord.
  • Gradually, what emerges is a far more harmonious work and personal space.

Who is Tania van Wyk de Vries and Aslam Khan?

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Aslam and Tania could not be more different. When you meet them, you will understand why. Yet, they have worked with each other for nearly 10 years.

Over this time, they have been through the most toxic projects that literally destroyed the lives of ordinary people. What did stand out, though, is that they still found a way to collaborate, meaningfully and respectfully with each other. This is not a coincidence. It is by design – a choice and personal commitment to understand themselves and each other, and find meaning in what they do.

Both Aslam and Tania are software developers with a collective experience of about 40 years. They have been through the agile hype, good and bad, from the early days of XP to the latest buzz. Today, they work with companies at strategic level and lines of code. Between these extents are just people. That is part of their focus. How do we get people to be just people, living with our differences, and exploiting our diversity for the better?

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