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              Cultural Coaches:
Help For Executives Who Don't Get It

An Open Invitation to Participate in -- "THE MOMENT" -- Dr. Freeman's Latest Book Project

                                                         ***************************************************

By LINDA WALLACE
©2001 DiversityInc.com

Dr. Joel A. Freeman, President of The Freeman Institute, Severn, MD and former chaplain of the Washington Wizards basketball team ('79-'98), is a motivational speaker and corporate change agent. But lately he’s been spending more of his time with a new gig: cultural coaching.

"I encourage those who are Caucasian to take a few weekends out of their lives to watch some videos or read some books and try to understand what life is like for people from other cultures," said Freeman. 

Freeman, who is white, said the diversity sessions he conducts are designed to build respect among employees, which, in turn, facilitates good communication, enhanced creativity and greater productivity. 

"The whole idea is to build mutual respect, and just to begin to reach out to someone different," he said. "Out of that respect, comes communication. If there is dialogue without the foundation of respect, that just serves to drive a deeper wedge into the relationship."

"Plain and simple, diversity is good business," said Freeman. "Companies who are genuinely serious about diversity will be far more competitive and cutting edge than those who maintain the status quo. And this kind of stuff must start with the organization's leadership. Sometimes I'll ask leaders to take a snapshot of their board. It is important for that picture to contain women and minorities. They will provide an expanded perspective of the marketplace like no one else on the board can. Why not have qualified representatives who are entrusted with the same executive decision-making capability as everyone else?"

Financial-services companies are joining the legions of firms that are investing in America’s most valued
asset: the workforce. Industry heavy-hitters such as Merrill Lynch and UBS PaineWebber are meshing diversity together with executive training, with the hopes of getting higher profits in return.

In 1997, the UBS PaineWebber Diversity Council was established to facilitate "cultural change, with
an emphasis on inclusion in recruiting, retention, and promotion, and to expand the firm's presence among a more diverse group of clients," the company said in its diversity mission statement. "At UBS PaineWebber, we define diversity as everything that makes us unique as individuals. Managing diversity is diversity is about creating an environment that leverages employees' unique characteristics, allowing everyone an equal opportunity to succeed." 

With corporations trying to hold down spending, mentoring and other programs provide an alluring economic incentive as well, said Kevin Carter, director of diversity at Cleveland, Ohio-based National City Bank. National City has been reviewing mentoring concepts and initiatives, and is considering implementation of a mentoring program. 

"Mentoring has always been an important tool," Carter said. "Because of the tight labor market and the
increasing concern with retaining employees and lowering turnover, more and more companies are including professionals in the middle of the executive ranks in these programs."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The concept of cultural enrichment is less threatening and more comfortable for employees than traditional diversity programs, where an instructor teaches and the employees learn, said Freeman, who co-authored a book, "Return To Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man" with an African-American colleague, Don Griffin and who also facilitates the presentations, "A White Man’s Journey Into Black History" and "Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect".

"I am passionate about demonstrating the positive benefits of diversity," Freeman said. "When there is give and take, I don’t call it questions and answers. I call it questions and discussions."


As America advances deeper into the knowledge-based economy, corporate diversity programs have begun broadening their reach and shifting the mindset to change the culture, "treat" bias, and share cultural insights into the organization with multiethnic and female executives.

These trends reflect a recognition that training and development have risen to the top among the most important benefits organizations must offer to attract and retain talented employees, according to the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), a professional association specializing in workplace learning and performance.

"Training and development are not the only options that keep employees loyal, but they are considered to be an integral part of why employees go to and stay at organizations," said Stacey Wagner, director of a recent study on the issue...


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...Joe DeAngelis, vice president and practice leader for an executive coaching and training firm, said the use of executive coaches is gaining in popularity, as corporations seek to avoid the costly search process. An executive coach usually can be hired at a rate that is between 15 percent and 20 percent of an executive’s base salary, he said.

"Coaches work with people right in their environment," DeAngelis said. "There is no vanilla formula. Coaching is culturally specific. You cannot coach someone in a vacuum. You have to understand the vision, the value of the culture in which they compete, and then develop a learning plan based on that environment."

DeAngelis said coaches and mentors enable companies to help people align their goals and values with those in the culture, and, thus, become more efficient and more influential. This is a departure from early strategies where multiethnic executives were paired with colleagues of the same race, he said.

"Historically, corporations have brought multiethnic executives into the business and then they tried to pair them off with someone of the same race or put them in with other diverse individuals. That only breeds more of the same. Instead, you have to help them learn the culture of the business, and what the values are, and to find the common ground."

1. All-Day "Diversity Seminar" Program -- Click Here
2. "Diversity Day" Presentation or Keynote Address -- Click Here
3. "Black History Month" Presentation -- Click Here
4. Dr. Freeman's African American History Collection -- Click Here
5. Preview Online Diversity Course -- Click Here

Flash Player needed to Preview Courses -- Download Flash

6. Critical Incident Debriefing -- Click Here
7. Symbols that Address Cultural Awareness -- Click Here
8. Employee Assistant Seminars in DC Region -- Click Here

 

A White Man's Journey Into Black History
Check out this unique video and half-day presentation.

When we deal specifically with Cultural Awareness,
we address eleven Symbols that impact every organization.

A success coach is kind of like your secret business partner who is totally dedicated to your success -- and you get to keep the profits. Click Click here to read more about Dr. Joel Freeman's approach to executive coaching.

 


SOCIAL  SECURITY

Dear Dr. Freeman:

I want you to know how pleased we were with your presentation, Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect, which was presented at our Multicultural Training Observance in Dallas, Texas on May 22, 2002.

Employees who participated in both sessions of your presentation were nearly unanimous in their assessment of its relevance and value. Your approach to viewing diversity as a multi-layer phenomenon was unique. And your ability to relate to a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-generational audience, and keep the participants attentive throughout your presentation was a major contributor to your success. A major benefit of your presentation is it offered to those in attendance a unique framework for assessing their basic beliefs about living and working in a multicultural society, and provided us a point of departure for additional discussions about the benefits of mutual respect in the workplace and the larger community.

I am happy we were able to bring you to Dallas as a part of our Multicultural Training effort. Your presentation was the "meat and potatoes" of what we regarded as a very successful training.


                         Sincerely,
                         
Emerson Lattimore
           
Emerson Lattimore
                        Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity Manager

 

To learn more about seminar -- Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect
To Schedule Dr. Freeman for a Diversity Presentation
410-729-7800
To View More References:
NASA
Prince George's County Public Schools Equity Assurance Office
Seattle Port Authority

Los Alamos National Laboratory

 

WFO Eastern North Dakota Connects to NOAA Diversity Lecture Series

As part of the Monthly Diversity Lecture Series, a group of WFO Eastern North Dakota personnel participated in a talk on by Joel Freeman entitled "Dealing with People Who Drive You Crazy." 

The talk took place live in Washington, D.C., for NOAA Headquarters personnel and was viewed live over the Internet via Real Player on the PDW in the Training Room. The voice quality ranged from  good most of the time to a bit fuzzy at other times. 

The talk was quite interesting, as the expert (Dr. Joel Freeman) spoke about various personality types that must interact in the work setting. We all realize some of us are more "doers than thinkers" and vice-versa. The point is that each of us brings value into the workforce, although each in a different way and further understanding of these personality variables will increase each person's and then the overall offices functioning. 

He also spoke about differences relating to gender, religious and ethnic backgrounds, age and others. Again, further understanding of these differences in the workplace will enable all of us to improve our work place relationships and could all make us "feel better" about our contributions to the office and agency mission.

SUCCEEDING IN YOUR ORGANIZATION WITH A DISABILITY

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2 New Resources! 
--The 4-CD Audio Book version of Return To Glory!
--140-Minute Video: A White Man's Journey Into Black History

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