Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Monday, May 02, 2005

Fourth Supervisory Training: NO WHINING!

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Lenora Billings-Harris led the Training entitled: Creating a Respectful Workplace. The first part of the training identified how we all use "the victim mentality" in dealing with each other on personal and professional levels. The result minimizes our capacity to work together; to be "totally responsible people" (the goal of the training); and to create respectful workplaces.

Deeds truly are more important than mere words. But words can have a tremendous influence in the workplace and limit our capacity to build strong organizations. I liked this training especially because it involved basic human psychology. "NO WHINING" pins were given out at the end of the training. haha.

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10 Comments:

  • I wish the Guilford County Schools would consider this training instead of moving forward with the Crossroads Ministry training. (Is the "Creating A Respectful Workplace" training being offered only for supervisors? It sounds like the kind of training all employees should experience.)

    I am planning to use your post here as a springboard for a post at my Blog.

    (I wish some of the Guilford County Commissioners would follow your lead and start Blogging! And that goes for other local elected officials as well.)

    By Blogger SeymourHardy, at 1:53 PM  

  • Jeff,

    I finally posted comments I wanted to make related to the information you provided about the "Creating A Respectful Workplace" training: "We All Desperately Need To Create More Respectful Workplaces".

    I have given my impressions of how this training might be needed within our schools.

    I still have more I want to express on the issue, but it's too late to continue now.

    Do you think that the training Lenora Billings-Harris provided would be well-suited for school employees?

    Is she an employee of Guilford County, or is she employed by an outside agency?

    If you have time, could you share some of the other ideas she expressed in your training session about how to create more respectful work environments?

    Sincerely,

    Hardy

    By Blogger SeymourHardy, at 12:40 AM  

  • Circus animals are "trained." People learn best when are they exposed to different perspectives and allowed to learn from themselves.

    If this alternative "training" you suggest is made compulsory (as is the Crossroads training) it is only slightly less objectionable.

    Instead why not have a speakers series which could include everyone from Thomas Sowell to Cornel West and/or invite local people in the commmunity who were involed in voter registration campaigns. This would be education in the true sense rather than "training." Is should be voluntary not mandatory. Also, it would be a lot cheaper than forty-five thousand dollars and would draw far more interest.

    We stopped Crossroads dead in its tracks at the University of Alabama. Hopefully, the good people in Guilford County will rise up and do the same. For my critique of Crossroads, see http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/12078.html

    Sincerely,

    David T. Beito

    By Blogger David T. Beito, at 9:10 AM  

  • Training was the term HR used for, well, the training. I kinda agree with your statement on how we best learn, but don't be hate'n the term "training". In a way the training was presented in the way you promote as best learning practices.

    My employees are certainly not circus animals and I'm not about indoctrination. Yet the disciplines and principles discussed have been helpful in how we approach conflict in our office. Our office requires discipline and standard operating procedure. Our customers wouldn't want my employees to wonder around the office until they figured out what they were doing either. So there is a place for different learning needs and styles.

    On crossroads, I didn't bring it up with this supervisory training. But one question, how much is the going rate for Tom Sowell and Cornel West, probably $45,000 for an hour of their opinion. I'm not so sure it would be cheaper.

    Sure, I'd like to see more personal group dialogue of citizens regarding racism because I firmly believe many of us don't know how to talk about it. With all due respect, a speaker series is an event and voter registration is a tool.

    What we need is a good on-going process where folks commit their time, energy and good to make progress. Crossroads may have shortcomings and it can be a controversial issue because taxpayer money is involved. Much of my critique on Crossroads comes after the folks go through the training. What then?

    If we could only get the folks who go to Golden Corral to talk with each other in a meaningful way...these issues could be worked through over the buffet. I'll look over your blog!

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 12:13 PM  

  • My employees are certainly not circus animals and I'm not about indoctrination. Yet the disciplines and principles discussed have been helpful in how we approach conflict in our office. Our office requires discipline and standard operating procedure. Our customers wouldn't want my employees to wonder around the office until they figured out what they were doing either. So there is a place for different learning needs and styles.

    If you have given Crossroads Ministry a monopoly and required mandatory attendance, you are engaging in indoctrination pure and simple. The term fits the classic definition of indoctrination in every sense.

    First, of course, it is mandatory. Second, it is one-sided and imposes a fringe leftwing ideology. Most Americans would reject the claim, for example, that all whites are racists as patent nonsense. Third, it is indoctrination by an explicitly religious organization. Isn't this illegal in a public school system? Most people would certainly regard it as illegal (and properly so) if you hired a conservative "ministry" to conduct this training and gave it a monopoly.


    On crossroads, I didn't bring it up with this supervisory training. But one question, how much is the going rate for Tom Sowell and Cornel West, probably $45,000 for an hour of their opinion. I'm not so sure it would be cheaper.

    I only used Sowell and West as examples though neither would charge 45K. I am sure that you have many fine scholars in the Guilford County area who will talk about these issues for much less, maybe even for free!

    As I mentioned, don't you have any veterans of the voting rights movement in NC who can speak about their experiences? I am sure that people in the workshops would learn a lot more from locals who experiences the evils of racism first hand and scholars who have actually studied the issues rather than trainers who received "certificates" from a quasi-mail order leftwing organizaton. Heck, I'd be willing to come to Guilford County and talk about my research on the Emmett Till case and my biography of a black civil rights leader in Mississippi during the 1950s. I won't charge 45K either!!

    Sure, I'd like to see more personal group dialogue of citizens regarding racism because I firmly believe many of us don't know how to talk about it. With all due respect, a speaker series is an event and voter registration is a tool.

    You seem to be assuming here that the lefting wing trainers in Crossroads who believe in the fringe theory that all whites are racist do know what they are talking about. Personally, I think that any person a street corner in Greensboro problem has more common sense to offer.

    What we need is a good on-going process where folks commit their time, energy and good to make progress. Crossroads may have shortcomings and it can be a controversial issue because taxpayer money is involved. Much of my critique on Crossroads comes after the folks go through the training. What then?

    The issue is not the fact that you are spending taxpayers money. The issue is that you are forcing your employees to be a captive audience for one-sided indoctrination a leftwing organization. I say spend the money but use it to bring in professors from local colleges (who have actually written about the history of Jim Crow), local citizens who have eperienced racism first hand back in the 1950s and 1960s, and others. Make sure that you provide a balance between more conservative, liberal, and libertarian views. Of course, these events should be voluntary. Your employees might actually enjoy listening to them!

    If we could only get the folks who go to Golden Corral to talk with each other in a meaningful way...these issues could be worked through over the buffet. I'll look over your blog!

    Thank you. I will help you in any way I can if you choose to create a voluntary program which represents diverse points of view and end the Crossroads indoctrination.

    My only suggestion is that if you want people to get together and learn about race, don't dragoon them through compulsory training. They will only resent you for it. Instead, set up interesting and provcative *voluntary* events such as speakers, debates, and reading groups.

    As I mentioned, for example, we sponsored a talk by Autherine Lucy, the first black student at the University of Alabama. Hundreds of people came and spilled into the hallway. It was a tremendous success. On the other hand had we tried to force people to go (the Guilford County way), people would have been angry and resentful. Frankly, they would have been right to be angry. Nobody wants to be forced to attend.

    Finally, let me add this analogy which should illustrate the problems with the mandatory training program in Guilford County. You say that learning about racial understanding is important. I agree. Would you also agree that upholding family values and patriotism are also important values?

    If you do, would you support hiring a highly poltical organization which has one and only one version of patriotism and family values (such as Eagle Forum, People for the American Way), paying it 45K to "train" your employees, and then forcing your employees to attend these "training" sessions? See the problems?

    By Blogger David T. Beito, at 2:47 PM  

  • Excuse the typos. I thought I would have a chance to preview this first.

    By Blogger David T. Beito, at 2:51 PM  

  • I am reposting without so many typos

    My employees are certainly not circus animals and I'm not about indoctrination. Yet the disciplines and principles discussed have been helpful in how we approach conflict in our office. Our office requires discipline and standard operating procedure. Our customers wouldn't want my employees to wonder around the office until they figured out what they were doing either. So there is a place for different learning needs and styles.

    If you have given Crossroads Ministry a monopoly and required mandatory attendance, you are engaging in indoctrination pure and simple. The term fits the classic definition of indoctrination.

    First, of course, it is mandatory. Second, it is one-sided and imposes a fringe leftwing ideology. Most Americans would reject Crossroads claim, for example, that all whites are racists as patent nonsense. Third, it is indoctrination by an explicitly religious organization. Isn't this illegal in a public school system? Most people would certainly regard it as illegal (and properly so) if you hired a conservative "ministry" to conduct this training and gave it a monopoly.


    On crossroads, I didn't bring it up with this supervisory training. But one question, how much is the going rate for Tom Sowell and Cornel West, probably $45,000 for an hour of their opinion. I'm not so sure it would be cheaper.

    I only used Sowell and West as examples though neither would charge 45K. I am sure that you have many fine scholars in the Guilford County area who will talk about these issues for much less, maybe even for free!

    As I mentioned, don't you have any veterans of the voting rights movement in NC who could come? I am sure that people in the workshops would learn a lot more from locals who experienced the evils of racism first hand back in the Jim Crow era and scholars who have actually studied the issues rather than trainers who received "certificates" from a quasi-mail order leftwing organizaton. Heck, I'd be willing to come to Guilford County and talk about my research on the Emmett Till case and my biography of a black civil rights leader in Mississippi during the 1950s. I won't charge 45K either!!

    Sure, I'd like to see more personal group dialogue of citizens regarding racism because I firmly believe many of us don't know how to talk about it. With all due respect, a speaker series is an event and voter registration is a tool.

    You seem to be assuming here that the leftwing trainers in Crossroads actually know what they are talking about. Personally, I think that any person randomly picked from a street corner in Greensboro has more common sense to offer.

    What we need is a good on-going process where folks commit their time, energy and good to make progress. Crossroads may have shortcomings and it can be a controversial issue because taxpayer money is involved. Much of my critique on Crossroads comes after the folks go through the training. What then?

    The main reason why this program is so wrong is not because you are spending taxpayers money. The main probelm s that you are forcing your employees to becom a captive audience for one-sided indoctrination by a leftwing organization.

    Sure, spend the money but use it to bring in professors from local colleges (who have actually written about the history of Jim Crow), local citizens who have eperienced racism first hand in the 1950s and 1960s, and others. Make sure that you provide a balance between more conservative, liberal, and libertarian views. Of course, these events should be voluntary. Your employees might actually enjoy listening to them!

    If we could only get the folks who go to Golden Corral to talk with each other in a meaningful way...these issues could be worked through over the buffet. I'll look over your blog!

    Thank you. I will help you in any way I can if you choose to create a voluntary program which represents diverse points of view and end the Crossroads indoctrination.

    My only suggestion is that if you want people to get together and learn about race, don't dragoon them through compulsory training. They will only resent you for it. Instead, set up interesting and provcative *voluntary* events such as speakers, debates, and reading groups.

    As I mentioned, for example, we sponsored a talk by Autherine Lucy, the first black student at the University of Alabama. Hundreds of people came and spilled into the hallway. It was a tremendous success. On the other hand had we tried to force people to go (the Guilford County way), people would have been angry and resentful. Frankly, they would have been right to have been angry. Nobody wants to be forced to attend.

    Finally, let me add this analogy which should illustrate the problems with the mandatory training program in Guilford County. You say that learning about racial understanding is important. I agree. Would you also agree that upholding family values and patriotism are also important values?

    If you do, would you support hiring a highly poltical organization which has one and only one version of patriotism and family values (such as Eagle Forum, People for the American Way), paying it 45K to "train" your employees, and then forcing your employees to attend these "training" sessions? See the problems?

    By Blogger David T. Beito, at 3:04 PM  

  • David, David, slow down.

    Look, I'm the Guilford County Register of Deeds. I'm not on the Guilford County School Board. My employees aren't going through the CrossRoads Training. I have not made it a monopoly, nor mandated the training. Is that what you think? This is a fundamental misunderstanding.

    My employees went through a Respectful Workplace Training by a group not associated with CrossRoads. CrossRoads Training is VERY different.

    It is hmmm, clear, that you do not support CrossRoads. I hear that. You just busted up in my blog and it appears that you've made seymourhardy's comments my own.

    That hopefully clears up your first point. To engage your second point, how do you define racism? That goes to my point that we don't know how to talk about it because we define it differently; make different assumptions and presuppositions. I'm trying to avoid it. Can you help me?

    Third, I don't think Greensboro has a shortage of social activist or civil rights activists. Those discussions are continuing every day in this town. There are many events related that kind of approach.

    The CrossRoads trainings in the School System were the result of over 1100 people being trained in Undoing Racism Workshops in Greensboro over a 4 year period from my understanding. They organized, went to the school board and got an audience for some reason. It was not voluntary in the sense that folks had to pay to attend it from what I understand. I raised the taxpayer issue because the difference is now it is in the Guilford County Schools. And I'm not sure if employees are "required" to attend the trainings either.

    How do you define patriotism? How do you define family? We must ask these fundamental questions. Again,I don't agree with all of what CrossRoads has to offer, but I don't have to, if folks disagree with the trainings they can elect a new School Board.

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 3:39 PM  

  • Jeff:

    My apologies. I completely misread your comments. I thought your employees were taking the crossroads training. I am glad to know I was mistaken!

    My objections would apply, however, to any mandatory program which forces people to attend. There is only one exception, IMHO. A mandatory program would be proper if it was geared to educating employees in the law. When it crosses the line into imposing a political ideology, it goes too far.

    To engage your second point, how do you define racism? That goes to my point that we don't know how to talk about it because we define it differently; make different assumptions and presuppositions. I'm trying to avoid it. Can you help me?

    Most Americans would share my definition (so would Martin Luther King, Jr.). In my view, racism can be defined as a collectivist notion under which individuals are judged on the basis of their skin color or ethnic background rather than their merits. Of course, anyone, under this definition, black or white, can be racist. Most of the ideologues who conduct this “training,” however, want to make the definition of racism much more ominous and complicated than that, in great part to make their services and alleged expertise seem necessary. As you know, they aren’t doing these workshops for free!

    One of many problems with diversity training (even of the “moderate” variety) is that it usually stresses the negative and focuses on white guilt. Few of these trainers, for example, point out the positive developments of the last few decades. Few point out that, by any measure, whites are much less racist now than they were even ten years ago. (I can provide citations if you wish). Crossroads is an extreme example of stressing the negative over the positive. One of the pamphlets actually has the audacity to argue that racism is worse now than it was in the 1950s!

    How do you define patriotism? How do you define family? We must ask these fundamental questions. Again,I don't agree with all of what CrossRoads has to offer, but I don't have to, if folks disagree with the trainings they can elect a new School Board.

    We are all have our own definitions. These are certainly important questions but they should not be the focus of mandatory, one-sided training.

    Hopefully, the citizens of Guilford County will elect a new school board. They should also think about filing suit against the school system. As I said, the decision of a public school system giving a religious "ministry", a captive audience for highly ideological training, would seem to ripe for a court suit. If mandatory school prayer isn’t allowed (and it shouldn’t be), why should this? A successful court suit might set a valuable precedent for the rest of the country.

    By Blogger David T. Beito, at 11:09 AM  

  • David, I think you'd be interested in this blog. It's a Greensboro blog with a position on the Cross Roads Training in the Guilford County Schools! It's Michael's Corner.

    http://mccornerworld.blogspot.com/2005/05/crossroads-ministry-for-guilford.html

    Happy Hunting!

    By Blogger Jeff L. Thigpen, at 6:16 PM  

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