tailored management coaching for employees of all races

We are looking to tailor our management development, recognising that people from BAME groups working in the UK are likely to have different experiences to white-British people in management positions.

Has anyone used the services of individuals or organisations that provide management coaching/development to people from BAME groups specifically?

  • Welcome Ruth.

    Interesting question, but my first thought was it doesn't matter does it? The point of using resident and established trainers from this country ensures that what they teach, train, or coach is what we consider the acceptable norms.

    However, I can see the point that It might help if they have a little understanding of where other cultures might be coming from in terms of people management.
  • In reply to David Perry:

    Hi David

    I think the answer is, yes it does matter. It's very clear that people from BAME backgrounds have very different lived experiences (both if they lived in the UK all their lives or have come to live here) to those of us who experience white privilege on a day to day basis and that lived experience should be respected. They will have faced different and probably additional challenges in their careers and choosing a coaching programme that is tailored to their needs seems a reasonable ask.

    And I would challenge your idea that we need to coach people of other backgrounds to our 'acceptable norms' - that seems a very white-centric viewpoint. I think we should be embracing different styles of people management and accepting that our British way of doing things isn't always the only way to do things. We need to listen to what everyone can bring to the table in terms of management styles and that will strengthen our organisations and our workforce.

    Kind regards

  • In reply to Jacqueline:

    I started reading around this subject when I first heard about the Black Lives Matter campaign. I was one of the people who initially reacted by thinking "All lives matter". What opened my eyes was a placard carried by a demonstrator that addressed exactly this point, "It's our house that's burning".

    I agree with Ruth's statement that people from BAME groups are likely to have different experience to white British people in management positions. For example, one of the things I have read about is the cumulative effect on someone of experiencing a fairly constant drip of micro-incidents of racism. While you'd hope that any coach would be sufficiently skilled to flex their style so that they can provide a service that benefits people of every background, a white British coach may not pick up on nuance that will be evident to a coach with experience of working with BAME groups.
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    I had my eyes opened a few years ago through working closely with a colleague who was black. The instances that she recounted to me of being greeted with suspicion at job interviews (her name does not immediately signal her ethnicity) or having comments made to her in our workplace - her boss tried to get her to declare that there was no racism in our workplace and then ostracised her when she wouldn't say that. She also recounted that when the plastic bag charge came in and we all started using our own bags rather that using shop logo'd ones, she would get constantly stopped by shop security staff and have her bags checked. This is a professional, smartly dressed woman in her thirties, in London, being constantly treated like this. She paid a fortune on a regular basis to have her hair treated and pulled back into a bun as she didn't feel that anyone would take her seriously if she didn't. I couldn't even begin to imagine how soul destroying and exhausting all this must be for her and it really made me see how invisible my privilege cloak was to me.
  • On the other hand there's an assumption here that all BAME groups & individuals living & working in the UK have the same experiences  and  therefore this must be different from "White-British" people who you assume have a privileged background.  What does that mean?

    We all have individual backgrounds and experiences which are not necessarily based on  the colour of our skin, race or nationality.  My father died when I was a child so I was brought up by a single mother who had to work extremely hard to keep my younger brother and I.    There was no money for university, college or further education.  I mentioned my uprbringing, because we can't make an assumption that all white people are privileged.

    My view of effective management training is that the trainer listens to participants so that each person is treated as an individual  which enables us to meet their needs.    

  • In reply to David Perry:

    Hi David

    "White privilege" isn't an assumption that white people have a cushier life than people who aren't white. It means that we don't have to put up with the daily experience such as that of Jacqueline's colleague.

    We do all have individual backgrounds and experiences but we also have things in common. There are more and more studies producing reliable statistics that demonstrate people in this country who are not white share the experience of being pigeon-holed because of their colour. There is also a growing body of accounts of lived experience being published in mass media that illustrate this. For example, there's a recently published autobiography by a young mixed-race barrister, Alexandra Wilson. She describes going into various court buildings, being stopped by the staff and re-directed to the defendant's waiting room. The assumption she repeatedly faces is that a black person in a courtroom must be the accused - until she gets her wig and gown on.

    If that happens once it's a good story. If people make that kind of assumption about you all day, every day, wherever you go, until they know you, then white people who don't have to address those assumptions constantly are privileged by contrast.

    If that is your experience of life and of work, it is going to affect your relationship with your trainer or coach if you have to start out by explaining all of this. At the very least, it gets tiring having to educate yet another person if your trainer or coach is oblivious to these concepts - or so I am led to believe by my reading, e.g. Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    Thank you for explaining so articulately, Elizabeth. Far better than I could have managed!

    I'm conscious that we haven't managed to answer Ruth's question but hopefully keeping this thread close to the top of the recent thread list is helping more people see it.
  • Hi Ruth,

    Thank you for starting such an interesting and relevant discussion. Re your actual question, I haven't come across a specific training company. I have been in contact with a company called 'Diverse Jobs Matter' which is doing some work within recruitment but they have a D&I specialist (Tzeitel Degiovanni on LinkedIn) and she might be able to help point you in the right direction.

    You should be really proud of your company that you're acknowledging the necessity of this training and acting on it - it's such great work.