Power Of Perception – Freeing Your Mind

Hi all! This is the second part of module seven , and I’m exited to blog about today’s class and teachings because it was my groups turn to present today. Needless to say that i wont be talking much about the performance of the group from an outside perspective, but as a team member of team 7, I would just like to thank everyone for their input and their commitment.

That being said, I would just like to touch on some of the points that were covered today, and just shortly kind of summarize them again. So our group covered the second part of module 7 which was “freeing your mind”.  We Started of with an exercise where the audience had to escape a too without any body parts touching the floor. They were provided with different props that they could use. The goal of this was, to promote the action of thinking outside the box. The audience did very well.

With the second exercise, the participants were each given an A3 page and asked to draw a stick man on it. The purpose of this was to demonstrate the magic of thinking big.  The trick was to see how much of the paper the participant used when asked to draw something on it. The paper being symbolic for life and all its opportunities, and the size of the drawing with relation to the paper, would indicate how “big” the participant thinks. In other words, How Many of our life opportunities do we use?

The final exercise was just a normal simple meditation exercise. Where the audience just had to clear their minds of all negative thinking.

That’s it for this week guys, thanks for the feedback we got today!

Premature Ejaculation

I think I now understand how women feel when men pre-ejaculate or when we don’t get them to climax… “they should be able to get themselves off but that is a topic for another day.”

WTF!!! 

Group 7 presentation was 26 minutes long, the class was dismissed by 9:30 am.
I stayed sober the previous night for this???
Nah I’ve been robbed!!!

So now understand how all those women feel when they have been preparing themselves for that moment. All those hours spent prepping, shaving, cleansing, douching and ensuring that everything is in tip top notch condition.
I mean it has been two weeks since my Saturday mornings have been mentally stimulating. I’ve grown accustomed to pleasure, all sorts of stimulation, and being challenged on Saturday mornings.
Today’s anticlimax has left me to take matters into my own hands. I am surfing the internet in search of “Opening my mind” I am googling facilitation tools I feel unfinished…
Bring back my Saturday morning!!!
I woke up early for this???

I’m undone, I’m incomplete, I’m unfinished, I’m unsatisfied

MODULE 7- FreeING UR MIND

SEE THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR 30 WAYS TO FREEING UR MIND.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/30-ways-free-your-mind-immediately.html

Its our turn to be observed, just love the uplift of my hormones excited. we can do so much to point to the best of our ability, the rest does not depend on us….

might not have enough time to share this…

30. Use positive affirmations

You are affirming all the time by the way you think and talk. “Things never go my way” is a negative affirmation, for example. You could replace such a thought with a positive affirmation such as “things are working out perfectly”. Using positive affirmations helps you to make better choices and see things from a different and more positive perspective.

team 7 we are brilliant and we have rocked this facilitation skill presentation.

Seeing With New Eyes

What an experience, group 6 clearly defined what is Facilitation. In reality people strive to be always better than one another. Doing so result in undermining or misjudging others.

it is easy in sports more particularly soccer sports to underestimate your opponents. At post-match interviews you will hear players and coaches saying that they new what opponents will do to them but what is irony is that they end-up loosing games knowing what the opponent will do.

Referencing to the above, the Facilitation experience presented by group 6 made me to practice seeing things with other people eyes before I could have my own conclusions. I am developing to be patient with others than thinking I am better than them. At my work place, I find myself working as team player than to compete with my colleagues

The world would be boring if we were all equally the same. Every person is important

Reflective Essay

Essay is piece of writing about a particular them or subject.  Writing a Reflective Essay, one reflect on the topic of the day, the  experience about the topic and outcome of experimenting shared experience of the topic.

Every Saturday one has to write a blog to reflect about a topic of the day.  initially I did not take blogging very seriously but after the first assignment, I changed my mind.  the more one blogs the easier one write an essay

it still takes me forever to write a blog

Eye see mind perceives

Seeing with new eyes –  what does it mean? We all walk around with perceptions and preconceived ideas about other people. We are all guilty of it. We have all judged someone or a situation without necessarily having any evidence of truth. We associate things and behaviours with certain groups of people according to popular stereotypes. Sometimes we do this to protect ourselves from a perceived danger, that is a human being’s first instinct, survival in whatever context this may be.

Group 6 displayed a simple but wonderful presentation. It was absolutely gorgeous to watch, thought provoking and had me on emo lock down here and there. Their topic was SEEING WITH NEW EYES and they focused on how we perceive others and judge them by what we see on the outside. The message was clear, they spoke well, the chemistry between the team members was evident, they used appropriate techniques (I loved the ice breaker), it was just awesome, it showed that they put a lot in it. I dare say group 6 was the best group we’ve had yet.

How will I decide to view others today?  For me deciding how to view others does not start by looking at them without perception. That would be impossible. For me it means challenging the perception, the learnt stereotype and the preconceived idea by allowing myself to discover who the person behind what I see is. How we view others is influenced by a lot of factors. How we were raised, the communities we live in, the happenings around us and around the world, the people around us, our own experiences etc… We judge people and situations based on some of these factors. This was proven by the activity we were given in class where we read the story of the lost boat. Most people immediately labelled the Sailor as a low moral male figure, we automatically attached a sexual connotation to the scenario, OH! BUT WAIT! what if it was a woman? OOPS! But we have already decided that the sailor is a dirty, perverted man without having all the details. We did not ask either, we just perceived him to be. AHA!

How will I decide to view others today? Will I look up or will I look down on them? I do not know but I know that I will challenge myself to read the book instead of concluding with just looking at the cover.

Thank you group 6 looking forward to what the next group has in store for us

Friendships and Fascilitations

When I was initially allocated a group at lecture 2 of the facilitations course I was confronted with having to amalgamate and integrate into a relatively new group of strangers, I had to get to know everyone and understand the various personalities with which I had to work.  As an introvert, I had serious anxieties and reservations about what would become of me and my relations with Group 6.

It has been a blessing indeed to realize that 8 weeks down the line, the Group 6 gang has maintained the glue that bought us together. We have argued, fought, disappointed each other, we have encouraged each other and we continue to hold each other up as we look forward to completing and passing fascilitations with distinction.

The members of team group 6 are planning a braai get together, would you believe? What started as a group assignment circle has ended up being a friendship circle.

 

 

 

Same Book Different Covers

What an epic morning it was on  Saturday 09 September. It was finally time for Group six to shine! As a member of Group six, I arrived on campus at 6am to ensure that I collect the FNB annexture venue keys from the night security staff to ensure that my group has access to the class for our make-up and final set up session. Group six is a force to be reckoned with, when one member showed up with sandwiches for all, another member bought coffee for all and another had  organised muffins for the group. The morning set up session was electric with the teams laughing and bonding over the common fear and dread we were all secretly harboring.  By 8am we were all set and ready to rock and roll. As group six we unanimously agreed to allow as many people as possible to come into our presentation, closing the door only close to 9am. We were on fire, nerves firmly under control, time flew by and before we knew it we were thanking the audience and huddling together in celebration of what was accomplished.

The comment and feedback session was nerve wrecking, the positive comments were plenty and heartfelt. The audience loved our format and delivery, they loved the fact that we did not have too many activities, the process was logical and simple and we hit the spot in terms of challenging perceptions and pre-judgements. YES! we accomplished what we had set out to accomplish!

Delta plus comments were scarce! The outspoken Ntombi felt that there were no ”delta-plus” moments, in her opinion, the group six presentation was perfection.

Halala group six! Shine

Perception

We read this story of a ship that sank and how the characters at sea got split up.  In a small group we had to discuss each character and what we though of them, rather, how we rate them.  What was the most interesting thing is the fact that each person in the group had a different perception of those characters.

Life a lot the same, we might experience the same thing but we end up perceiving it completely different.  I think this is what makes the world such an amazing place, but also, unfortunately what makes it horrible at times.  I remember that at one point whilst we discussing these different characters in the group, I try to convince every one that they weren’t right.  But how dare I.  I mean, we all have had our own experiences in life and yes, maybe we perceive other’s actions a little bit different.  And that is exactly what makes us different.

I learnt a valuable lesson that day:

Embrace – do not try and change difference.

Just think, how great our country and our nation would be if we could all embrace and respect each others’ different perceptions.

Looking back

As I page through my Facilitation Skills workbook taking in the different modules that we have covered, I thought I’d note down lessons in each module which have stood out the most to me. Perhaps even analyse the way in which I did things before Saturday 29 August 2017 and my mannerisms now.

Module 1 – Introduction

This is where my perception of Facilitation evolved. The focus of facilitating I learnt, was on the experience of others. Noting that I have always put myself interests first, irrespective of the activity I was engaged in, this alien concept sure seemed intriguing. It was only when I read A Story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment and came across these words on page 34 “When we live from here, from the inside, we can talk openly and honestly with each other, and say the things we deeply feel, even when it’s hard to say them. We hold ourselves, and each other, accountable for our best effort in all things. We search for our calling, for the path we are born to take” that I noticed how this lesson was relevant to my spiritual life. Having recently thought of myself as belonging to the Mahayana school of Buddhism, I realised that my attitude leading my actions had to undergo transformation. For selfish acts, which benefit only the subject, leads to stress whereas selfless actions bring about peace. I now see that when one facilitates a meeting or a gathering, the intent is to arrive at a harmonious conclusion that benefits all.

Module 2 – Mindful Facilitation

Our definition of Facilitation as Group 1; clarifies, counsels, coaches, challenges and nurtures. We were too worn out from our team facilitation to write down full sentences but as I read these words, I feel warm inside. I guess that’s the feeling one gets from a facilitated environment. The checklist on page 43 saw me answer “no” on questions ‘Am I patient enough’, ‘Am I too patient’ and ‘Am I able to live with uncertainty’. Truth is, this is something I am still working on today. Self-reflection I always say, is something I do regularly only when I reflect on this statement, I begin to realise that my self-reflection is focused more on other areas compared to others. In which area of my life do I let the microscope hover? Finances, spirituality, education, career, family and personal relationships. Where do I tend to move along quickly? Societal influence and physical fitness and health. In order to better facilitate these areas of my life, I need to be mindful equally of all of them.

Module 3 – Learning

How lovely are Fran Herbert’s words; “One learns from books only that certain things can be done. Actual learning requires that you do those things.” This explains why we are assessed in school. What good is learning about the brain if you cannot reiterate to someone else where the different lobes are and what their function is.

Module 4 – Human Dynamics

How would I say the three domains of disclosure are exhibited in my life? I’d say I make 55% of my selfhood visible for others to know, 20% I keep private and possibly 25% I am not aware of.

Module 5 – Reflective Writing

Now this day I remember quite well. I had decided the night before to leave my reflective essay draft for another day, knowing very well that I had to submit it. Thinking my four blogs would suffice as I would have at least submitted something. Huh, was I in for it. With Roslyn focusing more on the essay than the blog, I had to use my final blog as the draft for my essay. Good thing it was long enough. What I found even more interesting was that the feedback I received from my peers was a mark of 40% (the worse I’ve ever received) and 60% (not horribly bad). I am have marked down in my planner that I will spend three days on the final essay. I gotta get the sum of the two marks above J

Module 7 – Power of Perception Part 1

After my ‘Judge, Jury and Executioner’ post, I shared the story of The Girl and The Sailor with my boyfriend and he reflected on the characters in this order. The Old Man was the most liked, followed by The Friend, The Girl was the third because she had more integrity than her fiancé who my boyfriend ranked fourth and the least liked for him was The Sailor. Interesting huh, we only had one similar answer; The Old Man.

SEEING WITH NEW EYES

It is amazing how different we are yet we are all similar. It is easier to look at someone and simply judge them at face value. The sad thing about judging others is that they also judge US. Whether it’s positive or negative judgement it normally hurts people’s feelings. We just conclude about others without knowing their journey in life. We all experience up’s and down’s in life so Personally I feel that it is easier if we share our load with others instead of carrying it alone.

Since I started attending this class I noticed a positive change in me. I am more patient with others and my tolerance levels have certainly increased. I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes before I go venting about how inconsiderate or selfish they are. This course has the power of influencing people positively and that’s great, I wish everyone can be given a chance to attend it but that’s not possible.

I certainly love and enjoy the topics that are always presented and discussed , they are so relevant to our lives and we always learn new things. After the last presentation I learnt to think before I judge and I now see things differently and with new eyes.

Looking at the bigger picture

Sometimes in life people draw conclusion based on the situation  that  they are currently facing but not  realizing that this could be the beginning of great things. It is very significant to have a plan to reach your main goal, and have time frames. The presentation by group 4 made me realize that sometimes in life I limit myself because of not knowing the abilities I have.

I’m trying to imagine when the architects and engineers were busy laying down the foundation of Carlton Center, did everyone foresee how big the structure would be and it would be the biggest building in Africa. It began on someone’s mind, he or she had the picture in mind, saw it complete before any of us could see it. The same applies in life, people need to have visions and if they don’t implement the actions that will make it happen nothing will happen.

I liked the way how group 4 implemented the SCARF model in their presentation and the activities they demonstrated, it proved that they understood the concept and did research about the topic.  I left today’s class with one thing in mind, looking at the bigger picture

Judge, Jury and Executioner

Having missed class on Saturday the 9th, I am unable to reflect on how the class engaged with the perception module. Hearing how enjoyable the interaction was from my group members, I am determined to not miss any of the remaining classes.

Going through the concepts and considering the influences that prompt my decision making, I couldn’t help but get emotionally involved when reading the story of The Girl and The Sailor. When I came across the reflection bit after the story, I couldn’t wait to put on the hat of Judge, Jury and Executioner. I vehemently ranked The Old Man as the most liked and thought he had the most integrity and morals. The reason for my judgement is that I felt he believed in letting others craft their own paths in life after noting his words to The Girl “I cannot tell you what is right or wrong for you”. The Girl was right behind the The Old man in likability because of her selflessness. Worrying about her fiancé’s wellbeing seemed like a good thong to do and showcased how considerate she was. I ranked The Friend as the third person who exhibited strong moral principles, The Sailor was the fourth and The Fiancé the last because the latter two had the lowest integrity and morals.

I then began to consider how other people might view the characters in the story. Acknowledging that my beliefs, motivations, expectations, attitude and emotions shape my world and in turn interfere with my relation with others, I wondered what type of person might rank The Fiancé as the most liked because of his integrity and morals. Surely there cannot be such people? It then hit me that I still had on my hat of Judge, Jury and Executioner, what would happen if I traded that hat in for an empathetic one?

I began to see the possibility that The Fiancé in his rage, might have been utterly devastated to find out that The Girl he intends to marry and dedicate his life to was not steadfast in her belief of the wedding vows “for better, for worse”. For the distance between the two, when ashore different islands, flirted too close to the line “until death do us part”, The Girl in her selfless actions sought to do whatever it took to find her other. Even if that meant laying her wedding vows on the side.

OUR ACTIONS!!!

Team 6 Presentation was so amazing, it made me realize that most people like to have  negative attitude  because they can and not feeling bad about it.

For example after the presentation we had time to read a story about the sailor. We were grouped in 4 and we had to decide who was the main character’s in the story and name them from 1 to 5. In my group they decided that the sailor was the guy and Ross made us realised that the gender that was mentioned in the story was the girl.

The Spiral Model

Sense, Select, Interpret, Feel, Assumption, Conclusion, Decision and Action

This Model simply explains that we turn to observe, judge based on what we decided and felt,  not having time to listen and get enough information before one can conclude.

I hope that i will be one of the good people who won’t be concluding without getting the full information.

looking forward to the next class

Seeing through new eyes

I can’t remember the last time I blogged but my excuse is time goes to fast.

So about two weeks back before the study break a group presented on seeing through new eyes 👀.  The presentation was really good they really took us through a good facilitation session. You know something is good when even two weeks later you still thinking about it.

After the class I went back home asking myself many questions about life and how I have been quite ignorant towards some things in life. You know personally I have no time to judge people’s religions and beliefs but I do get sensitive when it comes to sexual preferences. I guess the presentation just showed me a new light on somethings that some people who became homosexuals didn’t really plan on becoming that way but it just happened. Anyway it didn’t change my views on the whole topic but just made me reflect on the people who go through these choices in life.

During class we also read a story of a girl and the sailor. I didn’t get at first but when I did I was immediately able to compare it to reality. Ross mentioned something really interesting, some people in my group didn’t understand the story so I had to explain it to them by doing this I gave my understanding of the story only. I didn’t ask them about their opinions furthermore I didn’t ask them to read it and tell me what they understood.

This same scenario happens in reality, look at Hitler for example he had an opinion on the Jewish community and he made it a point to brain wash the German nation with his opinions without giving them the chance to really state what they felt. He was a pure dictator however he understood the art of brainwashing.

The story of the girl and the sailor is just small example but if you can cross it over to life then you will realise that we throw assumptions really fast. What if the sailor was a woman? Who knows? The story doesn’t say.

So ja! Every lesson we learn something new and I personally am humbled by what I am learning. Life is a sequence of events and a book of memories. Each day is a new day even if we feel that we have already planned it before hand.

Teamwork Dynamics

I recently attended a cooking class. It was my first time and I had no idea what to expect. I pictured my self having my own cooking station and being taught how to cook exotic foods. But oh boy was I far off…not only was the food “normal” everyday food, but we had to work in pairs as well. For a second my face turned red, I had to share a stove and utensils with someone I did not know. I loved that we were to learn to cook food that we can cook and eat every day, but the pairing though me off a bit.

Teamwork has always been a challenge for me. I have always preferred to work on my own. As I was putting on my gorgeous apron to get ready to get down and dirty, I remembered my experience with group 2 where we had to ‘facilitate change’. I remember how I had reservations and anxiety of doing group work. In addition, I remember how I enjoyed it and how I learned to appreciate how different personalities can work together, bringing our unique strengths together. Moreover, most of all, I remember how the topic influenced me personally.

Since our presentation about change and its different stages, this was a first time to experience a shift that required me to accept and embrace the situation I was in. Learning about the stages of changing came in handy. However, this was not change that was to difficult, therefore I did not have to deal with the first two stages which are denial and anger. I remember the third stage, which is exploring. At this stage, one has to be open to experimanting and learning new ways of doing things. The forth stage which is acceptence was also useful. It is about trust and accepting change (in patterns), thus I had to trust that my partner and I will be able to share a cooking space without and difficulties.

It is exciting for me to know that I can apply what I learn in class to my personal exeriences. Even though these lessons do not come right after class, they have a way of sneaking in when we least expect it. I guess this is part of growth.

I still prefer to cook or work alone, I feel I am forced to use my brain and come up with new, creative ideas when working alone. However, working in a group have helped improve my social skills and learn to work with others. Also, I have learned to have confidence in others.

Sidebar: Roast Chicken(s) my partner and I made 🙂 

Reflective Essay, easy right?

When I saw the requirements for the reflective essay, I thought to myself, how simple and easy is this.  Well, turns out that four years of studies and having to write very academically, makes a reflective essay very challenging.

But it was so much fun, being able to write about my own experiences felt so liberating and I just wanted more and more.  I was willing to write other’s reflective essay, hahaha just kidding, I would never do that.

Get to the class… oh my gosh, I forgot to print my essay. I am never unprepared.  Edison to the rescue with his printer and iPhone, what a hero!  Next, peer review of our essay… wait what????!!! First thing that comes to mind, is that the essay is not academic writing, this is not my best work.  I don’t want anyone to read this.

Turns out, it wasn’t too bad, I got some really good feedback and realised that other students were battling with the same issue of it not being academic writing.

Now that the draft essay is done… let’s do the finale one 😉

At First Glance

“It’s not what you look at that matters… It’s what you see” – Henry David Thoreau.

I feel like I needed to somewhat continue from my last blog. Clearly the presentation on  “Seeing with New Eyes” has left a huge sense of conviction on me J. It really opened my inner eyes. Since then, I am concious of what I think of people when I meet them for the first time. I realised that being judgemental had become a habit so much that I did not even feel myself doing it. But I am glad that this was brought to my attention and I has left a huge print in my heart.

While our mind might immediately focus on the negative, we can push our thoughts in a more positive direction and look for something nice to say. And of course, if we canot find anything nice to say, we do not have to say anything at all. I am working on recognizing nagetive/judgemental thoughts and working to avoid them at all costs. There is no need for them in my life.

Although my eyes have been opened, I am aware that it will take a lot for me not to join in when I hear the critical words of others. It’s not going to be easy, but, most things that are worth it aren’t. I have learned that change will not come from other peoples’ influence but everything I need to break unhealthy cycles is within me. So I welcome this challenge with all of me.

Side bar:

Look at the inserted picture, what do you see? At first glance, some see a young woman, while others see and old woman. This goes to show that what we see on a first encounter is not always a true reflection about a person.

big step

My 12 year old niece has been giving my big sister grey hairs lately. Coming home late, dropping marks at school and the list goes on. Two nights ago my big sister calls me all emotional. I stare at my wall clocks and time check reads 20:15. She is tired and has had enough of the pre-teen. She wants to send her straight to the Bundus. My strong headed sister is giving up on her 1st born. This is a first. I am at lost with words and not sure how to respond to her especial because she is bigger and I am always the one asking for help SO I keep nodding as if she can see me. I tell her to give the phone to the teen who now has just walked in during our telephone call. We are close at least I think …I get straight to the point and guilt trip her. She returns my questions with one worded sentences. My delayed thoughts tell me that I needed to call her the next day. I do just that before 8am and before she heads out to school. I try and have THE MOST honest conversation with her as her aunt. I listen what she was not happy with. My sister is believes in physical punishment and I DONT. After brief chat we agreed on a few things….like library visits and being home before sunset. I am reminded of how as individuals we are so different and how most times as parents we also want to dictate to our children without hearing their side. As I write today 18 September ….its been 17 days days and I had initially postponed pushing this entry and left it on my drafts. I am glad that my niece has come around and goes to the library and is more open and has longer sentences. phew!! I feel like my auntie skills were really put to the test. She is the really winner in all this.

Seeing with New Eyes

The class before the term break was a bit intense. I found myself introspecting as the presenters highlighted how easy it is for all of us to judge others only at face value. I realised that judgement is something we do without thinking. Judgement can be as silly as judging someone who comes to work or class wearing something from a few decades back. First thoughts are…”oh God, she needs a makeover!” It may seem as though such a comment or secret thought is harmless, but it can easily be a foundation of becoming a hateful and judgemental person.

What I have realised is that when I judge someone, I do not feel good about myself nor do I feel proud. What I took out of the presentation was that we need to try not to judge others simply by their appearance. It is also true that when we learn not to judge others, it is not necessarily for their benefit, but it gives ‘the self’ inner sensibleness. Also, by not judging others by their appearances also mean we are open to learning more about a person without concluding who they are at first glance.

We all do not want to be in a position where others make unfounded judgements about us before we are given a chance to show them who we really are. Learning not to be judgemental means that we have to monitor your thoughts, look for the positive, and avoid stereotyping and most vital, focus on our own lives… We also need to remember how it feels when we are the ones being judged.

“When our gaze awakens to the gaze of God, we have started to see. Seeing clearly, we can love well” – David Powlison

What a No! Story Telling.

Well the theme for group 4 is……, let me rather come late. How are they expected to pull this 1 off. Story telling makes me want to go straight to lalaland.  Really now. R u going to sleep in classes?. Came in  late. By de look of things wen I got to class de class was in a cinema nd I love movies. Okay wat de h**** was happening hear.? Okay let me find peace dat my perception were completely wrong about dis presentation, my instincts were not at all in play today. From what I gather though I was late nd a bit sickly the presentation was completely out of de box. Oh my goodness, we have a home work plus an essay. Goodness me first assignment for Facilitation , how am I expected to write it? Is there a certain structured? Remember I’m a right brain everything  to be has to be structured nd organised. Mmmh so many How’s for me today.

Secrets 02/09/2017

Today I’m bright and early for school so ready indeed for today’s presentation. Okay the team is so bright in Black and Yellow. As I her to class I’m asked to sit  in a certain group I abided. For once , I did not know what to expect but de brightness of de team brought hope. Presentation started we started by having to write our secrets though I knew it was guaranteed dat no1 could tell dat it was my secret, I felt so uncomfortable but hey 1 day secret r bound to come out 1 way or de other. Wen de reading of secrets started , it dawn to me dat no 1 on earth does not hev a secret bcoz every1 wrote on de piece of paper. Though it was scary to know but it was fun every1 seems not to be shocked instead making fun of de secrets. Well building a house as one of de tasks we had to do was so fun. We deeper our fingers in  dat paint sharing ideas on how must our house look. I realise dat if we did things together sharing ideas be it at home , work, society we can do better than you would alone. Our last task, I realised dat what ever gossip you hear rather do not judge b4 u get de real story from de horses mouth. What I enjoyed about dis particular presentation , de class was involved all de way not particular individual were involved but every 1 got their hands dirty . Well done to dat team. Essay time, well I was a bit reluctant dat our peers her to mark our scripts and guess what my instincts were on point , it was so sad dat you give your peer  a good mark and when you get your mark it is so pathetic and de comment is dat you write your essay as though you were blogging and that peer decides not write their name, I think dats being nasty on purpose and being a culprit?.  Anyway on the positive side of things I learned a lot while marking my peers scripts on how to write an essay. I enjoyed basically and I focused on the bright side of things and positivity.

Therapy

Being in class is like being in therapy, firstly because you don’t think you need to be there (someone else said you should go lol) and secondly because you start off closed off, on a mission, and only there to honour your commitment to getting the credits. It’s almost identical to therapy (or at least what I have seen of therapy).

Over the last couple of weeks I have heard people tell their stories, stories about their hardships and their battles, their pains and successes. People really open up during these sessions. I obviously do not want to dwell in the previous session but I cannot begin to tell you how important that class was to me.

There is so much power in liberating yourself from your own shackles and burdens. That is something I think only you can do as an individual, you cannot wait or expect to be liberated by anyone else.

Its as much therapeutic to watch as it is to take part. I went home and I thought to myself “surely my greatness does not depend on how anyone (no matter who) perceives me. I can’t depend on the approval of anyone to find my own comfort. I cannot think its ok to have my preferences dictated to me. Because then WHAT IS MY JOB IN MY OWN LIFE? WHO AM I IF NOT ME ON MY OWN?”

These classes are soothing to the soul, not at face value but when you dig deeper into each individual and you start to uncover their story, there is something so great about discovering that we are all skin and bones at the end of the day.

To all of you: Live long and Prosper and may you face your demons head on and conquer.

XoXo

K*

 

Writing a reflective piece

I am here today writing a reflection on my reflection piece based on my reflections of the class. Reflections. And its interesting because they say mirrors lie a lot so why are we being told to trust our reflections now? lol ok so maybe not the same reflections but whatevs.

Writing the reflective piece was a nice combination between theory and practice. I am already familiar with writing a formal essay, that’s what we are taught to be at university right? We can here to be taught how to read and how to write, not in the infant sense but in the context of knowledge production. So when we write, we write formally.

Facilitation required a new approach to what we have been taught – to combine the theoretical aspect of a subject with how it played out in practice. This was a bit tricky because it disobeyed the rules I have come to live by.

I started with theory around facilitation and while I read up on the theory it was already interesting to see how much it spoke to my experiences over the weeks in class. There was great correlation between my experiences. But the tough part was figuring out how to bring the two aspects together.

Ok so once that was out the way, feedback came and it was interesting to see how we all suddenly became “lecturers”, pointing this and that out, telling each other to try structure things differently, to watch out for grammar, to read theory carefully, to avoid this and that. Honorary teaching degrees were clearly conferred on all of us LOL…

Anyway while I was typing the draft I thought to myself “this thing is due in October, why on earth do we need to be submitting drafts so early” but afterwards I thought “Thank goodness we did that”. It was really beneficial and come October, it should be a breeze (I hope).

P.S I do wish though that the facilitator and mentors were a bit more involved in the reading of the drafts. It would have helped to have a more “professional” opinion, even if they read just 2 or 3 to the class and highlighted what and what not to do based on those.

Great exercise nonetheless.

XoXo

K*

Module 7- Making Decisions

Module 7 was short but very interesting. after the break Ros  requested us to read a story of the girl and the sailor and rank them between 1 and 5, 1 being the person you think  have the highest integrity and morals and 5 being the opposite.  This story was very ambiguous  and Its amazing how we tend to attribute  desirable characteristics to people based on our judgement( how their character sounds like, occupation, gender and so forth)  for example when reading the story I thought that the sailor was a man based on stereotyping that goes with being a sailor but as we discussed the story with Ros she made us realize that the sailor’s gender was not mention in the story

Ros also introduced the decision spiral Model. Where I have learned that as people we tend to observe what happens, then only select certain information based on what we know, what we then do is attribute or give meaning according to out judgement and whatever meaning we attribute gives us either positive  or negative emotions then make an assumptions based on how we feel and therefore conclude based on our assumption. This is how our decision is then made, leading us to act in a certain way.

Very informative model I must say…………………

 

 

 

 

module 6 -Draft Essay Review

Although I loved the fact that this module was going to help me improve and achieve excellence  on my reflective writing, rating my fellow’s student’s essays was not as easy as I thought it would be.

Although we had  guidelines to follow when assessing each other’s work, there was a moment I felt like a blind leading ablind. I remember going through the first essay twice to rate weather the introduction demonstrated an understanding of the scope and interpretation of the task. There were quite a few criteria  to look for and it was quite interesting how all the essays I went through were different.

Making each other’s essays made me notice somethings that other people wrote that I did not think of.  The essay review  made me see how critical it is to combine both academic and personal stories.  How crucial it is to implement what you have learn in class to your personal and work life or life in general and most importantly how important it is to write a great blog as it makes easier for one to write a reflective essay.

It was a very helpful exercise and an eye opener, a good lesson rather as it gave me an opportunity to go back an relook at my own essay .  I received good feedback from the two people who went through mine, the 10 mark difference between both  made me uncertain of the development of my own essay I must say. But honestly I really appreciate the feedback received from both my colleagues and I will definitely improve on their recommendation on my final submission.

Like Ros always says  feedback says a lot about the person giving it as well so I was very cautious when rating my fellow colleagues but truthful and fair at the same time to able them to improve on their final submissions as well.

 

 

Reflective essay

I wrote my reflective essay and had it ready for submission on time. When Ros mentioned that one would be marked in class nothing prepared me for how it would all go down. At first they was a bit on confusion from my side on weather the blogs are supposed to be attached or not to the essay/s . That was soon cleared. My second worry came with how my fellow classmate/s would relate to my writing and again the markers (no name written) gave me some positive feedback. I marked 3 essays and must admit on my 3rd essay I was exhausted. Major respect to the teachers who do it on a weekly basis. The essays I marked were all from women and brilliantly written with a touch of personal stories. I really loved that.

I also found it easier and less daunting to write to write my reflective essay a friend and share some of the lessons learnt and things that I did not enjoy . I must say though writing to my lecturer Ros was the hardest. I had to many worries from grammar to sounding polite. The week of writing this essay coincided with me having to play aunt, little sister and referee to my big sister and her 12 year old. I have blogged fully about this experience though I am yet to press the publish button. This was quiet a big step for me. I am super proud of all parties involved and mostly of my niece.

Decisions….Decisions

Today’s lecture was short but power packed for me. The passage we read was too vague and we had to judge the characters based on what we read. I had so much fun with the ladies in my group. It’s amazing how we as humans jump into conclusions and make a decision without having the full details of an event. I too am guilty of that…
Then there was the process of taking a decision. Its amazing how much goes on in ones head in such a short space of time. I am learning something new everyday in this lecture and it is so relevant to my everyday life. My mind has taken a radical shift about facilitation skills from the subject just being about points to graduate to wooooow one is being empowered here with vital life skills!!!

Week 7, 9th Sep 2017 Facilitation Class – Seeing with new Eyes?

I came far too early today as I walk towards the class a few fellow students including the presenters are standing outside, when I got closer realised that team 6 is preparing for their presentation today “Seeing with new Eyes”. The class was divided into three groups then each group provided with the picture to analyse and it was amazing what conclusions most of the teams came out with by just looking at the picture. I still have to find out from this guy who looked at one of our pictures in which a gentlemen which most of us because of the attire he had on called him a worker or hustler. The gentlemen had an overall on or in locations where most of us come from attire called “SIYASEBENZA”. This guy out of the blue after we thought we have analysed our picture said this is a GAY person and pointed at this picture’s hands as evidence really I had no clue what he was looking at but what is amazing during our feedback session indeed the GUY was homosexual.

During this session we explore a Model called “Decision spiral” which to a larger extent demonstrate that in most cases judgement we make as people are controlled by assumptions and underlying beliefs. Although today’s presentation emphasize the point not to judge by cover, this model takes us through a process in our minds leading to our decision or judgement. The model says always with a lightning speed in our minds when we observe something we 1) sense 2) Select 3) Assess 4) feel 5) Assume 6) Conclude 7) Decide and Act.

Seeing with new eyes

When its over its over.  A facilitation skill that i will keep for a long long time.  Its happened, let it GO!

Perception in my view is a problem, one that limits you and sets you up for disappointment when the thing you thought is a thing is actually not a thing.  However, the beauty of facilitation is that it teaches you or equips you with the necessary tools to see with new eyes.

A new set of eyes allows you to be open, allows for the thing to be something else.  In that revelation you are not disappointed because difference of opinion is pivotal and allows for reflection.  I cant even begin to emphasis how this has changed my life, REFLECTION.

I used to be so reactive, used to listen to respond.  Ros said something so profound in class, she said when something makes you uncomfortable you need to ascertain within yourself why is it that you are uncomfortable.  This is best described by the decision spiral on page 106 of our course packs, you see what you believe tends to restrict you.  I pray for change for myself, to let go of judgment and learn that as much as i would like for people to accept that i am different i would like to embrace other peoples differences. To see with new eyes.

While i continue to work on myself, i am open…………

 

Ciao

Neo

 

Learning from Life

“He who does not go within goes without”.  This quotation that i got from the course pack could not have explained learning from life any better.

As usual we were blessed and graced with the interpretation of this topic by Group 5.  Life is a broad topic, infact i think some of us are still trying to figure out what it is.  Each day is a lesson.  Group 5 choose to stick to three topics, social, family and personal.  They did a decent job of covering the topic.

Part of our homework was to write a blog outlining the human dynamics that you see in your personal or working environment.  I think that to attempt that would require for you to reflect on life, to try and understand what influences people.  Literally everything we do is life.  There is a famous saying that says guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

So in essence the resistance barometer makes sense i.e covert or overt are influenced by life itself and how different things have had an effect on you or influence how you deal with things.  For example, gossip, jokes etc.

I find that with everything i do lately i ask myself what the Delta plus is or the the delta.  The fact that we are in a facilitation class means that we have opened ourselves up to learn from life.

Let the learning continue.

 

Ciao

Neo

Telling a story

what an amazing session we had on how we share story in our community and how perception is key central on how we perceive others.

The Team that did presentation they have done justice and educate us that telling story can be in different form as follows

Pictures ,tale, written and non written . most of us are familiar with the art of telling story as one has to grab attention of the audience.

Telling story it can be something that is person or close to your heart and the ability to detach yourself when telling it so that the message can be loud and clear.

it is important to be sensitive when sharing topics that affects others ,tell story in the manner that is respectful others and their belief and cultures .

am amazed by the level of maturity in upholding our diverse cultures am inspired to explore more.

 

Module 6 – What u see is not what u get always

Is it really a girl. assumption is ….of al …

Well presented Group 6 . Loved the simplicity in how you facilitated, That what we see isn’t whats true, Hope the images are adding to the ideas u planting through your facilitation.  the reviews on point well done.

As for the personal story, I hope we are a people who do not misunderstand Matthew 7:1. The ambience we have in class on point, creating an atmosphere that people can share their personal stories. Lets support and care, and lets not Judge. A two weeks break and we next Group7. Freeing your mind. Just be free that all.

Seeing with new eyes.. Power of Perception

I missed class on Saturday, 9th September 2017 not because it was my birthday to celebrate, but because there was a funeral opposite my house.  A very wise old man whom I coincidentally share a birthday with and he was buried on his 87th birthday. It was so sad to have lost him as a community, but at the same time it was a celebration of his life and a peaceful send off.  Hence, I celebrated my birthday in honour of our mkhulu (affectionately known).

In a different setup, I also experienced a power of perception that actually one can be born and die on one’s birthday.. something that I used to hear sharing based on personal experiences of the people they lost around them.  So.. for me it was Seeing with new eyes that at times, a mere date can be a determiner of your final destination.

 

D-DAY!

After weeks of preparation, the day has finally come for my group to facilitate on the theme “Learning From Life’ under the sub-theme, ‘Secrets’.  Here’s a brief breakdown of how it all went down from ideation to D-day:

Ideation 

This phase started out on a high, there was a lot of brainstorming and conceptualisation done under this broad topic. The first week saw my group and I trying to establish a framework for learners under three sub-themes, namely, education, finance and family.  In the second week, our attempt was to unpack the various sub-themes and carry out our thoughts and ideas with quite a bit of research. This phase of the ideation process made me feel like we’re on track and that everything will work out as it should, although the ideas weren’t refined, it assured me that I belonged to a group that was willing, committed and hard-working – we all wanted to make it work, perfectly!

Research

This phase of the planning process saw us reading more commentary and searching for substantial ideas that would support our sub-themes. Our team developed persona’s and tried to shape a target market to ensure that our messaging speaks to the learners. It is during this time that we needed to source out activities that would tie in with the theme and speak to our audience, while educating them. During this phase, we kept reminding each other what the term ‘facilitation’ entails so as to ensure that we are meeting each criteria – which proved to be a good guide.  This leg of the process helped me to understand the importance of planning, research, listening to each other in a group and allowing everyone to have a say. No opinion or input is more important than the other.

 

The day before

We initially planned to have a treasure hunt, and then we planned to have puzzles and cups with messaging. Our activities changed, however our sub-themes remain the same. One of the team members gave me a call during the day to say that she has an idea for the activities that we can play. Anxious, I listened and couldn’t wait to see a practical example of the change.

D-Day!

A boiling hot, strong cup of cappuccino did the trick, finally the day had arrived and it was time to facilitate what we had planned the evening before. My overall learnings and experience of the session:

  1. I would do it over again
  2. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a plan
  3. Group work makes the dream work

36

Its mid September and in my head I am already counting to our group presentation. We have a little over a month to go. Thank God for whatsapp groups at least there are updates and discussions going on. With presentation being so close to exam preps….I am hoping we will still get a full house. I had plans to put up at least 3 blogs during this break. Its proving to be hard keeping this commitment. So much drama has unfolded from being forced to work from home due to a week long power cut. The inconvenience is beyond me and my biggest frustration is lack of communication. Family and trying to use my mini break to catch up and lastly definitely not least …finding time to study and go through my notes. I miss the morning wake up calls on Saturday mos def 🙂

Seeing with new eyes……..not until you know!!!!

Of all the facilitations presented thus far “Seeing with new eyes” has left me wondering on how we as people can have a multitude of perceptions about someone or something until we know what is exactly is the reality about that someone.

At first I thought he was acting as gay for the purpose of the presentation and people will say so many fun things of him such that we even laughed about it.I lost my mind for some few seconds when the reality comes out about him that it was not just an act but he is what he is and in the process I had to make a quick rewind of how the people has been saying or thinking about him.

There is no doubt that as people we will always have our own perceptions about anything not until we gets to the roots part of it.I must learn to be calm not to quick to judge someone else until I am sure about what to say about such any individual…….

Class break

Every Saturday is definitely a new surprise to look forward to! Last week was about reviewing our class mates essays and I enjoyed reading other personal stories which were included in their writing. Getting to learn more then just knowing a face and greeting in passing. We all have so much inspiring and different backgrounds and different methods of expressing ourselves in writing. Some refer to references in music and others chose to include personal stories about their journey into studies. This helps me see that I’m not alone. Every story is unique and interesting.

Ros shared a story with us about a girl, who endures sacrifice to see her lover again and how in life even your best intention can have a different unexpected outcome. Like the lover rejecting the girl after all her efforts! Another class mate shared a completely different idea on the story which helped me see a different point of view. That teaches me that even if we learn about the same story we come to different conclusions based on our life experiences.. Interesting though!

The class break will definitely feel like way to long before I enjoy another lesson 🙁

First Draft Essay Review

The requirement to assess a fellow student’s essay – was not easy for me.

I had to purposefully follow the essay assessment guidelines/criteria in order to ascertain whether the “introduction demonstrates an understanding of the scope and interpretation of the task” and many other criteria points.

The process was painful for me, as I recognise that I tend to be subjective in my assessment, and for this activity I needed to consciously adjust my approach to be more objective.

I also recognise the benefit that this exercise presents, by helping me to structure my approach when I am developing my reflective essay. By referencing the assessment requirements, these details will guide me on how to respond to the essay question, and to document the required information.

I appreciate the consistent feedback received from the two assessors who had reviewed my draft essay. Their feedback confirmed what I had not done, I need to incorporate more academic learning’s into the essay – my submission was 100% focussed only on personal reflection.

Thank you assessors, look out for my next submission which is earmarked for a distinction.

For the Facilitation module: Learning from Life, I can’t comment as I was part of the team who was locked outside the class. The barricaded window did not allow for much observation.  This experience of exclusion from experiencing the facilitation module has prompted me to realise that most classmates are not late because they do not want to be part of the presentation piece, however, certain external factors need to be considered, i.e.  construction on some of the highways, delays at the entrance points at Wits, etc.

Note to myself, for Team 8’s facilitation, encourage my team to consider starting at 8:45  to allow fellow classmates who are on the Campus, yet still trying to make their way to class a form of grace to enjoy part of our program . # Let’s leave the door open.

I am developing into a Story Teller

I really enjoyed this module.

I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on my initial perceptions and the resultant actual experience of the facilitation course, thus far. I was able to share my journey of Facilitation with a colleague as well as listen to my colleague’s experience (Vernice), which was refreshing. Together, Vernice, and I unpacked certain themes and areas of development which we had both uncovered since having joined the first class. The overall investigative and information sharing process was great.

We then moved on to the writing exercises. The automatic writing exercise allowed me to vent and express whatever predominant thoughts were occupying my mind at the time. The writing exercises required us to create and address an essay to either a friend, to yourself, or to a lecturer.

I found it much easier to write to myself or to my Mom. The words seemed to flow without reservation. The exercise took on a different tone though when I had to address the essay to a lecturer. The presentation of my thoughts on paper needed to reflect some form of cognitive engagement, it had to make sense, and I had to think more as opposed to just writing from the heart.

Through these writing skills exercises, I am developing techniques to overcome some of the forms of “writer’s block” which I had struggled with to construct the first word, the first sentence of an essay. If I apply the approach of writing to myself or to a family member it may become easier.

I am recognising that in the past, I may have underestimated the amount of time needed to draft an essay. I recognise that I had opted to jump straight in and complete an essay in one sitting. This may not be the best way to produce a masterpiece.

As mentioned earlier, I am developing into a Story Teller.

Learning through life

I must admit I enjoyed this presentation, the building of the house as a team was great but I loved the reading of people’s secrets that was fun and interesting. I guess it really shoes that there is a lot we don’t know about life. We are so naive as human beings, we live in our little boxes and assume that life is the way we experience it. I have realised that most of US go through the same egony but because we are not sharing our pain with others we end go through it alone.

Life is a beautiful game I don’t have to learn directly from the mishaps that went on in my life but I can certainly learn from those of other people. The essay peer marking showed me exactly that you can learn from others. Marking someone else’s paper make me realise that I often go astray with my writing and think that it is perfect, but I noticed the small mistakes that I make in my writing and promise to look out for them so that I wont repeat them again. I was shocked how people took criticism personally for me this course is one of my favourite courses as I get to learn something new every week but overall the class was great.

Shhhh… Secrets

The first thing that comes to mind when someone say…”please do not tell anyone about this”, is this conversation is going to be burdensome. I genuinely do not like keeping secrets, especially those that are can harm others when reviled. I once read that at times, the guarantee of privacy and respect of confidentiality extends all the way to the point where the threat of harm to self or others is likely to occur. Secrets are kept or opened for many complex motives, from self-serving abuses of power to altruistic protection of others. I personally feel better “telling all” to a friend or someone trustworthy. And a lot of times, I discovered that what I thought was a personal inner struggle is common in the sense that many people share that same struggle.

The facilitation about secrets made me realise that secrets are not always about a bad situation, sometimes we keep things to ourselves or treat our circumstances as though they are out of the norm. We unconsciously judge ourselves and feel embarrassed because we think no one will understand. There is a belief that once a person shares a secret, they lose control. We tend to keep secrets as a way of controlling your own communication, behaviour, expectations as well as controlling how we want others perceive us. In close relationships, people keep secrets because they are embarrassed or fearful of a partner’s hostility and possible rejection.

However, sharing our deepest feelings or secrets has its own benefits. When the group read out some of the secrets in class, I learned that we share so much with others and we don’t even know it. Most of us can attest to the fact that we became so anxious when we took a decision to go back to school. My reasons for going back to school are simple and easy for me to share, but at the same time embarrassing to someone else.

This goes to show that keeping secrets can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and it often makes people think about the issue without resolving them. Also, keeping secrets often prevents people from dealing with the problem at hand.

What really stuck with me was the importance of confiding in other, it always makes the burden lighter… we are never alone.

Facilitation Skills Class

I received a video, I could’nt connect it to the next ‘story telling’ topic but remain curious and encouraged to make sure I arrive on time so I am not locked outside.

Greeted by small green mats which I was still unable to link to the topic at hand. Caught by the scent of popcorn being popped which did not make sense as I felt it was still too early for popcorns, I turned around the corner towards our class then I got impressed by the effort shown on the movie setup done by the team. One could not miss the role players as they all had the same uniform. Reluctant but still curious, I agreed to participate and took my gold pebble. To my surprise that was another improvement for me done by this facilitation class. I am engaging to the unknown, wow!

Even though I felt like the team went off topic but I appreciated being kept intrigued which brought patience I do not have when distracted by the unexpected. The team really paid attention to details. I was kept curious from the movie clip sent prior the day of their presentation. From their green carpet, during their presentation and up to the hand exercise of going pass my initial standing point. I was actually able to change my mindset and reflect to the message the team tried to send across beyond my expectations!

Human Dynamics

I missed our first team meeting,I observed conversations that took place in our WhatsApp group created on our first day in class. I panicked a bit as I could not grasp what my team was on about but continuously asked questions for clarity. I thought to myself we did not have enough time to practice our skit for our controversial topic. But the team felt we were up to the task, we argued constructively,we were patient with each other while some emotions were revoked but the topic brought us back to our presentation. Honouring Differences. I also reflected to the facilitation I have just experienced in Durban the past weekend.

Panicking a bit that we are playing it too safe and not planning to engage the audience as expected. While reserved and introvert but I am also aware of my strong personality and the fact that I like taking control of situations. Then I withdraw my suggestion realising that we had no time to deliberate on it further.

I was amazed by great support we had for one another. We paid attention to each other’s characters and did our best within that short space of time. Our topic brought us together without even realising it. We respected the religions we represented, we all did our best to research our roles appropriately and honoured our differences.
Relieved that we were done and happy that we did it, I could not stop reflecting to the role I played which my actual role in real life.

I realised how much we need workshops where society can just engage on different life topics. How much one topic can influence the changes we experience everyday, different people we come across, tolerance required amongst ourselves, all race, ethnic groups, our diverse cultural practices and choices brought by our daily personal experiences. Then I was encouraged to engage more with my fellow students and to learn from each and everyone I was paired with.

I’m Yet To Learn More

Facilitating the change. This is what was introduced to me today. I could not stop but to reflect to my challenging spiritual gift which I was told one cannot further her tertiary studies as she wishes.

I was told after my initiation I would have reached the education my ancestors had expected from me and encourage to focus only on the spiritual teachings. I have challenged each and every rule told in this spiritual process. Equally so, my belief has been challenged and tested in so many ways but at the end I believe that time evolves. The ancient practices performed then cannot be applied in this time and age. Our living style has changed, people have changed, government systems have changed, monetary value has change. So the word is changing.
So why are our spiritual beings expected not to change and how does one facilitate that change to something that has the so called rigid rules.

I am yet to learn more!

Mindful Facilitation…

I managed to wake up the first day, now I had to be out of the province. My mind couldn’t stop thinking about my class.

It is Friday and I am travelling to Durban. No one can move forward without my approval. We were supposed to be picked up at 12h00, hours and hours go by before I start to question the way forward! As predicted the chaos starts. The driver claims, time was not communicated to him properly and he is intoxicated. Opted to drive down as we had to be there by midnight.

As we drive down, phone calls and whatsapp messages are constantly sent to my phone to check our location, some seek clarity on what both families needed to do and some just destressing.

We arrived just after 22h00, both families were relieved and a conference call was initiated between the two families . Instructions were given, certain rituals were done and I went to bed just after 00h00. At about 06h30 in the morning all was in motion, the other family had arrived at the gate and the other family was not ready to let the family waiting by the gate to enter.

While trying not to loose my temper, the room that was dedicated for this event is not cleared as it was previously used as a storage. Impatiently, without showing, I directed the family to what needed to be done. I fortunately managed to identify atleast two family members who were the right people to talk to when I needed things to be done in a particular way and timeously.

Later in the day when all formalities had been concluded and people were celebrating and dancing to their own songs while clapping, I realised what just happened or what I have just experienced, MINDFUL FACILITATION.

I am out of the province. I realised that I have just created an environment that enabled everyone to think independently and at their best, to respect each other’s point of view, participate fully and share responsibilities for achieving meaningful results.

I have just guided the whole process, united two families who have not been seeing eye to eye let alone being civil to one another. I have just assisted these families and the main role players to stay focused on the event and built unity amongst all members to get the job done with excellence.
Immediately I did not feel like I missed my class but felt I was there for my facilitation practicals and to be reminded how much I need this course.

My First Day

Oh what a day to start my class. I am not a winter person nor a morning person and worse could not imagine myself waking up every Saturday morning then I thought to myself, would I really cope?

It is that Saturday morning I was not looking forward to. I caught a glimpse of my kids who had woken up early enough to witness this first amusing day for mommy “going to school”, their words. Fascinated at me carrying a school bag, they reminded me the coffee which I almost left behind.

Oh, I am not alone, looking for the Facilitation Skills class, directed by well placed signs until we reach the door. I arrive 5min late, while still trying to adjust and get a gist of what was happening.Our facilitator told us to move all the tables at the back then my coffee spilt that was a break through for me and ice breaker too! I started interacting with other fellow students who had offered their assistance.

It was still chaotic for me and I was confused of what was happening but following and participating along.

Hey, I am number three, should I be thrilled that I am not in the first group or last one? I felt a bit numb but I came to realise that was it, one step at a time.

Towards the end I thought this is going to be an interesting class for me probably the one I needed most to cope with the rest of my course. This is the time to step out of my comfort zone!!!

Power Of Perception – Seeing With New Eyes

This particular module and content of this module, has fascinated me deeply for a large part of my life. As an Ex professional to now only semi professional athlete, I’ve been confronted with the power of conception many a time throughout my career.  Perception and the power of the mind and how we use it, does not differ all that much when we compare the world of sports to that of the corporate and business world.  Sure some things like the sensation one feels might differ a bit, but some of the key elements of perception like motivation, expectations, culture, attitude, and emotions, still plays a big roll in all fields of life.

When looking at the group and the presentation that they did, I feel that the message did get transferred. i think that the goal that they wanted to achieve was achieved. they interacted well with the audience. Another thing that stood out for me was their time. The duration of the presentation. Not too lang nor too short. just effective.

 

Well done guys!

FREE ME FROM PERCEPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Perception is a reality. Perception is a powerful thing. i for one form my perceptions based on my observations,stereotypes, first impressions, belifes, experience and my past and current experiences, values and beliefs.

Group 6 presentation really touched me and made me introspect on how i percieve people and things at first site. They say we should judge a book by its cover but by whats inside. No matter how much we think we shouldn’t judge others, we are conditioned to do it, because of what we have been taught, our life experiences and what is acceptable according to society.

Caution should always be used when we making judgments about someone’s character or choices. we usually judge on surface information leading to skewed impressions and outright mistakes. i truely learnt that before i judge or give something a name i need to always look at everything about the person.

seeing things with new eyes is a beautiful thing because you get to know the person, where they come from and where they going. Perception is truly misleading. and i wanna be free from it.

You spoke to the heart!

My experience in class was awesome and enjoyed every activity that Group 6 presented today. The programme director is very good with names. As I entered the venue she called me by my name, which was so great as I felt very special. Even during facilitation, she even knew the names of other people giving feedback. She really made an impact to me and will never forget her.

The structure of the presentation was so well planned and executed. I can never take anything away from the group, everything presented spoke to the heart. I was glued to their presentation from start to the end. I have learned from today not to run into conclusion without knowing all the facts,

Thank you Group 6

Building

Here. I have been struggling with writing this blog the whole week and that is because I have mixed feelings about group 5’s presentation. Their concept was great, it is in execution that they could have done things differently. For one, I felt like audience participation was not by choice, It was imposed on everybody. There is a lot of great things that they did too.  I enjoyed the house building exercise in particular, It exposed a mistake that people often make when they are required to work in groups. communication. Had we first discused the vision of our house, we would have definately come up with something different and far better than what we did.

Everyone dipped their fingers in paint and placed them where ever they could because the instruction was that each family member must contribute something. We ended up with a house that had no foundation, a roof that looked like a hat and each side of the house had a different colour. It was just a hot mess with sunlight. It is dangerous to build anything without a plan and vision. Be it a career, marriage, a relationship, friendship or a house.

Everything that is worth building must have a vision and a plan. My uncle once told me that he and his wife had a mission statement written, framed and hanged on the wall in their bedroom and whenever they went through trying times they would go back to their mission statement and read it to each other to remind themselves why they took the decision to be together. I never understood it then, to me it was the most absurd thing ever to have a mission statement for marriage. Today I see why. The words on that mission statement represented their foundation and their vision for their marriage. I have never seen a marriage so beautiful. This was my AHA moment last week.

What I took away is that building together does not mean anything if communication is not right. We can put up all the bricks and still have our house crumble right in front of our eyes. Listening to each other, planning together and having one goal and one vision is the best way to approach anything that involves more than one person. I have also taken away that building does not necessarily mean laying a brick. You can be the one responsible for the roof or the furniture or you can simply be the one that makes it a home when it is complete.

Continuous Improvement Loading………

After yet another crazy Saturday morning (seems that’s the norm for me lately), I arrived 10 minutes late, due to traffic.And for the first time since this course began, I found myself on the wrong side of the door.

I’m ashamed to say it, but yes – I missed the facilitation that Group 5 went out of their way to prepare (sorry guys ).  And if it’s any consolation I still feel really bad about it. Well, I tried peeping through the window, which didn’t work out too well – for obvious reasons….

When we were finally allowed inside –it was time for the Delta Plus. Even though we had no idea how everything played out, I was amazed at how the expectation in the class had grown. It became evident that people were noticing things that were overlooked previously. One thing is certain, the gloves are off and it’s getting tougher every week. I’m certainly happy to be over that little hurdle.

The second session of the class wasn’t very exciting with the peer review of our essays. Although some peeps were having a blast, finding amusement in whatever it is they were reading – Seems like we’re grouped with some real comedians.

While the lady behind me was taken aback with the 2 liners. I must admit that I read one or two really good essays though and could completely relate to the sentiments shared.

I also received some quality, detailed feedback with one of my essays and will definitely make use of the pointers given. Here’s hoping you can too – because, apparently a lot of feedback ended up in the bin there <hides>.

I say, like with everything in life, take what you find useful and toss whatever doesn’t serve you.

So here’s to all round improvement…. and waking up earlier on a Saturday morning!😆

LIFE LESSONS – MODULE 6

Team 5 presentation was well presented and well engagement with the audience. What I noticed is that with Facilitation you must ask permission so that you don’t get negative results from people because they would know what to expect if permission is asked before hand. I felt that Team 5 forced everyone to participate as they didn’t ask permission from the audience to take part.

The teams instructions was not clear and that resulted in other peoples getting bored from doing the given tasks as one instructed was saying one thing and the other instructor was saying something different.

I also have a little concern regarding the negative Delta feedback from the class. As weeks goes by the negative Delta is getting more and more, Ross said we must bear in mind when we give the feedback ( what you say to one person must be the same way you would like one to give you the feedback)

With every days experience one get a chance to learn and grow regarding  the bad or good experience we go through , its very true when they say once failures is once success.

looking forward to the next class…

Week 6, 2nd Sep 2017 Facilitation Class – Learning from Life?

This day is colorful full of bright colours as spring has just sprung. Today we walked in to yellow bright T-shirts team 5 already set up requesting us to seat in three different groups. Each group has a topic i.e. secretes, building a home and broken telephone. All these games had the theme learning from life and ensuring that each experience we pass through teaches us how life happens. The secretes writing exercise was fascinating to know what as people we harbor so much below the water line although for my sake I did not think if I regard something as a secrete it’s possible to write down even if under anonymous because in my view it will lose its secrete status as soon as I jot it on the piece of paper, therefore I did not participate in that exercise whole heartedly and honestly.

I reflected back on the Iceberg analogy we did earlier where we discussed the Size of our transparent Arena. In this iceberg analogy there are two areas of the iceberg i.e. Visible (what everybody can see) and hidden (underlying the surface). This theory tells us that what people can see is normally very small compared to what lies under the surface literally in size and in content. Below the water line lies thoughts, feelings, need, priorities, assumptions, beliefs, values, culture and memories whereas above the surface its events, what we say and performance. This understanding indicates that there is no way that any secretes in this case can be exposed unless I choose voluntarily or I’m discovered.

The lesson I personally take home on this discovery is that never believe what you see, rather endeavor to establish what lies below the water line before you can claim to know a particular person.

Lessons on Life

Learnings from life..

This week’s Facilitation group presented on Learnings from Life. I think it was well organized and constructed however the facilitation and content based on the themes were questionable by the audience. I think they did well in terms of effort and audience engagement and they made it a semi comfortable space for learning. Semi comfortable in a sense were participation almost felt forced, we weren’t asked or given an opportunity to participate. The exercises were interesting, I think they had a clear direction of where they were going and what they were aiming to facilitate but the execution of their “strategy” was not clear and appeared to not make many people’s expectations. So the audience did not get what they expected and there was a huge disconnect. I am generalising, I don’t mean to speak on behalf of other individuals but based on the comments that were made this is what was observed.

I agree with Roslyn, as we move deeper into the course and as the groups present, people are definitely getting more critical and I think it’s important to give constructive criticism and feedback but we also have to acknowledge the team and the research and thought process. I think that each team has a combination of Introverts and Extroverts and it gets tough because someone says too little and someone says too much. So ideally they should balance between the two. I feel like every group thus far has put in a lot of time and effort into their presentation and its commendable that they have the courage and confidence to stand in front of a crowd and share their thoughts and experiences with others.

Draft Essay Due

It was quite daunting at first that I had to submit an essay with 1000 words and adding referencing. Reason being I did it late Friday night when my uninvited visitors decided to leave at 21:15. I was extremely annoyed they did not get any hints that I dropped about my essay that is due. I have learned to be more assertive and not to leave my essay for the night before it is due.(However that is when my creative juices flow when I am under pressure).

When I started writing it became easier with the research that I have incorporated, the theory in my work book as well as my experience inside and outside the classroom and lastly the blogs I wrote weekly aided me immensely. I was quite pleased with my piece and I have actually went over my required words. I managed to finish at 24:40, I was just too happy that I managed to complete my essay and that I could go to bed peacefully, needless to say I did not have any strength to read through my essay. Therefore, unsurprisingly my essay had a few spelling errors from the feedback that I received. Both markers gave me a good mark apart from the spelling errors. Furthermore Ros gave us a few more tips for our final submission. I think I am better equipped to write my final essay and I will definitely not write it late the night before. We are striving for that A’s.

Story telling

It was our week to present, damn and was it stressful. I must say I had the best group to work with everyone played their part and we executed our task at hand. In my opinion we set the president for the groups following we incorporated the triple loop learning through the Johari window amongst others.

We have done different writing techniques by writing to different people. I found it easier to write to my best friend as I felt free to express myself which I just had to incorporate it with academic writing when creating my draft essay. Overall I had a great week it was stressful but well worth it!!!

So about last weeks class

Tjoooo and the claws came out. Let me breath for a moment.

People were angry mainly the females from my observation. I heard say, “People are mean, how people can mark in that way, I am a third year student I cannot be told by a first year student how to write” and the list goes on. However, I wonder if it triggered so much anger and frustration, then there were truths shared that people did not want to accept or had never realized about their writing. For one I appreciated the feedback, some of my lectures are not good at giving feedback. It is not often feedback is given on time.  Yes, it is not always nice to swallow, like medication for me to be exact, the taste of buscopan (tummy medicine) it tastes bad a bitter taste that just lingers for a while but eventually goes away having done its job.

We were just short of having grown people fall to the ground and act as if their two years old  in a store crying because they were told no or reprimanded for displaying a particular behavior. It is not an attack on you as a person, but on what could be improved.

My take is peer review is you taking in truths and leaving out the untruths. From what I saw it was the younger people (females mainly) in class who complained about the feedback they received. Feedback in my understanding is supposed to help us improve. I doubt it was intended to hurt or say you are unable to write.  Not everything said can be nice and rosy and always an ego inflator. The quality of work can always be improved

There was so much discomfort, next time we may need tissues. The water works will flow. I wonder though has our generation become too sensitive to criticism? Are we just concerned about the nice factors?  Isn’t iron supposed to sharpen iron?

Writing a reflective essay to myself

I have always struggled to put my thoughts on paper in a manner that is coherent and academically correct, so you can only imagine how I felt when Ros suggested that we do the writing exercise. My first thought was NO, I’m not in my zone and as if Ros had heard my inner groans she then suggested that we write as though we were writing to ourselves/to a good friends or to a lecturer and I thought, “Whew, now that’s not too bad I enjoy writing to myself”.

This exercise made me realise how choosing who I was writing to was just as important as what I was writing , it really  helped in getting my creative juices flowing. I was more comfortable with writing to myself because I do this every other day in my journal. At the end of every week I make time for some “TeaLC”(tea lovers will relate) and reflect on the week that was, this is when I also make notes of what I’m grateful for, what I learnt and which activities filled up/depleted my “tank”. I’ve noticed that through writing blogs and now a reflective essay I am starting to learn how to express myself more in my written work. I’m learning how to formulate my own ideas and support them with my experience and the work of others. This journey has enabled me to embrace my vulnerability whilst learning and to be comfortable with the complexity of my learning journey.

Every aspect of this workshop has focused on me gaining the skills to critically reflect on my learning thus far, my life experience and my learning from other sources and that is exactly  how I approached my essay. For instance one of my greatest AHA moments was after my group presentation on facilitating change as this is when I began to identify skills that I could integrate into my work and personal life. This is when I really began to reflect on my learning and experience, at the same time my perceptions shifted and my understanding began to deepen in a way that has allowed me to challenge the status quo. There are a few other critical insights and learnings which I mention in my essay that have assisted me in increasing my confidence, improving my communication techniques and being more receptive to other people’s ideas (extra, extra, read all about it). I am now more intentional about my learning journey; I show up, tell the truth, pay attention and remain open to the outcome. My reflective learning and writing continues to improve as I make more discoveries about myself,my ideas and my future plans.

Nicola Sturgeon once said, ‘Stand up for what you believe in. Always with conviction, with passion and integrity. Don’t let ideology blind you, but remain true to what guides you. And speak in your own voice, in your own words, in a way that makes sense to you and that could not be from anyone else.’

Mbali

Reflection week

 

 

I was a bunch of nerves last Saturday as our first essay was due, what if I was completely off the mark? It was that dreaded feeling of been back at school and waiting for exams/ results. We were meant to bring in two copies of our assignment and all of them were placed on two desk in the front of the class. We had to than take one or two and mark and comment on them. It was an interesting exercise as I had never marked anyone’s work previously. I did enjoy reading the two copies I took, both were so different from what I had written but it gave a new perspective to read a colleague work and see how they were experiencing the class. I finally found my two copies and I was pleasantly surprised with my results 🙂  . one of my assignments was marked three times and I thought all of them provided constructive feedback, overall it was a good day so all that stress was for no reason! Anyway it good to constantly be on your toes.

1 Step forward 2 steps back

Just when i thought I had this all together, reality slapped me in the face, I suddenly realised I had tests and essays due one week after the other.

This was the first week that i had missed the presentation, the silver lining in this cloud was that i got to know a few of my fellow classmates a little better – which eased the nerves, which were on high alert due to the fact that my essay was going to be graded today.  You would think that by now this should be a breeze, but it still gets me every time.

My essay really made me look deep within myself and sometimes we don’t always like what we find, but this has also challenged me to change my mindset, and begin to explore the uncharted waters of my oceans, and I’m really looking forward to my discoveries.

Until next week, we soldier ON!!!

 

 

What an Experience

The nervous are gone the stress is over ,for now. What an experience. We all got to class on Saturday very nervous because of the essay that was to be handed in .The class looked very empty for some reason by the time this week’s group closed the doors to do their presentation.

We were told where to sit as we entered the class and I was placed in the middle group. I am not sure but we could not have been more than 60 students in the class, it felt comfortable for some reason or maybe it was just me. There were three groups ,Society ,family and Education .On the board in bold was the word “secrets” The first person in the group explained what we were going to do and she gave a few good quotes I could not remember them after the presentation and so much wanted to ask her for them ,but I didn’t get a chance.

The activities ranged from telling a secret that no one else knew to drawing houses and the last one was the Brocken telephone. It was fun and they explained everything as they went along. It was just too long; they must have gone 15 to 20 minutes overtime. They were well dressed and seemed prepared.

We then got to the assignments, Ross instructed us to place the two assignments each one on a desk, and she then explained that we were going to mark four assignments each. I must admit I was so nervous about my assignment. But I was even more nervous about marking someone else’s work. I was not sure what to look for or how to grade the assignment. I finally got the courage to take one assignment and read it, it was very interesting, but it was more of an explanation on how he or she felt about the class and experiences they were having but not really reverencing any of the tools in the book or other readings. But very interesting how people felt about the class and Ross.

I finally got my assignment back with my marks and I must admit I thought I could have done better. I went looking for my other assignment which was not marked so I gave it to one of my collogues in my group to mark. Generally, I would never have done that but for some reason it did not faze me, I just wanted to get a second opinion. Then I got the confirmation the first mark was spot on. I got 69 percent for the first one and 70 percent for the second one and both the comments were the same “check your spelling and your grammar”. I was a bit embarrassed but also excited I cannot explain why.

Many of the students did not think it was fare that we were making the assignments, I did not mind I took a second one and again really enjoyed reading their reflections. We then had our assignment signed and we were sent on our way.

After class I met with my group and it seems like the closer we getting to the date of our presentation the further we getting from each other. Half of us attended the group meeting and for some reason we could just find each other. I am hoping that this week end we will find some movement forward.

BLOG 7!Hard work pays🎆🎇🙌‼❗👀

BLOG 7!Hard work pays🙌‼👏👌
Yes its almost the middle of semester after handling few tasks it now feels usual to be in the facilitation class.I am learning a lots in class and I am beginning to like this blog👀😂did I say that?😜😁😊🆗 yes I mean it‼❗

I have been on the edge because of presentation but it went extraordinary well.And then I was worried about essay.Again the review was so fantastic.Thank goodness I am not off the mark✅👏💭💬📚📖📒📰📙📘📕few touch ups there and there I am going to get that 💯✔☑🔜🆗It will be the coolest thing ever for me.

Best desicion I ever took was to register for the facilitaion class it has helped me in so many ways.My writting has substance and form now.I have learned to show up and be present.I am now a well underway mindful facilitator and my understanding of what is facilitation has broaden so much.I am learning the importance of reflecting right in these blogs too👀😵🙏😄😛😝At first Ros made it feel like just another exercise but no it is not‼❗‼❗I cant get over the fact that I am a right brainer though😉😰I keep going over and overthosethinking styles🙈🙊😒and my brain dominance pattern keeps getting clearer and clearer.

I am now literaly living according to 4 PRINCIPLES and 1 LAW.I am trying to get my head around The Johari Window I simply cannot lie.I cant get it😨😓Great week nonetheless.So many AHA moments‼❗📍🚩💡🔆🔅

Reflective writing… a reflection of own understanding personally and theoretical

My learning experience improve everyday.. What stood up for me was the method used to assess’4 draft essays of fellow students as I was not expecting it to happen almost immediately.  At first I thought it was going to be a long and tedious exercises, but the minute I started with the first essay and remembering that reviewing and giving comments to fellow students is also a reflection of myself.  That comments should be constructive with the aim to appreciate the thoughts and feelings  at the same time, they should be encouraging to the writer.

What I pitch up during the assessment was that 2 students wrote very casual essays with no reflection of the theory,  tools and techniques learned. Another student had one page of the assignment with other peoples blogs. While the last essay had ticked the boxes as required.   Overall, everyone wrote a reflective writing essay as they understood it to be.  There is no right or wrong .. experiential and learning is the key.

Presentation by Group 5 was good zooming into communication as key in interacting and sharing thoughts and feelings.

And then there were secrets

After a crazy week at work I was actually looking forward to a fun and insightful facilitation class. I walked in chirpy and happy. Unfortunately my mood changed quite quickly…

The facilitation group for the week was doing “Learning from life” and had chosen “secrets” as a subtopic to explain the main one. Well that’s how I understood it anyway. They divided the class into 3 groups and introduced the activities they were going to do with us and for some reason I just became annoyed that I was being forced to participate. I wasn’t being given an option like before.

What was striking for me though was the comment made early on in the facilitation, “forget what hurt you and move on”. It resonated with me because life has not been easy. Having an unbreakable exterior doesn’t mean that I am unbreakable inside. For many years a let things linger, constantly feeling the pain until I was shown otherwise.

Going back to my changing mood… the fact that my group became a dictatorship during the first house building activity made things worse and I shut down.

Looking back on that experience, I can now see that I was simply projecting my insecurity for the peer review of my reflective essay. Why you may ask… well because I wasn’t happy with what I produced. And then guess what? It wasn’t even reviewed by anyone.

Listening to comments when people finally got their essays back, made me realize that there is such a fine line between constructive criticism and ignorance. I had the impression that if I closed my eyes and forgot that these people were adults, I’d actually be transported back to a class full of children in high school. Note that I am not insulting anyone, this was a mere observation where I am also included. It highlighted how difficult it is to deal with human beings and reminded me to be cautious at work when working with my teams.

So the secret of the day for me was that we often project what we knowingly or unknowingly feel when interacting with people. Our responses are more often than not, a reflection of ourselves and not a consequence of an action or question.

Learning from life and reflective writting

Reflective means to look within yourself my approach to class of facilitation was to identify and learn more about my self as I discover who am I and what am I comfortable to do ,relating to speaking ,writing and presentation .Course outlined for the first half of the semester touches the following topic communication via social media ,Facilitating change ,honouring the difference and storytelling.

what I learned is that there are different types of writing it can be to friends, colleagues and formal writing all these require different tone and approach .

Am environment plays role in what you say and write ,capturing the audience with context and ensuring that you get engage and be in the position to detach from the situation.

 

Story Telling

Presenting experience on story telling was now auctioning the theory and learning skills learned from groups presented before us and taking best practice put it into a play it sounded simple to share with class about story telling but actually it was not, firstly to collaborate or chose story that we going to tell the class was challenge as my team have not being in acting role.
Lessoned learned is to the ability to be part of group and learn with understating on story and play we presented to the class ,I realised that my role was part of the presentation the way I speak and engage the class and being able to read the mood in the class.
I had to compose my feeling and act my character of being a builder as I interact with the traveller my role was to explain thoroughly reason why we cutting the stone there are others role players but when interacting with travellers as per our play did not share reason doing what they do and that apply to ours daily as others might see us busy working but they do not know reason we do that .our contribution or role is bigger than us we are facilitation by our action the efforts we make tells others a story we might have different views but at the end of the day content must be explained and understanding by people am interacting with so that correct message can get crossed as intended.

Person to person relations

There a famous saying, “no man is an island”, as humans we are social being naturally. This model has helped me realise the most significant way of being an effective human being and how to introspect the self in relation to how one relates with other people.

The JOHARI window is the best tool used to self-introspect and give feedback to how one relates with other people. Often one takes for granted the relationship between people and how they relate in general hence I came to appreciate the academic interpretation of my relations to other. The hidden area is has become to me the aha moment as i am usually told that I have moods and in an academic sense this shows that it is human and perfectly normal. I am not a freak after all.

 

Learning is growing

In my custom there is a saying that going around is learning, indeed this is the case, however with this course, attending to every module as prescribed is tantamount to learning. In a normal scenario one would not think in depth about what learning means, do we have left or right brains, what is the sequence of our thinking and how does it formulate to normal ways of living.

In this module I have learned that I am a right brainer who inherently see the whole picture and form an in front approach when I read given my creative imagination. This is often considered an informal and non-academic issue given that I have never even studied psychology however this for me has revealed itself as an aha moment.

One’s appreciation of music and art forms part of an academic related approach toward the brain, think about it, all my days of listening to Eminem and enjoying the versatility of R Kelly is an academic related issue. I am very happy and I think I have grown to appreciate the skills I have and those that i apply in real life. Knowledge is indeed everything and we learn every day.

 

How do we deal with constructive Critism-Module 5

It’s evident in us that we do not know how to deal with constructive criticism, therefore foregoing the chance to learn. As in line we are not wired to deal with negative of any sort e.g. would be we know how to pre pare for a wedding but no one knows how to deal with divorce

Avoiding emotions in any conversation is key to allowing yourself to be vulnerable and paying attention may lead to being a greater version yourself.

the belief that those who casually drink tell all their secrete, never keeping secretes allows u to be free and no burden, giving a chance to learn from anyone in life will make you a better person, as the Group 5 presentation. They facilitated the points well and allowed us to be part of everything.

The main point we need to remember to be kind to one another. its only school we shall achieve what destined for all of us. Who we are and having conflict will not build us up.

SHHHHH…….it’s a secret

I enjoyed the workshop type exercise we had today. The discussion about secrets reminded me of a colleague who revealed to her manager that she was HIV-positive. The manager however, during the succession planning used the very same information to motivate against career advancement opportunity for this colleague.

So, reflecting about the exercise, I appreciated that in actual fact everything has its own negative or possive impact. Therefore, it is crucial that when we approach issues we look at the positive and the negative side of it.

The broken telephone exercise kept me thinking on a number of issues happening in our society and working environment. I thought about how small misconceptions can end up making a huge difference in people’s lives.

During the broken telephone exercise, as the first person who had to deliver a message I realised that I payed more attention than I will normally do so that I pass the correct message to the next person. The exercise made me rethink about the importance of listening attentively and developing active listening skills.

It actually reminded me about the discussion I had with my daughter when I told her that I want her to be careful not to be entangled on issues she doesn’t understand and that she should be scared of gossips and rumours because they can unnecessary destroy people’s reputation. To put more practicality on the issue of rumours and gossip I will play this game with my children together with my neighbour’s children.

Lastly….I’m hoping that with our last assignment only facilitators will mark them…..NO PEER ASSESSMENT❗❗❗WHY❓❓❓I’m not convinced that we all have appropriate competencies and skills to make good judgement and allocate fair marks. To substantiate this concern…one of my assignment was marked by a facilitator and she allocated 81% but the one which was assessed by a student it had a 50% mark allocation….huge discrepancy…hence, the concern on the right skills and knowledge.

Building Relationship, a family being born

Today I was placed into a group called building relationships, although ordinary, but I believe that this group will resemble family due to different traits we possess (brothers and sisters), versatility noticed from the first meeting. I am currently not aware of who these people are, their strength or weaknesses, their very beings as human however I have faith. We met after class as a group, it was a mess, everyone wanted to voice their opinion and assert their authority, I must be honest; I also played my part in the mess. At the end of it all, we agreed on going to do our homework and meeting the following week.

Beyond being allocated a group I got to observe a group presentation on social media, the group did exceptionally well. The lesson drawn from the presentation was, firstly this course is not as easy as I thought, given my first narrative on module one. The presentation was well thought through, it was professional, but most significantly it offered an academic understanding of social media using simplified methods of teaching. I guess I got to learn what the course was about in a nutshell, conveying of content in the most simplified manner utilising group participation as an added advantage.

The third part that brought a certain level of realisation for me is the time we were in groups and we were discussing the stories that we had read in the previous week. The read I enjoyed the most is the watermelon eater as I had to present the views of the group to the class. From this I learned that, as human beings, we have different understanding of the same scenarios, this then brought us to the core question of the day, what is a facilitator.

Having grasped from Fowles (1977)’s read The Prince and the Magician we concluded that being a facilitator can rotate as per the role one is given, the king was a facilitator as he willed the prince ambition, while the prince was a facilitator as he facilitated his own curiosity path and last, the magician was a facilitator for he facilitated the new light for the prince in relation to the king.

The class was confused by this narrative and my group debated this for a while, however I learned that conversations do not need to have a wrong and a right; sometimes we are both right depend on how you view it.

 

Learnings!!!!

m12

It’s official week 6 and I have survived in the facilitation skills class!!!! My fear overcome and the reality is that after all said and done the experience has been fun thus far.

I Absolutely love the subject matter “Learning from Life” as presented by group 6 today. Congratulations to the team on a job well done, insightful and thought provoking.

Today’s topic truly resonate with me, I have always been of the believe that life in general is a daily journey filled with learning. Regardless of age, gender or creed, everyday experiences allow us to grow and learn whether it be good or bad experiences. And in saying so our failures indeed become our successes.

Facilitation today focussed on education, social & family the one exercise that screamed at me was SECRETS!! A bit daunting!! the one take away at the end of the lecture was “forget what hurt you and move on” and be bold, what happened, happened therefore have the courage to move on.

Review of reflective essays a bit of a circus but hey facilitation class was never going to be structured and or orderly therefore what does not kill you makes you stronger!!!

Looking forward to more fun filled facilitation sessions, bring it on!!GIGI…..

 

Storytelling

So our group presentation was done and we were excited that finally all our hardwork would be seen and enjoyed 🙂 I love the fact that all in our group had diverse personalities but all came together so beautifully and played out so well. I am proud be apart of Group 4- storytelling exercise. We did exceptionally well and we learnt to work together as a group harmoniously even though we are starting to get to know each other. The class review was positive.

Learning from Life

Learning that I am both left and right brain dominant to me means that I can be both analytical and creative. Perfect Balance! What motivates me in most cases are external factors such as the drive to want more out of life. I am detail orientated and thrive on pressure 🙂 I learn with both visual and kinaestetic preference. My learning style is the Initiator. Experimentation allows me to learn theory. So all in all I’d say I’m balanced.

Life and learning

When you think about life you think good or you can thin bad.

Life is a series of many events that make us grow. How much times do we feel as if we are incompetent just because we haven’t reached a certain life milestone.

So many times as humans we forget to let go just because we feel challenged by life to give our best. Life on its own is there for us to enjoy not to just exist.

We have been learning from the past weeks through facilitation that many aspects make up our lives for example religion, relationships and gender.

I know I’m not the best when it comes to people but I try to learn from others because I will never be perfect.

Emotional intelligence is a life time walk. You hear words and quotes from the great legends that have gone and they have the same message. Live, love, learn.

Why?

Because we are just human.

My only problem now is time and even now I’m learning to let go and just enjoy my now.

Be present be in the now. Don’t take anything to seriously.

Continue reading Life and learning

Bye Bye anxiety

Gosh it has already been a month since I started classes, where has the time gone?????? But like they say time flies when you are having fun ….

Today, I am happy to come to class, BUT my tummy is filled with anxiety!!!!!!! Its presentation day …. *hands covering my face*My group’s presentation is over and before we know it and class is also almost out but something is different. I could not pin point it but I felt it.  I soon forgot about this feeling and carry on about my day.

A few days have passed by since our presentation on Saturday and its back to Wits for my second subject on a Tuesday evening, and there it is again something is different. I just can’t seem to figure it out, Time to check-in and just put it out of mind. Class commences, the lecturer reads a few lines from the text book and then discusses our assignment with us and she then asks a question. Without any hesitation I allow myself to speak out loud and answer. That’s when it finally hit me, I no longer had that anxious feeling in my tummy , or shaky voice when I have to talk…….

I never imagined that the one thing I dreaded the most (presenting) would aid me in achieving what I decided I wanted to get out of my facilitation skills class (on the very first day of class)…. And that is getting to a point where public speaking no longer scared. This in itself experience and realisation has boosted my confidence and amplified my eagerness and willingness to participate verbally in my classes…. I cannot wait for my next class, BYE BYE ANXIETY 🙂 🙂

What is Facilitation……..

Facilitation is when an open minded, respectful professional that poses leadership skills and brings about change, allows for group participation and is a good listener in order achieve his/her objectives.

In this week’s facilitation class, we were broken up into smaller groups (4 people) and we were instructed to define what facilitation meant to us. The above definition is what my group and I came up with. I decided that I would choose a different quality from time to time, so that I could work on them individually, and only once I have mastered them (to my own satisfaction) I would move to the next one. Today’s quality is being a good listener.  I have often heard the saying listening is a skill and this proved true since once of my flaws were interrupting people when they speak.  Only after three days did I really start to master it.  I found myself talking and interrupting people less.  I learnt more about people by allowing them to talk. I even had less “debates” with my mum LOL…

On day five, I took up mindfulness, this opened my eyes as to how selfish and insensitive we can be without realising it because we caught up in our own lives.

Reflecting back on my experience for the week, I never thought that slowly I would become a better version of myself by simply answering the question “ What is Facilitation?” It might seem simple or even silly to some people but perhaps if we all challenged ourselves and take up a key quality when defining what facilitation is we would slowly but surely start living different lives.  We could change the way in which we deal, speak and listen to one another….

Seeing people through your own filters

It is week two of my facilitation skills journey, and its group 1’s day to present.

Following the presentation we did a feedback session and one of the negative comments made was not fair to the group. Ros responded, we all know that “WE SEE PEOPLE THROUGH OUR OWN FILTERS”

The “lights” suddenly went on …. That was my AH HA MOMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Basically, I have become this negative person over the years and I would always first see the bad/negative in someone and/or what they were doing. And as soon as Ros made the statement it clicked why I am the way I am.  It is because I surround myself with negativity.

Second lesson in week two was learnt as Ros’ statement resonated deep within me, to an extent that I realised that its time to change and become more positive. Can’t wait to see what week 3 holds!

 

Blogging Blogging Blogging….

I have finally registered for my degree course at Wits and my first class was Saturday 29 August 2017 ….. I entered class and anxiety kicked in. The lecturer (“Ros”) introduced herself and some details about the course. A lot was said!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was overwhelmed with the thought that it consumed me to a point that all I could think about was the blog I need to post once a week about my experience in class.

Honestly blogging is NOT something I ever considered doing because writing and does not come naturally to me nor does sharing my thoughts, my experiences and my feelings with strangers.  At the beginning of my first class, returning students (‘’our mentors”) warned us that “this class” (our facilitations class) is like none other and it is going to get us out of your comfort zone! And that is exactly what happened. Shy old me had to speak to different people I have no relation with, which made it very difficult for me.

Ros had us do an ice-breaker ….which was to get 3 classmate’s names and tell them what you would like to get out of the facilitation skills course. I was astounded at how (and what seemed like an insignificant exercise) could make me feel so vulnerable and impact me as well as the atmosphere in the room.  Following the ice-breaker the room suddenly felt LIGTHER.  As the lesson progressed, we briefly spoke about checking-in and checking-out along with a lot of other information.

Unknowingly, my first lesson was taught to me in the first 15 minutes of class, I only came to realise this while driving home from class… my lesson being CHECK-IN WHEN ENGAGING WITH PEOPLE.

Although, I am anxious I look forward to my next class 🙂

 

 

Delta Plus

In a competition one will want to win and see the other opponent failing.  it is unfortunately this thinking is applied everywhere at work, social places, homes churches , etc.

Employees compete against each other but working for the same goal, Pastors will compete against each other.  competition is suitable for sport because in sport you compete to win or loose.

Facilitation method on working in groups has taken me out of my little corner where i wold be competing with everybody.  I am not saying competition is not good, it is good but we are more successful if we work together as a group not as individual.

when one fail do no shoot that person done, this is were delta plus feedback comes in.  it is important to extract positives from failure to advise a better way to can improve from failure.  I use this method at work and staff enjoys working with me.

This is the reason why in Facilitation workshop no participants fail, they are certificated for their attendance

Power of Mind

Last topic of Facilitation it was demonstrated with two exercises, that if you tell your mind that you can do it indeed yo can do it.  this remind me of the movie Invictus when Spring Bok team playing on final with All Blacks team was faced with a real challenge because All Blacks had a good record in the tournament.  their plan was two or three Spring Bok player must must tackle and stop All Blacks’s target man who was scoring tries ever game. they executed a plan very well and the match went to extra time. when crowed cheered them up, the team believed they can win and they won World Cup Trophy

Lets get writting everyone…

Finally my dreaded part…writting an essay. Didnt they say we just need to show up for class, blog and we will collect 18 points?? Well clearly they omitted this part of the puzzle. Now i must get on with it. Reflective writting. Where do i begin? I really have learnt a lot from this course in the few weeks i have been attending. Am slowly warming up to the idea of working in a group, embracing different personalities and knowing that it is okay to be different. The guilt of putting myself first is no longer as intense,ooooh yes am loving this blogging business,it sure is a lot of fun!!!

We at it again….

So i missed todays lecture….am not a happy camper, but a girl has to work!!! The reading packs are talking about the different ways of communicating. Oooh and the big word everyone in class is talking about, the johari window. You know sitting here and writting this blog feels like am grasping at straws because reading the course pack doesnt make much sense when one does not attend the classes. The experience and discussions make much more sense than jus going through the material provided. So am not going to waffle any longer….

Am i a leftie…

Am sooooo loving these lectures and always look forward to the new things i will learn every saturday. Today we go deeper into knowing self and how these make one a better facilitator. So am a left brainer? What does that even mean to the next person,how do i interact and live harmoniously with a right brainer and not be pushed up the wall all the time. As a leftie i have my own way of thinking and doing things that might not really jell well with a right brained person. As a facilitator, i am encouraged to be mindful of others, create an enviroment where all can express themselves and learn without feeling belittled. Drawing energy from the outside world also keeps me going….
Am slowly applying these lessons in my life. Todays’ lesson though was very mind opening. Let me get home and apply it with my family, am sure we will have less arguments because now i know that its okay to be different and the world would in fact be a boring place if we were all leftie….so to my right brain fellows, bigs ups to you, you bring balance to some of our lives…

Catch up catch up….

Now the classes are on and in full swing. I am trying to get upto speed with what i missed out on from the first lecture. The group presenting talks about the use of social media. Did i mention i have a phobia of social media,so am captivated and eagerly listening to what the group is saying….maybe just maybe my fears can be addressed.
So in this lecture am taught that i matter,i am priority number 1. That is a huge shift and change from what i have always believed in….now the dilemna starts. How do i erase all these thoughts and teachings of always putting others first and me last. So if am to put others first does it me i am being selfish? Absolutely not, for me to effectively take care of others,i should be okay first. As a facilitator am expected to be emotionally mature and intelligent,be able to create an enviroment where everyone can be comfortable to interact. I think am beginning to like this subject….one will learn a lot of life skills here. This has shifted from just being about the points one needs to graduate to ahhhh, these are important life skills we all need.

What Facilitation is to self

In class, we are different beings, that observe at the same teaching differently the goal is not to step on anyone’s toes, the exercises we perform in class surely are making a good change in our decision making,

What a light bulb moment when I discovered that I love freely writing, The notion that the end goal mark is not of ultimate importance versus understanding the content, this has changed my approach to my studies, as an A student I have put this to the test, by not stressing on studying but by making my lectures meaningful (by being active and engaging to asking question) this surely has made my last to test a piece of cake.  Not forgetting state dependent learning, making sure my mood while studying is carried through to the exam hall for easy retrieving of information.

The results seem positive to the tests, and this will clearly change how I do things in life. With all anticipation for more exercises.

The note I take to heart now is that all things eventually fall in place no need for one to be stressing or rude to any one. (Stolen quote)

worthy lessons from story telling

There are many ways to tell a story. What is most important is that the audience you are telling your story to can follow and relate. But even if they follow and relate, one story can have different meanings and interpretations to everyone. I have always been fascinated by story telling, in fact I grew up in rural Eastern Cape listening to my grand mother telling legends and stories passed down from generation to generation. I listened to Gcina Mhlope every Saturday morning on Umhlobo Wenene FM. She was captivating. When she told stories, my imagination went wild traveling to places where I had never been. As an adult, I am still a sucker for good legends. I was so excited to learn that group 4 was presenting on the topic of story telling. They brought a whole new meaning to story telling, different from the one I grew up with.

So as I was making my way to class last Saturday, I was greeted by 2 ladies who had the biggest smiles, dressed in matching denim outfits. I was handed a bottle of water and coca cola as well as a paper bag containing pop corn and a  loli pop. In I went, found a seat, greeted the people I found there and waited for the presentation to start. The presentation kicked off, followed by activities which I must say were my favorite part of the day.  My Aha moment came when we were asked to pick either a stone or a leaf and place them on a photo frame on the ground. I picked a stone without even thinking about what this exercise actually meant. I picked a stone that was different from the rest and it was the only red stone there. I placed it outside the frame. Once everyone had placed their chosen objects on the frame, the gentleman who presented that session explained why he placed his where he did. I could relate to him. My Aha moment was not that we had things in common but that I picked a stone unconsciously and I placed it where I placed it without giving much thought to it. When the gentle man started explaining why he had placed his stone where he placed it I could relate because he was telling my story too.

The part I enjoyed the most has to be  when we were asked to reach back as far as possible and point our thumbs to a certain spot and then at the end of the presentation go back to the spot we initially reached and try to pass that point. This reminded me of how many times I have limited myself to the same spot because I feared I could not get to the next spot. This exercise taught me that there is absolutely nothing we cannot do. There is no level we can not reach if we want it bad enough. Yes it might stretch us a bit but it is doable. What I took away from that class is from the activity where three teams formed  chains and they had to turn around without breaking their chains. They all had help at their disposal, they could consult with the audience members that were not part of the chains but only one team did that and as a result they were able to resolve the mystery quicker than the other teams. What I took away from this that I will also use both at work and in my personal life is that when you get stuck, pause, look around you and ask for help.

 

This stuff is getting real!

By this stage, I have experienced the facilitation topics from Group 2 and Group 3. I am in awe of the dynamic approaches and the interesting ways by which the teams are embracing their topics. It is all very refreshing… I realise, that the more teams that I am observing, the more it seems that the goal posts are changing on how to approach our team’s facilitation topic. Yet, this is par for the course, I am learning a lot through the workshop content as well as learning more about myself, each week.

 

The information around module 4 is helping me to understand the impact that I have when engaging with my peers, colleagues or with clients. By being more self-aware in the style of my engagements, I realise that my approach can either enable me to obtain relevant information from others or, limit me from receiving the details required to continue the engagement. (Public arena, private arena, unconscious arena). The Johari window, the SCARF model, and the Resistance Barometer are all interesting guidelines which I need to learn more about in order to apply them effectively.

This stuff is getting real.

The law of two feet

A few weeks ago Roz spoke about the law of two feet which I understand as saying that if you don’t like where you are, then leave.

Simple.

All this time we have been speaking about what do as facilitators and the answer to that sometimes is: nothing. When tensions are high and consequences are evidently going to be unpleasant sometimes you just need to take your two feet and get out of there. Facilitation means steering towards a positive outcome or experience so by walking away from a negative situation rather than tackling it you’re still facilitating a positive end result instead of a short term potential disaster.

Conflict is natural and always present and if managed mindfully can lead to positive outcomes. But a mindful facilitator knows when to mediate and also when to leave a matter temporarily.

Applying the law of two feet this week at first felt like I was falling short of the valuable skills I’ve been learning. Returning back to the situation with a clearer mind and settled tempers brought a positive conclusion and reinforced these valuable lessons learned.

Learning about me.

I forgot to mention that on the first Saturday of joining the Facilitation class, that I had a very brief, yet powerful encounter with a gentleman by the name of Ernest. During a break, Ernest made me aware that there was artwork in the foyer along the ground floor, FNB building. I found Ernest gazing upon it, and when I somehow started chatting to him, that was the time when I consciously became aware of the various art forms and the artwork.

The art was displayed all along the walls and above of me. It was always there… Yet, only when I was present in the moment, did I experience the beauty of the artwork. My eyes opened up to it. My mind opened up to interpret the artwork. How beautiful. Thank you, Ernest. I would otherwise have missed out on experiencing and engaging with the paintings and the sculptures.

This reality check for me was similar to the affirmation and the validation experienced, when I was completing the exercises around my thinking style, and my preferred learning style. There were elements about the results which I immediately resonated with, and certainly new discoveries made about me, which I found very interesting. I now aim to maximise the input about my learning style in order to leverage my learning capabilities throughout my journey of life-long learning.

As I reflect, I am recognising that I need to be more open to new experiences. I am learning to challenge myself to see things differently. The beauty or the artwork may be right in front of me, and I will only see it once I choose to see it.  I need to be patient with myself so as to recognise that there may still be scales on my eyes in certain situations. Once these scales are removed, we may come to realise that life, people, and our surroundings are indeed fulfilling and very interesting.

 

REFLECTIVE ESSAY

OOOOOHHHHH!!!! my MGO ! Essays scares the hell out of me! you know in our time (those days of our schooling), essays were not so upgraded and demanding like nowadays. The teacher used to say write about a topic (my school holiday or my dog) for instance, there, you would see how one makes up a nice lookable story to impress the teacher when you know very well that you were at home watching Popeye for the whole school holidays!and you would write a nice story about your dog when you know very well you did not even had a cat at home!but hey, University essays are demanding referencing, plagiarism, format etc. all these things i learnt them here at Wits and till today i struggle with essays!

now in the facilitation class, writing an essay is also a requirement! i wrote something in class when Ros was instructing the class to write to someone you talk to easily then write to yourself and shift to write to the teacher. the pen was moving and thoughts were coming in my mind but when the instruction changed to writing to a teacher, Aaai! fear came in, the handwriting became clearer and neater, spelling mistakes were noticed and fixed instead of continuing writing,thoughts disappeared,the paragraph was the shortest!

now i must type an essay of 1000 words for submission as a draft tomorrow and i am asking myself questions like: should i write to my daughter just like how i wrote in class with all the slang and jokes when i was practicing or should i write to myself? how is the marking going to be because the style and words used when writing to someone close to you is different than writing an academic essay? will i be marked fairly or down marked?I don`t know , this class has brought a different style of teaching and marking and we learn and experience differently to how other courses are taught! let me stop and go to type the essay, i do not have enough time on me it is already twenty past ten pm!

Week 2 Facilitation

Week 2 was actually my first week and i really had a great time of learning. The definition of Facilitation is broad. Facilitation allows participants or rather the audience to have different experience in a group. The environment should be conducive for learning hence respecting each other’s opinion is vital.  I have learned that facilitation is different from teaching and that the facilitator should  not to be bias. Personally i feel that some facilitators make you panic from the first day however, it was the opposite with Mrs Ros as she is well informed and able to engage her audience.

The confidence level of group one was on another level. The group was well prepared and it seems as if they have done good research given the short period of time given to prepare. However there is room for improvement especially in embracing each team member’s weakness.  Its so amazing how the Facilitation Class enables one to stand confidently in front of the audience and get his/her message across without being intimidated. Looking forward to more exercises and lessons.

WHEN MY MIND NESTLED.

For partly a half of my lifetime it has always been that I am characterised by what i do and i could not deny or accept that with reasonable understanding, until we had an engagement about what mind is and what are we made up from the mindset.
Typically you tend to follow or fall into what is portrait of you, and or what is predicted of from your known actions
A good moral or behaviour reflect what one thinks ,so is bad from the thinking.

When our mind is sitting on unprocessed information our body get discomfort and the sensory organs nestles
It becomes painful to be proven by nature that you can not think deeper than others do,
that you are twined in logical thinking and can not risk to jump a step out when you are tasked for something,
that you lack quick thought to get more reasons and facts to argue or debate now, than when the event is passed and more facts pops up like you are now preparing for that passed moment and you’ve missed

The list of what we are able to do and what we cannot do is balanced, until we find out and know what must we do best and let others do rest for us.
There is no contrary action like what makes one to start at the bottom/beginning to those whose focus is at the top with results and answer minded,only grave diggers start at the top.
The two points compliment each other if we fish and grab a thought out of freely flowing ideas and find analytics and the curious to work together.
I am pleased to know I am classified, characterised and grouped by the implementation of thoughts, not my body structure.
That pins off a pain and I am nestle -off, out of uncertainity.

Problem Solving

When faced with a conflict situation, the approach is so important.   A very uncomfortable situation arose this week in my personal life.  What is this to do with facilitation skills?  Well,  after re-evaluating the situation I had to deal with I realised something – this facilitation skills course has changed my approach toward resolving conflict.

After reading module four I realised that regardsless of your positive intentions, it is difficult to predict the behaviour of other humans . Even though in my attempt of resolving the conflict, the resistance I was met with made it extremely difficult to achieve any progress.  However, what I have discovered of myself is that I have become the positive contribute to the situation and not the one aggravating  the situation, like I use to do.  For some reason I have changed, discovered  away of facilitating.  Although I might not have been able to resolve,  I accepted the defeat, but I was still positive.  I brought in another person to assist in the matter, as in the case study, where Anita Jenkins explains to David the inside information of the executive team.

I feel proud to have used the information I have learned throughout the course thus far and proud that I have managed to use these tools in reality.

What A Week

What a week ,So I’m going through my manual and I’m getting really excited with what I’m finding, I went over Module 3 Learning about learning .At first when I answered the questions I was not sure how to choose  the correct answer ,I eventually just went with my gut. This activity was to give an idea of how to learn as an adult, to identify different stages of learning, to figure out your own learning styles.

After answering, the questions and we got our results and we were organized in two groups, Left side brainers, and Right side Brainers. People started seeing each other differently. The right side brainers were very vocal and animated; the left side brainers were very reserved and a bit self-righteous. I found myself in the right side brainers group. Listening and watching the groups discussing why they were better at doing things was very interesting. I found a few others just standing back, observing the interaction between the two groups including myself. In the right side brainers, group it seemed chaotic and exciting at the same time, every one trying to talk at the same time. In the left brainers group it was organized with one person nominated to speak but very reserved, everyone was listening and you could see the minds of the others in the group working overtime.

I soon realized I was in the wrong group. I could not identify with the right brainers so I switched to the left brainers. I could see more of myself in the left brainers, I’m that kind of person always wanting to do things right ,time management is important to me ,order and attention to detail is what I’m all about. I take certain situations very seriously .But on the other hand I do see a bit of the right brainer qualities in me, I want to please people ,I want to be of service and help others. Like what we do at work.

That is why we do so well  because I expect only the best from my team and myself. I love working under pressure I seem to be at my best at that moment. My aha moment was how I always thought I was a right side brain because I love the arts, especially acting; it’s always been a dream of mine to become an actor. I am not sure that I am cut out to be an actor after going through this exercise.

The way I do certain things is exactly the way it is described in class and the manual.  As I mentioned there are some elements in the left-brain that I see in myself, I am people orientated .I think I need to relax a bit, I can be uptight sometimes especially when things do not go so well. I could maybe learn from the right brainers.Take it easy sometimes.

There is so many things in this class  that I find will help me in my life ,I just need to take the time to study and apply it I can definitely see the benefits already.

 

Realising the bigger picture

Group four (4) the day has dawned for us to present our theme Story telling. This is an ancient African tradition where we used to sit in front of the chalk board and the teacher would narrate the story for us mimicking the different characters.  The first time I saw our theme I had these nostalgic thoughts.

However, being the group which thinks out of the box, we came up with the concept of realising the bigger picture in a movie setting. We thought through our concept using the Delta and feedback session after each group facilitation. We worked as a collective in order to realise the bigger picture. In my opinion our concept was well executed.

Well done Taine, Paballo, La-Nes, Jeanine, Dawn, Suffaro, Olben, Zamo, Zama, Rouvey . We gave the class an unforgettable experience.

The manner in which our group worked together reminded me of the coffee bean story. There was a young lady who used to complain about everything. Her father was getting irritated of her pessimistic view of life and he called his daughter. He asked her to go out in the field and bring a carrot, an egg and a coffee bean. He then requested that she fills three pots with water and place them on the stove to boil. Upon the water boiling, uBaba (the father) requested that she places each item in each pot.

Once the items had boiled, ubaba requested for the daughter to scoop out the items from the pots. The carrot was soft and mushy, the egg had gone hard and the coffee bean had dissolved.  The daughter asked what was the point in this exercise and ubaba responded as follows, the carrot was hard before it was immersed in the boiling water and once it was removed it became soft and mushy. One could not hold the once firm structure with their hand. The egg was fragile before it was immersed in the boiling water and if dropped it would crack and the contents inside would spill. Once the boiling process was completed, the egg was hard and if dropped on the floor, only the shell would crack but the inside of the egg would be hard.

Finally the coffee bean, it was small and hard before being immersed in water. Once it had boiled, it dissolved and changed water into coffee. The coffee bean as small as it was it was able to influence the environment it found its self in. Unlike the carrot which was hard, but when it moved into a different environment it became weak, the egg was fragile, but once it had gone through the boiling water it became hard. In both instances of the carrot and egg, neither of the two influenced the environment they found themselves in. Let us all aspire to be like the coffee bean, as small and quirky as other may think of us, let us show the world that goodness prevails and whatever environment we find ourselves in, we will always dig deep to influence the environment and realise that there is a greater and bigger picture right in front of us. 🙂

Story Telling – hope i wont be yawning

“i need to pee,,,i need to pee,,, i need to pee . okay let me quickly go put my bags down in class head out to the bathroom and will be back just in time”. *thinking to myself*

headed into the foyer and oh my the smell of popcorn at this time of the morning??? hmmmmm

ladies dressed in denim clothing greeting me gracefully handing me popcorn and cold drink “nice” i thought to myself

go into class and there are movie posters plucked up. really thoughtful. so i’m assuming were meant to be in a movie setup??? LOL . anyway its group 4s turn and their theme is STORY TELLING. they did their thing and we were engaged . even forgot i had to go visit the loo LOL. got some active exercises for us to do and hey i must give it to them they really did well in thinking things through.

SOooo there’s this one exercise they had for us that stood out for me. we had to choose amongst many small rocks one that appeals to each of us. so i chose mine. round white pebble like stone. and were told to place it anywhere in the plastic placed nicely on the ground in front of us. placed mine in a nice secure corner….wait for the explanation of this….WOW

turns out the aim behind that exercise is to awaken our consciousness in our stories. so everyone has a story. told and untold. stories about our lives or personalities. and because i had chosen the kind of stone that i did and placed where i did told a story about me and my life. so in essence the story can be told as that i am a private person who likes to keep in my own corner and be the observer in a massive crowd but still having my own beauty glowing from afar. and because i do things without even taking note my actions speak for me….i thought that was so profound and thoughtful

for the first time in all the lessons we have had, we got to write more than just notes in our books. today we’re doing an exercise on reflective writing. also have an assignment about it. not that i’m a fan of writing but hey i can probably say this won’t be a painful essay to write.

i suppose that’s my cue to gerara here and get on with my assignment . check yal later

 

Day 2 – Lights, camera, action!

I had survived a week of numerous conversations within myself, where inner conflict was rising.

Should I go back to class… woe is me… I have so many subjects… should I postpone this module… pull yourself together woman and get back in the game, focus, focus, focus.

 

Day 2 of the Facilitation course.

Lights, camera, action!

Group 1 is facilitating their topic: Communicating via social media

How absolutely engaging…Well done team! I admire how Group 1 made magic happen within a relatively short period of time. You guys rock. Group 1 has also set the bar for those of us following suit.

Through all of the conversations with myself, I realise that reading up before class is beneficial. During class I realise that I am starting to learn stuff. I am now learning about the Check In process, how to build the container, the dance floor and the balcony technique, Delta Plus, and so many more facilitation techniques. Things are slowly starting to fall in to place. I am starting to feel more comfortable. I have been allocated to Group 8. I can’t drop the course now.

My perception about Facilitation is starting to change.

I had always assumed that lecturing, teaching, presenting, was facilitation. I’m starting to learn that you, the Facilitator, needs to create an environment for the audience to figure things out for themselves. As the Facilitator, be authentic.

I am learning that it is okay to not have the answers for everything. By listening, engaging, prompting, guiding, the Facilitator is likened to  a musical conductor who coordinates the audience responses and engagement, to unfold the audience’s aha moments. Bravo!

 

Things are looking up.

Joharis Window

19 August

Joharis window….sounds very familiar

oh yes! i learnt about this concept many moons ago while i was still in high school. kept the principals of it but the name faded away a bit. so here’s my understanding of what Joharis window is.

there are many many things that you know about yourself. good and bad. whether you admit to them or not but fact remains you KNOW!

then there are things you don’t take note of about yourself but the public sees and knows of you. so this being mostly in your behavior. when you’re told about them it’s almost like a mystery that you’re being alerted about your behavior towards public.

then there are things that you choose knowingly to keep a secret meaning self knows but self chooses to hide certain things…secrets.

then there are things lying in the subconscious but your not aware of. those things have a tendency to rise when provoked by something uncomfortable or unsettling.

this as i reflect on today’s class is how i had learnt about Joharis window so long ago and it’s been in my system for a very long time. iv been living with it but weren’t taking note. this to me made me realise the power in hearing and understanding something that can have an effect on your life forever. love love love Lurrrrv it!

as usual teams put in hard work regarding their facilitation pieces and that’s putting a lot of pressure on the rest of us who are at the end LOL . todays facilitation group 3 facilitated on HONORING DIFFERENCES. itheyr narrowed their facilitation on the topic of RELIGION and i absolutely liked how they decided to keep the peace  with such a controversial topic  and yet instead of stirring chaos it actually made people see different. love it would have appreciated them discussing it more  and hearing more of views and conflict arises then see how they would handle it because not all conflict is bad or is meant to be resolved but hey it was a good piece none the less

my highlights for today’s lesson 🙂

 

Day 1

I had wanted to do facilitation skills from last year but could not do it because when i went to register i was told the class was already full. So i had to wait patiently to be in this class. A friend who managed to do the course before me had told me that it is mainly about group work and all the excitement about the subject went flying out through the window. I was taken aback because i know how much i struggle to work with other people in a group. This was going to be a test of my will.  My first day in facilitation class was on the second lecture and it seemed like i was drowning in all that was happening in class trying to catch up…..

Getting to know me better

The lesson on 12th August 2017 was more than interesting and proved to be useful in my everyday life.
Growing up and in most of my adult life, I’ve had people tell me how complicated I am and how difficult it is to exceed my expectations. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I finally understand why and its all thanks to the Reflective exercise we did on thinking style profiles. So, it turns out, I am complicated! I am so complicated that I confuse myself too.

So, it has basically come to my attention that I am a left brain. It could be the reason why I tend to overthink everything. Why I sometimes over plan for daily activities like what I am going to do when I get up on a weekend or even during working hours. The next time someone says I am complicated, I am just going to tell them that my scores were as follows;
Information Sorting – Detail
Motivation Preferences – External
Sensory Preferences – Kinesthetic
Learning Styles – Theorist

I am glad I enrolled for the facilitation skills module because I am getting to know me better each day.

Day 1 – Oh my goodness!

My first day at the Facilitation Skills class – oh my goodness!

It turned out to be a day full of surprises.
On entering the FNB building, I wasn’t quite sure where to go. Ros and her colleague were busy in the foyer, and I just assumed that I needed to follow these ladies. I had not even taken note of the signage that they were placing on the floor, to direct you to the class! This goes to show how unobservant I was on the day – in my own world.
Arriving at the class, I thought it odd when the chairs & tables were arranged in a classroom format – I thought this was strange for a facilitation course. But anyway – I tried not to over think it.
As the introductions progressed and the day unfolded – I felt that I was in a fog. I didn’t quite get it….Bewilderment, uncertainty, what is this all about?
Would I be back for the next class? Eish, I wasn’t so sure, hey.
What did I enjoy about Day 1?
I was in my element with the meet ‘n greet opportunities. At that stage of the semester, I had not experienced the same level of social engagement from my other academic classes, as compared to the delegates of the Facilitation class. Maybe it’s a combination of a Saturday vibe, plus the course content, which makes this class experience different to Politics, IR, English, Psych, Sociology, etc.
As the day continued, I was experiencing flash backs around certain behavioural traits about myself which somehow, over time, had become suppressed, buried and silenced, within me. These were traits that had previously energised me and made me feel spirited and excited about things. I was in a room full of people. And I loved it.
The format of the class was challenging me to drop my guard/stop being so overly prepared, to listen more and overall to savour and recognise the awkwardness of feeling uncomfortable and somewhat exposed, and to be prepared & gracious enough to receive feedback from others.

I just might make it back for the next class.

Facilitation is about your audience (Module 2 – Learning about Learning)

In our Facilitation skills lesson dated 5th August 2017, we were requested to enter to group discussions and write down words that we linked to our understanding of what mindful facilitation is. Words that came up were;
– Teaching through Participation
– Imparting Knowledge
– Guidance
– Learning
My understanding of facilitation has changed from that of having an individual or the facilitator who stand in front of a group and tells the group what to do and how it should be done to that of continuous discussions, dialogue and participation from both ends. In the story titled “The Watermelon Eaters” there were two different men who tried to teach or facilitate learning to the villagers but did not receive the same positive outcome. The first man did not really provide much room for villagers to participate because he just ate the watermelon instead of making them understand that the watermelon was not a monster and to assist is overcoming the unnecessary fear. He lacked empathy and in the end the villagers rejected him. The second man who was a bit more successful in the method he used was empathetic to the villager’s fears. He lived amongst them and took the time to teach them through participation and they learnt. He did not judge them for fearing the watermelon. He built an environment that is safe and conducive to a meeting of minds. This previous statement reminds me of my early school days. I always found that I did much better in subjects where I trusted that the teacher was doing what is in my best interest and that he or she cared about my overall success. Teachers that had a more dictatorship approach were not as appealing to the extent that I just passed their subjects with minimum requirements.
I plan to use the approach that is currently being used in our classes if I become a facilitator one day. Being in Management, I also think staff will be more susceptible to learning if I change my approach.

Four roles for Mindful Facilitation
– Show up (Choose to be Present)
– Be Open to Outcome (Not attached to Outcome)
– Pay Attention (To what has heart and meaning)
– Tell the Truth (Without Blame or Judgement)

My Story is Quite Telling

Of the many words staring back at me in my bedroom; quotes from Brian Teason, Steve Jobs and Tony Robbins, my Life Purpose pledge and vision board as well as a road map to academic excellence, I am moved to share my life’s story when I gaze upon Jobs’ words. “Remembering that you’re going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”

Life events that make up my history can be traced back to 1992, the year I was born, but in the pursuit of telling you circumstances that I recall which have shaped my being. I will begin the story of my life from age 11; the year my mother decided to embark on this journey called life as a single parent.

Having divorced my stepfather, a man who only features in two of my memories from the time my mom was a married woman; the time he gave me R50 so I could go to Rand Easter Show with a friend and her family and the other involves being woken up late at night by my mother insisting that we, my sisters and herself, vacate the house and go to the neighbour down the street. Having never asked my mom about that night, I’ve concluded that he must have been an abusive man.

Soon after this, we were plunged into a life of instability. Moving from one place to another and changing schools every year. I attended four primary schools and lived in five different areas before finally settling in Chloorkop when I was in grade seven.

I started high school with the goal of going into a career in forensic sciences, therefore decided on a technical high school. It was only in grade 11 that I realised that this was not at all a career aligned with my interests. Changing to a different school was a mountain that I was never able to cross; all the schools I went to highlighted how I had no grade 10 portfolio in the subjects that I wanted to take and that this would affect my overall mark. I was advised to remain at my current high school and to complete my matric there, and do I did. My educational motivation was not as elevated as before and my marks began to decline.

Matric came with a lot of blows; my mother was unemployed and I as my Life Orientation teacher stated, I was depressed. It came as no surprise when I received my national senior certificate endorsed with diploma exemption. I could not study towards a degree and adding insult to injury, there was no money saved to further my studies.

I worked for two years and decided that a career in entertainment was perfect for me. With the bills pilling up and more especially bond payments in arrears, I figured the best thing to do would be to get some form of qualification so as to secure a well paying job in television or radio. After looking at different institutions and the courses they offered, I decided on Varsity College as they had a two-year diploma in Journalism, which meant I could soon look for work. My two years of full time studying came with some highs and lows; I exceled academically, envisioned studying towards a degree, worked less hours because of school therefore was unable to earn enough money to pay my fees and households expenses. My mom and I thought it best to move into a one-bedroom flat in Kempton Park and rent out our home so we could cover my fees and get by.

Reading books opened a door to a job opportunity at Times Media, and a month shy of my finals, I was offered the job on contract. I could now afford to pay the monthly bond so we moved back home and I graduated in Journalism with distinction. I maneuvered departments at Times Media and gained experience across different mediums. I furthered my studies with a certificate in Marketing and completed the year-long course, securing a distinction there to.

At the end of 2015, I was informed that my contract was ending in December and so I began to look for a new job. I finally secured one in September of 2016, a permanent position as Sales Executive and that allowed for more room to breathe. Along with paying the bond, buying groceries and other household necessities, I used my income to travel to work, assisted other family members and more importantly paid for my nephew’s schooling. Knowing that when he excelled in high school, the opportunity to study whatever he chooses in university without the worry of fees was open to him.

Having worked for the company for six months, I realised that I am a creator and that going into a business of my own was what I truly wanted. The idea aligned perfectly with my life purpose and so I set forth to establish my communications and media agency, Alight Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

Fast forward to September 1, 2017, a day which happens to be my birthday, I am preparing to travel to East London for a business meeting. Having secured one client for my company, he has referred me to his other colleagues whom he believes their businesses will benefit immensely by dealing with Alight Consulting. Not only that, I have been short-listed to be a participant in the Ship for World Youth Program 2018. This will see me travel to Japan and voyage to Sri Lanka then India. An opportunity that will allow me to gain first hand insight on cultural customs from other participants who will be from Japan, Australia, India, United Mexican States, Republic of Mozambique, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Peru, Republic of Poland, Kingdom of Spain and Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Understanding personal and societal motivation of each country as well as learning about youth development initiatives in these countries will highlight common issues and reveal methods tried and tested. With this experience and lessons learnt, I am better equipped to fulfil my life purpose of wanting to awaken in others what is shared by all. For we are one life force.

Life is not always what it seems.

Just because it makes you happy don’t assume that it will have the same effect on the next person. Just because you not happy about something in your life you can never go around blaming other people for your own unhappiness. Life is what you make it, you have the power within to determine your future or should I say your success in life. Yes there will be times people have an effect on how you react to situations and 90% of the time its always a negative one.

Since this course I’ve come to learn to actually take a back seat and sit and ask have a conversation with self ask a few questions or should I say reflect on how I contributed to the situation and how I can change the outcome.

One way of resolving conflict lately is I look back at my action and ask myself how was I the cause to the misunderstanding and try to figure out if I made a wrong assumption on what ever issue is at hand. I’ve come to learn to try and limit always assuming that my ways are always right. I’ve learnt to listen to other peoples opinions and feedback before taking any kind of remark in a bad way.

I’ve become a bigger person in all situations that I find myself facing I’m now open to learning and to be more observant of any given situation. I now challenge my emotional being and explore other perspectives on life before making any major decisions.

Who the hell am I!

Its funny how I’ve spent 30 years of my life thinking I know who am I. Being in this course has taught me there is more to me than what I think or what people may think. I’ve also come to learn that you can never judge a book by its cover.  I’ve come to grow by adjusting and becoming something I’ve always never been. I grew up believing I’m an introvert but since facilitation course am starting to see myself as both intro and extrovert. I’m leaving out of my box I engage more with people I smile more with people. I’ve come to realise that talking to strangers never hurts instead you get to learn more with engaging with people more than anything else.

We leave in such a diverse society and its funny how we all have and believe in almost the same rituals its just that we have never been aware or should I say we never took some time out to find out more about other cultures, religions, race and so forth. The only thing that saddened me is how in most cultures women are the most oppressed maybe this is where I should start practising my lessons learnt in class find a way to bridge a gap between male and female diversity try and get us to honour each others differences.

Had an opportunity to engage with a wonderful gentlemen in one of our classes and talking to him has taught me how much in the dark I have been leaving. He was asking me questions about what or how I have been putting what I’ve learned in class into good practice and to be honest I’ve never taken the opportunity to actually try it out on people.

 

Story Telling : What’s your story ?

The presentation was on point. Do you have a story to tell? The activities and class interaction were engaging and reflective. Which brings me to think about the draft essay to be submitted on the 2nd September 2017. Where do I start to begin?
when reflecting what do I say ? how do I share it? Substance, perception and have an impact.

I had to think about my past and experiences, visions and dreams. This is my story for generations to come. Growing up in rural areas, my teen years in city with parents, my young and adult life, my marriage life and family.

My experiences of student life when I was young and now as a working mother, wife and colleague.

Facilitation skills has help me in understanding human dynamics, situations and people involvement.

STORY TELLING – Team IV

‘Hype creation’ – Saturday 18 August 2017, 12H27 – Facilitation Class Team, team announcement – Ros’ announces, “guys, team 4 “Story Telling” ask that you please wear something comfortable for next week”. WhatsApp video circulating during the week. The long awaited Saturday 25th of  August 2017 is finally here – we are greeted by artificial-turf patches, small to large, fresh pop corn, cool drinks and sweets – scene set – mood created – they have my attention now.

I thought the team brought a blank canvas and allowed us to paint our own pictures and tell our stories, which I believe worked wonders. That particular exercise served as a reflection tool, which allowed me to use to think back on my journey leading to my 2017 Facilitation Class.

What event best tells my story-I’m still reflecting on it.

The team’s activities and ice-breakers displayed very much from very little. I was particularly taken aback by the stones, leafs and foto-frame exercise – the choice of stones’ placement on the frame told a story of the placer’s personality – real interesting stuff.

Ros’ reflective writing was/good – it’s a totally new dimension in writing, a new dimension in simple writing, new dimension in free writing – the change in my recipients raised a few ‘concerns’ for me – the level of challenge experienced especially the piece to the lecturer – that was hugely challenging – I shall overcome.

 

Human Dynamics / Honouring Difference

Some times they say silence is loud. I never used to understand why and  how they came up with the idiom. Till I experienced the silent play during honouring difference group presentation. It made me realise that there  different religion but we appreciated and respect them.

South Africa , a rainbow nation with wonderful possibilities , at work we were discussing our differences in terms religions, ethnical background, polygamous marriages. its interesting to hear other people’s views about matters that affect them personally.

It goes to show that we might be different but as a nation we honour our difference. we are able to find a common ground and acceptance.

Storytelling

This week I was pleasantly surprised. Walking towards class I was greeted by the friendliest faces, offering me popcorn and a cold drink and movie tickets. It was really a Wow! What a welcome! They were facilitating the theme about story telling. What made me feel even more pleased Because there were no distraction as they have covered windows with black plastic bags. It was like I was indeed watching a real movie. They have went extra mile and it shows that we have different views as individuals because that was really a team work indeed and I took it personally and loved them for it.When their facilitation began I will admit I was a bit confused about what we were meant to expect but as they went on I was blown away by how much this group pushed the boundaries. Well done guys! It was thoughtful as well as thought provoking. During the feedback session I was surprised at how much Delta the group received and then I realised that not everyone views things the same way. We are humans that whether we know it or not we link things together. That coming from last week where we learned how we respond to events and behaviours just got further highlighted for me. After presentation I left for library because I was preparing for the test.

I hate essays!

Shooo! So this week we are submitting a draft for our essay, i hate essays with passion LOL!
I Want to make it in this academic life so what choice do I have? right.The essay is a reflective essay. We practiced writting this essay in 4 different styles. What i found intereating is that i write best when i write to myself, i am such a closed book! No body knows me better than me shem! As cliche this may sound kodwa its sooo true! What was funny was when i ran out of things to write during subconcious writing…the things i wrote! 😂😂😂😂🙈🙈

I loved the group presentation, A Saturday morning movie. I was hooked from the moment i stepped in the building. I loved their delivery and i really did realize the bigger picture. every week these presentations keep getting better!

what stood out for me on this lecture was when we had to team up and write up about our experience in class and how we have applied this outside class. Hearing what the next person has to say was actually fun. okay, i better finish up the essay draft now…

Acknowledging and understanding the different learning styles


Being an accredited facilitator I have always been mindful of the different learning styles but i have never used or rather acknowledge that even my friend or family have different brain patterns than me.
A simple point to me may be a very difficult thing for the next person which can be frustrating!
What this lecture has taught me is that by being aware and instilling this knowledge in every aspect or in all my relationships can assist me in avoiding a lot of misunderstandings and arguments

I always record myself when reading my notes so i can listen to myself while driving to and from work, Module 3 helped me understand that this is because i am both a visual and auditory person!

Mindful facilitation

So i was late for the 1st groups presentation as i was late, again!. so i don’t have much to tell about it. Based on all the comments and feedback from the class i can tell that it was a well set out presentation. Their theme was communicating via social media. whether you want to share something about your life, report someone missing or promote a company or product, social media is the one place that can help you do it effortlessly!

what stood out for me on week 2 was learning that facilitation is a means of allowing people to perform at the highest level, the skills for this course can be used in training’s and meetings. Manager and Team leaders can also benefit a lot from this course.Also as i was doig tge facilitators checklist, i found the last question insightful. It reads: Do i have compassion and Humility? Compassion is the capacity to understand that none of us have the full picture and can only act out of the frame through which we see the world, Humility is the ability to understand that the same applies to us. When we act in alignment with this insight, we genuinely want to facilitate others be all they can be. Page 43 of course guide.

Where to from here?

I believe facilitation is the only subject that some of us will be able to get a distinction for the first time in our academic journey.  In this regard i feel it is the responsibility of the institution to make sure that this cannot be our first and last distinction.  We demand facilitation II class commencement 2018. To add more joy to our lives facilitation II should rate 36 points to add to the final year mark.

100% person of the students who attend the 2017 class have all  provided a positive feedback so far in their facilitation blogs. This really shows that everyone is happy with the class and they will be much happier should the class continue into a second block 2018.

The feeling of knowing that you will get a distinction at the end of the semester its just irreplaceable, so Wits please consider my request and make 2018 a year to look forward to!

Introspection and write a story!

It has been an awesome experience once again in class and a great performance displayed by the group. Your life and experiences can tell a story in many different parts of the world. What really caught my attention as the class proceeds, was the exercise in reflective writing which previously did not know that it differs depending whom you writing about, and it is much simpler when you are writing about yourself.

It was a wonderful experience in class and for personal development, all the activities have been contributing and making an impact in my life greatly.

# STORY TELLING # THE BIGGER PICTURE

What a WOW, I am speechless the presentation was out of this world. The bar has been raised and the pressure is on now. This is one on my favourite things about waking up on a Saturday morning, I must admit I am not a morning person and the thought of having class on a Saturday morning was driving me insane but that was before I noticed that this Saturday class was an all in one class. last week I enjoyed the morning presentation yet i was also surprised to learn that I’m not only learning life skills but there is also writing skills exercises. I really enjoyed that, writing to my friend, mother and to myself , it gave me a kick start with my reflective essay.

when I started writing it everything just fell into place. I wrote as if this piece of osoer was for my friends eyes only. I must admit though referencing my essay was tough but eventually I managed to get it right. Currently I’m thinking about tomorrows presentation and I can’t wait to see that group 5 has instore for US.

I’m tired!

goodness  how much more can a person write? I mean how much do we need to reflect. I’m tired I’m tired of waking up every Saturday morning and I can tell you the class is getting smaller and  smaller by the day. I’m not too sure if we will have any audience when we present. that should be wrong, putting present  and facilitate in the same line.

well I’m too tired to think now, all I took from class was that we need to set the container for learning. the mandate of  the class is to facilitate an experience through learning. audience engagement must never be made a show and  tell  situation. always use your tools , play or action.

I’m tired….

mindfulness…or lack thereof

Phew! I feel like I always  have to begin with an exclamation, a full expression of how  I feel because  it always does feel  like its getting heavier and heavier by the week.

wow. this week , the group presentation was good. I mean their focus diversity.  what I really took out from the feedback especially from Roslyn is to watch out for technology. often we focus on using technology to “enhance”  our  training, and you know what, yes ok to use in training but facilitation is not training is an experiential learning. I learned that we need to focus on the CE- Concrete e experience when facilitating, RE- reflect, AC I totally forgot, AE- active implementation. Empathy is the biggest factor is facilitation.  Capture every moment. never loose your audience.

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE

There I was sitting front row,my usual excited self. Group three was presenting, and their topic was HONORING DIFFERENCES.

Nice calm background music playing (which reminded me of my yoga class). There was a man posing as a statue,I wonder if he was forced to do that,you know people can make one do things.

There was the first lady from Buddhism ,portraying her religion. Then the next person followed, and the next…so it went on until everyone in their group had an opportunity to portray their different religious believes. How interesting was it all to witness. I just think it was great! I loved the facilitation technique they went with, and the massage was well related.

Still sitting front row thinking to myself…Shade what can you make out of this?…the dynamics of it all. We are indeed different,so is our FAITH, We all HOPE,  and no matter how different and unique we all are…the one thing we have in common is LOVE.

I am no better then the next,the next no better then me. We are all sentient beings who have that internal need for belonging.

Now let me go make some tea…mmmm I love tea.

Till next time!

WE ALL START AS STRANGERS

I remember is all, as if it was just yesterday. My first time ever facilitating. Was I excited?…yes!
Was I a bit nervous?…well of course. Was I myself?…more then ever!
I loved it, the attention and just how everything unraveled. We were the first group to go and our topic was…COMMUNICATING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA.

Goodness gracious!
I am only on Whattsapp,  well because I get to upload a profile picture with an option of who of my contacts can view, mmmmmmm I like!. I can also update my status,make voice calls, and ooooo video calling,nothing like face time. Before I forget soooo economical.

Then there is Facebook ,and need I say that I  only go on there to spy on my Facebook friends…please forgive me.

The rest well I don’t care,but you might. Can you see there’s a bit of this and that for all of us…take your pick!

It was my first go, and man do I like this thing called facilitating.

I’m off to pay the bills now,till next time.

REFLECTIVE STORYTELLING

Let me see… I really am trying to think back and hard about my lived experiences, whether as a child or as an adult and can’t remember penning anything that was reflective. I have never! I always told stories without reflecting, at least not consciously. LOL!

I always thought that I had my lived experience’s answers at my fingertips. My thoughts, my opinions, my lessons, I thought all of that was at my fingertips. This Saturday taught me otherwise… I realized just how much I had to pause and think about it before writing. Or maybe I can tell my story in an interview style setup but just never knew that I could write my experience as an interpretation of what is going on between my learning and thinking.

Although this Module is short, I had so much to learn.  Before Saturday’s workshop, the only reflection that I really could describe was the mirror reflection. You know, that obvious “What you see is what is looking right back at you”? I think that , if ever there were moments where I would reflect on my experience, those moments would most probably been triggered by heightened emotions , more than just telling my story from a deep but calm place.

Trying to unpack the term reflection, I learnt that it is a mental process, a contemplation or a long consideration of some sort. The thoughts and opinions that come to you while you are reflecting on your experience are called reflections.

It is like rewinding your life to a past event and then thinking about how it has affected your life, what you could have done differently to change the outcome, or what came out of the experience or event.

You ask what my point is or where I am going with this and I will tell you that as new as “Reflective Writing” is to me, I am finding it fascinating.  It has opened my eyes into realizing that anyone can be a writer. All of us… We just need to find the writer in one of our voices.

The writing exercises that we did during the workshop where we had to test ourselves on four different writing styles, really helped in trying to find my voice. When I did the automatic writing, I wrote really slowly, almost like my thoughts were suddenly on hold and though I was meant to be free-styling, I had long pauses between sentences and managed to write one lousy paragraph. Imagine!

After that first exercise I thought to myself that maybe writing is not for me and I got nervous thinking about future writing exercises that I might be expected to do. What future exercise? *Rolling my Eyes* Immediately after that exercise, we had to write to our best friend. Well, I suddenly relaxed as I wrote to him, I found myself smiling through it.  Guess what… Yeah, I was confused. How could I have hated the first writing exercise and less than 10 minutes later feel comfortable? I mean, I was still doing the same thing, right? I was writing. The exercise went on and I wrote to myself and to my lecturer.

The problem with being left brain dominant is that we want sequence, details, order and clearly expressed communication and free-styling showed me flames on Saturday. I am still traumatized.

Writing to myself was more like punishment and writing to lecturer was a bit slower, but unlike free-styling, I was forced to think deep about my experience, the words I chose, logic and structure of my essay. I enjoyed it too. So, my voice is lying somewhere between my best friend and my lecturer. I just need to find the balance.

Then there was Group four who facilitated on storytelling. The facilitation was light and fun and showed that telling stories does not have a fixed way of being delivered.

My highlight for the day was discovering that I actually can write and that I had a unique voice in which I tell my story. The activities that were introduced by group four showing that we all can achieve beyond our expectations if we put our minds to it. I really loved the picture frame exercise which really told a story about our personalities, it was really fascinating and interesting how or why they came up with that activity. All I can say is that I was never ready for the revelations.

 

In the next few days, I plan writing to a stranger, a matric student preparing for university and my colleagues to try and see if I will feel comfortable or not. I am just going to practice, practice, practice!

So far, we have facilitated change to honour difference in telling our stories and I am looking forward to learning from life.

It’s time to write my reflective essay, see you on the flip side!

 

Learning Elements of Life’s Journey

The Johari Window revealed that when we are transparent and ready to share our thoughts and feelings, the people around you begin to understand you better. Empathy and understanding is shared and I guess this is the beginning of many relationships.  When one is closed up and not open, it is rather difficult for anyone to understand or make sense of the next persons actions and even miscommunication may be a challenge.

Lessons learnt are the Awareness of self, being able to take responsibility of my own actions and how I respond to others. In our work area we face many challenges where one is not even aware that there is resistance but through this course I was able to learn to pick up peoples behaviour in indicating resistance. Sometimes people feel under threat and act like they are on the same page as the leader meanwhile the plan is only to sabotage, as I have often related to my colleagues. It is only now that I get to understand that others felt under threat or they were just unhappy with Management decision but they were not BOLD enough to raise their concerns.

The work environment is an ever changing space where we all learn to thrive. Todays lesson has been a valuable one, as I grow to be more aware and become proactive in solving problems than being reactive.

Keep calm and help me help you … Help me?

In my office is an unused, comfortable,old armchair placed out of sight and my colleagues come to inhabit it when they are in need of a ‘session’ with Dr Ray.

When they share their stories with me I have found it most effective to compare their situation to my own. This helps so that I may have a better understanding and my response will be applicable and helpful. At times I have felt self-conscious thinking that I am making somebody else’s situation all ‘about me’. I felt much better when Roz explained that this is fine because we can only see from our own perspective and thus its best when we try to relate at a personal level. This also reminds me that adult learning is more effective when the subject matter becomes applicable at a personal level.

Now, being the one with the chair who usually listens made Saturday a little strange and almost uncomfortable for me. Talking about myself for 10minutes !!! That felt a bit self-centered and very exposing at first. But the insights are significant.

It is incredibly insightful speaking to somebody else and hearing your words reflected back especially when its been hard to verbalize. Also , listening to somebody else’s situation often helps provide solutions to situations of our own.

Facilitation then becomes a reciprocal process – a give-and-take. To be effective it demands a willingness to be vulnerable. Sharing your own story creates a connection and sense of trust from your ‘audience’. Facilitation does not occur with an attitude of superiority but thrives when it adds to the experience of all including the facilitator. … Otherwise it becomes teaching.