Marking Draft Essay

What a day! so we were tasked to write a reflective essay previously and was told to submit 2 copies. little did i know that the other copy was going to be marked by my peers. Me marking someone else’s essay was a strange idea but at the end of it all i realized the purpose. This was also circulating ideas and getting insight of other people’s thoughts and learning ideas.

Also what i found confusing was how are you marked down on not referencing if it is a reflective essay???

Story Telling

My dad is by far the best storyteller I know, his storytelling is so vivid and lucid dude makes my sister and I wish we lived in his era, our imaginations runs bucket wild and the emotions evoked don’t get me started. Most of his stories are about his childhood, family and relatives and as beautiful as the stories is, the sad realization for me seeing how not so close we are with our relative. Only get see some of my cousins, aunts and uncle at funerals and wedding we get so busy that we hardly have time to unwind and catch up, really heartbreaking . Anyways one cannot deny the beauty of storytelling, be it via movies, documentaries, books or someone telling a story. My personal favourite storytelling method is reading, I get to pause and like I said earlier on let my imagination run “bucket wild” with all sorts of “crazy” things

Learning from Life

Hmmm this is a tricky one for me, this is because I often wonder does one learn from life itself or do we learn from standards placed by society upon us? What I have learned from life from my own personal experience is that we all experience life differently from others, the human mind is beautiful yet so complex, we measure how success and happiness to those defined by society. So I decided to define what success and happiness is to me, and that’s taking care of my family.

Seeing with new eyes

I still have a long way to go and I accept that it’s a continuous process but I can sincerely say that this course has given me new set of eyes, its mind blowing of how conscious and aware I am of self and others. For the biggest lesson learned is shade of grey does exist actually not everything is as black and white as I though, context plays a big part in the grey area

Honouring Differences

The first that comes to mind is RESPECT! Keeping it home South Africa is a diverse country from various languages, races, cultures and traditions to individual’s gender, sexual orientation and social class therefore I believe respect is a key component to honouring one another’s differences and to get a long as a society. One cannot deny the impact the history of our country has on us as individuals and collective and how we treat one another for example other groups feeling superior to others because of their race and/or gender. Now we cannot change what happened in the past but we can learn from it, embrace one another and ultimately being conscious of fact we are all human beings irrespective of our race, gender, social class and so forth. Respect, communication, awareness of self and others are some other element that will help us in achieving honouring differences.

Facilitating Change

There’s a clear and concise saying that pertains to change “change is inevitable” and I couldn’t agree more change is part of life; it’s a never ending journey. I mean this course itself is a big change for most us; it does not fit the “norms” of education from the seating arrangements to discussing the course material as a collective rather than be lectured, were proving a “right” answer is not the order of the day but unlocking individuals mind and helping them reach a conclusion that’s right for them.
So we had to complete the Thinking Style Profile it confirmed what I already knew that I’m left brained my score was 8 to 1, what surprised me though was the motivation preference results, even though it was 1 point difference, I just don’t understand how and why my sudden change of tune from being a firm believer of internal locus control, believing I have no control over what happens to me, but entirely responsible on how I choose to respond. And when I saw the results I actually changed them because for a minute I believed I’m becoming soft, whatever “soft” means. I must say though the exercise we did in class helped, it made me see that there’s no right or wrong, it’s all context dependent, in certain situations being left brain helps and sometimes it doesn’t because I don’t see the big picture I focus too much on the details.

Communicating via Social Media

So this topic took me back to my Mixit days, basically modern version of What’s App. Speaking of What’s App I had to re-download it for my presentation group after not having it for over 4years,(people think I’m weird for not having it in the first place). There’s a reason why I deleted it, to prevent unnecessary annoying conversations with bored, clearly bored people for example:
Boring annoying person: Hi
Me: Hello, why are you?
Boring annoying person: Fine, and you?
Me: I’m good thanks
Boring annoying person: Wuup2? Short for what you up to? The most ANNOYING question EVER
Sure by now you guys get the drift, thank G for the BLOCK button….but lucky most people do not know I’m “back” on What’s App. Anyways back to the topic at hand, social media has changed so much even I can’t keep up. So I’d say Facebook and What’s App are the two social media that still allows “effective” communication amongst family and family, especially for those who are based in different countries and /or continent makes keeping in touch easier. Twitter is more for “trends” and current affairs, so if one wants to keep abreast as to what’s happening in and around the country and the rest of the world this is the best platform. My personal fav hands down has to be Instagram. Instagram is about the glitz and glam, traveling, fashion, healthy lifestyle (yoga and clean eating) and so forth. There are pros and cons to using social media; the pressure for “perfection” is real so being secure and comfortable with you is vital. And as a user it’s my responsibility to be respectful towards other users and their opinions, just treat others the way I would like to be treated.

Introduction

I can safely say my understanding or rather perception of the facilitation skills course was all wrong. I didn’t really do much researched prior to registering, I only asked one of the Wits plus coordinator and I was advised I would enjoy it; it is fun and good for me if I want to improve my public speaking skills. And who can honestly say they don’t want to improve their public speaking skills, to speak with easy and confidence I know I do. So that I was the core reason I decided to take up the course, not to mention the benefit of attending on Saturday, meaning I don’t have to be at Wits twice at evening on a weekday arrrg. Must say the first “lecture” was confusing or rather “unconventional” from the set up of seating to how the facilitation was conducted. It was different and based on the feedback at the end of the facilitation it made many students uncomfortable (myself included) understandably so, as we are not used to type of “lecture”. I’m nervous about this course, but too curious to quit it, so let’s see what happens next.

I wish I knew better before embarking on this journey!

I believe there’s a reason for everything that comes my way and perhaps this is one of them. Right now I’m remembering how I used to struggle when writing essays in the beginning of my first year at Wits. I wish I knew back then what the benefits of reflective writing were… it made sense to start writing in the style you are comfortable style in and then translate it into a proper academic style. Thank you Ros, oh how I wish I met you before!

The beginning of the end

I have been looking forward to the last day of the lecture. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I was starting to feel bad each Saturday morning when I leave home 😕. My three year old would ask who goes to school on a Saturday? I think he was starting to be tortured by the fact that momy isn’t around on Saturday mornings.

But I must say I was even harder to part with my fellow group mates. To see yourself through other people’s eyes validates a lot about One’s character. Especially if it is about the qualities you were not aware of. When people don’t just acknowledge your efforts but acknowledge the whole package, it is the most humbling experience ever! We promised to keep in touch and I’m glad I met you group 5!

At the tip of the iceberg

I like to write, but I don’t think I’m a good story teller and lately we are tasked to share stories to each other about conflicts we have encountered in the past. When the iceberg theory was introduced, I thought to myself I wish more people were exposed to such… We are learning about the useful tools in class however it’s not easy to utilize these to certain environments especially where culture prioritized more and there’s an imbalance in understanding.

Start your day with Acknowledgement to Others

The last Saturday for Facilitation class and I would have thought that I would have been excited to have completed this semester. I feel as though I am saying goodbye to a friend at the airport with mixed emotions.. I sit down and listen to Ros explaining about thanking our ancestors and it makes complete sense. Irrespective of which racial group each of us belong to, it is vital to thank our ancestors or higher power even if it’s by starting off with thanksgiving to being on the wake up list this morning..

The more we are able to humble ourselves and live each day in  gratitude, the more blessings, opportunities and so much more will  be welcomed into our paths. Small things that we often overlook like the people that we meet, our families and the  love and joy that they bring into our world.. Or simply just being happy and in a better space not even having a reason for your bliss..

What are You grateful for at this very moment? Even if it’s one thing that you could mention. .That’s the perfect item to Acknowledge and Pray for! So get ready to light your candle and talk to the One whose Always listening..

I’d like to take a moment of Acknowledge all the people from Group 4- Storytelling.. I will miss our planning, silly jokes, sitting together on Saturdays during lessons and breaks. I’m grateful that our paths have crossed. We have always keep in touch and meet up, not letting life keep us too busy as we have formed real and good friendships. To Ros and all the Facilitators, I’d like to thank you for sacrificing your Saturdays to spend with us as you could have been with your families. I have learnt an immense amount of wisdom and  will retain these techniques and apply them daily to myself and how I work and treat others. Lastly I’d like to thank my support structure, the people who have always believed in me and helped me along the way. I will never forget the important lessons I’ve learnt in this class and even something as small as a smile at a stranger will help them feel that the world isn’t such a scary or lonely place..

Love and light to All

xoxo

Nina

 

 

Acknowledging Others

Today my group and I presented on the theme of Acknowledging others. At first i found it really uncomfortable to have to present because I’m so shy and like i have really bad anxiety. The experience however turned out being really good and i actually am sad that this whole presentation is actually over. Working with each team member was an incredible experience and eye opener. Working together as a team really taught me what it was to acknowledge others.  I am truly grateful o have had the opportunity of working with these individuals! Thank you!

After the presentation we did a exercise on acknowledging others this was based on the story that Roslyn shared on the 4 elements of acknowledging others. Appearance, Skills, Qualities and Impact. It was such an emotional exercise to do because there were tears across the room. I think it finally hit me that this module has come to an end.

To be quite honest I’m so glad that i did not drop this class despite how i felt in the beginning. My personal goal was to achieve self confidence and i can say that i definitely got that out of this module. The unstructurdness of this course was actually beneficial because it got me out my comfort zone so many times that now when i face uncomfortable situations in my career and personal space i will know how to handle these situations with ease because of the knowledge and techniques gained. I wish that i had attended all the lectures on a saturday but that didn’t stop me from studying the whole module guide. I can confidently say that i won’t be chucking this course pack in the bin, if anything it is my new tool to helping others in my personal and career life. This course really helped me emotionally and psychologically to deal with the complex situations in life, advanced my emotional intelligence and thinking skills but also helped me build a resilience in terms of people and situations i am fearful of facing.

Thank you Roslyn! I am truly grateful and thankful for being a part of this course.

Mental Mindness

This specific theme really was presented well. It was short and to the point. I think i personally related to this theme because I’ve had constant wars with my own mind. I think whats a blessing and a curse at the same time is that i see and feel things so deep and this has the greatest disadvantage to my soul.  I think I’ve had my ups and downs in life but i tend to revisit the past a lot and this just keeps me back from moving forward.

Sometimes you have to move on. I think so many times its actually failure that scares us. Like we failed in the past, failed in the situations or problems. We create the mental blockages. Sometimes you don’t know, but the person next to you knows what its like to go through bumpy roads. You have to become one with the elements. Accept the things you can’t change, but don’t run back to the comfort zone. Even in your fear and confusion, your leadership qualities are still there, we all have them. We need to lead our minds in the right direction. Know what works for you and stick to it. Not all doors are closed, when one closes do not go back because theres another door that just opened.

The reason you can’t go back is because that mould you were in, its broken and it doesn’t fit anymore. Your mind needs to be renewed. If you keep doing the same thing over and over you’re not going to get to a new result. You have to do something different in order to get a different outcome and thats what I’ve learnt today. Let it go, but let it go with love. Give thanks and move on.

Closure presentation

Oh what a wonderful way of saying goodbye ,we saw the greatest  and the last presentation,I enjoyed every moment of it,They use the world greatest leaders and who are mostly hated by many ,I never knew the good side of Hitler,Sadam and Vervoed,I only knew the worse catastrophes that they perpetrated, But this taught me that is does not matter how bad a person can be but they also have a good side,they make an impact to some people, it does not matter how the world perceived them,they are human beings and they are loved by someone

I

Perception or Perspective

This Facilitation was really interesting to learn about. It touched a lot on the 5 senses which was really fascinating because this effects the way in which we see and interpret things.

In life we very often assume that what we see is what we get which is not aways the case. This module related a lot to a frame of reference. Not everyone has the same perception or perspective of things, we all assign different meanings to different experiences. I think this theme of “seeing through new eyes” definitely opened up my own.

As a perfectionist, as much as it is one of my strengths, it can also be one of my greatest weaknesses because I sort of expect other people to be organized and efficient as i am. This is not always the case, I had to accept that not everyone is the same. You have to see things from the perspective of other people because thats what acknowledgement is about.

There is something very interesting that i read two weeks ago and that is, What you believe can either overcome obstacles or create obstacles. This statement is very relative to the theme in subject. Our beliefs is what helps us interpret the world but it also affects the way in which we see things, our views, opinions, and basically how life works. Based on what we believe, it can either shape us or break us. We have to just be considerate and always think of others.

Saying goodbye..

As today was the last day of our facilitation class..it was hard saying thank you to my group members as we all became emotional. Thinking about where we started and the journey we’ve been through working as a team. Different opinions and ideas here and there but final product came out. I will always remember them as I have made new friends whom I plan not to forget. We have had a great facilitator Rosslyn and her mentor Tef..taking with me all I’ve learnt and going out there with my knowledge of facilitating. It has surely been an awesome experience. This is not a goodbye instead it’s a hello…

 

 

 

 

Second last Saturday

 

Second last Saturday:

Truth be told I was present in the lecture but mentally I was thinking of my group work. Next week we presenting. All the nerves are building up. I decide to pull myself towards myself and listen as Rosslyn was facilitating. Learning about advocate, giving out information about the situation, decide, whereby your assumptions influence your decisions, data select, when telling the story be truthful as well. Then followed by beliefs, goes with your assumptions. What you are told how you decide to decipher it. Then also your needs and life experience go hand in hand. These are the steps that are taken to make sure there are no communication barriers. Wish to add more but this is where I end for the day, tired and sleepy.

Justice has been served

Justice has been served:
Building relationships the topic and presentation for today. What a wow was my thought. Learning that relationships are sometimes easy or at times hard to build. Earning someone’s trust is a work process and yet its so easy to lose it. Working in a group has not been the easiest thing for all of us since the lecture began, when were told we were going to work in groups. Everyone has their own opinions and there is always one who feels that they should lead and there is always one who is more extroverted than other. Then is one who is always absent non participant in the group work. This is what happened to this group today, Justice was served. Justice was one of the members who vanished, was not participating at all in the group. A decision had to be made to kick him out or let him stay. This definitely broke some relationships within the group as they did not trust him anymore he was a disappointment. But in life we all deserve a second chance and he got it. The prodigal son had returned.
Having a conversation that is meaningful with a colleague, a friend or your partner is the process of developing a relationship with someone. Embargo is like leaving your stain on someone. That what you said or did to that person has left an effect on them. Therefore it is important to be careful of what you say to others with your words, as sometimes the words you use, may either destroy that person in the inside or build them up. Hence there is power in the tongue.

Team work..

Working as a team:

It is never easy to work with people especially when everyone has their own ideas wanting to push across. And therefore it is important to give each other a chance to talk and listen to one other. Understand what they saying and when listening to them that you should not be distracted by anything in the mind. Working as a team with those types of aspects will work out just well. Respecting each other’s time and one another too. As we were given a task today to complete by creating a garment for a model only using one set of material. Two groups were given the liberty to talk through their ideas of creating this outfit, and then the other groups were told not to talk only signal to each other what they needed.
Ofcause this was not an easy task at all, because one needs to talk out loud to be heard and understand but this has also taught me to appreciate my voice. And I really respect the deaf and dumb. They are very special kind of people and this has pushed me to learn sign language. Yep what a day.

Reflective piece

Thought of a reflective piece:

It is not always easy to know what to say or write about. When you are told to write a reflective piece and one just thinks gosh where am I going to start with this. So many thoughts and words going through your mind but having to write down something is an issue. Well or let me speak for myself. It is not always to know immediately what I need to write about. It is not as though I just grab a pen and boom I am writing. I first need to reflect on where I have been in this journey of facilitation skills. It is like telling a story of what my experience has been like and what shall I be looking forward to from hence forth. So yes this reflective writing is not going to be an easy task. As I start pondering….

Blog 3..

 


Missed the lecture:
Having to work over the weekends is not a nice thing. I missed class today and there I was thinking whoo how did class go with the topic being honoured differences? For my understanding honouring differences could be honouring those people and places around you. That we are all different as people and have different thoughts, cultures and traditions. Therefore we need to honour each other as we are. The people at work, church or school. And that not everyone is as privileged as we think just by looking them. Everyone has a story of their lives to tell. And that one should not judge a book by its cover.
This is a lesson learnt for me of not knowing how class went. I guess I will have to wait till the next class…

 

 

Fomo

FOMO- (Fear of missing out…)
There I am parked in the parking lot, ready for lecture two. Wondering already how this class is going to begin. Arrive the venue and the door is closed, and I am thinking but I am early. To only find out that the group that was presenting that day was preparing. So 08:30am the doors open and we are welcomed by little posters on the wall with quotations on them, about change. I immediately got excited and looked forward to the group presentation of which was mind changing. For the first time in a class that presentation made me feel at home. Being able to share your feelings with a class mate and relating to each other. My morning was bliss.
It made me think about what facilitation is, it is about coaching, being able to build connectivity amongst group members developing trust with each other. Allowing everyone to share their opinions and engage with others. It requires one to become empathetic, what you put in, is what you get out. Facilitation is a means of enabling people and teams to perform at the highest level possible.
So on that day, I learnt also about delta plus, where this gives us an opportunity as a class to give feedback whether good or not to the group that had presented for the day. Lecture two was not as bad as I thought it would be..

That day..

That Day…

So the lecture on Saturday started at 08:00am, as I entered the room I found Roslyn Solomon the lecturer had already introduced herself to the class. It began as any lecture, formal and structured, students sitting behind their desks with the lecturer in front. We were then asked to put the desks aside, and to find three or more people of which you did not know and introduce yourselves to each other. Tell each other what your expectations of the course were and what it is that you wanted to get out of this. I thought it was a bit weird but anyway let us see where this is going. We then sat in a big circle, with Roslyn in the middle. This was something new. We then took a break obviously we needed to breathe a bit. During the break a little gift bag with numbers inside it, was being rotated. You pick any number you see, we called it the numbers game and then we were formed into groups according to the number you had. We formed what you call a fish bowl technique, group one had to sit in the middle whilst the rest of the class surrounded them, listening on the ideas they were putting together for their presentation. So the first exercise of meet and greet was called the check in technique.
Well thinking about what I learnt that day was that the facilitation course is not for faint hearted. One needs to leave their guard at the door, go into class with an expectant heart and have an open for anything type of attitude. It definitely was a not a structured class. And I had thought that maybe just maybe I could apply this “leave your guard at door policy” at work but on second thoughts, I would rather not. So if you struggled with that, then unfortunately the lecture is just not for you. Within the groups that we sat in earlier before the fish bowl took place, I noticed my group was mixed with introverts and extroverts. Whereby there are people that love to be in control, loud and push their opinions across. Whilst on the other hand there are introverts that prefer to listen more and talk less. This is something that was noticed within all groups, that yes conflict would erupt.
So at the end of the lecture, I had made new friends, my guard was down and I was looking forward to next lecture…how odd of me..chuckles

Seeing with new eyes

 

The aim was to open the window to a new different way of thinking, to lessen and ultimately alleviate socially created prejudices. The team wanted to display the different ways in which one could think differently. Once the audience realized the tribalism, racism and prejudice, you could see the perception movement, the shift, the team said they wanted to inspire and facilitate change, I think they succeeded.

Reflective Essay

 

On the 2nd of September we had to submit our first draft essay to class. To our surprises all the student had to mark each others reflective essays. It was a bit challenging to some of us as it was the first time we had to go through that experience. The process of marking reflective essays really gave us an idea of what our lectures go through during their marking processes on their normal working days.

On the other hand i believe the idea backfired a bit as some students were first years and their work wasn’t referenced properly. Many students had their work marked low because they had no idea on how to draft an academic essay and i believe this was an unfair treatment to them. At the end of the day everyone learned something new and we will take this knowledge to use it on our academic journey.

Last class

 

It would’ve been much better for me to attend the last class and witness the last presentation. Duties had to call on Friday morning to immediately  rush to Nelspruit for an immediate work that wouldn’t wait for the weekend. Got to Nelspruit midday, started working and finished up late. Had to sleep over and travel back to JHB first thing int the morning. Arrived to class two hours late and to my surprise the class was dismissed at 10:00am.  I missed the last 2017 facilitation  presentation. I hope everyone who attended had fun and learned something from it.

Good luck to everyone who will be writing exams from next week and have yourself a wonderful last two months of 2017.

Communicating via social media

If we were allowed to nominate the most dominant team that facilitated a well organised presentation, In my view i believe the first team will come out tops.

The first group to do a presentation was a Communicating via social media group. This was a large group that consisted of more than fifteen members but taking nothing away from them the group did very well. The group was well organised, every member was allocated to present a social media platform that they are well aware off and knows all of its advantages. Two members were selected from the group to facilitate the entire presentation by engaging with the audience. Even though it was their first time to facilitate a presentation they really provided a perfect facilitation.

 

Working as a team

Working as group on a task is not that easy. But if a group go through the cohesion process successfully, the task before hand is achievable. BJM (2003) discovered, “Group learning facilitates not only the acquisition of knowledge but also several other desirable attributes, such as communication skills, teamwork, problem solving, independent responsibility for learning, sharing information, and respect for others”. In addition, working as group you delegate roles to each other .
I can work on my own. I would find it easy to work on my own, because I loose temper easily. I used to struggle to work as a team or in the group. I could not handle to deal deal with other personalities. After my group 8 topic presentation, which I believe we have done exceptional well. I realized that it is much more easier working as a team than working on your own. Working as team you exceed expectations and task are completed in time.

Reflective Writing

So, one of the activities of the day was to write about the experience that I had in this class so far using for different styles. We needed to write automatically, write to ourselves, write to a good friend and lastly writing to the lecturer. I found writing to myself easy out of the four styles. I learned that when writing to myself , there was no need to use any filters and you use the language that I use in my daily thoughts. Therefore the style that I would use writing my blogs is writing to myself.

Missed Opportunity

I’m unable to blog about yesterday cause I missed Team 5’s presentation specifically- got to class at 08H35 and was locked out (where’s that sad/disappointed face emoji when you need one) – consolation prize-I got to hear of the positives from the class and of course, delta. True to the topic, I missed an opportunity.

thank you….thank you

This course brought more than awareness, it was therapeutic in so many levels. This course has been great and enjoyed all the presentations and appreciated all the effort the teams put for their presentations.

Big thank you and appreciation goes to all the members of group 8, they were great to work with. Love you team J

To my friend Gillian Louw, so many things I can say about you but you know you special to me. You are a great friend, supported me during my pregnancy by taking notes for me in lectures and sharing them with love.

To our lecture, thank you so much for making me enjoy this course, I have learned a lot from you, I love your energy and empathy you showed. You are an amazing person Ross.

The Johari Window model

 

The Johari Window model can also be used to assess and improve a group’s relationship with other groups. A technique used to help people better understands their relationship with themselves and others. It is a useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group.

Our lecture is great and always explain these concepts easy.

”left brain”

Truly enjoy lecture today, Module 3 was very insightful and as much as I have learned about the left and right brain in psychology but today the exercise was different and insightful. I’ve learned new thing about myself today and also answers to some of the things I was wondering about for a long time. What was causing me to do things in a certain way. I am a left brain, detailed person, able to juggle many things at once, I’m detail oriented, internal motivational style. My sensory preference is auditory and my learning style is initiator.

Showing up

The four facilitator roles…..Showing up,….Paying Attention,…..Telling the truth and Being Open to Outcomes… I learned that these roles are key and they will surely equip my facilitation. I realised that these roles will apply both in my personal and work space.

Great team work group 8 and I appreciate all the support you gave me…

Our topic is conflict and so there is no way we can have conflict in our group 🙂

Great people in my group and we engaged very well together.,,,,very organised and structure….mmmm Positive thinkers….energetic and laughter….we had fun….

I like to engage in groups and I though we all adults and professional It shouldn’t be difficult or experience conflict. Having to engage with new people is not  a challenge  for me, I love working with people.  When the groups finally came together I was happy to see the great level of communication and connections amongst our self’s, find myself connecting very well with group 8.

Great team work group 8 and I appreciate all the support you gave me.

Last three weeks of facilitations……

What an experience in learning there is lot that I have learned in this course and I will happily revisit this module I know its very rear to do that but this is a life time module that will help me to grow and to stay up to standard about real issues of life if I want to be the best professional in and out of the office….

What an experience to learning we had every Saturday morning it was a very special one indeed as it was a norm now that our weekends will starts at wits. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this learning experience in class and our most wonderful sweet facilitators whom will always smile to us in class.

 Now I can communicate better and facilitate better…

 

Puzzle Completed

As I write my final blog and final thing to hand in before the start of exams also known as the period where I always consider ‘Do I really need this degree?’ ‘I could always drop out’  I would firstly  like to thank ThiThi for informing  me about this subject, to Ros for making it an enjoyable class even though it is on a Saturday, to my group for your hard work and for putting up with me and finally to the class… I know most of you will not read this blog but that’s okay, thank you for making the class fun, enjoyable and laughable.

it is a Saturday morning class and it could have gone horribly wrong had we all not decided to participate but we all saw the bigger picture and we did participate.

this class was confusing to start off with and yes very weird but once I learnt to open up to new academic methods I learnt more than any other class. it has truly been a difficult puzzle to finish but in the end with the help from everyone I got there in the end.

 

“Fishbowls’’

Let your voice be heard …

Give others a change to talk as well….

We also talked about “Fishbowls’’ are useful for ventilating “hot topics” or sharing ideas or information from a variety of perspectives. When the people in the middle are public officials or other decision-makers, this technique can help bring transparency to the decision-making process and increase trust and understanding about complex issues. I like the way we engaged in class, when our lecture asked ask to form a circle because it allows everyone to have a voice and be comfortable to share. I am an extrovert and maybe there few introverts that may not be comfortable with the circle setup. The method lends itself also to show dominance relationships. Intrusive participants must constantly go back into the inner circle and avoid side conversations. I really enjoyed the fish bowl experience in class.

show up and be present in the moment.

It’s been great

I am still not sure if I can claim to be a blogger after only 9 blogs on this platform, whether I in fact did adopt to blogging or if it is something I had to do as a course requirement, time will tell.

What I know is, whenever I took time to commit to this requirement, I felt a sense of relief. It became therapeutic to write my thoughts away, confining them to course material might have been a bit restrictive because there was so much I wished I could let out, but the little I could write about was mind refreshing.

I cannot say I have made great friendships in the past +/- 4 months of this course but I can definitely say I have increased my circle of friends and acquaintances. Looking back to my first session, I would not have thought I would finish the last session with such progress.

I have developed mentally and emotionally through this course. I thought I was strong and could manage my life well now I know I have the tools and skills to improve.

I am glad I chose to do this course now as I feel better prepared for the road ahead at WitsPlus. I cannot wait to put into action all the facilitation techniques learned. With or without the distinction, it is entirely up to me to put the effort in implementing all the I have been taught.

Facilitation technique – the “balcony” perspective

One of the aims for me is to grow and gain new skills. The facilitator talked about the facilitation technique, the “balcony” perspective, that we must be able to notice patterns and learn from others and over time I want be able to notice, integrate all the different parts of my experience, how to interact and influence others, and be able to make decisions based on a broad look at my situation. As a leader that seeks to enhance my ability to make an impact to the people I train, present to, engage with in many platforms. I need to continually be shifting my focus, over time, from the floor to the balcony and back again.

I love this concept and our lecture explained it also very well in class.

Don’t think you Mrs KNOW it ALL….we learn everyday :-)

Day One

Unlearn to lean

Don’t think you Mrs KNOW it ALL….we learn everyday

Day one went very well, better than I anticipated. Going to class with the attitude that I do facilitation and training almost every day as part of my job and I am doing the course just for credits. Crazy attitude I had day one thinking and saying to myself that I will do very well with this course because I have great experience and I have received good feedback about my facilitation skills, I am a speaker and speaking in front of people is not an issue for me. Bu all that changed when I was going through my handbook and what the lecture shared in class of what to expect for the course, then my mind-set changed completely. Followed by a small voice inside of me that said unlearn to learn! You are still learning, you are not Mrs know it all. All of a sudden I became more curious, interested to learn more and looking forward to the coming weeks.

Happy to be part of this class and looking forward to the new journey.

Justice League

The pressure is finally off as the previous weekend my group and I had presented and so I could finally enjoy other groups presentations knowing that they will not might hold a grudge against either me or a group member if we gave them a critical delta minus which would lead to them marking us harshly.

Group 9 you sure delivered a show which would have been worthy of an episode on Law and Order as the group sent one of its members into a ‘court room’ where he would be trailed for free riding and where the group would receive ‘Justice’ no pun intended and expose the infamous ‘Prodigal Son’ known as Justice. I am an individual who enjoys watching drama unfold and boy did I enjoy the group exposing a free rider to the whole class. This took bravery to do and it also made me reflect on my group’s situation where we also had a member who had gone ‘missing’, who did not respond to our messages, or let us know that she would be participating and we feared that she would affect us by returning last minute and wanting to claim the spoils of our hard earned victory and so I take off my hat to group 9 for exposing a member who did no work but wanted the results.

Though I enjoyed the exposing of a member I have to say that the situation was well managed by the group and Ros which helped bring clarity to the whole situation and which allowed the conflict to be properly resolved.
The rest of the class dealt with listening and learning techniques and how to listening properly without making any prejudgments, this is important as I tend to make judgments before I can hear the whole story and this allowed to me before I can make a decision on a situation. The class is reaching the end and I feel as though I have completed the puzzle.

Building relationships

After the gruelling weeks of preparation, the day finally came. It came with such a sense of relief to close off this process, well because it took a lot from me. Attending a Saturday class has not come without challenges, so staying an hour later afterwards made it a bit harder to manage.
Juggling work, home and school during weekdays is no child’s play, adding a Saturday didn’t make it any easier as one misses out on a lot of family time and activities, as a result, I became unpopular with some members.

Finally, I experienced what if felt like for the previous group members to stand in front of the class and present, not easy at all. It is easy to judge and criticise from the audience.

Managing our time was critical in keeping all the activities within the allocated 45 minutes and still keep the audience engaged. I think we did better than we had anticipated though it would have been nice to get feedback from the class about what we had done right and what could have been done differently.

Great team spirit and effort to all the members of Group 9

the end of the road

as we come to the end of the course i am happy to say that i have learned alot and enjoyed the presence of my class mates and what they have taught me. From being completely confused as to what this class was about to being competent when it comes to facilitation and confident when it comes to group exercises and presentastions

i think its safe to say that this was an amazing learning environment and that i can take alot of what i learned and use it outside of the classroom

thank you to the class and the facilitation team.

meaningful conversations

i really enjoyed this topic as i do tend to struggle with conversations and conversation topics. There are a lot more barriers that i thought there were and a lot that i am guilty of. It was interesting to see what exercises there are and how many there are too. The class came together to build a shared understanding as to how we can better our conversations and make them more meaningful. This was a good topic as it allowed me to understand that ironically through communication and coming to a common ground yields better communication.

Blog 8

I feel in life people wear many hats and these hats are determined by the situation they are in, for an example, I have a friend who is an advocate and if someone had to meet him in a social situation they would never think that he is an advocate. I for one was shocked when I first saw him during working hours – besides his work suit, his whole mannerism and body language was so professional. I also believe that it’s the same when people engage in dynamic conversation roles – the situation will / should determine the types of roles projected. If I’m with my family or friends, I find myself filtering through all four of the roles, and the one that is used depends on what the conversation is at that particular moment. If I’m with work colleagues, I will also only contribute or question depending on the knowledge I have of the subject.

Blog 7

I really enjoyed the facilitation experience today. The group planned very nice activities, although the one was very confusing so early in the morning – “Say what I say, but do the opposite of what I say” It was most enjoyable to watch! I also loved the story of the lady who befriended a girl at school who was struggling with the school work, and due to that kindness shown, how years later that same girl became a designer and assisted her by showing her how to design and make dresses, and what a beautiful dress it was!

This week I tried to be conscious of what I listen to, and I’ve determined that I’m more of a Heart Listener. Although it is usually used when a situation demands empathy, I find myself noting a person’s body language and the tone of their voice, and if all is in sync. I generally have a lot of empathy towards people and try to be conscious of their feelings.

Blog 6

D-DAY!!! So today was the day of our presentation! And what an awesome group, group 6 is! We are a diverse group with such different personalities – and we just click! We all put 100% into today and I couldn’t be prouder! But the biggest highlight for me is Mohale – I’m so proud of him, and so touched by his openness and willingness to share such an intimate and personal part of his life with us, as complete strangers! And how can I forget how he rocked those heals!!

Blog 5

It’s interesting to see the various perspectives of composing a reflective writing essay. To give an example, I for one have just focused purely on my expectations coming into the class and my experience as a whole, and I have not included any readings, or even the things I have learnt during this journey. Secondly there are various styles of writing which can be used. Going forward, I now know what I should include and what is actually not relevant.

Blog 4

Last year the company I work for merged with another smaller company. My department alone has grown from four individuals to six. Although having two-extra people does not sound like a lot, it did change the dynamics within the department. Both companies obviously had their own policies and procedures, and now we all must try and work as one. Although it’s been a year, it has been quite an adjustment to integrate and you can see that there is still not a lot of trust. So, I’m definitely going to find a way to test the Johari Window in the department I work in to help build trust. It is imperative for us as a department to understand each other, to communicate openly and to develop trust to strengthen relationships, as at the end of the day we need to ultimately function cohesively.

Blog 3

Although all the weeks have been interesting and insightful, this may have been the most interesting and enjoyable class yet. I’ve always been fascinated about how and why people think, learn and behave in the manner in which they do, and the exercises done in class this week gave a practical application as to how it all happens. And not only in my thinking and learning preferences, but also as to how people view the way I do things – so it’s not a case of I’m right and they are most definitely wrong. I especially enjoyed the story a classmate shared of how she would go into detail when having a conversation with her partner and how it would frustrate him, and needless to say, they are not together anymore. I enjoyed witnessing her aha moment, and I totally get her, as when talking to my husband I find myself giving him so much detail too – probably unnecessary information, but luckily for me he also has a left-brain preference! For me, my aha moment is that I’m currently working in an HR department and I get to deal with a lot of people on a daily basis and these tools will definitely assist me to work with the diverse range of people with whom I come into contact with.

Meaningful Conversations 3

Meaningful Conversations 3
As this was the last group for this course, the theme was facilitating team decisions. What was interesting to me was that I was in the green group that was not allowed to talk when participating in the exercise. The objective was to create the garments from the papers and plastics that were given to us to design and create the garments. Each member in our group had to find a different way to communicate with each other. Team cohesion process is very interesting, this process is based on the model that was first proposed and outlines five phases in the cycle of a team (Tuckman, 1965). The process phases ase Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Reforming. In the first stage are involved in the planning process and becoming orientated in establishing relationships. The second stage different ideas start competing for considerations. The third stage learning members begin to adjust their ideas and action behaviour.Perfoming stage the teams are measured in high performance, commitment and collaboration. Teams from time to time have to undergo changes ion order to remain relevant.

FACILITATING TEAM DECISIONS VIA MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

The icebreaker with the stress balls was so interesting, I enjoyed it. What a way for each of us in a group to introduce ourselves while randomly throwing the balls at different team members. The fact that there were more than two balls thrown around and people calling out their names at the same time, forced us to really check in and be present since it required attention.

In our divided teams, we were given an activity where we were given a box with different materials inside and a model to dress up. Each team was given 25 minutes to finish the task. We chose plastic since it was a flexible and had slim chances of falling off. We made a dress, a doek, and accessories. I really enjoyed that creative part, so did everyone in the group. The interesting thing is that part of the instruction was that in completing the task, we were not allowed to be vocal when communicating, we had to use sign language. It was tricky at first, but we were given pen and paper to write on.  As the activity progressed, we found better ways of communicating and still delivered a beautiful outfit for our model. Later someone thought out of the box and wrote on the piece of paper “Guys, the instruction never said we can’t go outside and talk, it only says, we are not allowed to talk in class”. Talk about freeing one’s mind, that was awesome. We went outside and finished talking and arranged who will be walking on the ramp with our model and we really were convinced we were going to take the first prize since our dress looked much more beautiful compared to the rest of the other groups.

As one of the facilitators was busy engaging the audience with feedback, their 45 minutes allocated to the facilitation was up and Ros stopped them from continuing. It was so sad though because I would have loved to hear the whole feedback from Group 10 and how they were going to conclude the lesson for the day and what I was going to take out of that whole workshop. I just wish they had practiced bearing in mind that time was limited and taken from previous groups that activity time should be less to allow room for participation and feedback from the audience and the group itself and that it was ok to do the facilitation in less than 45 minutes. Even now as I am typing, I am still wondering how the end of their piece was going to sound or look like.

The one thing that stood out is that there are different styles of communicating and that as a team we need to identify one that corresponds with the formation of the team. The more we spent time doing the activity, the more our team communication improved.

Well, we finished class early and we are going to polish our essays for final submissions. What a lot I got to do still, phew!!

While we just learned how to facilitate team decisions, we need to acknowledge others in our experiential learning journey.

Till next workshop, Ciao!

 

 

 

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Can people really build long, solid lasting relationships. I really wonder, is it difficult or is it easy or perhaps it’s something we learn to with time. how do relationships develop, no-one can answer that. I belief that we build relationships unconsciously, we just start talking s individuals and we happen to click, we share common goals and yhe feslings become mutual from that moment onwards we build something beautiful . we work hard to maintain it but it is never easy, it often includes sacrifices, tolerance , understanding and listening. that is how life becomes worthwhile, we learn to share the load with others whom we call family, friends and lifetime partners. Building strong relationships is the best thing ever that is there our strength comes from and ee learn to move forward and continue with the blessing called life.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

The day has come and it’s my team’s turn to facilitate the day’s workshop. Well, first of all, we came to class on Friday night to rehearse on our piece. We were meant to get to class on the day of the facilitation as early as 7 am to have a final run of the rehearsal before delivery in class. As the universe can dish you anything at any time, the class was locked and we struggled to locate the security guard and as a result, the class was opened a little later and we never got to rehearse. The nerves were just killing me as I really wanted to do that final run before class started because I have a serious fear of speaking in front of people and as the one introducing the group, I wanted to give a banging intro without stuttering. Yeah, I stutter… especially when nervous. LOL!

So, we started and surprisingly everything just fell into place, everyone did their part well and it was amazing that even though we did not have the final run of rehearsals, the delivery was better than what we did the previous night. It was like someone had a magic wand and we all had an out of body experience in the delivery.

Ours was different , we still had 15 minutes left out of 45 that is given per workshop and Ros shared our group’s conflict resolution story and made us sit in the middle of the class and gave each one of us a chance to tell the class about our emotions and everything that happened leading to that day and how Justice also came to the party and hugely contributed to the workshop in that short space of time and how we all had a change of heart after the conflict and building a relationship with him and accepting him as one of us. It’s amazing how giving another person a chance to tell their story and accept them in your space can change your perception about them.

Moving right along…  The lessons Ros gave for the day was about the three skills that were essential in meaningful conversation.  Advocacy, listening and inquiry. The ability to explain our views, where they come from and building understanding about what we are thinking. The exercise on listening to head, heart and will was my Aha moment. It’s amazing how we always think we know what a person is thinking, feeling or willing to do when in a situation. We do not repeat what the person is saying to us, instead we say what we interpret without asking for clarity if you heard correctly, we do not listen with intent and miss that which the speaker wants us to hear.

I learned that when conflict is managed with slowing down a conversation, communication can be meaningful and we can learn the other truth and find ways to move forward together, therefore building relationships. This is a tool that I am going to apply since it has proven to work and I am going to try listening to people with intent to enable others to find their voice and speak their truth and not mine.

Justice has done Justice to our group facilitation by willing to do whatever it took to be part of Group 9. Don’t get me wrong, everyone worked hard at putting the workshop programme together, his dramatic return put a twist on the whole thing and it was a perfect personal story to tell about building relationships.

Building relationships from conflict resolution can help in facilitating team decisions. What a long 9 weeks wait it was, I can now sleep at night knowing that we have done the facilitation and no more meeting every Saturday after class all that’s left for me to do is to catch up on my blogs and polish my final essay submission.

Let’s meet again next Saturday when we continue with meaningful conversation and facilitate team decisions with Group 10.

Facilitating team decisions

Decisions, of any nature, are hard. We think we have it all figured out and often we want to reach conclusions without much consideration for the process. There are many factors to consider when trying to make a decision. This was well portrayed by the activity for group 10 where we had to design a costume for a model. The first thing is to establish a means of communication with other team players (or any other parties that must be a part of the decision-making). Once this has been done then a solid foundation has been out down.

The next important question is: who can? This I think is an important question to ask for the sake of guidance. This way we will be able to establish who will play what role in the process. As a team we came to learn that we have some really talented designers, which made the process that much easier because it meant there was a bit of structure to the process.

These are just some of the important factors that facilitate the process of decision-making. The activity was effective because the next time I was faced with a decision, I sat back for a moment and thought it through more thoroughly, taking other people into consideration. I do still need some time however to compare the results of this new method with my old method. It would be interesting to note whether this worked better for me or not. Story for another day.

Great lessons for a Saturday morning.

XoXo

K*

RESOLVING CONFLICT WITH MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS

So, the day started on yet a different angle that was taken by Group 8. In delivering their message from their topic, they used a miming technique to demonstrate a type of conflict and they focused on sexual harassment. I remember I was laughing through the demonstration as I was awed by how much it made sense even without them uttering a single word. It was presented in a simple yet powerful manner.

I could relate with the victim of the harassment since I also went through a similar experience at my previous place of work and realized that more people have had this experience and chose to keep quiet about it because they feared to lose their jobs or people judging them and blaming them for the incidents. We tend to blame ourselves for the conflicts in our lives and it just becomes unresolved.  The facilitators also brought to the audience’s attention, two different types of conflict. Intra-Group and personal conflict. We have a choice of how we react to situations in our daily lives, we are either part of the solution or we are the problem.

As the day’s workshop progressed, I learned about communication barriers and how it can break a conversation. Ros gave a left-hand column exercise where we had to write a dialogue on the right-hand side about a time when we had to deal with conflict. Later, we had to go back to the left column and write on how in our heads how the conversation continued and our feelings at that moment. The stuff that I wrote on the right-hand side made me realize just how angry I was with my daughter and how unresolved issues with her dad contributed to how I communicated with her.

Dialogue is important in our everyday lives because it is where we think together and build shared understanding and use different perspectives to strengthen our collective wisdom. To generate meaningful conversation, I need to start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. I know it’s going to be hard practicing that, but I am willing to try.

The class ended and a meeting with Ros was called to address the conflict we had within our group. What a coincidence, we are the next group facilitating after the topic of conflict resolution and we have our own conflict to resolve. I won’t say much about the issue, but I will just scream JUSTICE!  He was the center of this conflict and responsible for all these emotions flying high. Instead of rehearsing for our facilitation, we spent over an hour addressing our in-house conflict. I learned that assumptions don’t bear any fruit and that communication is key. A lot can be avoided by just applying meaningful conversation so that we learn about the other truth.

As much as most of us in the group were  furious in the beginning, Ros helped so much by slowing the conversation down and killing the fire to a point where we were all calmer and could listen to his story and learn about the other truth. I personally couldn’t help but want to give him a chance after the situation was calmer and he stated his story even after almost all the group members wanted him out.

I guess that most relationships were built from conflict? Well, let’s wait and see how next week pans out with our new member on board and if he’s going to have a part to play in this workshop or is he going to get half the marks as agreed at the end of the meeting…

Let’s resolve conflict by building relationships…

I can’t wait for my group and I to deliver and we hope you take something out of next week’s lesson.

FREEING YOUR MIND

I was super early that Saturday, the facilitators were also ready and they had no last-minute preparations. Their workshop was differently run, they didn’t lock anyone out of the facilitation. At first, I was confused why that happened since I learned from the beginning of the course that if the door is not closed, the workshop gets distracted. I only understood at the end of the workshop that it was deliberately done since it linked the topic of the day.

One of the activities given to the audience was that volunteers were to leave the room without letting their any of their body parts touching the floor. There were small carpets, boxes on the floor. Most people used the mats to slide out of class while others climbed tables to do so. I mean, we could have just walked out of the class since none of our body parts would touch the floor anyway? Yeah, we were wearing shoes, but our minds were imprisoned by societal norms. You get an instruction to do something and we don’t think before executing the task and at the end, we end up complicating the journey towards finishing the task.  The whole aim of the activity was to check if we can think out of the box when given instructions. Can we apply ways that are less complicated when performing tasks?

I learned about ways I can free my mind and they are exercise, meditation, and forgiveness. I suddenly realized that I have been employing exercise as my way of freeing my mind, but I wasn’t aware I was freeing the mind. I think I just always interpreted it as a way to get tired so that I sleep without struggling. Now I had to go back and think about it, I had an Aha moment when I realized that I was unconsciously freeing my mind given how light I felt after every gym session even when I was super stressed on that day. After this workshop, I plan on practicing forgiveness and meditation to alleviate the burden in my head and learn to be happy.

Just when we were settling in, Telfer dropped the bomb and told us that class is over immediately after the workshop. Shuuu, I thought to myself… Did I wake up so early just to come attend for an hour? Couldn’t they just tell us a day before so that we can plan our Saturday wisely? Oh, well… Refilwe and I went for breakfast and I had more time to prepare for the wedding later that day.

I hope that Ros gets better soon and that she will be able to join when we resolve conflict with Group 8.

It’s 09h30 and I’m out…

Playful and fun fun fun

It’s the second last class for Facilitation Skills. Believe it or not I am feeling sad. Sad that the interactions with these interesting people will possibly end but happy that I can get to sleep late on Saturdays again. (Lover of sleep)

The facilitation piece was interesting… the group presented on “Facilitating team decisions” They were lively and entertaining, starting off with a nice icebreaker that involved learning classmates names while throwing a ball around. I must admit I still didn’t memorize the names but I thought it was a really fun way to introduce people and wondered how it might be useful for new teams at work. The next activity was even more entertaining, we were asked to get into groups and use materials in a box to design an item of clothing for a model to wear. What a fun time our group had. We used different colour plastics and the tap that was available. When the judging took place, our garment was the winner and we were actually so surprised because we had focused more on having fun than making something that could win.

The course content of the day was as insightful as the previous week. Ros took us through “Inquiry and Advocacy”. It was so interesting to see my organisations communication problems explained through this model. I was fascinated by the ways to build shared understanding and immediately knew I needed to listen so I could use it at work. “Articulate, suspend judgement and reflect” Back to Inquiry and advocacy, Ros explained the concept of organisational change through “Unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence,  conscious competence and unconscious competence”. The time between conscious competence and unconscious competence that an organisation needs to reinforce practice of habits because during conscious competence, the implementation of change management is taking place. Once an organisation reaches unconscious competence, then they have attained their new culture.

This whole portion was an “aha” moment for me because not only could I relate from my previous employer but I could see the lack thereof in my current employer. I am so grateful to have been present in these sessions and to have forced myself to attend regardless of all the negative feelings I had initially.

POWER OF PERCEPTION TURNED INTO SEEING WITH NEW EYES

Our day to day lives are hugely impacted by perception. The workshop for the day was proof thereof, our perceptions are the foundation of our assumptions that we make each day. The challenge is that most often the validity of our assumptions is not questioned and we behave as if they are facts. One of the activities of the day was to say what you thought about a person put in front based on what you see.

That exercise alone exposed a whole lot of us about how stereotypical we are generally as a society. The guy whom my group was analyzing or judging was wearing a Muslim/Eastern traditional attire and when asked what we can say about him, we went on him and nothing positive was said in describing him, all this because he belonged to a certain culture, it got worse when he fetched his backpack.

From the feedback of that exercise, I learned that one should never judge another by looks, clothes, possession, cultural background or language and how dangerous it is to assume based on what the eye sees or your ears hear. It also taught me that our perceptions may be what we want to believe rather than what is factual.

 

An eye-opener for the day was to look at myself, how I think and how my brain processes information. My Aha was being able to identify and surface beliefs, mental models and assumptions and understanding the decision spiral (Tool 22) from the workbook. This is the unconscious thinking we apply when making decisions and taking actions and it is meant to help us put judgment on suspension and examine underlying beliefs. Out of this experience, I will practice mindful communication in all spheres of my life by exploring my assumptions and examining my underlying beliefs to avoid miscommunication and poor decision making.

 

In the past weeks, we have facilitated change while communicating via social media and through that process honoured difference in telling our stories. We also learned from life and started seeing with new eyes. I cannot wait to free my mind from the next Saturday we meet.

 

Your girl Mat, checking out!

Meaningful Conversations 1

It was a great session in session about resolving the conflict. The group presented very well and created meaning conversations. I have learned that different situations in our environment cause conflict. Conflict can happen in an environment such as the workplace, social groups or at varsity, The most important thing that I have learned was is how to resolve different kinds of conflicts.  Group dynamics also contributes towards the conflict amongst themselves. The experience of dealing with conflict is a reality and the interactive exercise that was presented in the class very good. As I had to sit facing the person in the mirror reflection set up and had to share my experience on how I have dealt with conflict in my workplace. It was really a very exciting discussion that I was having with the person opposite facing each other. Same excirise when the other tells me how she had handled conflict her own daughter and how it ends sometimes not resolved. This exercise was done in a form of a dialogue between myself and the colleague sitting across the table.

LEARNING FROM LIFE TOGETHER WITH PEERS REVIEWING DRAFT ESSAYS

Well, this workshop was a bit different. We started the morning as per tradition of participating in a group workshop, but we never had any follow up learning from the workbook.  The group that facilitated the workshop spoke about “Learning from Life”. Although the instructions were not clear and facilitators confusing us, I still learned a great deal about the lessons of life. The workshop was focused on family, social and education aspects. The “Broken Telephone” activity was very entertaining and enjoyable, at the same time, it brought out several important messages for effective communication, which in my view is also the key to effective knowledge sharing. Being a good listener along with making a conscious effort to hear what people are really saying helps open up knowledge flows and make knowledge sharing more effective.  Having listening skills is very important when it comes to life’s lessons. The was another activity where we were supposed to write a secret about yourself and put the paper in the bowl. Yhuuuuu, the stuff that was read out from all the papers from the bowl was really something that I was never ready for. It taught us that we as people walk around with secrets and find it difficult to share them because we fear being judged and that our secrets sometimes hold immense emotional value.

 

After all the fun and games, came the part that gave me sleepless nights for the whole week. The part of my essay being marked by fellow classmates. The thought of having someone at my level mark and criticise my work didn’t sit well with me. Oh well, I just had to bite the bullet and wait for feedback. At the same time, I also got the opportunity to mark others’ essays and I must say, some of the essays were too short and were not as reflective as I imagined. I read some pretty good essays where people really wrote from the heart and from what was written, I could tell that the authors really learned something from this class every week and that they took something from every workshop. One thing that the markers had in common regarding what I wrote is that my essay was well presented. There’s only one marker who was completely honest with their feedback. She said that I should avoid repeating the words “for example” when providing evidence of my personal view and that I must find alternative words to use instead. Also, I tend to use capital letters when unnecessary, therefore in my final essay, I am going to try to rectify those mistakes.

Building Relationships

First of all, GREAT ICE-BREAKER!

Who are we without our built relations? Do our relations shape us? Do we shape others by relation? Do our relations improve us? Are relationships important to us, do they matter?

I think team 9 captured and addressed these questions very well, how we relate with others shapes who we are, they might sadden us, they might make us happy but maintenance of these built relationships be it ones we are born into or assumed by common goals like befriending someone at campus or in class.

let the imagination wonder

reflective essay draft time !!!!!!!!

this was a good and a bad time. well for me at least. it was atime where you could either let your mid wonder too far into the abiss of your essay or where you are too scared of that so you restrict your mind to an overly simplistic path of thinking.

it was also difficult in the sense that we had only completed half of our course so we were limited in the sense of content from our lectures.

in the end i feel i was able to free my mind to an extent and complete a reflection of what i have experienced and learnt within the 4 walls of the classroom and how i have grown as a facilitator and how i have braved the group discussions and become familiar with my classmates.

presentation day (D day)

this day started very early as we had to get one or two dry runs in before the actual presentation

these were nerve racking times as im a very anxious person when it comes to group activities (other than sports). the dry runs ran suprisingly smoothly considering we had not done a complete dry run of our presentation. as it got closer to crunch time so the nerves invreased.

to calm myself down i would repeat in my head that this is a learning environment and we are here to better ourselves and grow as individuals. over all the presentation went amazingly and we had a lot of positive comments outside of the delta plus feedback session.

you may be wondering how i linked the johari window to my part of the presentation (from previous blog), more specifically the hidden area. we each have an individual story that may explain who we are and why we are where we are and this is portrayed through the hidden window. we must not judge people on thier personality or the way they behave as there is an aspect of their lives that we are unaware of. a quote i once heard is dont judge a persons life based on the chapter that you jumped in on.

it was also an amazing experience to be on the recieving end of the feedback or delta plus session. it allows you to understand what others see and get a greater appreciation of catering and satisfying others because in todays day and age we tend to just worry about ourselves with out caring for others.

practice time

been in group 4 meant that our presentation would take place in the 4th week, which meant it was time to get serious and practice, as a group for our presentation.

before we could do this we obviously had to complete the lecture prepared for that day. one thing throughout the lecture that caught my attention was the Johari window. why you may ask? well the window has 4 main sections, as does a convetional window found in a house. the transparent area – known to both the self and others, the blind spot-self is unaware but known to others, the hidden area which is known by the self but not by others and lastly the dark area which is unkown to self an others.

i realised that this would become a very important element of my part of my presentation as i could link it to our overall topic. how – well you will have to find out.

the practicing part after class was very interesting as a group of complete strangers came together to achieve a goal and trust in one another. it amazed me how we got stuck in and handed out responsibilities with out getting a greater knowledge of the members in our group, it was like a blanket of trust just covered us so that we could come together and achieve a common goal.

Last But Not Least… The End

I normally start with the group facilitation comments, however since this is the last blog I thought I should do things differently.  First, the lecture was very insightful, referring to the iceberg model on how to talk and listen to each other. In our notebook, this is referred to as advocacy. I suppose when Ross teaches there is a certain semi-structure of the lecture but we go off on a tangent. Ross takes us where the ‘energy’ of the class drives her, she possesses the rare connection to focus on the education rather than the notes and the syllabus. I will miss this about her lectures. Most of all I will miss the vulnerability and how people exposed themselves in this sessions.

There is no need to decipher the session.
There is no need to connect the dots of all the sessions
There is no need to try and capture the experiences shared in that lecture hall.
It was magical
It was special
It was divine
It was what it was meant to be
It was what it needed to be
We learned a lot of untraditional lessons.
Self-mastery has been mastered.

Will there be Facilitation 2?

putting us into groups

arriving to the second lesson i was asked if i had been placed into a group. my answer was no! i was placed into group 4 and our task was “story telling”. now this is not about story telling, this is about the fact that i get very anxious when it comes to group work as i see my self as a solitary individual. the scenario of having to work in a group played in my head over and over until i came the realisation that i am attending a facilitation class. i told myself that everybody has been subjected to the exact same task which has put us onto a level playing field as well as each persons task is to create an environment that allows everyone to think a their best which brought a sense of calmness to me as i knew that this would be a non judgmental environment.

 

after watching the firs group perform their presentation on communicating through social media, we had an interesting group feedback session which involved plus delta. plus being what did we enjoy, what did we learn and what did we notice, and delta being what did we not enjoy and what changes would we like to see in this presentation as well as the forthcoming presentations.

i use this method in my coaching job at a primary school in sandton. after a session that i have coached i ask the learners what they enjoyed with in the session as well as what they have learnt. once i have gathered that information i then as the daunting question of what could i have done better as a coach so that i can better prepare for the next coaching session.

As I bow out ……..

To create an inclusive environment in our team for optimal team functioning, we should strive to be “Whiteheadians,” meaning our group had to lead and follow with the belief that people respond better if allowed using their own creativity and exercising free choice. This was demonstrated by applying the following points. We shared information with the team so that we are aligned with the objectives of the theme

We celebrated team achievements. In addition to celebrating, where we failed, we reviewed and saw how we could move forward, thus striving for long-term results by setting high standards and never blaming others. We respected each other’s time, by being on time for meetings. We cared for others, so we were empathetic to each other’s personal circumstances by having the balance of work delivery. We had the ability to experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions of each other. This leadership style made everyone feel like a team member and as a result, it increased productivity, morale and loyalty to ensure that the task was accomplished.

Our team members put in all of themselves into the work we did, so we said thank you, even if it was just part of our task. Communication does not only mean verbal, rather when a team member was given an opportunity to present, we all listened with our ears, eyes and hearts thus, we became good communicators as a collective. We created an inclusive environment in our team for optimal team functioning. We created leaders by being of service and bringing out the best out of each other. There was the flexibility of role and leadership, by giving each other opportunities to lead certain activities while the rest followed and supported the appointed individual. This meant that we were all responsible and everyone in the team had the power to lead by allowing their strengths to rise.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team members, La-Nes, Safoora, Janine, Paballo, Olben, Dawn. Toine, Zama, Zamo, Rouvey, Group 4 you are amazing and I wish you all the success in obtaining your respective degrees. My fellow classmates, you made waking up on a Saturday an absolute breeze and thank you all for being REAL. Ros, Vee and T, thank you for being our life coaches and for sharing your personal experiences with us. Until our paths meet again, may you be abundantly blessed 🙂

I am OUT

Ocho

I have of late found myself wondering what it would be like to live as a hermit because I seem to be surrounded by people who seem more concerned about how they come across instead of being who they are and speaking about how they really feel. At work, it’s about hidden agendas, competition and climbing the corporate ladder whilst amongst extended family, it’s about achievement and status. I crave those conversations that expand my thinking by probing me to question my beliefs and perceptions because I enjoy those kinds of mental challenges. I am curious about what people think. Learning about advocacy and inquiry helped me to understand why conversations flow the way they do and how I can possibly steer or lead conversations in a positive direction. So to foster positive advocacy I would need to listen, be sensitive, open and humble about how I arrived at the data I present in the conversation. I would also need to expose the flaws in my thinking and open up the conversation so that others can inquire about my assumptions. This will augur positive feedback as it opens up the conversation to be a learning experience. Positive inquiry means listening with intent and having genuine curiosity so that when I ask a question I am asking out of concern and I probe so as to unpack the data in a non-judgemental way to then learn how the other person thinks of views the situation. A well-balanced conversation is one that contains both positive advocacy and positive inquiry. I wish more people would be prepared to dive into a meaningful conversation instead of fluff and pointless drivel.

Seite

I have realised over time that my listening skills are poor, and it boils down to me checking out of a conversation mentally because I have difficulty staying focused if the person telling the story takes forever to get to the point. I am guilty of not paying attention when family members want to share a story with me. I have been known to say out loud that I want the summarised version of any story I am told which I know is selfish but it’s a habit that nevertheless, I am guilty of having. The problem with my reaction & thinking is that sometimes the person sharing the story with me is sharing because they need help to unpack how they feel about a situation. It could be because they haven’t found a solution, or they maybe don’t know how they feel. Listening with intent is such a wonderful tool in that it helps me to actually focus on not only what is being said but also the context and what is also unsaid which leads to better understanding of why the storyteller needs me to understand what is being said. Listening with intent makes the storyteller feel valued because during the affirmation process they get to check on your accuracy in recollecting what they have just said. Once the accuracy has reached 100% they feel comfortable knowing that you now know the full picture so when you ask “What did you want me to hear?” it leads to openness. The storyteller at this point can express how they feel openly about the story and most often arrive at their own conclusions of what they would like to do if they were uncertain in the first place. Sometimes my best friend shares with me about what she is going through or feeling expecting me to mindfully listen and nothing else and in the past, this hasn’t always worked out because I usually make assumptions or draw my own conclusions which leads to me blurting out “solutions”. She often tells me to stop as she is not an idiot which is usually when I realise that I’m the idiot in our interaction. It is usually at this point that I apologise for my behaviour which makes me feel like a bad friend. When we read Dr Robert A. Hatcher’s poem about listening in class it was a huge AHA moment for me because I realised what I was doing wrong and how to go about correcting myself so that in future I do better. I think this lesson has been one of the most valuable for me and one that I am practising and experiencing meaningful results and feedback from those around me. Listening with intent promotes mindful conversations which is something I enjoy having instead of wasting time on what I call “Fluff”.

Seis

I personally don’t enjoy conflict and tend to do as much as I can to avoid it, but it is evitable that one will find themselves in a situation being misunderstood from time to time as I have discovered. I loved how Group 9 was able to resolve the problem they had with one of their team members. Even though they were extremely angry at him for his absence. They decided to approach resolving the problem in a mature and transparent way. They all agreed to meet with their teammate to hear his side of the story and after hearing what he had to say they then discussed how they each felt about his actions towards the group and about what course of action to take. They were then able to make a well out thought decision as a group. What I learnt from their approach was that it is possible to solve a problem provided that everyone is willing to participate and be open about how they feel and willing to resolve the situation amicably. Conflict is based on opposing ideas and feelings about a situation or thing and in order to find a solution we need to unpack how we feel in a meaningful productive way and focus on the common ground rather than the differences.

Cinco

In our previous class, we learnt about the different learning styles which highlighted how we each think, learn and process differently. Since we each have our own learning experiences, it also means that we each perceive elements in any given situation differently. For instance, I make my assumptions and conclusions on any scenarios I’m faced with based on many factors and we all do this. My assumptions, however, have not always been correct, and this has sometimes lead me to make bad decisions, be stressed/frustrated or worse I find myself engaged in conflict with others which I absolutely hate. I always forewarn my friends before telling them about something I’ve experienced that whatever I am about to explain has many layers and dimensions. They have come to understand that I’m trying to say before going into all the details that they should brace themselves as this is the way I have experienced and perceived a situation. Unpacking the layers and dimensions reveals what I choose to share my experiences with my friends and by extension others outside my inner circle.

The Johari Window developed by Joseph loft and Harry Ingam is a framework about how much we choose to share with others about ourselves and our experiences and it also reveals our propensity for receiving feedback. It goes without saying that the more you trust someone the more you are prepared to reveal as the unknown becomes known. As an introvert, I can confirm that this is very true of my own behaviour. It’s not just words that reveal how I feel but also my body language, awareness of self and my openness to sharing. Now I like to think that I am open to sharing but I do find myself holding back on details until I feel that I can trust the person or group I am sharing with but even then, I am guarded. I pin this down to perfectionism and my own defence mechanism to protect myself from any negative feelings I might encounter in social interactions. I found David Rock’s SCARF model very intriguing as it breaks down how we perceive social threats and rewards. We tend to minimise threats and maximise social rewards and we actively seek maximising the rewards as if we are fulfilling a primal need. (Rock, 2008) I wondered after learning about the factors that cause brain stress in social interactions if this is why people-pleasers behave the way they do in an effort to feel more accepted in social situations. I have certainly become more now more aware of why I behave the way I do in social situations but also how others might perceive the same situation differently and why unpacking the situation together would lead to a better collective understanding and clarity.

Cuatro

I very much enjoyed the “Learning about Learning” session for assorted reasons which included having loads of fun engaging in the class activity. I thought that it was valuable to learn about the different thinking style profiles that one would encounter when engaging with others. I believe that for the most part that we don’t take this seriously enough as we are forced or conditioned to think and approach learning in a particular way for most of our lives. It’s also not something that we consciously think about when engaging with others as we naturally assume that everyone thinks and operates the way we do. There have been many times when I have made this naïve assumption which then resulted in misunderstanding, frustration and sometimes even chaos with others. The class activity took us through Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle where I learnt that people process information and communicate their thoughts on what they have perceived and experienced in a way that was either much the same or entirely different to the way I think. Kolb’s experiential cycle emphasizes four communication styles that we unpacked in the class activities. We also learnt about Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligence. Gardener asserts that everyone is smart but that they just approach how they think about the subject matter differently. He categorised seven types of intelligence. I am an introverted theorist, so it is no surprise that I struggle in class with interactions with others and talking about myself, my experiences or how I feel. I also take time to process because I tend to pay attention to detail whilst analysing everything. Using Gardener’s theory, I am classified as linguistic and logical so the challenge for me would be to accommodate for those that engage and learn better in a setting that accommodates for those who are predominately bodily-kinesthetic types for example. As a result of the class exercise, I am now more aware of creating engaging learning or interactive experiences that accommodate for those that have different learning styles and different intelligence types than myself which is important when creating an effective engaging environment.

Listening with Intent

The habit to “seek first to understand” involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically
seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they
listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re
filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other
people’s lives.

“Oh, I know exactly how you feel!”

“I went through the very same thing. Let me tell you about my experience.”

They’re constantly projecting their own home movies onto other people’s
behavior. They prescribe their own glasses for everyone with whom they interact.

Final Acknowledgement…#TakeABow!

As I finally type this blog, I look back at this journey and realize it wouldn’t have been easy had I have traveled it alone. I’m even doubting myself if I would have made it this far.

I would like to Take a Bow to my group “Learning From Life” group, you have made this trip a pleasant and a joy-able ride, from the day I joined the team as a late additional member to today…we have shared laughter, advises, mentor and knowledge through our interactions and whatsapp group. It has been great and Thank you for all your support.

To the entire Facilitation Team, YOU are all amazing! you have made it easy for me to forfeit my weekend sleep just to be part of each session and I am grateful for that.  Our Facilitator and supporting staff thank you for sharing the knowledge and for your guidance.

I have gained more than what I had anticipated.

Meaningful Conversations Building Relationships

I had the most fun in class with this topic. It was very interesting to work in a team and not be able to talk. No one was bossy, no one tried to outdo the other and most of all it was actually peaceful.

This demonstrated that words are not needed when communicating and sometimes words ruin the moment.

we shared ideas without being intrusive, we were all part of the group even though we were strangers to each other.

we dealt with problems much quicker and it was an experience that I enjoyed. well done to the group for opening up my eyes about effective communication especially in a group dynamic. I always hated group work because mostly I always ended up doing most of the work but through this class I have learned to delegate task and speak up and at the right time in the right way. Sometimes I don’t have to use words to let the other group members know what I am thinking.

Meaningful Conversation Resolving Conflict

Oh wow this course takes on a journey of self discovery. Hearing how conflict should be manged and that its goes back to our frame of reference, core beliefs and values and opinion showed me that I react to quickly in a conflict situation.

 

Resolving conflict comes down to how we respond to a situation and also how that other person takes in the messages. A few weeks ago my friend got into an argument and as were arguing he started walking towards me and I immediately started walking towards him in a confrontational manner but I stopped myself as I was about to turn my body and remembered what we spoke about in class. I calmed myself down and changed my tone which made my friend also change his tone. In my mind I was like wow this stuff works! I enjoyed the example that the group presented and the dynamics of how to better handle conflict situations. When we wrote down an argument that we had had in the past I used an example that always sat in my mind about an incident that happened at work and realised that sometimes I am too passive in  a situation where I should be firm. Listening is also a big part about resolving conflict and hearing what the other person is actually saying is a big part.

 

I am a much calmer person since this lesson I thank Rosslyn for creating this course the lesson learnt will stay with me for a long time to come.

power of perception Seeing With New Eyes

This class session was an eye opener for me pardon the pun. My friend is always telling me not to judge others as harshly and to give second chances. I enjoyed the group presentation about not allowing the outside to determine your opinion of others, despite my own misgivings.

I have since always remembered this lesson and continue to try and not judge the eye but rather with my heart.

I realize that this is the part in me that must change. I feel that it changed the quality of my thinking in a big way.

Learning that I make a decision in a split second and lean towards my experiences showed me that I may have made wrong decisions in the past and that I must look deeper into my core beliefs and values that my opinion is based on.

The exercise about the stranded girl. the sailor, old man and the fiance was an eye opener about how you think you know someone until you find out you don’t and experience rejection is an example that sometimes someone is not good for you they are not good for you, however sometimes they are.

learning about Learning Facilitating Channge

Oh what an experience I had when my group and I had to facilitate the class. We met only twice and decided what to. It was fun and engaging at all times. The women that I had to work alongside were very strict and forced me to toe the line and that helped to pull myself together.

 

We were very quick to decide on our individual roles as well as expected outcomes for the group and presentation. I am very happy that my suggestions were mostly taken to heart.

Change is the only constant in life is the motto by which I live my life. If there is no change then something is wrong or stagnant. I have experienced many changes in my life and as a child losing my aunt was the biggest change I experienced. My aunt was our caregiver and looked after my siblings and I. We always had a hot meal after school and she made sure that our school uniforms were clean. It was only years later after she died that I realised that her death had a direct impact on my life and this changed my perspective on life.

When I left high school to home study this was a big change that I experienced and this taught me to do my own thing and depend on myself.

After passing matric I came to Johannesburg to study journalism. This was the biggest change I had ever had to make and it took me close to four years to adjust. I continue to adjust with the move I made eight years ago.

I wanted our presentation to reflect what the true meaning of change was and I was happy that the group decied on the reflection exercise during our facilitation.I was more happy when the class received our presentation well and some classmates shared their stories about change in their life.

 

Communicating via Social Media

Effective communication in this day and age requires some form of technology be it email, cell phone or even social media platforms such as facebook and twitter. As time goes on technology develops and works better and more sufficiently.

When attending the class with the task to facilitate about Mindful Facilitation Communicating via Social Media there was no aha moment for me. The group basically presented the different types of social media platforms and what they are about without actually getting to the exciting parts. I love social media. At first I was not so big on it but after some time I became crazy about it. So in my mind I still had many questions to ask such as the audience who consume different types of social media through various platforms. What is social media’s biggest achievements so far? when I opened up my Facebook account I posted but not coherently . I recently added my 1000th friend on Facebook and currently over 400 followers on Twitter. My Instagram account by far has the most followers with over 1200. I learned a lot fro,m social media and it is mostly how I consume information from the web. I have even recently started a small business running social media for small business’s.

I wish the group could have explored the theme further, however since they were the first to present they were always at a disadvantage.

 

 

Cultivating an Elegant Mind

Never underestimate the power of communicating with love; I am beginning to understand the importance of supporting and relating to others whilst still maintaining my own identity and level of influence.

“Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin  

My inclusion of others is no longer in learning only but it is also in embracing and honouring our differences because there is so much beauty in our diversity. The holy grain of my fluency in “HUMAN” is dependent on how well I connect with others. This workshop has highlighted how we can change the world by first changing how we listen, think and communicate.

Harry Belafonte once said, “Discover the joy of embracing diversity, when people become more open to the strange, to the unusual, to the radical, to the “other”, we become more nourished as a species. Currently our ability to do that is being manipulated; diversity is being looked upon as a source of evil rather than as a source of joy and development. We must recapture the profound benefits of seeing the joy in our collective diversity, not the fear.”

 

Mbali

 

Getting personal

the other week when got to have a person touch from Roslyn. when we shared about her husband who is very ill. she was teaching about listening. how we often rush through what people are saying to us because we want to get on with our daily lives and continue with what we want to hear.

we learned that it is important to ask questions. repeat what the other person was saying then ask if you heard correct. we miss the little things because we don’t listen.

ask questions and listen.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

It is a very difficult thing to do to build a relationship and keep it. We often tend to find it difficult to start a new relationship with a stranger and the worse of it all is to keep it.Many people are happily married today for 20-40 years and they also started a friendship without knowing each other.

The relationship we keep in our current families is also important.We fight with our aunts,cousins and never talk or communicate with them again until there is a death in the family then we meet and pretend to each other!Keeping a solid or healthy relationship is very important because we need each other on our life journey.

As we do facilitation workshops in the class, we learnt how one group had written off one of their members and were doing the preparations without involving him.The whole group assumed that ‘Timothy’ was ignoring their chats on Whatsapp but when he showed up and explained to them how life was on his because he had a sick child.Everybody felt compassion for him and understood his reasons for absence, they allowed him to continue with the team and use his story an experience to facilitate to the class.

I learnt the importance of communicating with my family, friends and colleagues.Do not think that you are alone. You have people who cares for you,o not isolate yourself from the world, make friends and keep them,it is a good thing to do!

Quality of thinking

“Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude yet also crave people. I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self- care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life- that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough.” – Victoria Erickson

 Victoria Erickson hit the nail on the  head in the above quote, this week’s facilitation topic had me thinking about how often I wonder if my thoughts and actions are enough. I draw conclusions based on my assumptions which are often based on my beliefs and ideas, ‘my truth’, not on reality itself which leaves me wondering if I ever see things with new eyes. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed how I often assume that people may not agree to a suggestion I make, as a result I propose something and immediately say, “You don’t agree”, before they can even respond. My hidden assumption here is that they may not see my point of view because over the years I’ve learnt to explain misunderstandings or mistakes before I even understand them. Now I am able to propose something  with a much more insightful view and I give the other person an opportunity to unpack his/her own conclusions. I now purposely seek to understand the entire situation before making my conclusions.

Mbali

Consensus…Danger

Consensus is the most dangerous thing in the world. I’m telling you in this class we make new discoveries everyday. how is it dangerous? doesn’t that create peace? harmony and people working together? I thought wrong clearly. but anyway its what we learn in class. it is easier to change thinking than to change behaviour.

most of our communication is from the Do Say level and when people inquire about what they don’t understand from what we have communicated. in data selection people tell a story on how we feel and then our needs will dictate the story.

Reflective Writing – Draft Essay Review

The writing exercise was critical in my journey to establishing my style of writing. It gave me some vital insight into how I can identify the evolution of my ideas, engage in triple loop learning while demonstrating the originality of my thoughts and personal insight. This was very helpful when I began to review my draft essay, I’ve found that the more I write, the more concise my writing is becoming. As a result I am motivated to write more, my writing is my escape and a return ticket to moments that would otherwise be gone.

 At any given moment I have the option to step forward into growth or to step back into safety and with that I now start each day as Benjamin Franklin did in his daily journal, “What good shall I do today”?

Mbali

 

my responsibility?? how

on the 07th of October I had a very interesting class. I mean I learned about information. in a situation everyone sees information differently and that leads to behaviour and that lead to what I do, then from there to making a decision. I got to understand that conflict starts with me. People are addicted to being right. that sounded to familiar I mean I get told that like ALL THE TIME! what doesn’t fit in our model we delete it.

the most shockery of the day was discovering that we are responsible for how people react however we are not to be blamed for their thinking. like how? when did that become my responsibility? this cannot be true. we all need to take responsibility for everything, our thoughts, perception and behaviour.

 

its a wrap

what a journey has it been. this was one unexpected journey. I mean from the beginning when we started no one knew exactly what was to be expected. I mean the name says Facilitation course. oh boy I can tell you now we did a whole lot more than just standing in front of people and facilitate learning.

when we started what I thought this course is about training. I mean Im in the learning department so that’s the first thing that can to mind when we started.

this has been a great course. we were group 9. we really got on well, yes had our moments I mean you have 12 adults and have a lot of control freaks trying to run the show which wasn’t easy. and how I forget the prodical son. our beloved Justice who pulled a stunt of note. disappearing and re-appearing on the last minute. but hey that’s him that how he operates.

its been good, its been real but now…………………………………

ITS A WRAP.

And so we’ve come to the end of the road …

Those who are singing the rest of this line are people with soul and good taste in music … and you’re old!

This course was a deviation from the norm for me. I did not anticipate what it would hold for me. I have learnt so much about myself – one of the biggest revelations for me was that I function in fear. Third loop thinking helped me to come to this conclusion.

I am mindful of this tendency in a way I never was before. Since I’ve made the decision to change this my outlook on life has changed and I feel more sure of myself and the decisions I make. Life is filled with exciting possibilities which I look forward to exploring.

 

I am ready for adventure!!

Justice Justice Where art thou?

Group 9’s presentation felt like a continuation of our group’s presentation. Well it was because we were presenting under the same module. Us focusing on resolving conflict and them on building relationships. In building relationships, we ought to expect conflict. All relationships are a risk and each day we are in a relationship with anyone we choose to take the risk. We risk getting hurt, we risk getting disappointed and we risk not getting back the same amount of investment that we offer but we continue risking it all because well it might just work out and well no one is an island so we need relationships for survival and so we invest in building them.

I missed the first part of group 9’s presentation and came in as Justice “the prodigal son”was about to talk. He did not go into details as to why he went MIA and left his team to do all the work over the weeks and only showed up a week before the presentation. I can only imagine how things played out the day he showed up. I imagine that I would have been so angry and so frustrated and I would have probably been the last one of the group to forgive him. In the beginning of this class we were assigned to teams, we built relationships as weeks went by, we established trust as we depended on each other to come through on their allocated tasks and we relied on one another to make sure that we presented the best we could. It was all a risk and justice broke the chain of trust.

Group 9 were dealt with a challenge. They had a real life conflict situation and they dealt with it. Yes Ross was present for mediation but they dealt with it by choosing to allow Justice to present with them. I learnt that when someone asks for forgiveness, they remove the burden from their shoulders and put it back in the hands of the ones they are asking forgiveness from. This is what Justice did and it was now left to the team to decide. I am glad they forgave him and allowed him to present because it made their presentation that much more special. I had a conversation with Justice during the sub group discussions and he is a cool guy and maybe he was caught up in an impossible situation. Yes he should have spoke sooner, yes he should have showed up sooner and yes he owed it to his team to be open from the start but hey what happened happened. Well done to group 9 for resolving this conflict and showing us that sometimes we must just keep calm and work things out – Whoever comes are the right people Including Justice.

Justice for all

 

Justice for all

 

After yet another crazy morning, I make it to class all flustered. I know it’s that time of year when we all wanna dial out and take a break, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see the class relatively full.

As we all engage and enjoy the facilitation session, for the first time, things take a different turn. We all sat and observed as session with Ross and the group about their experience of working with a MIA team member, namely, Justice – “the prodigal son” as they so nicely termed it.

This dude was apparently MIA for weeks and then rocks up with brilliant ideas just before the group must facilitate. His story and the reactions of his team members were not unique to them. In fact, I think it’s in our nature to react the way they did, from anger, to frustration, to forgiveness.

It was interesting to note how Ross, who took up the role of mediator, calmed the situation. One tends to think that these situations don’t really occur in controlled environments like these.

I found most fruitful the teaching on listening with intent during the second session. It’s not easy to shut don’t the noise in one’s head, but it’s amazing that once you do, you truly hear what is being said, without being preoccupied. It goes without saying that this doesn’t come naturally, at least not for me. It will require continuous practice and one has to consciously do it, which is just another way of growing beyond our self imposed limitations.

Go well, Go Shell (anyone remember that advertising punchline from Shell years ago ;-)

Go well, Go Shell (anyone remember that advertising punchline from Shell years ago 😉

All good things comes to an end, and like Ros in facilitation “When it’s over, it’s over”

As I reflect back on my 1st facilitation class and being hella confused about everything, I can only sit back and smile now at the fond memories, friendships made, lessons learnt, knowledge gained and greater insight to life.

It has been a worthwhile journey, and I am grateful for all I have learnt from this class.

From communication skills, accepting that people are different, dealing with others, tolerance for my fellow man/woman, seeing with new eyes, not to judge a book by its cover, conflict resolution techniques and building good relationships with others.

Thank you to our wonderful facilitators Ros & Telfer, and also well done to each and everyone of the facilitation groups, especially Group 5 peeps, you are all amazing beings (we have learnt valuable lessons from each session).

Good luck with the exams guys…

“You’re winning at life”

Facilitation session for Group 2 (Throwback), with topic “Facilitating Change”

Facilitation session for Group 2 (Throwback), with topic “Facilitating Change”

This is the last of my catch-up blogs 😉

“Facilitating change” was such an interesting and eye opening session, because as well know, the world and life around us is constantly changing, nothing ever stays the same.

In actual fact, there’s only but 1 certainly in life, and that is death. EVERYTHING else is not a solid block and is sure to change at one point or another, whether for good or bad.

Change is an essential part of life, but change is sometimes met with resistance and unwillingness to accept the changes.

I particularly liked the exercise of folding/crossing ones arms, and how uncomfortable it can be crossing with the hand/arm you’re not used to…something so small, yet so powerful in demonstrating how us as human beings are so resistant to even the slightest change.

C. Brandt-Jacobs

Last words

Time flies when you are having fun they say. Not so long ago I attended my very first facilitation class and my oh my has it been a journey. I can not believe that I am sitting here writing my last blog. For the past few weeks, I have wrestled with my alarm every Saturday morning as it buzzed to wake me up to prepare for facilitation and each time I have snoozed it so I could sleep for just 15 more minutes. Some Saturdays I have said to myself “Can’t I just miss this one? It is just one class after all” and each time I have said that my rational voice talked me out of it. Every Saturday morning I made a choice to show up.  I am happy to have made that choice because this class has been so life changing, so thought provoking and so fun.

As I mentioned before on previous blogs, I was skeptical about this class but like every good skeptic I had to stay for two things.  1. To prove myself right and 2. To challenge myself.  After week two, I had a new perspective. proving myself right was no longer part of the goal. The only goal was now to challenge myself by participating, contributing and engaging. I was set on coming out of my shell and socializing more. I can’t say that I have come out of my shell completely but at least I have learnt some socializing skills. On one of the activities I was paired up with Gavin, who challenged me to initiate a conversation with at least 1 person from the facilitation class every single week. Well Gavin, mission accomplished buddy.

I will miss waking up early on Saturdays (not), I will miss the atmosphere of our class, I will miss the laughs, I will miss the challenges, I will miss the rush that comes with having to balance blogging, attending class (in this case attending facilitation and economics on the same day) and studying for a test or rushing against time to submit an essay on time , I will miss being around people ( I never thought I would ever say this), I will miss Ros’ wisdom and insight, I will miss Vee’s kindness, I will miss interacting with the friends I made, I will miss my group…I will miss a lot but as we have all learnt, Whoever comes are the right people, Whatever happens is the only thing that could have, Whenever it starts is the right time and when its over, It is over

 

The end

 

 

looking back block 4

i somehow feel the need to go back and blog about the first week of my facilitation class. it has been a long and fairly painful journey for the past 2 blocks and i am proud that i have pulled through and i have to say its not by the skin of my teeth.

i feel confident that as soldier on i realise that it is my reaction to things that mostly i need to deal with but most importantly to acknowledge that people are not so nice and i need to avoid being in a negative space. we are only afforded 1 life and it would be very selfish and unforgiving to yourself not to embrace and live it. this year has been a very interesting journey

Acknowledgement

my challenge is that i am impatient, not being able to be tolerant when it comes to issues that i disagree with. confrontations i avoid which sometimes make things worse because important issues are not being dealt with because of the fear of confrontations

my accomplishments is that i work well under pressure and i am able to hold my life together better than what i would have expected myself to be

my frustrations are that people do not listen at work and i ens up having to put out the fires.

i love being alone, travelling and just the tranquility of being surrounded by nothing, the sound of water flowing the sound of crickets at night i love that

whats holding me back is fear

meaningful conversations

communication is very important in our everyday lives because we use it to get messages and to pass them around. learning how to communicate effectively reduces a lot of tension and conflict because meanings cannot be misintepreted. the excercise we did in class taught me that it is important to be patient in communication. while others are telling their stories you must wait for that person to get to the end and not jump to conclusion or finish their story for them. this is difficult especially when you know the end of the story.

Eye contact makes a difference …

My blog today is not based on any of the modules we’ve looked at but is an observation of my own.

During the workshop on building relationships the facilitators performed a sketch of two friends who find out that they were dating the same “player”. The sketch included acted phone calls between the three members of the love triangle. What was eye catching for me was that although they were pretending to be on he phone the amount of eye contact and the effect of that eye contact was noticeable.

Because the eyes say what words cannot begin to express.

It got me to thinking about the important role eye contact plays in human interaction.   When I was little I was taught how important it is that I make eye contact because it will indicate confidence and I would create a more positive impression. No that I am older I am aware of the significance eye contact plays in building trust and relationships as a result. Often when somebody avoids eye contact it is because there is a feeling of mistrust on their part. It is important to determine where that feeling stems from and acknowledge it in order to move forward. If you are responsible for it then apologise. If you are not the cause then empathise and reassure the person. You will find that their demeanour changes thereafter.

In my experience eye contact gives me a sense of security and value. It indicates to me that the person who is looking at me has a sincere interest in me and in what I have to say. It makes an apology more sincere. And it creates intimacy between people.

They say that eyes are windows to the soul. So let your soul be visible and look at the souls of others. But heaven forbid!! Please don’t stare … that is creepy!

Did I hear you say!

Lesson for the day was mindful listening. Of the things that we did in class what stood out for me was when we did an excersise on listening with intent. We were grouped into pairs, one was the story teller and the other was the listener. As a listener you were supposed to listen to the story being told and you in turn tell it back to the owner. The listener would agree or disagree with you on what you thought you heard and they said. I realized there and then how much of a terrible listener I was.

 

Its funny how we always claim to be listening to others when in fact our brains are busy having a conversation with self. We might take this lightly but its quite difficult to sit and listen attentively. The one thing that had an impact on me was when it was said that we should always be careful of giving advice especially where it is not wanted. I learnt that when a person asks you to listen to them thats actually what you should do listen. Clear your mind and give them your time listen in do not interrupt unless you have a clarity seeking question.

I have since the lesson learnt to shut my mouth and actually listen to what people have to say. I stopped being miss know it all. Funny how I have always complained about people not listening to me when I was also guilty of the same thing.

listening is actually part of communication as well as a healing process. I’m still to master the skill of quieting the voices in my head listening is not about me.I’ve also adjusted my attitude my state of mind is now always clear when listening to a person. I keep my judgment to self and actually stopped giving advise where its not wanted.

My new Moto on listening keep your curiosity to yourself, it is somebody else’s life. Always look out of somebody else’s window and not yours.

Draft Essay!

Yoh my peers showed me flames. I was given 49% by one and the other one gave me 69%. Their arguments was that my introduction was too long and that a draft essay doesn’t have a conclusion. The other one felt that my essay was very subjective and I narrowed the reflection down to myself I didn’t include anything about what we learnt in class. Can somebody please shed a light what is reflective writing? Isn’t that exactly what I was supposed to write about?

Just when I thought the confusion is disappearing boom there comes one on Reflective writing. I took my essay to Ross she didn’t find anything wrong with my introduction in fact she was happy with my essay. But that still was not enough for me so I went back to the book to see what it says about the essay that we supposed to submit. The answer was that its a critical reflection of my blog. According to the book we supposed to show how we incorporated the Triple Loop Learning in our essays or studies. To be precise in the Facilitation Course.

I was still not satisfied with this answer so I took it up with google and to my surprise it says that
A reflective essay is an essay in which the writer examines his or her experiences in life. The writer then writes about those experiences, exploring how he or she has changed, developed or grown from those experiences.

Now I’m really confused but you know what I will take all the criticism given I will re-write my essay and hope for the best this time around. Eish hopefully it wont be 49% again I truly cant deal with that….

Facilitating Honoring Differences….

We live in a very diverse country. We have different kinds of religions, culture, sexual preference, race, the list is endless. This topic showed me how diverse South Africa is. Me and my group had to facilitate on honoring differences. At first it was a struggle since we didn’t know each other we had to decided on what to talk about which topic takes preference the other. We eventually agreed on religion though it was controversial we managed to pull it off. We did a silent skit where we showed different religions trying to change a statue into being their God but in the end the religions come together and we ended the show with the song ‘One love’ meaning underneath the clothes and religion we are actually one. We just need put aside our differences and respect one another.

Lesson learnt we are all different but one thing we need to do is to start embracing each others differences. Remember that our communities need diversity to flourish and that our nation was built upon the freedom to have our own individual set of values and beliefs, and be able to express those beliefs without harm or discrimination.

Thank you group 3 was really working with you guys.

Change!

Really glad I stuck It out in this course, remember in the beginning all I was thinking about was to run away. Truth of a matter this course has change a lot about me and how I see things in the past 10 weeks I walked in as a shy introvert and now 11weeks later I’m leaving it as a confident old woman who knows how to deal with a lot of obstacles that life will throw my way.

Change what is change and why do we need it in our lives? Change happens to us and through us. When change happens trust breaks down, you never too sure who trust. Trust is the moral of co working together which is something I took out of this course. Working together with strangers in order to achieve our goals in life. Not just with strangers you can do it with anyone as long a you put your mind to it.

I’ve also learnt that as long as we all unique individuals there we will always have conflict though its up to you as individual to resolve it. Always remember that during a conflict communication is key. Also always remembering that you can be the mediator in your own situation or conflict. During conflict always remember to make sure that you slow things down and listen to what the other is saying, slow the conversation down.

You have the power in you to always come out on top…..

Getting down to knowing self!

 

The Johari window is a helpful device or tool for developing more openness with ourselves and others. We were taught that it has become widely used to help people understand the relationships and for improving communication.

The journey of self discovery is never easy but it is one that needs to be taken. In order for one to succeed in the world you need to get to know self. We all have set goals that we need to reach we all need our independency as well as to build bridges for our future. The sooner we start being comfortable in our own skin and be more open to change as well as well as be more confident this will be reachable. This course has taught me to build my self-esteem because I have a lot give to the world and my kids. I’ve learnt that not everyone is against me instead they may have constructive criticism to give as long as I’m open to it. All in all life is about learning and growing. Lesson learnt in order to be self aware one needs to be given feedback on their behavior. I practiced this when was given feedback on my performance at work my one on one session with my team leader turned out to be a fruitful one cause we both left the meeting knowing more about each other.

 

Brain exercise

After my group facilitation the weekend before, I was looking forward to being an observer again. Moreso, I was looking forward to contributing. Yes… me the one who has been resistant to participating for the greater part of this course.

The group facilitating “building relationships” kicked off with an activity that rattled my brain to the core. We were made to say actions and follow through with the action but then say the actions and follow through with the opposite action, i.e. say “jump to the left” but physically jump to the right. Mind blown… most of us were unable to get our heads around it.

After that activity the facilitation took an unexpected turn. The individuals in the group began sharing personal stories that had me feeling emotional. I was particularly touch ed by the lady who shared her story about befriending an individual with a disability and learned a life lesson through her.

We learned as a class that this particular group had experienced some hardship among themselves. Ros took us through how she mediated the process and then the group was given the opportunity to provide feedback. While listening, I heard people say things that made me realise just how quick we are to judge.

I believe there is hope for human mankind though… we are being who love to learn.

The fun side of conflict

The day was finally here when my group facilitated “Resolving conflict”. I have to send a huge THANK YOU to my group for a wonderful experience. You guys were amazing every step of the way. We had our moments but we were mature enough to bring it back every time. THANK YOU!

The Friday night we all met to practice our facilitation and set up the class… hoping it would not be touched by the cleaners at the university. The facilitation went so well, better than we ourselves anticipated and we were so happy that our fellow class mates also enjoyed it just as much. I was quite nervous about sharing my personal story. I wasn’t sure how people would react to it but I knew that by doing so I might be helping someone going through the same or a similar situation, that gave me strength.

After our group facilitation, the class was energised and Ros took us through some really interesting points about conflict. I enjoyed the exercise about telling someone about a personal conflict that they had to write out as a dialogue. It was truly insightful to see how the smallest of things can become an issue. But I was also reminded of how it is sometimes best to manage expectations to prevent conflict.

The most meaningful lesson was how important communication is during conflict and how perceptions can make or break a conflict situation.

Meditation and confusion

Walked into class a little sleepy and slightly grumpy but with an open mind about whatever the group presenting had in store for us. Given the hectic work week I had had, I was looking forward to just numbing my brain.

When the group started I was immediately lost. I didn’t understand the instructions given and found the activities to be uncoordinated and disorganised which caused much confusion for me. When we were asked to kind of meditate I was grateful for the silence. Although, when I reflect about the facilitation, I must be honest that there was no learning outcome for me personally. I can’t blame the group specifically because I feel that I was potentially not fully engaged in it in the first place.

The class material made me realise that it is important to be mindful not only of you as an individual but also of the interactions you have with others. Which comes down to being self-aware, meaning that you understand yourself and your position in the world.

A new perspective

Another week but not just another facilitation class for me. In this class my friend was doing her facilitation presentation. I was feeling so proud because I knew that her group would be great.

We were placed into coloured groups and when they started we were pleasantly surprised by their ice breaker. Made me feel relaxed and entertained at the same time. Their topic was “Seeing with new eyes” and the way they facilitated this piece was eye opening (excuse the pun). They played with stereotypes and general perceptions that people have. The one that touched me the most, even though I was not personally involved in the group, was where a guy dressed as a muslim walked around and then went to get a bag. The comments made about him and his behaviour was interesting to me, mainly because I know I would have reacted the same way but also because social media and world events have embedded such negative propoganda in this society that we no longer trust ourselves, we reference others.

Overall this class taught me that we need to try and see things from a different perspective every time. Whether we have experienced the same thing before or not we should attempt to differentiate through looking at things from a new perspective. People are so glued to comfort and routine that they forget that life is about living and not simply existing.

Learning from life

Just in recent weeks my sister was in an accident and ever since things got hectic,our family lives were changed drastically, we all had to make adjustments,we now had to somehow fit her in our schedule.she now had to be taken care of 24 hours a day.i am glad that now she is much better and can now be able to do some things herself.what i learned from the whole thing is that we take life for granted. we tend to think that tomorrow is a given, we never stop to smell the roses,watch the sun go down or even spend time with your loved ones.I have learned to be grateful even for the small things.

Final Class

A very short course it is,but its impact to be applied for the rest of my life.Just to  sum up what i learned though-out. Self acceptance and learning to accept others and respect their opinions. Most importa;lty,to know drive ourselves out of the comfoert zone,to discover,experience and achieve even greater things.For example,getting the introvert to adress audeince.

Resolving conflict

It is never easy to resolve a conflict with the people you love or are very close to you,sometimes conflict is a necessary part of life,but getting through it is never aesy,one has to cool down first and try and collect your thoughts,then you can think rational.try and see things from other people point if view. But at the end of the day conflict has to be resolved.

Effective Meetings

The end of lecture 10 came with a wonderful surprise that I have been able to use and implement almost instantaneously in my life. Lessons on how to conduct more effective meetings. I have been chairing meetings that are attended by multiple stakeholders within our organisation. It was daunting at the beginning,  but it has gotten better over time, however Roslyn’s teachings were absolutely invaluable.

First and foremost showing up, being present and prepared for any meeting sets you up for a successful and  productive engagement. Setting out the objectives and expectations of the meeting is the second most important thing.  Active listening and participation is critical.  There is nothing wrong with facilitating an interactive and engaging meeting, meetings are formal but don’t have to be boring. I have learnt through my own experiences that fun meetings have better attendance and participants show up and participate with honesty and integrity. Body language is also an indicator of people’s temperaments in the meeting. The most valuable points for me was the adoption of a delta plus/minus style of reviewing the meeting such that participants can give feedback on how to make the meeting better and more effective.

I guess that was my last big lesson from the facilitations cause. It was an incredible blast, I will miss everybody and all the fun we had together.

 

Freeing your mind

Most of the time our decisions are formed by our experiences in life,everytime some one does something or says something to you your answer or reaction will be based on your previous experience,by freeing your mind you should try and see things from other people,s perspectives.reflect on your actions and answeres before you actually react or answer,then you you will probably react totally different from if you did not think about it.always try to be mindful of others and be considerate.

🤐it!

I quite enjoyed group ten’s activities, especially the one where participants had to execute their task without talking. Seeing the three people that I know very well can’t keep their mouth shut to save themselves was a cracker! I could stop laughing 😂. Good job team!

Another thing that was interesting was the task on how would on run a meetings differently at work? Taking facilitation into account, what tools would one recommend? Personally I felt strongly about doing a “delta and delta plus” at he end of each meeting. It would allow people to reflect on the outcome and do better next time as well as make sure we don’t divert from the agenda. This happens a lot in the workplace!

Building relationships

In life we relate to different people differently,it is always wise to be open minded and be willing to listen, give people a chance to get to know you,sometimes a person only wants yo be listened to,or just be there and everything else will fall into place, sometimes we tend to pre judge and not giving your self time to know someone, and most of the time you only realise after knowing someone that it is worthwhile.

facilitating team decisions

Group 10 had one activity and it worked so well. It was well planned and well executed. It was as educational as it was fun.  It highlighted the importance of communication in making team decisions. Communication has been the most used word in the facilitation class and this is because communication is the base for group dynamics. communication does not have to be verbal. Group 10 demonstrated this in the activity we were given. Some groups were allowed to talk and discuss while others used the silent technique. Both these techniques worked and all groups were able to put out magnificent garments and pieces.

I thoroughly enjoyed the activity. I think there is a designer deep inside me waiting to come out (lol)

 

PS. THE BLUE TEAM DESERVED TO WIN. WE HAD THE BEST GARMENT

A true lesson from life 💁🏾💁🏾💁🏾

 

Learning from Life

The big day arrived!  The day before I felt 😕 defeated! 😩 Exhausted! I realised that sometimes in life it is necessary to take a step back, let this unfold and just go with the flow.  This was when the group had to finalise our facilitation presentation.  Guess what? It turned out great! There were situations where we had to improvise what we had initially prepared, but wasn’t obvious.  I’m truly proud of you guys! I would not hesitate working with you in the  future! Y’all came through with a bang! Y’all showed people flames!🔥 🔥🔥🔥

entering the world of facilitation

unsure of what facilitation was about i was eager yet nervous to get into the class room. it was a different experience to the conventional lecture as there was more involvement from each individual taking part. the start of the class was  confusing as i didnt actually know what the word facilitation meant. i then found a definition in our books that completely opened my mind and gave me a new understanding of the course. it is a person centered process that builds connectivity, trust and a sense of inclusion. the facilitators role is to create and environment that enables everyone to think an their best, respect each others point of view, participate fully and share the responsibility for achieving meaningful results.

with the new understanding i was eager to learn what was on offer and use it in my every day life.

Building Relationships

 

”We are social beings by default and Relationships have an extraordinary impact on all of us. Perhaps part of the reason why relationships are so important is because people have sort of blind spots and relationships help fill in those blind spots. Part of the reason why people are in any sort of relationships is because as people we want some sense of belonging. It is our basic human need to want to belong and we can’t exist alone. We know that lonely people tend to suffer because of their lonely nature”.

”However how people need each other is beyond our imagination because it’s embedded in our systems and we are born to consistently build relationships no matter what. Your brain mostly exerts from your external forces so if you look up and imitate resilient people that helps your brain to be resilient this is why its good to keep a positive company you feed off from it”.

““`By Bonakele Zikalala

From Team 9 presentation – Building Relationships

Team Cohesion

The 5 phases of the Team Cohesion process remind me of the group I was with and during each stage I continued to ask myself “Should I really be here?”  Mainly because I was not part of the First initial Forming phase when groups were formed. Relationships had been established, everyone had oriented themselves according to what they had planned in regards to the Group presentation. It seemed like if you came after group was formed and you questioned the logic of planning phase you were messing up a Great Plan formed. As weeks passed team agreed on goals and tasks but it seemed each week a new goal and task was reintroduced because someone was not available the previous week and they also wanted their ideas to be incorporated.

A week before presentation was a Storming phase because some members of the group were not as committed and had work related issues which then disorganized the planning and finalization of the presentation.  The team began to address issues as previously discussed such as goals and tasks. Certain perspectives were visited and reviewed. This was an unpleasant exercise however one that was needed as the following week we were to perform our presentation.

During that last week before presenting, the group was communicating using the Watsapp Mobile tool where the Norming phase seemed to kicked in. Team members agreed on ways to collaborate and even when new ideas were shared by others to spice up the presentation because trust had been formed it was easy to address issues in a constructive manner. The day arrived for presentation and the group performed as independent units and enjoyed themselves.

Although it has been almost a month since we performed the group still communicate on about each week lessons and continue to share ideas and even sit together during class. The Reforming phase will slowly reach a point of completion as we near to the end of this class.

 

TILL WE MEET AGAIN ROS

As I am writing this last blog, reflecting back from the first day I set foot into Facilitation skills course. I have decided not to write a lot about what I have learned from meaningful conversation part 3 lecture, rather about my experience from day one .

Before I go further I must say big ups to group 10 for an excellent  exercise which emphasized team work. The fact that they decided to do one exercise gave us more time to learn and understand the outcome.

This course is not unstructured after all, it has a special way of getting one where they need to be. Through this course I have discovered my hidden talents, I have introspected and worked on my fears, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to do things I have never done before. I got to understand my behavior as a left brainer. It taught me to respect other people’s views, To be patient, to listen, to withdraw in order to claim back my power, the danger of perception but most of all I have learned to speak in public without fear.

As I’m sitting and finalizing my essay , had I knew then what I know now. I would have enrolled for this course last year when I started. But never the less, it is never to late. I am where I’m suppose to be.

Till we meet again Ros and hey it was nice meeting. Such a great facilitator you are………………………………………………………………………………

Reflective Essay Writing

The reflective essay draft gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life journey since starting this course. Taking time to reflect, analyse and discover new things about myself and the people I work with mostly, including my husband.  One could not have imagined that a Facilitation course could reveal so much about an individual.

Having missed my first class, I had to read the Course pack in order to catch up and I felt like I had already missed a whole semester from just reading Module one which was the introduction of the program. There was a lot of interactions and group work. Joint learning in a group seemed to be an important exercise or learning tool throughout the course. Therefore I have realised from this day forth that my life was about to change as I hoped that my confidence would be built when working in a team. This will assist me even in my work space.

I have since ensured that I am part of each class because I wanted to learn more. I have since discovered that, “Facilitation is engaging people in a process of allowing people to come up with their own opinions.”  My favorite definition which was expressed by another group in the class when given an opportunity to use own words in defining Facilitation was, that “Facilitation clarifies, nurtures and counsels.  Clarity is done through engagement of group members while discussing and sharing different views on a topic. Nurturing is a process where in the discussion there is no right or wrong answer but simply allowing others express their opinions without fear or favor, lastly counsel takes the position of leadership and being open minded on opinions and suggestions from group members.”

This has meant that I have had to listen objectively and to remain open minded while other groups were presenting and when the lesson of the day was being presented. This allowed me to select a number of critical incidents where there was a turning point in my learning and reflect on and make sense of what I had learnt and discovered.

I have thus since learnt to adapt in situations, which is a skill I lacked.  Growing up as the last child in the family, one gets used to hearing their own voice and getting anything that they wanted from parents and elder siblings. When I got married, first thing I was told in counselling sessions is to be aware of my last born syndrome tendencies which could end up ruining my marriage. At first I didn’t understand and it became worse because my husband would constantly say that I was selfish. I thought he was mistaken, because nobody has ever told me that before until I realised that I indeed enjoyed people taking a joy ride on my ideas and opinions and I was stubborn to other ideas besides my own.  Learning to be objective and not to practice selective listening is a key skill I am slowly learning each day.

FREEING YOUR MIND

Is it possible for US as humans to free our and minds and think out of the box. Hmmmm maybe I enjoyed today’s presentation, the most likeable thing about it was that the door was not locked for a change! This was a really awesome experience, people would quietly sneak in and still get a chance to participate in the activities prepared by the presenting group. the presentation went well but petty the class was very short, I went home early, got bored and eventually dozed off on the couch. When I woke up I realised how much I miss the class activities and the discussions which normally take place in class. Rose was sick and couldn’t make it to class so it was just BORING but the nap helped me to refresh and continue with my essay.

Acknowledging others

This course has been quite an eye opener. I thought I paid attention to a lot of things and I learned I do though the are other ways of doing that, that could help me in my way of communicating with colleagues, family, friends and strangers. It’s given me a perspective into how broad communication is even though I was aware but classmates, team mates and the facilitator, Ross and Telfer, added to this knowledge I thought was working fairly for me. I hate waking up in the morning on Saturday and, yet I was in class participating on Saturdays even though I missed two Saturdays but I dedicated my time to learning new things and it paid off. I am glad I was part of 2017 Facilitation class and I’m so privileged to have learned and received feedback from other students with regards to what they learned and how they applied as well as hear about their aha moments, some hilarious, some poignant and other deliriously funny but all impactful lessons. Thank you, Rosslyn Solomon. Love and laughter to you and your team. Regards, Nthateng Keogotsitse

Communication Barriers

Ticking the table on what irritates me when another person does AB and C then ticking another one where I have to admit that I also do certain things was looking at myself in the mirror. My aha moment here was that when I communicate I need to remember that when something irritates me it’s possible that it is the very same that I also do to other people so I either have to change my ways or adopt a way of being a more tolerating, depending on what the issue may be, of what other people do as well. I’m not really crazy about looking at myself in the mirror but I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

Power of Perception PRT 1- Seeing with new eyes

The girl and the sailor, sighs, and the decision spiral works lecture. I learned how we filter data and translate it into a feeling that either makes us feel happy or unhappy. The sense, select, assess, feel, assume, conclude, decide and act steps were quote revealing because in our groups were not agreeing about the ranks though it late became interesting in terms of the arguments we used to reach the decisions we had individually made. Even discussing it in class was interesting to see how vocal everyone was and what they based their reasoning on. So, going forward I started listening to reasons that were brought forth more, from my son, mother, sisters and colleagues. What an interesting reflecting lesson this later became, it was quite telling but also informative.

Reflective Writting – Reflective Essay

So, we wrote a draft of our final assignment and from the feedback we received I had completely and utterly misunderstood what I was expected to write. So, the draft helped me in knowing and understanding what I am meant to write or bring to the table and I guess as much as I was questioning its importance it became apparent that I really needed it in order to know and understand how I should be writing my final essay as it counts towards my final mark. Tank you Ross, you never seize to amaze every week.

Meaningful Conversation PRT 2 – Listening Session

So today we were listening to a story, then one person narrates it word for word, the other says from what they felt, and the last person says as to what the story was meant to say. Yah neh, there were revelations right there. First, we could not ask question or get clarity, which from my line of work, was like an itch that wasn’t being scratched and men was I tempted. Anyway, I digress. I learned to listen from different perspective and got to hear different versions of one story told in three different ways. This made me become aware of how people interpret information or a story when they hear it, whether it be news, politics, entertainment or gossip but it created an awareness of how people interpret information that is delivered to them. So basically, that was my aha moment though as we did other stories I began losing attention and focus as I had gotten the gist, according to me, of what we were meant to learn on that day.

Facilitating team decisions

Communication can be in two forms, verbal and non – verbal. In the facilitation we discovered that non – verbal communication works better in a sense that there are no arguments and disruptions, instructions are easily followed and decision is made almost instantly. Whereas on verbal communication there will be too many opinions which will delay the process of achieving a goal on the set time, at times decision are not even made and the matter remains ongoing. Non – verbal is time efficient and works much better. More productivity less talking. 🙂

Building relationships

In our daily lives we build relationships without even being aware. Just by greeting someone in a taxi, a security guard at work, a street vendor, etc. Some relationships are built on trust, some on lies, friendship, companionship etc. Some people build relationship to benefit from those relationships, e.g. if you’re into business and do not have the right channels or information on how to go about starting your own business, you start associating yourself with people who are already in the business market so you can benefit the skills, expertise and channels to follow in order for your business to succeed. It all goes back to “Ubuntu”I am because we are.

….IT MATTERS HOW IT LAND….

FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES OF WEEKENDS IT WAS SCHOOLING AND IT TOOK OFF NICELY, AND IT SHOOK THE GROUND GOING UP ,THERE WAS A RIDDLE MOMENT AND A SILENT MOMENT AND THEN THE SETTLEMENT ASSURED US ,WE ARE FLYING ABOVE CLOUDS.
THE ENCOUNTER AIR WAS SHAKING THE FLIGHT, CHALLENGE SPLIT THE JOURNALS AND THERE WAS A NOISE OF THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT,HOW WAS THE FIRST PRESENTATION? DID YOU DO THAT ASSIGNMENT, HOW WAS IT?

THE SCHOOLING DEMANDS PILED UP AND WEEKENDS WERE NO LONGER THE SAME.
FAMILIES NEEDS STARTED TO LAMENT OVER AND OVER ABOUT WHEN ARE WE GOING SERVE THEM AGAIN.
ON HIGH, ONE STARTED TO UNDERSTAND THE POSITION AND THE WEATHER CONDITIONS FROM GROUND, AND THE CLIMATE ABOVE THE EYE LIMITING SKY
ASSIGNMENTS COME AND PASS, HOME BRING THEIR TO THE TABLE, WORKPLACE DEMAND THESE PROJECT TO BE AT SOMEONE’S HAND AT THE DEADLY TIME FOR YOU TO SUBMIT OTHERS AT SCHOOL
THE WHOLE PERIOD IN MOTION MADE US TO KNOW BETTER, UNDERSTAND BETTER, SEE CLEARER,FIND ANOTHER BALANCE BESIDE SEAT BELTS..
ALL WE FOUND AND REALIZED WAS THAT CHANGES UNITE YOU, IN ONE SPOT POSITION WE FIGHT A UNITED BATTLE.
CHALLENGES WOULD SURFACE AND CAUSE YOU TO TALK TO SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW,THE CLEARER THE JOURNEY BECAME AND THE MORE WE FOUND ONE ANOTHER’S PURPOSE OF BEING CLOSE TO OUR CHAIR AND TABLE.
SOMEDAYS IT WAS PRE-ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO EACH OTHER IN WHAT LIFE PRESENTED TO US,SOMETIMES PRESENTATION SPLITTED THAT HARD BUILT UNITY INTO CONFLICTS AND DISAGREEMENTS.
A RESOLUTE MOMENT FOUND THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH US THAT WE ARE INTO ONE VOLUME IN A CONTAINER THAT SHAPE US,THAT A FLIGHT IS A TUBE TO CONTENT US WHILE ON AIR,THAT A CLASS IS A SQUARE TO INSTRUMENTALLY AND STRUCTURALLY FORM AND INFORM OUR MENTAL PICTURE WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF.
A JOURNEY TO SUCCESS CONSCIOUSLY GREW IN REMINDING US WHERE WE ARE, HIGH AND FLYING THIS DIRECTON.
FINALLY ITS LANDING TIME AND ALL CHANCES SLIDES NARROWLY DOWN AND THE CHANGES ARE HEARD AND SEEN,THE PILOT IS MORE SILENT AND AIMED YOUR SAFELY. THE BLOWING AIR OF THE LAST WORK IS ROUGHER AND STRONGER, THE LANDING METHOD TRIGGER ALL EXPERIENCES AND ALL EXPERIMENTS TESTS REMIND ONE OF HOW IT FAILED TO LAND SOMETIMES,STATEMENTS GOT REPEATED AND MUCH HEATED WHEN MOMENT ARISED .
THE RUNWAY AND THE MANUEVREING WAYS ARE OPENED,TOWER NAVIGATION COUNT DOWN MINUTES AND GIVING MORE STRONGER LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATION, VERY INSTRUCTIVE TO LAND WITH PASS AND PUT YOU INTO MORE RESPONSIBLE CORNER TO PERFORM, BUT FAILURE ROAM THE MIND,WHAT IF THE PILOT’S THINKING RESONATE TO THE PASSANGERS’,ONE MUST FACILITATE A THOUGHT OF POSITIVE EXAMINATION AND LAND SAFE

Resolving conflicts

Communication is key in resolving conflicts, both parties need to agree to disagree about the conflict, take ownership and acknowledge their flaws and try reach a consensus, We find that to be a challenge as it takes a really strong person to own up
to their mistakes and actually apologize even though in certain situations an individual may not have been the cause of the conflict but for peace sake a person would take ownership of the mistake, apologize and the conflict is resolved. Unfair as it is, these are the kind of sacrifices done by individuals to maintain peace and relationships.

Overall Course Overview: Reflection

This course has not just helped me academically but it has also improved all aspects of my life especially my workplace. As a Military Officer in an International Relations Environment, this course has immensely impacted my attitude towards life and how i relate to others.  I have gained tools of resolving personal and intra-group conflicts and my communication skills have significantly improved.

I have also learned that impartiality and active listening are the rules of the game (facilitation). I learned that, people form impressions and make assumptions about other people hence it is imperative not to judge a book by its cover.

 It has also come to my realization that what we perceive has an impact on our daily lives and the manner in which we act and think within our surroundings is based on what we perceive as real and not really what ‘real’ is. Facilitation classes are among the most important critical success factors for effective learning as compared to teaching.  Being a good facilitator is both a skill and an art. Thanks to Mrs Ros and her team for the exceptional work done and for imparting such brilliant knowledge about facilitation into our lives.

I have learned that, ‘the world is a reflection of our inner thoughts, feelings and beliefs. The outer world is a reflection of what’s going on inside.’ Our beliefs lie at the core of our process of determining the data we select.  For me, learning is effective when I am personally involved in an exercise and facilitation involves a lot of exercises and active listening. I had a great time of learning.

Seeing with new eyes

The focus on this facilitation was same book different covers. Judging people from face value based on their line of work, their dress sense, even their religion and sexuality. We tend to judge people without taking the time to get to know who the person really is. If you see a Muslim guy carrying a bag pack, you already think terrorist and it is unfair on the individual being judged as they may be coming from school or the Mosque

Story telling

In life, everyone has a personal story. We all have different ways of telling our stories. Some people tell what they think we want to hear and some are more detailed and to the point. We may misinterpret people’s characters differently by judging them from face value until we get to hear their personal stories and we get to see them differently.

Facilitating change

On this topic we learned of what facilitation is. In most cases we tend to classify only one person as a facilitator because, they may have the title due to qualification or by profession. As we unpack what facilitation is, we discovered that a facilitator can be 3 or more people, based on the impact or role the may have to others. By impact I mean a role of a teaching or learning aspect to others. one can be a facilitator but also find the people whom they are facilitating becoming their facilitator as we learn from each other.

BAD DECISIONS MAKE GREAT STORIES

The END of an ERA…or I’m now just being dramatic again.

Off to WITS and I don’t know what to expect…but bet my life on it another insightful EXPERIENCE.

I have always loved working in a TEAM…although I like to over take a bit…yes! I SAID it.  We were given a model and material to design an outfit…I like this kind of THINGS and tend to ALWAYS get over EXCITED.  I hope I did not OFFEND any of my team members and will also not make any EXCUSES for trying to take CONTROL…I LOVED all the DIFFERENT  ideas put together…and will admit that I could not have done it on my own.

I have learn to work in in GROUPS with different PEOPLE each week and have also learnt to VALUE each and every persons IDEA and OPINION. We don’t always have to AGREE… and we wont always agree…most IMPORTANT is that we acknowledge that sometimes it is bigger the me…bigger than you…BIGGER then us…some times it requires TEAM effort…COLLECTIVE input.

We worked well TOGETHER in our group and guess what…WE WON!

Tea anyone?!

Ciao!

 

 

Facilitating team decisions

Wow I enjoyed myself.Our creative juices were forced to come out.We were given materials to create clothes to be modelled by the facilitators.Iyooo it was fun.

The instructions were clear and very strict.We worked as a group and the aim was to out smart each other.Our model outfit was out if this world I was in the red group WE WON🤣🤣🤣.

Honestly we needed such class with all the hard work at Wits.We are allowed to be us during facilitation class.It was awesome I must say but unfortunately it has come to an run.Good work Ros & Telfer.Guess what I stole some activities and will be doing them moving forward in my life being at work or with my church youth group.Yipppyyyy💃💃💃💃

Building Relationships

We were gjven a group task to built mushmallow towers with  spaghettis.Iyooo it was challanging but we were forced to work as a group.The winners were those who were able to make the tallest tower.It was really interesting shem.

When Mpho shared her family story I was touched it is clear that building relationships is definitely not an easy thing in families.Within families we all have some toxic relationships.But I also believe that we should expect to be given what we can give as well…Don’t expect to be given love if you don’t love others.As people we have to acknowledge that we are different and for relationships to work we need to compromise for our happiness.UNITED WE STAND DEVIDED WE FALL.

Week 10 :Barriers to communication & Ooops

The exercise that Ros made us to do really taught me something it was on pages 120&121.We were tasked to tick things that we hate when they are done by other people.As a start it was easy for me to almost tick every thing listed.

To my surprise when I was to be honest to myself and admit that I am known to be doing most of those as well…OMG.I was actually embarrassed as if the people knew all that about me..Ja meh one of the things that K have to learn is to stop ignoring what other people say especially when I chair meetings and drive my agenda.By telling them what I would do if I were them…IT IS WRONG

Seeing with new eyes

Group 6 had clear objectives right from the on set.They carried on with the grouping technique had about 3 groups.The presentation opened my eyes to the fact that as people we like to judge others b4 we actually know who they are & what  they stand for and also why do they appear the way they do.

Most unfortunately we always see negatives as opposed to positives. Hey we can’t be blamed as people according to psychology some of our reactions are done unconsciously.We do them without thinking our reactions are based on our previous or stored information.🤤🤤🤤

SERENDIPITY

 

It has become a norm for me to get up and dress up on Saturday morning’s…

How EASY it is for things and SITUATIONS to be of a norm to me…almost every thing can become a NORM to me…but never to feel out of PLACE.

And I say the following with much LOVE and  GENUINENESS …

As I have grown OLDER over the YEARS, I have become more HONEST and don’t have the PATIENCE for pointless DRAMA, and I have also LEARNT the hard way that if you love more than they deserve… surely they will HURT you more then you DESERVE.

I come from a BROKEN home…but that has never defined me. My only WORRY is the children because they are the once who SUFFERS the most. I have tried countless times…I have over looked and kept quite just to preserve peace…what PEACE?!…there was never peace.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS does not just happen over night…nor can it be accomplished by only one PERSON…no one should be FORCED and what I have seen in my FAMILY that it’s much easier to build strong CHILDREN the to repair broken ADULTS.

I have a RELATIONSHIP with not all, but only a few of my FAMILY members…I learnt to LOVE from a DISTANCE, this to have become a norm to me.

Group 9 has facilitated about this and what was shared in class can be applied in real LIFE situations…I just don’t know if I can try again.

A cup tea always makes me feel better.

until next time!

 

 

 

 

Facilitating team decisions

Try facilitating a “non-verbal”  team decision , that’s what I had to endure, yes endure. In my head, facilitating a team decision meant having to work through differences within a team, having to resolve them and presenting a united front. Team 10 had me guessing, I like guessing, I’m just not good at it and this particular case was no different. Despite having been halted in your tracks, I felt your presentation was interesting and insightful, it illustrated the 2 (silent and verbal) ways of communication which still achieved the same desired outcome..

oh, I still feel that the GREEN TEAM SHOULD HAVE WON,WE DESERVED IT!!!

Group 5 facilitation 02 September

The yellow team’s presentation was on Learning from Life.The angle taken was in 3 folds:family,social &education.In our intro we presented the expectations very clearly.We had 3 activities which made the class very noisy but our objective was to make sure that we involved everyone.Eishh we got carried away and as a result we took 56mins🙈🙈🙈People were touched by our personal stories.We felt that would be an add on on the objectives of the presentation.WELL DONE GROUP 5 👐👐

Building Relations

Group 10’s presentation was extraordinarily fun and unexpected. The topic of Building Relationships was delivered in a fresh and totally  captivating manner. The creation and presentation of a garment through team collaboration was put to the test with 3 of the groups having to communicate without speaking.   Two groups were allowed to communicate by speaking and interesting enough it was one of the groups that had to use non verbal forms of communication that won the challenge. Indeed effective communication is critical in the completion of group tasks and activities. The Bruce Tuckman model of team cohesion was discussed as well as its 5 phases in the life cycle of a team. It was interesting for me go reflect on our groups dynamics and interactions with the Bruce Tuckman theory in mind. I must say that the forming and storming stages of our team were very challenging, they were also affected by the fact that there was a group member in particular who tried to affirm herself as the group leader and that created tensions and disinterest in some team members. The normalizing stage came to our rescue and the performing stage was the pinnacle of our team dynamic experience. There was reforming on the night of our final presentation rehearsal and on the morning of the presentation it was fireworks, unity,  integration and  ultimately an effective group presentation.

The topic of time was very pertinent to group 10’s presentation as Roslyn so clearly reminded the class that respecting and honoring time is critical. Over stepping time boundaries could have serious consequences in the context of a workshop facilitation where the impact of an entire workshop could loose its impact as a result of anxieties brought about due to over stepped time boundaries.

Group 10 Project Runway – It is what it is …

MY GROUP WAS AWESOME!!!  YOU ROCK GROUP 10!!!

When we were first split into groups I thought ‘ here we go again! aarrrggghhh!!! group work!’ … that feeling lasted for all of 2 minutes.  As soon as we sat down and did introductions and formulated a project plan I knew that I was with the right peeps. Working with group 10 was a highlight for me because this is a group of considerate, kind people who have a good work ethic and team spirit. And I feel like I’ve made friends with the individual people.

I had a blast presenting to the class even though we were reprimanded for running over time. The experience of facilitating felt natural and I truly enjoyed it. But I want to talk about my T-Shirt!!

a huuuuuggggeeee thank you to Gavin for this t shirt. I love it I love it I looooooovvvveee it!! I want to wear it daily. Fortunately I care about hygiene and smelling good! lol!

Anyway … my t shirt : On the front my nickname is printed :#Ray Ray (because I’m more than one mouthful!) and the back : IT IS WHAT IT IS. Let me tell you more about that.  People are unhappy for one of two reasons:

1 – they dwell on what was and

2- they dwell on what it isn’t.

So they hold on to a past or they focus on all they don’t have. This way of thinking prevents living in the moment and enjoying what you have. In order to move forward you have to take stock of what you have so that you can build. That means accepting what you have, what your limitations are and what your potential and abilities are. We regret when it doesn’t go according to our plan and that holds us back.  I have learnt to make the best of a situation by saying it is what it is and forge ahead. S o far it has worked out just fine …

 

Facilitation session for Group 6, with topic “Seeing with new eyes”

Facilitation session for Group 6, with topic “Seeing with new eyes”

How I enjoyed this session, such an unexpected yet wonderful turn of events.

The aims and intent of facilitation session was set out from the start, as well as what the topic will delve into.

I particularly enjoyed the audience engagement in this session. Audience was split into 3 groups, and the groups were given 3 different photos to analyze and give their opinions on, as well as an actual person dressed up as someone totally different.

The criticism and negative views that the dressed-up people received, goes to show how we as humans can be so judgmental and always looking for the negative in situations, before we can even begin to see the good.

This session was a real eye opener and I think we all took a lesson home that day.

C. Brandt-Jacobs

FREE YOUR MIND…

One of the greatest forms of bondage is fear. We fear that which we know and we fear that which we don’t. We fear that which we do not understand and compensate for that fear by forming prejudices. We are afraid of being pioneers of thoughts and attitudes which are different so we hold on to old ideology which sometimes go back generations. These “crutches” hold back our minds and hinders our potential.

In order to change for the better and grow it is imperative to free one’s mind. One form of this is letting go of a hurtful past … I’m not saying minimize that which has devastated you but rather deal with it; learn from it; forgive others as well as yourself so that hurt can change into growth.

Letting go of prejudices and judgements about oneself and others also open doors to new ways of being. We should be mindful of others and respect one another for the individuals we are and not only see each other by the groups which we belong to. This includes being kind to ourselves … change that negative inner voice and create a new positive affirming voice to encourage and motivate yourself.

Ever since I’ve made the decision to stop operating in fear I see possibility ahead of me. Realistically … I do worry about not having a job and income after the end of this month but I remind myself to let go of fear and old belief systems. I have freed my mind and I am ready for an adventure. Anything (good) can happen …

Fare You Well – Blogs

Blogging…, this was a challenge, I have never missed not even one class but blogging…I have missed a lot and had to catch up.  I really enjoyed the class, the atmosphere, people and everything.

Group 5, you were all amazing, TT, Tobs, Matsheps, Tim, Inno, Sanele, Hlengi, Nthateng, Zan and Celeste…”SISONKE” (Together we stand) you will be missed, hope to see each other again.

Roslyn and team,  you will always be part of me, thank you for the  tools of life.

 

RESOLVING CONFLICTS!!‼❗✅😵😱😫😩😓

Highlight of all lectures📑📕📗📘📙📓📒📚📖
Resolving conflicts group has just taken presentation to another level.The class was epic.One could not take notes for this class even for a best freind so much life lessons it was from out of this world.Where do I begin to explain .Perhaps it is just sufficient to say I have learnt more than enough.Loads of wisdom was imparted in this class🎓📝📄📋📃📜📑📚📰

Building Relationship

the build up to this day has been very long and daunting. long because we are used to the pattern of everyone presenting their group topics. long because you feel like you have great ideas and find some groups that implement the same or almost the same ideas. but with those feelings also comes the anticipation. as they say SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST and i feel that as group 9 we have the best topic ever…we probably have a topic that applies to everyone in many ways than one. it’s got that personal association in many spheres. so yes….we are team 9 and we are BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

bright and early we are wide awake and the nerves are kicking in real hard. didn’t get much time to resight what i have to say for my part. but hey we soldier on and make the best of it all. we have come too far to give up now.

i did my best in researching all i could related to our topic. from how it scientifically resonates and how we can explain it biologically. and this i have to say has been a great fulfilling experience because i learnt so much from information gathered. i could relate all that i have gathered to what’s in the course pack and what we have already.

this made me realise that as human beings we depend so much on each other one way or another. co-existence is in our nature and its embedded so deep in us such that its beyond us. and through the hormone of oxytocin its impossible to find a man who is an island isolated from other human beings. so as building relationships we are the glue to everyone else.

we had some conflicts as a team but with the help of Ros being our mediator i thought she was superb in assisting with one of fellow members in ensuring that we deal with things in a matured and professional way. lets just say its as if there was never any conflict and were all more tighter than before. listening is a skill that we all need to acquire and adopt. when we listen with a mindful mind we listen and understand clearly and respond accordingly. we are also responsible with how people respond to us because we for as long as we part of the conversation and part of the conflict its in our responsibility to ensure that we communicate the way we want to be responded by.

all in all it was a great day and it was a job well done.

Meeting at work- keep it one hundred

So on Saturday Ross mentioned something quite interesting. We all go to meetings at work yet most of the time meetings aren’t even effective. Like I feel overshadowed or unheard most of the time. Sometimes I even wonder what the meeting is about so for those of you in leadership positions here are some tips:

  1. show up- ja be there and be there in everything. Be present!
  2. clear out the expectations around the meeting, you can do this by checking in, ask everyone that will be attending the meeting what they expect from it in one word.
  3. Listen, no like seriously- listen to what everyone has to say and do not assume anything this a very bad communication barrier.
  4. Facilitate some things, not everything has to be formal and boring, yes we understand it is a budget meeting but add in something that can wake everyone up i.e. ice breaker (a short funny clip or a personal story you experienced that has to do with your meeting topic). This can really help your colleagues to loosen up and also give their opinions that may help you solve a problem.
  5. Observe, pay attention, body language is key, people may not say anything but they are saying something with their expressions or body.
  6. remove all assumptions by asking for expectations of the meeting- like how many times do you get into a meeting and you thinking that it is about finance then it turns out to be about something completely different. Ask your team what they expect the meeting is about this may actually give you direction.
  7. Do a delta-plus and minus. Ask for feedback for your next meeting you may get loads of tips form the quiet nerd who sits in his corner with all his genius ideas….. loool!

Module 2

So, it’s week two and I made it to class. Roslyn mentioned last week that probably the majority would not make it back to class this week, but looking around class today a lot of people returned it looks as full as what it was last week. Well done to Group 1’s facilitation experience, in my opinion, it is not easy to go first and to put something together in such a short time, but they did a great job. So last week I ended off saying I had facilitation skills all wrong, well today we covered the various aspects of what it is, and boy, I was wrong. So, we had to work in another group, with different people – whoever is sitting around you – and we had to discuss the readings, and it was interesting to see the different dynamics and opinions of people within the group, and the various ways people get to voice their opinions and to reflect on their understanding of the various articles.

Module 1

So, today was our first day of facilitation skills and I was very confused and uncomfortable. I had an idea of what was expected of us, but I was so wrong, as I really thought the most uncomfortable part of the class would be the presentation we had to do, but I could feel my throat go dry when we were told how unstructured the class was going to be, and that most of us would not be back if we preferred structure – which is me! I kind of came to terms with the fact I had to do a presentation – well I’ve been mentally preparing myself since registering for the subject that I would have to stand up in front of the whole class and speak. If you knew me you would know that I hate public speaking with a passion, and that is an understatement – I’ve never been able to do it and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do it later either. I can easily complete a ten-minute presentation in two minutes!

Then when you think Roslyn is going to give us a lecture, as they do in University, we were told to move the desks and chairs to the outskirts of the classroom and to find three friends. And now I’m like – I must interact with people too?? Ok so just to clarify, I’m not a rude person and I actually do like people, but I am more introverted than extroverted, and it’s like 09:00am on a Saturday morning, I’ve been up since 4:30am because my baby decided that it was time to eat, and all I want to do is get the lecture done with so that I can go home. Ok, so back to my experience, I gravitated to two lovely ladies and I’m so glad to have met them. We were later told to pull a number out of a box as we needed to be divided into groups – All I kept thinking was yet another awkward situation – just when you start getting comfortable and start feeling at ease – things change! So lucky number 6 – that’s my group, and what a nice group of people. We had a discussion amongst ourselves to get to know each other and I remember saying that this is my last semester at university and throughout the last five years, and besides the odd presentation here and there, I’ve never had to interact as much as I have had to do in this class, but talking to the various people I have met, I came to the realisation that it’s not just me who feels like this – that there are actually other people who are introverted like me here, and this actually makes me feel a bit at ease. So maybe I won’t be one of those who do not return next week, I think I can push through it. On my way home I recall thinking what did I really think facilitation skills was going to be?? I had it all wrong – the name tells you what it’s about – I mean, how can I learn the skills of how to facilitate without facilitating?? I was truly ignorant!

purple

We finally had our presentation as the group…second last group. phew! I am so proud and my team did so well. The hard work and countless meetings. Although not everyone contributed. A missed opportunity from their side…because we really had fun planning and bouncing ideas around. I am glad we gave it our best shot and gave the class a beautiful experience while having fun. I have learnt and made so many new connections and friends. To group 10 my team …thank you so much. Ros and her team Thank You for an amazing experience …I am glad I did Facilitation on my 1st semester. I am going to miss the Saturday rush and your way of actively engaging us throughout your classes . Earlier blogged about how I wanted to try sit next to different person every week. Glad to report back that I kept that commitment as I look back to our first class and the list of things I wanted to achieve or get out the class. Now I totally get how your previous students meant. It is was truly a life changing experience. Thank you.

Communication

Fashion show slash project runway, slash something gone awfully wrong. I don’t know  what to blog on because we did a fun activity but I don’t know where it fitted into the whole topic. However it could have been great if they shortened the actual exercise and gave us some theory. I did have fun tho but I think for the 10th facilitation presentation they could have really blown us away because it’s getting really boring now.

My group and I are presenting this Saturday. I don’t have much to say but it’s not going to be exciting because I’m sure that everyone has already gotten the drill of how a facilitation presentation should be.

This journey has been really bumpy for me because I had to learn to adjust to being busy on a Saturday and actually waking up. I remember from the first day I stepped into class how exhausted I was. I just had a fight with my boyfriend and I was in tears 😭.  Like I never knew that I could grow this much and actually start to see life in a different way.

I have learnt to appreciate people that I wouldn’t have considered before and I have realised that my reality is just small because everyone has problems.

On the professional side I have learnt so much, from techniques to actual presentations I know what is expected when I facilitate.

I am emotionally ready now to grow up and except life’s changes. Just the little chat I had with Ross made me realise I have the answers within me. You see communication isn’t just about the talking it’s also about listening and understanding. Believe it or not it’s really hard to be twenty-something these days, people my age are millions and thanks to social media it’s always in my face.

I often find myself doing a delta plus about my day when I’m just about to sleep. I call it counting my blessings. I believe that you attract things into your life by the energy you let off. If you are negative, negative things will come your way and if you are positive then positive things will come your way.

I chose to happy besides all the turmoil that is going on in the world 🌍. I know life is not perfect and I know that there will be trials but personally I chose to be happy 😊.

I chose to free my mind and channel things that I find worthy. People can watch the news 📰 and go around in fear but I know who I am and I know what I want. I won’t get everything but things are working for my good. I have a good job, lovely boyfriend, great education (for free, company bursary) and I am healthy -well a little over weight but I’m good lol 😁

So ja! 11 weeks is almost over and I am still exhausted but I’m also thankful. I can’t wait to share my knowledge with those that can listen. Hopefully I can change someone’s reality.

Did I mention I have a great team at work, ja nah! I am super blessed.

Like I usually say, life is a series of events and you have to make decisions in each. What you do determines many things however it’s not the final draw anyone can start all over again.

 

 

POETIC JUSTICE

What has worked for me in understanding and learning in the Facilitation Skills class, has been consistent attendance since unlike the other courses I do, this one doesn’t have a reference manual to reach the end result. I have realised that we don’t all share the same sentiments, what works for one might not necessarily work for the other.
I guess because we were split into groups and were expected to meet weekly as part of preparations for the big day, it became obvious that one had to be in class most times. Fast forward to week 9, one of us had not kept to the expected attendance of group discussions that we’d had every Saturday after class. This person appears a week before we must facilitate, co-incidentally, the topic for that day’s group was ‘Resolving Conflict’. Is the universe is playing games with us here?
I had not met this member of our group, up to that point, all I knew was that the very first and last time he was introduced, he seemed impatient about the group discussions. He’d come up in our discussions, however, nothing to decide on whether we should keep or chuck him out. The assumption might have been, he’d dropped out of the course. For him to show up when he did, left us puzzled and conflicted as to how the situation would be handled.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that day. Obviously, conflict was looming within the members and someone needed to intervene and mediate the situation.
What are meaningful conversations? My literal take, a conversation that have meaning. Never would I have associated conflict resolution with meaningful conversations. How is that possible when emotions are so high?
Ros stepped in to mediate the discussion. The technique that she used worked well in bringing us all back into our senses, without her it could have gone south. It built shared understanding amongst the group members on the way forward, about where to place this ‘prodigal member’ in the team.

FREEING ONE’S MIND

The concept of freeing up space in your mind might seem uncomfortable at first because it takes you outside of your comfort zone. To some it represents confusion, doubt and fear, whilst to others it represents possibilities and opportunities.
Those that have researched the subject come with up different suggestions on how one can free up space in one’s mind. Top of my mind is meditation and practicing silence. Seeing this topic on my course manual reminded me of a little book I once came across on Being Present/Mindfulness. It talked about being aware of your surroundings, your breathing, i.e. the ART of being present. It talked about the many ways to bring mindfulness into our daily life even when there is not a chance to sit down in a quiet place.
Activities – bring mindfulness into the activities you do and love, like gardening, running, biking, swimming….
Routines – Choose one of your daily routines and bring mindfulness to it, e.g. folding clothes, washing dishes, vacuuming, walking to work, eating lunch.
Triggers – We all have things that set us off, snarky emails, annoying colleagues, mindless drivers. Choose one and decide to replace your angry reaction with the flash of being present
I have struggled with this art since childhood, I cannot quieten the mind, as a result, I am finding myself catching up to so much that I missed out on as a younger person, studying at a tertiary institution being one of those things.
For an example, I never learned to swim, still can’t as one instructor who tried teaching told me to clear my mind of anything negative that I associate with water. How’s that even possible, I thought to myself.
You see, as a toddler I walked inside a bucket of hot water which was reserved for my weekly thorough bath which took place every Sunday evening. As we didn’t have a privilege of a geyser at the time, water would be boiled in a big kettle on the stove top, poured into a bucket then carried to an enamel bath tub where I would be scrubbed all over to be clean for a new week of travel with my mother to her piece jobs in town. So, like any other child of that age, water is fun to play with and I had assumed it was cold since the bucket had been placed on the floor. In I jumped, the rest is history.
Fortunately, my skin healed very well and with no bruising or evidence of the incident whatsoever. Unfortunately, the mind never recovered. Learning to ride a bicycle was another fun activity I missed out on. I could never imagine anything bad happening to my perfect legs again, so I skipped riding a bike. Now as a wiser empowered adult, I am learning the art of being present in the same activities that I had stayed away from.
When I decided to adopt a healthy lifestyle, besides taking part in outdoor activities, I found being in the water and riding a stationary bike (the only one I can ride at the moment), to be stimulating and fulfilling. For the past two years I have been making a promise (yearly rsolutions) to myself to venture into learning to ride a proper bicycle and to swim, however, my mind has not been very supportive of my wishes.
So, I am still to learn the art of being present holistically!

Public, Private & Unconscious

It has been a while since my last blog. I found it difficult to expose my feelings again because of a stressful period I went through.
I remember sitting at a table typing my feelings away on the blog then suddenly, felt too exposed and deleted everything that I had written. It had started like this, “I write today with a very heavy heart, I couldn’t have imagined how painful physically it would feel to lose one of my own…..”.
It felt so therapeutic to let it all out, even though it was just to an electronic device, but I was sharing my inner most feelings. I got so lost in that moment that I had even forgotten where I was. Suddenly I had this realisation, it felt like all eyes were on me. I wasn’t sure if they were looking at the tears streaming down my face or if the grief I felt at that moment left me naked and exposed. I deleted everything.
Thursday, 31 August had begun a normal day at work. I went about the usual events of the day with ease. I had an inspiring meeting with a client which left me motivated and hopeful about the future when suddenly my phone rang, it was a phone call I had been dreading for a while now. I continued with the meeting as I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt the discussion. Another one came through and then another one. It dawned on me then that the time had come, the bell had rung. I sunk in the chair and had to excuse myself from the meeting to return at least one of those missed calls.
As I switched on the phone to make a call, a messaged popped up on the screen screaming loudly like a voice call, a screengrab with the words “MOM?”
I broke for my child who was a 1000 kilometres away from home to have learnt of her favourite cousin’s passing from a WhatsApp profile picture, with noone close to comfort her.
She had been sick for a while now but her fighting spirit had always given us hope that she will recover. She was gone. Everything came to a standstill. My plans for the weekend were out the window.
The reflective essay was due that coming Saturday, 2 September. I remembered Ross’s words when the previous weekend she had said “write your essay in class and know that you are done with it”. Procrastination had made an ugly appearance that week and I found myself having to cope with what I was faced with and the task of completing the essay. I had to finish it so I could make arrangements for someone to take it with for me on the day as I wasn’t going to make it to class anymore.
The lesson on human dynamics became fresh in my mind. What was happening in my private arena had to become public. Who do allow in this space? I wrestled with this decision for a while. We had met as a group for about 3 weeks already at this point. Our discussions had been centred around the plan for when we facilitate the topic, Building Relationships most times and the communication on who will not be in class on a particular day, which didn’t warrant me opening up about what I was going through at that moment. I owed them an explanation as to why I will not be there that Saturday so I had to let them in.
It was one of those difficult moments of becoming human. In some families you are raised to always be strong, you don’t share your feelings especially of weakness with the people not close to you. I was raised like that and as a result have missed out on the most supportive of people that I have come across. I am glad to have shared with my team members at that point because they became a source of strength. The messages I got were comforting with some offering to submit my essay for me.
My group members were not the only people I had let it in my private space then, I had developed a friendship over skopas (mielie snack) with another fellow classmate. I am glad to have met this person from whom I have learnt to rely for words of wisdom and encouragement. I have adopted her as my mentor as I walk this WitsPlus path since she has walked it longer.
I am thankful to everyone who has been with me on this trying journey.
What a coincidence that a topic for that week was ‘Learning from Life’. Feel like I missed out on very important lessons from that group

Last Blog

Last Blog

I am sure that most of us are rushing to finish as many blogs as we can. With work and personal situations, it can get a bit much when it comes to studies. I have however realized that no matter what comes your way if the determination is big enough we will prevail.

I am done with my assignment now to get to those nine blogs. I must admit it was not easy for me but if it was not for this class, I would probably not been able to get through this year.

There are just certain things in the manual that gave me that one thing I needed to help through it. As mentioned before listening differently, checking in, and checking out, the delta plus all these things, I will not forget, and I know what the impact in my life is because I am applying it. These tools need to be taught as subjects in schools. Like swimming, it should be a life skill subject. The only thing is we have to keep at it. The only way to keep growing is to improve your life skills.

I am going to miss this class and the friends I made. I hope we will keep in touch.

Ross, thank you again, I know I mentioned it before but you really made an impact in my life, what a great teacher. It was an honor to have met you professionally and personally.

I wish you everything of the best in your plans in the future.

D Day

D Day                                                                                                                                            So the morning started with a bang, we could not enter the class until something to eight. As you can imagine we were so nervous and the tension started to show, especially when people tried to change things at the last minute. We needed all our facilitation tools to get through the morning.

However, from the allocation of the cupcakes to the end of the modeling show, I think the class enjoyed our presentation. Ross stopped the presentation before we could finish because of time. This through us off guard, but I suppose she did warn us that she would be doing that. She also did not allow the class to do the Delta –Plus she decide to do it herself. There were more delta’s than pluses but we discussed it after and we felt happy with our progress. Thank goodness it is over .

What a Relief

What a relief, we did our presentation to the class and we all felt that it was a success. Leading up to the presentation was a bit hair raising at times because we did not get together as much as we wanted too or should have.

I must admit I am very happy with the team members in my group with, especially those that put in the effort leading up to the presentation. Regardless of the fact that we did not get together as much as we would have liked we tried to communicate via watts up and voice notes to get things done that needed to be done.

Even though it was very difficult to get everyone together especially on  Saturdays because of other  plans  that were made, responsibilities that had to be taken care of we did it. Hence, we tried our best to do as much as we could when we met after class. We all loved Marlene’s idea for our presentation and we all thought it would be a wonderful activity for the class.

Even with all the differences in our group in certain aspects most of the time, we would listen and respect each other’s views and ideas. I was very anxious about my role. When I was nominated to do the icebreaker at the beginning, I nearly died. I knew that would be the easiest part of the presentation but my concern was what was I going to do as an icebreaker. That night I got home and started to consult Mr. Google. I must have gone through no less than eight icebreaker examples before I chose the “Juggling for your name”. ( https://www.icebreakers.ws/extra-large-group) .

Look out for my next blog  to fill you in on the presentation and how it turned out.

later peeps

Meaning Conversations PRT 1 – Resolving Conflict

I was unable to experience the group presentation from the beginning, but the personal stories shared were so real and actually touched me and made me realised that it could have been one of us and still can be. I admire the lady who reported her CEO, apologies for forgetting her name. The manner she handled the issue and sharing such a personal story empowers me of how i should view myself within my workspace. I enjoyed the presentation immensely and the exercise we were given. Though I’ve been in conflict situation and have stood my ground I learned a lot from this class in terms of how to go about resolving conflict. The writing exercise was challenging, as much as this should come naturally, I think, it wasn’t. I found myself impatient when I had to write because this required me to write in the first person so my patience was tested here and I had to remain calm and was curious to see how far and where this was going to end and guess what *laughing* I was able to do the exercises till the end of the lecture. So, something meaningful was achieved, so yay, to me.

Meaningful Conversation PRT 3 – Team Cohesion Process

This was a reflection on how our team came together from the moment we assembled and tried to understand what was expected of to the time of execution. It brought back memories of brainstorming ideas and executing it to see how it would unfold then go back to changing the concepts and ideas and brainstorm again. The highlight were the disagreements because instead of fighting we somehow found laughter when we hit a snag and we had to go back to the drawing board and restart again and eventually everything fell into place. To work with like-minded people who were willing to listen, hear and agree and debate I a manner that was demeaning or belittling in any way whatsoever inspired me. Top of the cherry to all of this is how were still communicating weeks after our presentation and were still assisting and advising each other. There’s a bond that was formed and it continues to be nurtured weeks after and that for me says we learned quite a lot from the course and used it not only for the course but even in our personal spaces and that has been obvious in our interaction outside class.