Introduction to Facilitation

Entering the class for the first time I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was handed a workbook as I made my way down, with some incomprehensible instruction to write down a calendar. The venue was entirely quiet, almost as if I had walked into an exam venue with everyone fervently writing down the calendar from the board.
With such a large class, with people joining what felt like every minute, I was quite concerned with the type of learning experience I would receive, especially in a module which should be more practically based than theory.
Roslyn soon realized though that this may pose a problem in the quality of the sessions and suggested the class be split in two, a morning class and an afternoon class. Knowing my weakness for sleep, I naturally chose the afternoon class, which would afford me the opportunity to lay in on a Saturday.
I can say that from that alone I am already looking forward to my facilitation classes a bit more.

Conflict Resolution

The facilitation group that produced the role play in “resolving conflict’ were superb. A beautiful combination of story-telling, interaction, and some some good old-fashioned drama. I thoroughly enjoyed the role play, learnt a lot about controlling, accommodating, avoiding, and compromising.

Would have even nicer to see any of those techniques played out. To me the “Aha…!!!” moment was engaging with the “law of reciprocity’. It is universal and transcends boundaries, gender, culture, and religion, you certainly give what you get.

resolving conflict

one night i was sitting with friends and we were drinking .one of my friends started talking about her boyfriend and she would not  shut up about him .so to shut her up i told her that her boyfriend was a good for nothing  loser  and that he was using her so she needed to   wake up and smell the coffee instead of  singing this guys praises.my friend wasn’t happy  with the statement i made we got to arguing and almost got into a fist fight,because i was drunk i  was sticking to my words and i was not going to take them back course thats how i really felt about the guy .

long story short when we were doing the resolving conflict exercise i realized that i could have handled the situation differently.like shouldn’t have said the things i said in front of the others girls as a friend i should have to her about my dislike of her guy when we are sober and alone.

in this weeks lesson i learned that you should know when you are wrong and be a big enough person to apologies .get to the bottom of the conflict and hear each side of the story and get a clear understanding of what the conflict is about and try to resolve the conflict amicably   because if ignored the conflict can escalate to a point where it cant be fixed .and i  also learned to stay out of other people’s business and keep my opinions to my self.

seeing with new eyes

our experiences,cultures and personal desires act as lenses through which we see what lies before us.we view things not only from different sides but different eyes as a result we have no wish to find them alike .we see what we want to see and are  blind to what we do not want to see . and although things and people  around us might look the same the thing is we are constantly changing,always moving ,always different like our thoughts and feelings.

this is the same as looking with different eyes ,our ideas ,projections ,judgement or conceptions we are looking through the lens of our habitual patterns and prejudices. imagine you have never been here before so that everything is completely new to you,unknown waiting to be explored and discovered .whether is brushing your teeth,washing the dishes one can see through different eyes.all you have to do to do is be aware, pay attention and look without labels or preconceived ideas and expectations.

being aware extends us beyond ourselves ,it takes us out of the ego ,out of the fixed way we believe things should be out of self contentedness and into awareness of the connections in our relationships with everything and everyone. when we see with new eyes the world becomes the greatest gift of all.

respecting differences

in this  class i learn something new each week . i never anticipated the impact this class would have on me especially in such a short space of time.

in this week’s class i learned how important it is to simply acknowledge differences .i thought to myself  how could i have missed such a simple concept,i realized that i have been making assumptions about a lot of people in my life ,i thought i understood differences but to my surprise i did not.i am one person who always finds fault with everything  and being too quick to judge  not recognizing that we are all unique and different in our own way .hens i never asked people around me  about their feelings or opinions i just figured i new them cause they are in my life.i realize now i couldn’t have been more wrong ,i now see the importance of acknowledging and honoring  personal and their differences .as a result i have  built  better  relationships with people around me even strangers.  i now have a better understanding of the world and the people around me.so thank you facilitation for opening my eyes  yet again . so thank you

Honouring Difference

It was good to see that in-through our 3rd facilitation group, to experience a different sitting arrangement; group members dressed in their beautiful, respective traditional wear, to convey the message that we are all different and belong to different ethnic groups, but we all constitute a rainbow nation. The power of showing up and choosing to be present, the degree of how much people can conclude about us, just by the way we chose to show up to situations. Learning that as people we view the world from different perspectives, ones reality is different from others and as we interact with people, we have the power to choose what to look for as we will find it, whether good or bad. The brain exercise tool that we completed and did an exercise on the attributes of our brain dominance.

Story Telling

Story Telling, what a great way to convey a message; the audience to be immersed in the story physically; emotionally and to anticipate the outcome of it. The facilitation group encouraging us to be cautious of what we consume *Joe, the chicken*.

The interesting topic of the common four rituals within every culture. This leaves me with a great personal revelation about how little I know of my culture, because my parents decided way before I was born that they are not going to live according to their tradition and chose to live by the principles of Christianity. Not that I blame them or what, I am grateful for the role the religion has played in my life, but I wish they could have rather stick to practising the one that does not interfere with their religion.

The stories that we were tasked to read about, the importance of learning through experience. Learning of the values of the facilitator; being innovative; not following common trends. Facilitator as a person who brings change to people and drives them towards their success.

Communicating via social media

Yep, one chose to be in the morning class and yes we were there right on time; just before the door closes. The first group delivered their facilitation with only a week to prepare, the extra mile they took to put this together, we applaud them. Who thought social media has so much power; power to influence or make an impact in the society; power to sell yourself as an entrepreneur; power to shape the world. Understanding the importance of asking for audience expectations as one of the facilitation tool that one can use to measure their success; to clear out assumptions; and moreover to understand people’s expectations.

I was happy to learn that most of our facilitation do not start off well because we fail to check in with everybody, to establish whether they are ready for this physically; emotionally; psychologically;  socially; just to tune their minds into the task of the day. What about whoever came for your facilitation, were the right people to come; what happens during the session, was the right thing to happen. Checking out, in some sessions lots of stuff can be discussed and shared, it is our individual responsibility to check out and not disclose what transpired when its over.

The stretch zone – let us continue to stretch our own limits. Finally one gets the importance of No-tables and lots of movements, solely to understand and develop our  interaction with different people at different settings and being able to contribute to different discussions at hand.

Introduction

What a beautiful morning it was, with a very chilly weather and everybody dressed up in their warm jackets. Roslyn waited for us right at the FNB entrance, to ensure that we don’t struggle to access the class venue. Just like a in a normal lecture session, one expected to be equipped with presentation  skills, however I was surprised to learn that there is a huge difference between prrsentation and facilitation. Upon the course registration, I thought that it was going to make a great contribution towards the improvement of my work presentations, only to find that I was about to unleash the great facilitator within me and it also relates to my personal development. Five years into my job, 8-10 presentation yearly, I don’t remember asking my audience what are their expectations about the topic of the day. I have learned the importance of audience engagement; as much as I am the facilitator with an expert knowledge of the topic; I can draw some knowledge from the audience’s life experiences and from their general understanding of the topic.

  • 🔼”everybody put the tables aside; find some people with the same number like yours and those are your group members” These words confirmed the confussion of what was said by the lady who was asked to share her class experiences with us earlier on. One can wonder, whats next?</li>

Honoring Difference

Week by week it becomes more interesting, having to see different group facilitate. This weekend group 3 topic was Honouring different cultures, I was confused at the beginning thinking it’s a heritage presentation, not until Thabang one of the member in the group started with a great introduction about honouring difference which was very great, clarity of the content and context was clear, they understood their audience, engagement and tools used including researching their topic. Confusion in the beginning was cleared very well at the end of the facilitation, it was insightful cause personally didn’t know how heritage day 24 September came about and  shaka zulu history and that he didn’t discriminate any one actually everyone wanted to become part of the zulu army. The zulu’s are ethnic group of southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa. I also learnt that isiZulu is south africas most  widely spoken  official language. I  personally learnt so much from the group and I wish they could have covered other nations as well. I don’t think we will ever forget group 3 facilitation moments cause it was beautiful and colourful, that stood out for me wasthat the AHA moments!!

It was amazing when Roslyn gave each group an opportunity to provide feedback to the group that was facilitating in the morning, mostly it was positive feedback cause overall they did great. Roslyn also mentioned that Shaka Zulu is one of her Hero as she elaborated few example and one of her friend wrote a book about Shaka.  We touched  few things in our exercise book  about the Four-Fold way, which talks about how does one show up and choose to be present. We did few amazing exercises more like body stretching and that if you believe in something an put your mind to it nothing is impossible, She also touch on difference between the warrior and the leader, as well as  control and power. Aha moments for me was when Roslyn touched on  the Archetype of the Healer , archetype of a teacher , one of the example was Teacher is open to outcome not attached to outcome and facilitator needs to be open to outcome, not attached to outcome. It is known that traditional teacher has a red pen to mark always.

We also did the electronic assessment that was sent to us on Monday, it was about the learning style and we were grouped together according to our assessment result, brain dominance patterns high percentage on left brain and right brain, on sensory preference we grouped ourselves together according to percentages, like your kinaesthetic Roslyn explained further that Kinaesthetic they prefer physical or emotional experience, touching, feeling, holding, doing and practical hands on experience, she further explains Visual people they prefer to see or observe things, that includes  pictures, diagrams, flip chart and demonstration etc. With Auditory style this people prefer to transfer information through listening. It was great when Roslyn did some opposite exercises asking the visual people what do they think about Auditory people and Auditory people what do they think about kinaesthetic people, it was verse versa kind exercise. Last exercise that we touched on assessment was information sorting styles difference between details and bigger picture which it was more fun exercise of the day.

We lastly touched on Experience learning model where learning seen as cycle made up of four stages, being Concrete experience a direct experience addressed issues, Reflective observation this is to reflect on our experience, Abstract conceptualization at university level you starts here and create theory for yourself and last but not least.  Active experience as facilitator this require one to go out and observe other people, exploring ideas.

This week lesson I have learnt so much and eye opener, it was value adding and time was not on our side, let the facilitation journey continue, I go with a flow.

Introduction – Week 01 (21 July 2018)

It is day one…..

I must say it was very chaotic… so many people in one class!! Mind you, some of us are waltzing in at 09:00 because we were told that the class starts at 09:00. ONLY to learn that the class had actually started at 08:00, now I am panicking because I am scared that I might have missed out on important information; just then I caught sight of few familiar faces from the other lecture and relaxed a bit as I maneuver my way to them…

To cut the story short, the Facilitator introduced herself – as Roslyn; I must say she made the chaos bearable, she wasn’t even fazed by it…she went on with her business;

She went along and instructed us to pick a number out of the bucket, at that stage we didn’t know the purpose of the exercise and later learnt that it was for the purpose of grouping us as well as allocating us to a specific Facilitation Group. Because the class was too big she further divided us into a morning and midday group, in the allocated group we were then given a topic that we are going to facilitate on, and dates of facilitation were given as well….

At this stage, I was trying my best to stay afloat but I was really anxious and confused because I thought that I am coming to class and a Lecture will stand in front of the class and Lecture however that wasn’t the case;

Nevertheless it was an interesting day, met new people,  very interesting; they are all there for various reasons ranging from “just need to acquire 12 points then graduate” to “I really don’t wanna be here  but need to bridge towards my qualification”…. whatever the reason, it is a new environment, new way of doing things and a path to my future so am looking forward to the next class;

Signing off…

Ms. Gugulethu,

 

 

Communicating via Social Media – Week 2 (28 July 2018)

This is a second week of attendance, things are still a bit sketchy, however I am hoping soon I will get there…

Today  Group 01 presented on their topic “Communicating via Social Media” and they narrowed it down to Pinterest. It was quiet interesting because we are all so used to other platforms, or nearly putting a blind eye on this one or some even unaware of it; maybe because we don’t know the benefit  and that it is quite a useful platform.

Overall the facilitation covered the basics, we were captivated, engaged, learnt a lot, had fun…. and yes distracted along the facilitation as one of the team members then started disseminating pictures and we couldn’t help shifting the focus to what was being handed out.

Later in the day we were then split into groups of 6 and given 4 minutes to check in with each other;  this basically meant getting to know  the other person by them giving you their brief background; I must say it was quite and an amazing exercise because by the time we finished we had a different view of each person sitting next us;     ” in a nut shell lots of perceptions were cleared”

And yes by the end of the day I was a bit…just a bit comfortable;

Whaaat is this

The minute I walked into class for the first time my anxiety levels were way up.  I had known the class to start at 9am, to my horror I was 30 minutes late.  Needless to say I was so confused when I eventually sat down.  To my pleasant surprise the class was more than what I expected.  I had been put into a group with strangers about to attempt to facilitate the class on a very broad topic.  It’s going to be interesting I thought to myself.

 

I left the class feeling drained, questioning myself  about my abilities to see this course through. Am I ready? Will I contribute enough to the group? Are my ideas good enough? These were all question bombarding my mind but it’s a challenge I accept

#Honoring Difference

#Honoring Difference

What a deep Class… Honoring Difference? I mean can we as Humans do this…

First thought for this blog.

The ladies Who done their piece on the different African hairstyles, I would say a Job well done BUT i felt very excluded from the conversation , but Ladies your Hearts where  in the right place , it just sparked a lot of emotion .

Second: the learning part of the class

The topic of Stigmas hit me harder than i initially thought,

I learned that everyone not only lives with them but we impose them on others and ourselves,

Everyone shared their experiences and everything got deep, we each learned a personal part of each person. Who shared a personal stigma?

Out of that whole experience i have learned that we don’t need to live under the cloud of other people’s opinions of us, WE are all human, and no one has the right to make you feel bad about yourself because of your personal choices.

Furthermore the thinking styles fascinated me so much,

It was Interesting getting to understand how every other person Learns and processes information.

Every Class gets more interesting,

Looking forward to the next one.  XX

 

Seeing with different eyes Week 5

  1. It was a full day class, 2 classes combined together. It was chaos as we all had to bring old shoes and put them in 2 baskets. We were asked to pick up a pair of shoes and try them on. To my surprise most of the people including myself refused as it will be uncomfortable to put on someone’s shoes. The lesson was how you feel to be homeless. If you are homeless you accept anything given to you. The facilitation group didn’t introduce themselves as well as the topic. I thought the topic was Homelessness instead of Seeing with different eyes. It was more of the presentation, awareness than facilitation. I was impressed with the comprehensive research on homelessness. I have learnt that if you see homeless people in the street don’t judge them. The group didn’t intract with the audience that much but we have learnt a lot, like that there are more homeless males than females. Respect, assist them in anyway possible. Now when I see homeless people I have more understanding to their situation. I empathize with them and I am prepared to assist more than before especially those that are around my area. We are all still learning but we must try our best to do a proper research on how to facilitate. Second session we formed groups of 4 each group. Each person has to talk for 5 minutes about ” Recall a time when you felt part of something significant, a time you felt alive “. We shared this topic but my group didn’t understand the instructions they all went to bathroom when they came the time was almost over. 4 of us we had to share like 10 minutes. Instead of talking they Started writing down what they are going  to say. The lesson is to listen to instructions and ask if you didn’t get them clearly. We also learnt to listen without interruptions or asking questions.  The next session was about wheel learning. The learning was to prepare people’s mind of thinking before facilitating.  I have also learnt that there are many truths. Double clicking was also another interesting lesson. In double clicking we have discovered different meaning of words. We look at things differently as human beings. Any question’s answer depend on the  content, history or background, environment and time. All the words carry meaning and be careful as our views are different. After lunch the two groups were divided up again. Facilitation group for afternoon took over. They were dressed smart in uniform. The room set up was done well . The introduction of the topic and members was done well. I felt that the group or its members  have facilitated before. The interaction was good , they were experts. They have taught us about EFT,  EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUES, which is the excellent exercise. We have learnt the difference between perception and assumption. Perceptions are influenced by motivations, expectations, culture, emotions, attitude and believes. People perceive different things in different ways. We are build to make assumptions, translate assumptions into reality. Human beings are wise to assumptions, we make means of the world. Assumptions are healthy if no criticism as per Roslyn. Unconscious bias, attribution bias make certain assumptions, conformity bias, convey by majority, similarity bias, similar to me. Contrast effect when someone is different. Beauty bias, appearance, gender bias male and female, ethnicity bias racial bias, in/out group bias. I was a bit confused until we had an exercise. The last one was iceberg, tell a story inside outside about information we have selected and we a decision. The day was long and tiring but I have learnt  a lot and I had fun.

#Thedoubleclickexercise

So today, my A-HA moment arose with the “double-click” exercise.  Words carry meaning!  

As an English first language speaker, I am not oblivious to this fact, I was, however, blissfully ignorant of the exact impact of this statement.  

When we speak, we do not always set the context of our words.  I, myself do not always remember that everyone has their own “lens” through which they construct their

views.  Based on their own life and life experiences.  People have many truths.  I tend to generalise when speak, laziness, I think.  And then I wonder why I get frustrated when I end up explaining myself over and over again.  It all makes so much sense now.  It is my responsibility to ensure that when I speak we all have a shared understanding.  To make sense of the “lens” through which others are looking.  How they might perceive what I say.

Every week the meme, “we listen to respond, we don’t always listen to understand”, rings truer and truer

 

#TheRealHousewivesofJoburg

#Before conflict comes difference

Sitting in today’s class, was the astounding realization.  Christall Kay, from The Real Housewives of Joburg, in fact, many of us, including myself, do not always embrace our differences enough or take stock of our own bias / and or triggers to catch ourselves before we create conflict – simply because we do not keep a conscious mind about our differences.

It was interesting to see the Group Facilitation piece this morning, pointedly invoke feelings of unease by using the words “you people”, now made famous by Christall in episode 2.  It’s the Law of Reciprocity.  Her use of this language is insulting to many stemming from the “us and them” construct of our past dispensation.  And such, use of this language resulted in a backlash and negative feedback from the other housewives.  

It was an interesting workshop today, in which we were able to learn that in order to move out of a “part of protection” (Christall building a wall between “us and them”) we must take responsibility for the meaning of our communication.  Rather, move into a path of growth.  Ask enquiry questions, i.e  What made you think that?  What happened to you?  What were you thinking?

If Christall applies this more in her narrative, I think that there will be much less conflict between herself and the other housewives.

But again, its easy to spot the problem in others.

Moving to a personal viewpoint, I was most inspired by the class to put this into action.  It lasted all of 4 hours before an innocent conversation turned into a sticky mess.  And I found myself withdrawing from the other party….  I’m guessing that I have a lot more work to do in order to communicate intelligently than 1 workshop.

 

Chat soon 

 

 

 

Communication Intelligence

The second, and finally long workshop day started with a group presentation on resolving conflict. The presentation went well, and it showed a great deal of preparation that went into it. Their simulations scenes, and facilitation tools resembled real life experiences, it was situations that l have personally experienced in some aspects of my life. We then did some exercises in pairs,about communication intelligence, we did an exercise on barriers of communication, where l learnt about being judgmental towards others when they are talking, l do not give them time to express themselves clearly as l keep interrupting and wanting to dominate a conversation. We did a left hand column exercise as well, where one encountered a difficult conversation, where we had to answer interrogating questions about our conduct in the whole conversation, like what was l trying to accomplish, what was the outcome as well as feelings and thoughts that were going through my mind during that conversation, and l did not say it loud. An exercise was also done which dealt with handling a point of view that is different to mine.The path of protection and the path of evolution were explored, l learnt that if one is on the path of protection, they get addicted to being right always, and they are always defensive as they tend to protect against pain and fears.O n the other side, the path of evolution is non-defensive, they are warm and assume personal responsibility. My group got to present after lunch , on building relationships. For a change, l was not nervous, we did speed dating kind of facilitation and in my own observation, it went fairly well, and l am relieved its behind us now. I will start focusing on my draft essay henceforth.

Week 6: Building Relationships

We are living in times of freedom, equality and intellectualism. We are knowing it all people. I love the analogy of Roslyn about relationships: Risk –hurt–**WITHDRAW- let go and give  a space—Reclaim your IDENTITY.  Relationship are very important in our lives with high risk of failure and hurt. We need to build strong relationship skill so that we can be able to avoid

permanent separations with our loved ones.

Week 6: Resolving conflict

 

The group facilitation this week was on resolving conflict. I think it was one of the best facilitation pieces so far. They raised the bar.  They did a dramatization of some of the conflict that took place in their group leading up to their facilitation piece. They illustrated how each group member used a different technique to resolve conflict. Some were controlling, some compromising and some completely avoiding but at the end of the day they learned that collaboration was the best method for them. We learned how some people withdraw from the person they having conflict with completely, in order to rediscover their identity after being hurt. They wore red capes to represent conflict and used terms such as “you people” to deliberately incite conflict in the audience and even placed the “e” in the word “resolving” back-to-front to cause conflict in those who noticed it…like me. My OCD just kicked in.

Following that, we did some exercises in class. We swopped books and wrote down the dialogue of a difficult conversation that our team mate had been part of. We then took back our books and wrote down things we thought of but never said in that conversation. This made me realise that you can get so caught up in anger, bias and making assumptions about the other person that you hardly hear what they're saying. You hear and see things through your own filter and this prevents you from taking the path of evolution/growth and instead puts you on a path of protection. Ross explained how sometimes we are triggered by our own qualities in other people. 

The other exercise involved each person telling a story of something that happened to them, and the other 3 people in the group looked out for: Content (Head), Feelings (Heart) and Motivation or intention (Hands). I found it easiest to spot the content and feelings in each story. It showed me that I need to work on recognizing people’s motives as well.

We talked at length about taking responsibility for our part in any conflict situation, including not taking action. What stood out for me is that no matter what the situation, we can only control our own responses to any conflict. We cannot control what others do or say to us. This lesson was deep and somewhat draining, or maybe I was just tired after a long and stressful week.

Facilitation Blog #6

Conflict resolution was the demonstration topic for this week and it was very well presented, informative and concise.

We started our session with dealing with points of view that differs from ours and this leads to either choosing a path of protection or evolution.

We would think that the natural path for anyone would be to choose the path to evolution simply because it leads to personal growth in the way we think, but often times we choose to take the path of protection because we influenced by our perceptions, assumptions and unconscious bias because we are addicted to being right.

My Aha moment came in realizing that at times I choose the path of protection because I was not practicing enough self-awareness to realize that I was not growing my thinking and assuming enough responsibility at looking as critically at my thinking as much as when I am dealing with a view other than my own.

The four phases of communication encourages us to move into a stage of conversation and collaboration. We realize that we all see the world through our own filters and even though we can’t take responsibility for someone else’s response we can still address behavior that impacts us without judgement. We listen with an open mind and as stated so beautifully by one of the feedback comments ‘the attitude with which we listen determines what we hear’

Communication Intelligence Blog 6

The presentation was “WOW’ to the point, direct and very well prepared. They were well equipped and we were well informed on what was being discussed.

Projecting the way we speak to another person and the way we understand them is of utmost importance. Sometime we tend to judge quickly before looking at our own flaws. Our exercise we completed was to know how the next person was feeling and not to make assumptions but to listen attentively and respectfully by not judging. It’s always vital to get the message across.

We spoke about the four phases of communication which are:

Tell-tell

Debate Confront – React

Conversation Advocate – Inquire

Collaboration – share discover

Each communicative functions differently and each phase as well. To tell our story and listen with a complete open mind so that we don’t have a curious mind.  To tell the truth and take a stand and to own our view of point.

Week 5 -Perceptions, Biases and Stereotypes

A while ago I was to host a night of board games as we would usually do with my friends, at the time rotating among all of us. As the stickler for time that I am, I figured it would be wise to send out an invite well in advance. My invite read something like “Bring your game face on, my place 6:30 for whites 15:30 for Africans”. My European friends found this funny however it did not sit so well with my African friends. I did not understand what the whole fuss was about because we all knew that African people are bad when it comes to keeping time, but wait I am also an African but I keep time.
This is when hindsight becomes important and this is where Facilitation is become even more real for me. I did not realise that by doing that I was using what would be explained in today’s class as being unconscious bias, specifically attribution bias. Social scientists use the term attribution to describe the process of attaching meaning to behaviour. In my case I had attributed the behaviour of my African friends of not keeping time to it being attributes of who they are, but the problem with that then had to include myself as an African person as well. According to what I learned in class today, attribution bias stems from our brain’s flawed ability to assess the reason for certain behaviours for example we attribute others behaviour to who they are, yet when we view our own behaviour we judge ourselves by our intent and circumstances. For example if I were to be late I would say maybe I was late because of traffic not because of who I am as a person.

Also our deep seated beliefs on gender roles have a tendency to trip us into falling into stereotyping and I have been a perpetrator of unconscious gender bias. Like how I would excuse certain behaviour on people based purely on what gender they came from. We tend to judge ourselves kindly and others harshly. As it usually happens in class we were tasked to form groups with people closer to us, each person was to tell of a story that made them feel alive having contributed to a solution, be it a work or on the home front. I didn’t know the ladies I happen to be in the group with, though I loved the stories but they were all told from the point of the narrator being thee hero I suppose we were all following the script given to us.

Having moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg I know too well about being stereotyped so the topic did awaken something in me. The class was bigger than normal as it was the first of the full day classes , so to get one’s hand up recognised when it was time for questions became a bit of a challenge , however that did not stop me from learning something new today. Going forward the lesson for me is to not to rely of perceptions, unfounded stereo types and to always question or be mindful of my unconscious bias.

Week 4 : Honouring Difference

Today was THE DAY the day me and my team mates facilititate under the topic Honoring Differences. This is quite a broad topic so we decided to concentrate on ” Honouring our different cultures“. It was fun, each one of us spoke about their culture. We decided to cross dress as a sign of honouring each others cultures. We wanted the class to understand that I may be venda and speak venda but i embrace my Swati friend but wearing her culture clothes.

After the presentation we set in groups and we dicussed the 4 common rituals in all the cultures which are:

  1. Birthday
  2. Marriage
  3. Initiation
  4. Death

We later discussed the homework she is given us which which healped us determine the following things about our personal preferences:

  1. Personal thinking style preference
  2. Brain dominance patterns
  3. Information Sorting Style
  4. Motivation Preference
  5. Sensory Preferences
  6. Learning Style

This exercise made me very aware of the kind of person that I am. I decided to do the exercise with my husband when I got him and this helped to explain a lot of things lol.

We discussed the four-fold way which emphasise the major principles that integrate ancient cultural wisdoms into contemporary life namely : the warrior, visionary, healer, teacher.  I’ve learnt that it’s very important to be conscious of how you show up as an individual.

We also spoke about criticism. The different ways that people respond to critiscm. I’ve come to realise that this class is more of a life skills class. We learn a lot about ourselves and others.

Communicating DIfferently

The Facilitation exercise was excellently delivered and it set a perfect tone for what was to follow in the lecture. The group highlighted the importance of resolving conflict amicably. This is important as parties involved in conflict need to walk away feeling better than worse. The four phases of communication are fundamental in avoiding and preventing conflict. It is important to bridge the communication divide between people to ensure that each person point of view is heard and respected without barriers. It is also important to listen and inquire to each other for purely gaining understanding the message instead of passing judgement or defending our position. By improving our communication skills, it will greatly lessen the hurt we inflict on each other and resolve conflict more effectively. We are different as people, from how think, as well as how view and experience the world. There is more to learn from each other if we appreciate different views.

Furthermore, this lecturer felt like a free visit to a psychotherapy session. The reflection and introspection went deeper than anticipated. I was left thinking of my life in terms of how I generally communicate and resolve conflict, both in personal relationships to the professional ones. One important take away, was, a genuine reflection of each person role in conflict is important. Especially how our actions or non-action affect and influence each situation. This is something I never really deeply thought about because at times emotions cloud the thinking process. However, the class and lessons learnt will make me approach communicating and conflict resolution differently from today.

As we continue learning…

Resolving Conflict

The group that was presenting they presented about how to resolve conflict. Conflict is more than a disagreement. It is a deep-rooted problem between two people or more people that dictates their attitude towards one another. It taught me that when you resolve a conflict you must be calm, listen carefully and stay away from negative people because with me I used to keep quiet and look. With that it doesn’t resolve anything.

Getting more than what I bargained for.

When I started my degree I was doubtful that I was able to push trough and silence the hardest critic “myself”. Age and life experience was not my enemy but my biggest assets, as I navigated my way trough this degree. I thought I had seen and learnt it all until I started this course “Facilitation Skills”. I have started feeling so empowered after each lecture that lesson for lesson I could feel my confidence grow. This mostly due to the fact that I actually started to see the world and the people around me trough a different lens.

Not only have I learnt lessons ito facilitation, I have also learnt about soft skills and how I could apply in my own life.  Being aware of myself and my unconscious biases made me think of ways I could mitigate these biases by being more inclusive in the way I see myself and the world around me. During these lectures have seen diversity and robust conversations, sometimes so honest that it brought out raw emotions in myself and others. I have learnt that we are all different and that we all bring something unique to the table.

I thought all I would learn if anything was how to facilitate a conversation, little did I know that I would learn so much about people skills. I am grateful for my differences and embrace my uniqueness. I see you and know you see me too.

 

Week 1: Introduction week #Blog 1

I have heard good reviews about this facilitation skills course, even though that was the case; the main reason I selected it was mainly for points. This also meant that my Saturday morning jogs vanish. I was okay with that as I am determined to finish my degree in 2018. I am a third year psychology student. Saturday, 21 July was our first lecture. Our call time was 08:30, when I arrived, had to grab a course pack and find a seat. I vividly remember thinking this is a big class. Then as I was sitting had to select a number and I pulled out number three. I had no idea what this number meant. Roslyn the facilitator asked one of the old students (Kate) to give us an over view of what to expect. Kate made it sound interesting. Once she was done exactly what she said happened. We had to move the chairs and tables aside and had to find those with the same number. Because the class was so big Roslyn decided to split the sessions into mornings and afternoons. I then selected the 8:00 clock session which means I still have my Saturday afternoons. Selecting 3 meant that I was in group 3, which translated to being the second group to facilitate the morning session. We sat together as group 3 and started introducing ourselves and getting to understand our facilitation topic which was Story telling. This left me very confused is a broad topic.  Where would one start? Overall the first day of this class was both confusing and interesting.  I must say it left me intrigued!

Seeing with New Eyes Blog 5

Ok, so no one knows the circumstances that leads people to be forced to sleep on the street. Not all homeless people are thieves or drug addicts; I guess some of them just don’t know where to go! Are these the invisible people that has been forgotten and which no one is willing to help. Well I guess when you are homeless you are invisible to the world.  You have no home, nothing to do, no money, no one asks your name or how you got there. People stop seeing you as a human being – YOU’RE just a thing slumped on the floor. We are all guilty to condemn people that are homeless for their personal failures. Did you know that half of the youth on the street reported that their parents knew they leaving but didn’t care?? Yeah I too couldn’t believe this….

Clear thinking unclouded by biases right. I think clear thinking is absolutely necessary in order to follow rules and rules are about communication and it’s not about making statements about another person’s intentions. To be influenced through communication so that we can perhaps shape our thinking and be more productive. Learning about unconscious bias are social stereotypes about certain groups of people which are outside their conscious awareness. INTERESTING!!!!

Facilitation Blog #5

What an incredibly long day!

Many Aha moments but exhausting none the less.

The group demonstration was about seeing with new eyes and their theme was homelessness. It really struck a chord because even though we don’t do it intentionally these children ARE invisible to us

We addressed clear thinking and the various things that influence it.

The world is viewed differently by different people, assumptions are essential to human nature, perceptions help us to interpret our environment, everybody’s truth is not the same, words are perceived differently, context matters and people see the world through different lenses

All of these are influenced by various factors like culture, emotions, attitudes and believes.

Even though there are negative connotations attached to assumptions, we tend to rely on them because in ‘my’ truth there are many situations where the conclusions have led us to interpret or even avoid certain situations correctly.

We should be more aware that we must consider our conclusions more carefully because how we perceive, and draw conclusions in split seconds affects people and situations precisely because our conclusions may be drawn, based on unconscious bias and limited data.

Honouring differences

 

I love this quote by Anne Frank, it speaks a lot to the thoughts I had throughout Group Four’s facilitation, I kept thinking “even though our cultures are different, at the core, we are all the same..” We all want to be loved and respected despite (or even especially because of) our differences.

Week 4 facilitation class related to different thinking and learning styles and honouring those differences. It was interesting to learn that I learn (best) through listening. I wasn’t surprised though, it just put a lot into perspective. Like how a few months ago, I visited a friend who lives in what you would call a leafy suburb, if you asked me, she lives in a forest.

It was a bright sunny Saturday, so I did not bother to wear or carry a jacket, something I quickly began to regret after arriving at my friend’s home. Hers is an extremely beautiful home, but I don’t think I would survive there for more than two days.

When I arrived, my friend suggested that we sit outside, where it was more “scenic”, as she put it. It was scenic alright — the outdoors were littered with many healthy looking trees, flowers and shrubs, and a thick carpet of luscious grass.

Unfortunately, I have an irrational fear of insects and snakes, a fear that was made worse when mid-last year a neighbour called to inform us that she had spotted a black snake coiled just outside our gate, and we never found the snake. Throughout the visit in this beautiful garden, I was paranoid by every movement made the plants, but I was largely freaked out by the SOUNDS made by insects and little animals. I heard everything, I heard the crickets and the buzz from bees and bugs, I heard the frogs croak and some hissing too (though I was persuaded there were no snakes). I heard everything. I am truly an auditory style individual.

My friend seemed oblivious to all my internal panic and fear, in fact, I could tell she was thoroughly enjoying her forest-like outdoors. It then occurred to me that just as I wondered how she could be comfortable in an environment that made me want to jump out of my skin at every sound I heard, I realized she probably also wouldn’t live where I live. And perhaps in realizing and accepting this I would definitely visit my friend again; and this is honouring the difference between her and me.

 

Day 5 Full Day – Seeing with New Eyes / Freeing your Mind (18 August 2018)

Roslyn sent us reminders about today’s “full day workshop” in the course of the week, so I packed up on some glucose, energy drinks and vitamins to stay awake in this 8 hour class, on a weekend nogal. I had to brace my self, but I was ready. Today we will have two groups facilitating:

The 1st one being “Seeing with Different Eyes”, they worked on the topic of being “homeless”. One of the members shared an experience of being homeless whereby she also used a storytelling facilitating tool. We had to bring old shoes and we were asked to wear other people’s shoes which was not so good for everyone. It got their point across. We also got some stats on the homeless people ratios, and they put up people who are now celebrities but were once homeless. They whole facilitation taught us to see with a different eye and to put our selves in the shoes of those invisible people who are homeless as different circumstances brought them there.

 

After assessing the group’s facilitation, we got into different groups. We were given topics to discuss and each person had to share personal views and concerns about our own country and how people see us. We had similar concerns and related in each view.  We also discussed our core values and more on “Double Clicking”. This for me was very interesting. Ros gave us different words but each of us had a different interpretation depending on how we see things and our backgrounds. We discussed a subway story about a man who had lost his wife and how our perception can can be changed. By then half of the day had already passed, we had to get ready for the 2nd group after lunch:

The 2nd Group’s topic was “Freeing your Mind”, focusing more on Emotional Entrapment. Their theme was interesting as it had different emojis with smiles, angry, stressed, excited faces. Each member was very informative. they shared their fears and suggested an EFT method on how each one of us can use to overcome our fears and frustration  by following the TAP routine to keep a happy healthy life. The topic was also quiet relevant and informative, I really enjoyed their facilitation.

We had to continue with the lesson and moved back down stairs to go deeper in the context of Freeing your mind. This was going to be long but worthit day. Though my body was struggling but my mind was curious. We then established different types of “Unconscious Bias”. We used Eminem’s sound track as an example and we learn what James took from it.

Today was very long but effective, I am ready for another full day. We always get something out of these lessons as they are relative to our everyday lives.

Day 4 – Honouring Differences (11 August 2018)

As you are getting the drift, routine becomes natural. The facilitating set-up took a different turn today. Our seats were facing on the rear of the class. The main idea was to prevent disruptions, so whoever came in late had the opportunity to see the facilitation without disrupting everyone else.

The theme of the day was “Honouring Differences” . Today’s group broke down their topic into cultural diversity. They had different cultural outfits representing the South African Rainbow Nation. Each member, represented their own traditions and shared the known and unknown back rounds of each culture. What was interesting though was that they were wearing different attires from their own tradition. Which clarified their own topic of honouring differences .

We mixed around with different people, formed groups and shared our own rituals on 1. Birth, 2. Marriage, 3.Initiation and 4. Death. Interestingly each person in a group had different sentiments and practices to the rituals. I found it very informative to learn more about other people’s practices.

Right before the end of the class, Ros had us do an activity whereby we reach the furthest with our arm. We had to close our eyes and imagine going further than we had previously. We attempted the exercise again and all our arms went further, it was scary. Which actually goes to show that whatever you set your mind to is possible.

This class is actually getting interesting by the day, I’m enjoying the relative lessons we get in each class. My mind is refreshed.

Day 3 – Story Telling (04 August 2018)

So today I was super prepared, I dropped off the kids Friday night so I can drive straight to class so I could get  a chance to be facilitated by my fellow students.

Today’s topic was “Story-telling”. It was about a chick who grew abnormally huge. Each member of the group had a chance to facilitate, they all engaged with the audience. Their room set up was a U shape so we had focus on them. They had a balance of research, storytelling and interesting fun facts. I really enjoyed their facilitation it was relative and had me thinking of throwing out all the chicken in my fridge. 🙂 🙂

Likewise we broadened the topic unto the the exercise book. We discussed more tools of facilitating, realising that stories actually weigh more than facts as everyone draws their attention to story telling. Ros went more into showing us the difference in teaching and facilitating, whereby in Teaching there’s learners who are always listening to the teach and in Facilitation there’s a whole lot of engagement and participation from both the facilitator and the audience. Everyone get airtime to voice out their views and understanding.

Storytelling is one of the great tools i will also consider using in future.

 

Day 2 – Communicating Via Soicial Media (28 July 2018)

So today wasn’t really my day, I struggled to get a baby sitter in the early hours. Nobody seemed to be available. I was so emotional, getting the kids out of bed so early on a weekend. I wondered if it was all worthit.

The drive between Vaal and Joburg was so long. I was in deep thoughts weather this part time studying was ever going to work out or not. I got to class, was late again.  I had missed the 1st group that were facilitating “Communicating via Social Media”. I was so mad at myself because I could’ve taken hints from their facilitation. The group had to be assess by us on an assessment sheet. I couldn’t as I had not seen the facilitation.

Ros went into the workbook we discussed expectations,engagement and the balcony point of view. she split us into different groups with people we haven’t communicated with. We practiced “Check in” – Each member in a group had to tell us about how they were feeling at the point. I for one did not feel like participating because I knew I had been emotional all morning. Well everyone had to participate, It was my turn, I just broke into tear. I felt I was with people I knew as they had shared their personal stories. I became comfortable and realised that I was actually not the only one going through what I was experiencing. We all related, we laughed, hugged, and shared a tear as each of us related to each other’s experiences.

Overall today’s class was a relief. It was a relief to me personally and professionally. Though I am mainly here to advance my career, I also gained personal life lessons. Joining this class wasn’t a bad idea afterall 🙂

story telling

there is a facilitator in every story you just have to open yourself up to learning and receiving what is given to you and that’s what we do in facilitation we teach we get taught as a result we leave with more information and insight that we did before class started .this week the facilitation was focused on story telling the group that was presenting their topic was about injecting chickens with hormones ,again i learned something i didn’t  expect i to learn about .

we were given 5 stories to read and  in each  story we had to identify a facilitator ,what i got from the five stories is that in each story there is a facilitator and  those  facilitators each had qualities to build a person  they had courage,they lead by example, they were teachers and were willing to listen , they were patient and didn’t impose their ideas our believes on the people they were facilitating now taking that an practicing it my daily life i learned that  i have to  listen more and judge less that way like  the facilitators in the stories i can be a facilitator  in the lives of  people around me and and if i open my self up to learning ,other people can be facilitators in my life thus  bringing  positive change in the world .because as people we never stop learning from each other  cause each of us has a story to tell if we listen and keep a positive mind we will get something out of every story you hear.i rally enjoyed this class and that thought that i could bring change to someone else in a positive way without giving judgement  was emancipating.

Day 1 Facilitation Skills Course – 21 July 2018

Driving to Wits on a cool Saturday morning, as i listened to my RnB oldies singing along with no worries. As I approach campus I became anxious on how this lecture would be, and if I would actually get a gist of her own method of “facilitating”.

I was a bit confused with the venue (FNB Building) we received on email as I was not familiar with this campus at all. I walked down the road looking up for any signs pointing me to the actual class. I saw familiar faces from an English course. None of us knew exactly where the venue was and we kept asking and getting lost roaming around for about 15 minutes until one of the security guys walked us to the building which was the opposite direction of where we were heading. The class was in a lower level,  there was over 100 students, everyone seated. So we were late. As we got in the class we grabbed manuals, we were told to grab numbers, I had hot flushes, my mind was buzzing – asking myself if it was the right decision to put my tiny self in such a big whole.

The lady in front tried to keep us calm, her voice was trying to reach us all but i could hear none of what she was saying. We were moved around into groups. She decided we’d have  two groups – morning and evening. People volunteered i stayed to morning group. I was starting to loosen up a bit as the tables were moved aside, everyone had space and voices were clearer. Roslyn gave us a time-table on the board we noted down, a few hours later she re arranged it again because of the breaks in September. Everyone got confused all over again, moans and groans pitched in different tones. I just wanted to get in my car as i had gotten enough of this chaotic day.

Through all the confusion and all though I admire how Roslyn handled the situation, as I put myself in her shoes from a balcony point of view. She’s a real facilitator. I would not have pulled it off like that.

 

the balcony and the dance floor

i am one of the  few people in the world  today who does not have a profile in all the social networks i am talking about Facebook,whats app ,twitter ,Instagram  you  name them i do not have a profile and to be honest i have never seen what the fascination with social media was about  i guess am old fashioned  cause  i do not  even own a smartphone  which make it difficult for people to communicate with me  especially in a world where no one buys airtime anymore  on top of that am on the MTN network.my friends say that a conversation with me is like buying petrol i am expensive to communicate with. week 2 of the  facilitation presentation  was  about social media a subject i know absolutely nothing about ,it was interesting to learn facts about social media  so big ups to the group i found the  information very informative.

after the presentation we got to discussing stuff like managing situations, the principles of engagement ,building a safe environment  and the stretch zone to name a few but am not going to go into details about those topics .what i am going to talk about though is the balcony and the dance floor, i feel like the balcony situation very relevant to a person like me who isn’t into social media  what i mean is ,the  whole concept of the balcony is based on participation within a group and observing the group as a whole thereafter  removing yourself from the group and seeing the group  with a clear under standing  of the balcony.

in the world today it is  rear to find anyone who does not own a smart phone or who isn’t on social media and then there is me who doesn’t have  either of those things,so i have heard to step out of my comfort zone,the comfort zone being the dance floor  and remove my self from society to see it with clear eyes  ,the view that i got from standing in the balcony was that the world is moving and social media is a big part of the world and i am  not moving  with the world  as a result am trailing behind everyone else because everyone is in-tuned with what is happening around them ,with me any information i get is secondhand  information so i decided that i need to take it upon myself to change and move at the same pace with the world .that’s what  being  in the balcony  has taught me ,though i am not ready to transition into the world of technology what i can say is it  fascinating  to see the world through  another’s eyes  .

facilitation session #4

The time is drawing closer and closer for group 10 presentation…..

The first full day was a looooong day. With the breaks being used to finalize our group presentation.

the class lesson for me was quiet confusing at the beginning, because i was not quiet grasping what we were discussing about. Then is hit me once a person in the class raised a few valid points on how we see success differently.  Using the example of one guy seeing success as family,picnics, and friends. Whilst others were seeing through big houses and lots of money. Then how Roslyn explained that we see things  differently due to experiences or the way we were brought up.

Facilitation session #3

The facilitation in the morning was a eye opener to learn about how chickens were not genetically modified to produce bigger chickens.

The class in general was very informative and allowed to us to look deeper and further into our understanding of stories.
Understanding the difference of a lecture/teacher vs a facilitator was also a good outcome. The whole understanding was clearly understood and rather valuable for us to use in our personal lives. This changed the approach we would be taking for our presentation.

The group is really looking forward to presenting!!, as we were able to pick up from the good and bad from the other groups.

seeing with a different eye& freeing your mind

As usual, the class started with a presentation. The group’s topic was about “seeing with a different eye” but you could not tell that because of how they structured their presentation. Now, that is not necessarily wrong. It is good to keep others wondering and make a connection at some point. The bringing an old shoe idea was great though we didn’t know what they were for. I would have sacrificed a nicer pair if I knew it was for the poor because they also deserve something nicer not just old.
What I took out from the presentation reminded me of a paragraph in a book I am reading called “30 days to love” by Kerry and Chris Shook. This is not about romance, I promise you that. See below.

What the group did for me, reminded me that my attempt to live the Human part of the Being is not in vain. Thank you.

Talk about things that invigorate my soul. A statement was put forth: “Recall a time when you felt part of somethings significant- a time when you felt alive, involved, energised and enthusiastic about what you are doing”. If I were to tell you about that event in full, I would require another blog post..lol
The bottom line is this, I was standing in front of high school kids and we were asked to advise them on subject choices for their careers. I choose to speak about finding your passion, the very thing that brings you joy when you do it. The thing that makes time stand still. That will lead you to your purpose and what you will do with your life because it speaks life into you. I think they appreciated it because I was the only one they clapped for. . That strengthened the notion in me that I have found my purpose, my gift and talent and I was learning to use it.

Going into the afternoon part of the 8-4 class today was tiring but it wasn’t unfruitful. The next group to present got ready and their title was Freeing your mind.
The intro to what we were going to learn about was clear. I found the second speaker to be unprepared and unsure of herself. So all the information she had to share was lost in the distraction of her body language. There was also quite a bit of noise in the room which was distracting. The 3rd speaker was on point. I quite enjoyed the 4th speaker when she explained the “tapping technique and as she walked through it in practise, you feel it’s effects to a degree. One of the objectives of facilitation is to get your audience to recognise something new that they can use for their lives. On that point I have to say, job well done.

Honouring Difference

This week’s syndicate group topic was honouring difference which they narrowed it down to honouring culture. I loved the fact that they had their traditional attire on and each and every person was wearing a different attire from that of his/her culture, this to me represented unity.

We then discussed the four fold way major principles that integrate ancient cultural wisdoms into contemporary life( the warrior, visionary, healer, teacher). While discussing these, I’ve learnt that it’s very imperative to be conscious of how you show up as an individual.

I substantially enjoyed the excerise about thinking preferences and learning styles. I discovered that I’m completely a left brainer like 💯 % whatsoever. This exercise was fun  because we got to distribute ourselves in groups according to our learning styles and got to share what we think about the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic people.

What an awesome experience,I had a lot to take in from this class.

Week 5: Seeing with new eyes & Freeing your mind

This was one very looong lesson.  Both the morning and afternoon class were present from 8am to 4:30pm, but by noon I was totally exhausted and my flu was not making life easier. We moved around the room so many times and sat through 2 facilitation pieces. Both groups did well though.

We had to bring an old pair of shoes, place them in a basket and then choose a pair that was not our own and wear that foreign pair. As you can imagine, the idea of taking off your shoes among strangers – on a cold morning – and then having to wear a stranger’s shoes is not a very welcome one. A lot of people chose not to, for reasons including hygiene and discomfort. I couldn’t do it either. The point of the exercise was to help us understand how displaced and homeless people feel. They have to accept whatever they get because they have no choice. They sleep in strange beds, strange places and accept clothing donations from complete strangers because they have nowhere else to go.

We often choose not to see homeless people and they are treated as if they are invisible. We sometimes even look at them as if they have done something terribly wrong in order to end up where they are. It was eye opening to hear the stories behind how some people end up homeless. It showed me that it really can happen to anyone. I could wake up tomorrow with absolutely nothing and find myself on the street too. It’s a scary thought, but it’s the reality of many who live on the streets of South Africa.

We dived into discussions about how we can see a situation through different lenses based on our own experiences, the context and our backgrounds. We explored unconscious bias – how we can be biased without even realizing it because the bias was imprinted in us from a young age or by people we love and respect like our mothers. Examples include Similarity bias – selecting people who are more like us for a job position or to be friends with and Gender bias which was illustrated by all of us assuming that a sailor in a story must be a man. We learned that it’s natural for human beings to make assumptions, but these assumptions need to be more conscious.

Week 4: Honouring Differences

I ripped my jeans rushing for class. Great start to the day. Turning back to change would have made me late for the facilitation piece and I can’t afford that.

I arrived to find people standing in the corridor. We couldn’t possibly all be late and locked out so I asked a classmate and it turns out the group was still preparing because the class was only unlocked 10 minutes before 8am. Need to remember that when it’s our group’s turn.

Anyways, Group 3 presented and their topic was honouring differences. They wore traditional outfits and their facilitation piece focused on different cultures in South Africa and how we should respect and honour each culture. They debunked some myths about certain cultures, including the reason why Tsonga and Shangaan are not exactly the same people. They also shared the fact that Heritage Day used to be a Zulu holiday called Shaka’s day. Their presentation went well, in my view, and they engaged the audience very well using the handing out of numbers randomly and posing questions to the group.

My take-away from this class was that we all have different cultures, opinions, personalities, learning styles and realities and we should all respect and honour people’s differences. When facilitating, it’s important to keep this in mind and aim to cater for the learning methods of the group e.g. Using more images for the visual people, stories or music for the auditory people and moving activities for the kinesthetic people.

We then did some exercises that showed us how believing in ourselves and showing up with confidence helps us to achieve our goals better. The power of believing in yourself goes a long way.

Free your mind

When I arrived in class I realized that  people were not so comfortable to wear someone shoes- I guess it was for hygiene purposes.

The topic was well orchestrated, well research and I have leaned a thing or two about my favorite celebrities. What stood out for me was the the stats of the homeless people in our country and how the the world had so much in short space of time.  When I was growing up the- the homeless people were not so many like today. That shows how the world have changed and the world system had a finger in this rising population of the homeless.

However i have learned that we can overcome poverty and homelessness if we have compassion and reach out to the destitute. If each and everyone of us can commit to help the destitute and homeless population, the world will be a better place to live in.

That is my parting shot

Ipotseng Makotwane

 

 

Free your Mind

When we first got our topic “FREE YOUR MIND”, the team and I where a bit confused, and when we started doing our research and we came across the EFT technique, then we realised that actually this topic is very interesting, and we started to enjoy doing our research.

Its all about clearing the cluster in your life and how individuals react to stress related problems and how they overcome them.The section I really enjoyed is when we introduced the common practices to clearing the cluster, I prefer listening to music.

Big ups to the team ,we really tried our best!!

Free your mind

The second group that facilitated about the topic of freeing your mind was well presented.       I liked the uniform, and the uniform and how they made research about the “EFT” exercise.

But by 3pm my mind was already off but I tried to keep my eyes open until the end.  At least this week I know what to expect.

Shirley

Seeing with different eyes (Old shoes)

What I enjoyed most with the old shoes was that at least we are giving out something instead of receiving chocolates and sweets we have been receiving from other facilitators.

I have learned that we must appreciate what we have as people who don’t have anything (homeless people) have no choice, they accept everything.

The topics she covered on Saturday such as unconscious bias, differences between sensations, double clicking and perception and thinking were eyes openers.  I have learned that we interpret the words differently and as people we always use assumptions about people we know and people we don’t know.  For example, the story about the sailor man.  Roslyn added that human beings are wired to make assumptions.

What I didn’t like about the class in general is that the class was too full.

Shirley

 

Facilitation Skills

I finally got onto the blogging site, thanks to Telfer.

Can’t believe it has already been 5 weeks,  I can clearly remember the day I was late for the first class as I turned back at the door with the intention to de-register Facilitation skills.  Thanks to Kelebogile who came after me and said I should give a it chance. Today I am glad I had that push and decided to stay.

I was lost of the rest of that first day but by the second week saw merit in being in the class. The second week there was the Social Media communication presentation, I learned how to giving positive says a lot about a person. And learned that we should strive to give critical (constructively positive) feed back rather than criticizing others. I have been applying this in my daily inter actions.

In short I am glad I stayed and enjoy the invaluable life lessons we are equipped with.

 

 

#Story telling. (Week 3) (04August 2018)

Now i thought this class was interesting

First off, I thought the second group done an amazing job with their piece about Nelson Mandela.

And my second thought was just WOW! Never thought there could be so much power in storytelling.

I learned how to narrow down the facilitator in every story,

It is amazing How much easier it is to understand something though story telling than just reading something,

Afterwards we were divided into new groups

Which obviously made me nervous again?

BUT! Once again my eyes where opened when we learned around different cultures and their similarities, i am actually starting to enjoy the diversity

Ross is a Fascinating facilitator and has so much insight on how people process information;

Even if she pointed out that she is no expert i think she does an excellent job,

 

Image result for monster watermelon

 

 

The Beauty in Difference

Today was interesting, in a sense that, it is important not to always judge a book by its cover. In that, there is more to a person and environment than our initial perceptions and assumptions. . Although the group that facilitated focused on black women hair (100 points for their bravery, LOL), the exercise highlighted the stereotypical tendencies and narratives that tend to develop and dominate public discourses. And how these narratives are legitimised over time and lead to prejudice and stigmas. In our country South Africa, we have different races and cultures, so it is important for us to guard against our stereotype in order to open channels for learning about and accepting each other’s differences. This will enhance the experience of our interactions and help to promote the nation building and honouring of differences as envisaged by  Dr Nelson Mandela.

As for facilitation skills, it was another reminder that, preparation for and anticipation of the audience response to a sensitive topic should be considered. One important I learned, is that when facilitating a sensitive topic, it is vital to direct the interaction and ensure the group stick to the main objectives of the topic. This will not to attract emotional arguments that derail from the initial objectives. Furthermore, facilitators need to keep their emotions in check to ensure the exercise is about learning and not argument. However, it was another eye opener that facilitating is not easy, as one cannot fully predict the response with certainty, even with the best of preparations and experience. So we keep learning.

Lastly, the exercise on the learning and thinking style was a bit of a confirmation and a shock to myself. I have always known that I am a Theorist (in that, I apply logic, value reason and prefer objectivity in my approach). The percentages in my responses took me aback, I thought the other styles will reduce the domination of being a Theorist to a certain extent. It’s a learning point for me to work on developing other skills and styles in order to navigate different environments I will be encountering in my planned profession as a Psychologist. These will help me to understand and accommodate people from different backgrounds. All in all, we need to appreciate the beauty in difference and aim to go beyond the stereotypes and stigmas, in order to discover more about each other and the world.

Social Media / Managing situations

The 2nd week was much calmer as things were in place and most importantly there was order.

The first group facilitated on the “Social Media”, and they did quite well. They focused on Pintrest and I learned a few things from their facilitation.

Roslyn unpacked the topic “Managing Situations” and she focused on:

The Check In: What I took out of this, is the genuineness that goes with it. It also helps with knowing how interested people are in ones life.

Setting expectations: I learned a lot from this one. I had to make decisions while in class to avoid assumptions and being disappointed. I also learned to ask people what they understand or  expect from me.

Principles of engagements:(I loved this one). This changed the way I view communication altogether mainly because I used to be too casual when I engage with people. Now I am more intentional, mindful, open minded and sometime curious without stepping the boundaries. I am grateful to Roslyn for recommending “Leadership in the new Science book By Wheatley, Margaret J

Building safe environment: This one really did set me free hahahahaha. I am effectively using the law of two feet. I am now learning to be at peace with a lot of things and I no longer force things or people just so that I can have my way. I adopted the principles/ conditions for creating an open space (Whoever comes are the right people, Whatever happens is the only thing that could have, Whenever it starts is the right time and When it’s over, it’s over) “Riding the tiger by Owen Harrison“.

The stretch-zone: This one is a wakeup call to step out of the comfort zone.

The balcony and the dance: Here you have to step out of the balcony into the dance floor to get the hang of things.

I would and am going to use these principles and lessons in my Marriage, family, relationships and business.

I was truly looking forward to the next class :-)..

 

 

 

Seeing with new eyes- Presentation

This was the first of the two full-day workshops scheduled for this course. The day was long but, worthwhile, and informative. The presentations that were done on the day were well researched ( Seeing with new eyes and Freeing your mind) and facilitated well. The one that focussed on “homelessness” was too close to home and depressing. It invigorated feelings of empathy and seeing things from an angle of being nonjudgemental. It was touching and depressing, to note that life can be unpredictable, and the worst can strike at any point, in anyone’s life. The Freeing your mind equipped me with techniques for handling emotional stress, how to overcome an overwhelming situation. They demonstrated a great exercise which has since become helpful for me. We had lessons in clear thinking which were so mind-blowing for me, real-life lessons. I got to understand the different types of biases that are there, which we incorporate into our daily lives, unconsciously at times. The decision Iceberg was so informative, little did l know l follow such processes to make a decision. I also learnt about the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is very relevant as l tend to experience it most of the time when I fixate my mind on something I want. These lessons for me, are so important and powerful. I am grateful to have enrolled for this course. Thank you Ros.

Week 5: If the shoe fits – Perception and Unconscious Bias …

Today’s facilitation session was like my alarm that rings at 5.45 in the morning – a shock to the system and a real eye opener.  I learned so much from the morning facilitation session, I will certainly have new eyes when I see homeless people, the invisible people.  The eye opener was the shoes… Walking in someone else’s shoes has a whole new meaning!

The day was long, longer than I thought it would be, It felt like a six day week but as always, there was my usual introspection and lessons learned before we left class.  Learning again about bias made me realise that this is a subject we need to revisit often, often enough for people to remember how easily we can be unconsciously biased. Assumptions about people become unhealthy when they become discriminatory (Thanks for this Ros, I will never forget this phrase of yours)… While we all remember when someone has discriminated against us for some reason or the other, we should be just as aware when we are being discriminatory against another, both are hurtful.

My other learning was that context matters, more so than we realise.  Setting the right context can change the perception, it can create a different outcome. This is something we could use in our professional and personal lives, it can affect the results from the team that you manage in a professional setting and it can also affect the kind of relationships you build and maintain with friends and family. My reflection was more about how I could set the tone and environment for my HR team to be successful, to be inspired and to reach their true potential.

This made me think that I an responsible for setting the right context for my own success too… The power lies within…. Till next week!

Week 4: Armour on or Armour off… The Authentic Experience…

Today was really cool, I had loads of fun and learnt alot about presence, about “showing up” and not just arriving… which is an important lesson for a shy introvert like myself.

Presence is everything, it determines how people will perceive you and how they will respond to and interact with you.  Showing up is about being present, being aware.  The four-fold way of thinking, written by anthropologist and teacher Angeles Arrien, had stimulated my interest on how I viewed myself, in my personal, professional and social lives. Her philosophy is based on ancient anthropology, psychology, religion and ancient cultural wisdom (I love ancient stuff 🙂 ).

Showing up was just one part of her writings, being open to outcomes was the other (not being attached to one way, telling the truth was the other (not attaching blame of judgement) and paying attention closes the loop (listening to heart and meaning). A warrior should be able to take off the Armour when necessary, sometimes we need to play ourselves down, sometimes play ourselves up, all in all it is about creating an authentic experience (I really like this phrase), and this in my mind leads to credibility of character, it enhances a facilitator’s presence and authenticity.

Once again, it was an introspective session, once again I found myself reflecting within, wondering how I could be a better facilitator, but more importantly, how I could be a better person.  My learnings today reached further than my professional life, it got me looking at how I could be a better person to my family and friends, and not just my professional associations. Thanks Ros!

The Early Bird Gets the Old Pair of Shoes:)

Really bummed that I was late and missed the facilitation on ‘seeing with new eyes’ – and of course the shoe exercise that had everyone talking. Based on comments from the feedback session it was very interesting!

The exercise on unconscious bias was an eye-opener and call for reflection for me personally. Working in Talent Acquisition, it’s relatively easy for unconscious bias to slip into the recruitment and selection process- despite objective recruitment metrics and competency based interviews.

It helped me realize that its necessary to constantly check myself and be aware of my own ‘lens’ as well as the context that informs that of the candidate.

Challenge for this week: Try to be more aware of personal bias or at the very least try to see things through the other person’s eyes

#AsToldByTiff

 

Honoring Difference

This session on honoring difference was an eye opener to say the least. Firstly, props to the morning session’s syndicate group who were able to provide some insight into some of tribes, cultural differences and traditions we have in SA!

Whilst their facilitation was fun, creative and interesting (I’ll pass on the Mopani worms thanks – Haha) More importantly it highlighted the fact that in order to honor difference, we need to understand individuals’ backgrounds through engagement and dispelling cultural myths and stereotypes.

My biggest takeaway from this class was the different thinking style preferences. I’m a Kinesthetic – JUST DO IT:)  Being aware that other people have different preferences and being able to cater for different individuals needs will come in handy in the workplace during those pesky training sessions and presentations.

#AsToldByTiff

 

Better late than never! Week 4

Week 4 was my first week in class due to an admin glitch after the class the first week I was told the class was not interesting. Well I decided to change subjects, but when they checked on the subject I changed to my name wasn’t on the register and the admin person who was supposed to have done it was on leave. Anyway I joined the facilitation class, oh wow I would’ve missed out on such an awesome course . Funny on the day they ladies that were facilitating had such an interesting topic about black womens hair ,which almost turned into a debate. After the course I had so much to take home, much that I could actually incorporate in my personal life as well ..

Seeing with New Eyes

It was a very interesting topic because we were presenting about homelessness. Homelessness is not only about being poor. You can have a job but leaving in a shelter. There are types of homelessness which is chronic refers to people who are on the streets as a result of chronic mental health or substance abuse problems, second one is transitional refers to people who are forced into homelessness because of uncontrollable circumstances such as losing a job, important material lost or loss of main breadwinner (father, husband, wife) etc…last one is episodic refers to people who are repeatedly falls in and out of homelessness. This often happens with drug addicts and with people experiencing mental health issues. We must help one another especially the homelessness by donating food and clothes and visit shelters twice in a year.

Don’t be chicken!

Sometimes, as we navigate life’s twists and turns, we forget that we are living memoirs with a powerful story to tell.

The group presenting Storytelling took us down the winding road of pro-vegetarianism with a story about an overgrown chicken named Joe. As the story goes, Joe was born along with his siblings and quickly began to outgrow them, weighing close to double their size at six months. Linda, Joe’s keeper, decides it might be time to put him  down after noticing his tremendous pain and  inability to walk as a result of his rapid weight gain.

While I was imagining this story through the rose-tinting shades of a Hollywood blockbuster in the style of Fly Away Home, a story about a little girl who helps a gaggle of motherless geese fly South for the winter, it wasn’t long until my Happily Ever After bubble burst.  It turns out that in Joe’s story, Linda was nothing like our goose-loving girl dedicating herself to raising chicks. It wasn’t concern she felt when she looked at Joe… it was hunger.

Now I’m not condoning Linda’s behaviour here, this kind of behaviour is deplorable, but meat is meat and (wo)man must eat. Plus everybody knows you’ve got to eat organic! I will admit though, I have been eating less chicken of late!

Hearing someone else’s story can help to cause changes in behaviour and inspire people to be their best selves. Go ahead, tell your story. Don’t be chicken!

 

 

Getting social with Pinterest

The online landscape is constantly changing and with new social networks springing up almost daily, we are spoilt for choice on which ones to subscribe to.

In this class, the group chose to deviate from the expected focus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and take us on a visual journey through the land of Pinterest.

We were asked to match images of food, clothing and vehicles  to countries that were known for these items after discussing it within our groups.

An interesting learning for me from this exercise is that the presenting group was able to create a social experience for us, without the use of any technology, by recreating a social platform in the classroom.

It just goes to show: Communicating on social media is easy, and you don’t have to be online to do it!

 

Honouring differences

The group did well in their facilitation. I believe the core of their message was only highlighted at the end of the presentation instead of the beginning, which could have directed the discussions in the groups and created a more positive response. I think it is important as a facilitator to plan and give enough information up front in order to direct the discussion you want to have with your audience. At the end to the day, we are all in a learning phase, and the best lessons are learnt from our own mistakes .

It was fascinating to discover my thinking patterns and brain dominance  from the electronic assessment. The charts indicated that I was right brained, with big picture sorting style. This helped to affirm some truth I knew about myself but could not understand why I always felt that way. One of them is the fact that I  have the fear to delegate task to other people because I feel they will not execute it in a manner that will satisfy me or to their best ability. This assessment was really enlightening.

The different brain power exercises were interesting and proved that I can achieve so much more, provided I affirm my goals in my head and believe that I am capable of reaching them.

 

 

Story telling

Today was our turn to facilitate as group 3. I was feeling nervous but I managed to control my nerves and anxiety. I think our delivery on story telling went well because we worked as a team and we followed our demonstration plan; but most importantly, it was because we had the most welcoming and interactive audience. Thank you guys. The feedback was critical and honest, which is something we can all take and learn from going forward.

The lesson for the day was on story telling and the characteristics of a facilitator in a story. When we started to discuss the stories in my group, I found out that each of us had their own understanding of who the facilitator was in the stories. It took us a while to discover that the facilitator was the person who brought change in the stories. In essence a good facilitator should strive to brings knowledge and change to his/her audience’s lives.

I have realized that we all have stories to tell. The fact that one’s fingerprints are unique and can’t be matched with someone else’s print; tells me that we might look the same but individually we are unique and carry unique stories.

Tell your story to the world!!!!!

 

 

Story telling

I was quite intrigued by the chicken(Joe) story, I enjoyed the groups communication flow when they executed their piece.

I’ve learned that story telling is one of the best facilitation tool. I’m also glad that I discovered that a facilitator is not an expert but someone who learns from the audience,  because I thought that a facilitator should be an expery.

We also had an opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures pertaining the 4 types of rituals in groups. That exercise was genuinely mind opening.

Communicating via social media

Second week of class, I went in anxious to see how and what the group presenting was going to do. Bearing in mind how the previous class is so interactive, I was determined to participate and voice out my thoughts.
The group did a fine job in their presentation and I got a clear picture of the task at hand, with our group being the next in line to present. The group presented on communicating via social media. During the presentation I discovered a social media platform (pinterest) which I was unaware of and got interested to learn more about it. I liked the fact that we are also able to score the group on their performance.
Later, we got into random groups and did the check-in. This was a fine opportunity to discover personal details about one another. So it is true when they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I also found the four principles and one law to be quite interesting and so practical in my life. Sometimes things happen in my life and I wouldn’t even know the cause or reason. With this principle I will rest assured that all that happens, is the only thing that could have happened.

The stretch zone exercise was key for me, because I find that it  is true that people who like to function in comfort zone, have the least chance to grow and achieve their goal.

I enjoyed the day’s learning.

Introduction

On my first day I expected more of practical activities, but after an introduction I just felt that the whole journey of the course will be interesting.

I just learned that facilitation is totally different from presentation, as it will be more of engagement rather than teaching.

So, this will help me to differentiate on youth meetings that i participate on.

Facilitation helps me to see the world objectively, with no judgement to others.

I will definitely use the facilitation skills to see and embraces difference.

 

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

I have finally been set up and ready to blog for the first time.

Although last Saturday was my second lecture it was also the first time engaging with my newly assigned team as well as the broader group. Whilst I  find myself sitting silently in the corner and not engaging that much in the first lecture I felt that I was able to voice my opinion and feelings much better during last weeks session, “honoring our difference”. I realised that we sometimes just need a familiar face or some interaction to form an opinion and to take part in conversations.

I was excited when I arrived and saw the different head peaces in the front of the class. When the facilitation started I was both excited and nervous about the topic that was being discussed. Excited because I learnt a whole lot more about African woman and how they wear the hair but at the same time nervous as I could see this evoked allot of emotions in the room. For me however it evoked feelings of respect and pride.

I also learnt that no matter our differences between male, female that we all have our challenges but should embrace our differences. This was also highlighted when we did the balcony exercise and realised that we all bring our own uniqueness to the table. I have been more aware this week around my own values and traits and tried to hounour and embrace them.

I leave you with a quote by Stephen Covey “Strength lies in difference, not in similarities” (Stephen Covey)

First day – Week 1

First day I arrive very late cuz i thought class starts at 9h00.

When i enter the class guess what, i found people standing around the classroom, looking confused i thought its break time but all to find out that they were allocating the classes.

i was allocated to the afternoon class as the morning class was already full.  I was not happy but here I am enjoying the sessions.

Shirley

 

Honouring the Difference – Week 4

Honouring the difference. Were we really honouring difference or just citing the difference that we are all aware of?

The topic of black women and their hair is a very controversial one. You are literally opening a can a worms with that one. I, for one, am passionate about that topic because I often find myself having to explain my  own choices to fellow black women.

Why are we being asked why? Why do you wear it like this? Why don’t you get a weave? Why do you have a weave? Why’d you cut your hair? Why don’t relax it? Yada yada yada, it just doesn’t stop. I have heard a Caucasian woman or any other race being asked these questions, so why the fixation on black women’s hair?

The fixation is because ethnic hair is magic. How it transform and make you a different person every other week. The fact that it can change so much warrants the world’s obsession with it.

Black queens keep rocking your crowns the best way you know how✊🏽👑

Honouring the differences (different hair styles – black people)

To me the topic was simple and flowing and the group was on time.

Then comes the review time, I was really surprised to realise that there were some people who took things personal.  One word that I could remember that evoke emotions was “people who can’t afford to buy wigs”

When I sit down at home sinking what I learned from the facilitation, then I understood why we have to honour our differences.  Actually the topic was not a mistake and those emotions meant to show us that we see things differently and we must learn to accept and honour our differences.   The exercise of the left and right brain closed the chapter.

Guys, I think Facilitation skills Course is building us.

Shirley

 

Story telling

 

Sanders_KFC_YS

At 65 years of age, Colonel Sanders  had retired and was broke, owned a small house and a very old car. He had a chicken recipe that everyone loved and the fact that this was the only idea he had, he decided to act upon it.

He started his travels to different US states to sell his idea. He got 1009 rejections before a business man invested in his idea. He acquired a service station in Kentucky and began serving to travellers. The location became known for its good food, and Sanders eventually got rid of the service station’s gas pump and converted the location to a full-fledged restaurant today known as KFC.

Now you are very likely to never forget the story of how KFC started, or at least, much less likely to do so than if it had been presented in bullet points.

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a story? A simplified answer is: When we hear a story we get to experience what is being narrated, our brains and emotions are activated and present.

Story telling is for children only! Story telling is for everyone!

Story telling is a form of facilitation; a form of learning. And learning is for everyone. Some of the brightest and most creative minds found value in learning at any age. Albert Einstein said:

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

During the facilitation class, I was reminded of my late grandmother, who was probably the best story teller I know. My grandmother enjoyed telling stories, she was theatrical in her voice and actions; she left you utterly fascinated. Looking back at her stories, I have realized they all had a lesson to be learned. My favourite of her many stories was of the Jackal and the Hare, to summarize the story: The Hare would enter through a small hole in the Jackals fence, but the Jackal could never catch the Hare. So one day the Jackal left some food for the Hare and the Hare ate, it continued to eat even when it was full, it ate until it felt it was about to burst. And when it saw the Jackal it tried to escape through the small hole but it was too big to fit through the hole.

Hmmfffffff! Now obviously I didn’t tell that story as well as my grandmother would have. But the lesson to be learned there is that greed is bad!

So you may ask, what is there to learn from the KFC story? I personally learned that success can be achieved at any age, Colonel Sanders opened his first KFC in his late 60’s. I also learned that you should never give up, Colonel Sanders received over 1000 rejections, but look at KFC today!

Storytelling is indeed an effective learning tool. Stories are the emotional glue that connects the audience to the message. May we learn to tell stories and may we continue to learn from stories.

 

My first day of class – Facilitation Skills

My week one was confusing 🙁

I didn’t attend the first lecture as I was still deciding if I made the right choice by choosing the Facilitation skills course, so I missed the class.   On the second week I decided to go and see what this class is about.

First, I got lost, looking for the venue took longer than I anticipated.  As I was getting lost, walking up and down the little voice within was saying “this is a sign, you shouldn’t be taking this class” lol.  After walking up and down and asking people for directions to the venue, I found the class.  Guess what, I was late *embarrassing hey* .  I got inside the venue, everyone was sitting *awkward* – I didnt understand the set- up of theclass,  it looked so informal,  but I just grabbed the chair and sat.

As I sat down, I relaised that there was a group presenting.  They were presenting about Communication via social media platforms.  I started “warming up” as I was listening and relating to the topic.

Before the end of the class – I was allocated to a group, at that stage I felt at home 🙂

It was by the end of my first lecture, that I have learnt about check-in’s.  I noted the importance of the check-in’s which I have now introduced to my team at work..  I am happy, that I decided to attend!

 

Week 4 Honouring differences, stigmas and so on and so forth and things like that…

After week three I told myself that I was never going to take too long to jot down my experience of the class, but after week 4’s facilitation lord knows I needed to do my own debriefing with self. To say the class was a bit on the heavy side emotionally would be an understatement. Maybe I need to back track a little. So Ros sent the usual homework tasks, this time it was one of those assessments where you pick an option that best describes you the most out of the available options some scenario based some not. For a brief moment it reminded me of those questionnaires on online dating platforms (don’t ask me how I know those, its word of mouth okay..) so I did mine and it turns out I am forty four percent right and fifty six left or is it the other way around, let me check. On the learning styles, turns out im an in between(er) all the way.

Anyway back to facilitation session. Weaves and wigs were displayed, posters with different hair styles circulated. I joined a random group that was dominated by men right after the group probed us, asking what comes to mind when we think of black women hair. So to be clear I went back to one of the members to make sure I understood the questions correctly to which my question was received with utter rudeness coupled with other things better left unsaid. If I were to be honest with myself I felt that whole facilitation was done so badly by that group but we are in this to learn right?

 

Instead of honouring differences I felt the group dwelt on hair politics making general statements about ethnic hair, it was a mess. This is like a dear diary right a safe space to say exactly how I felt or not? People were triggered and not in the nicest of ways. Group was very defensive, inconsiderate and sensitive towards the audience. Ros had to do a demi counselling of sort, which led to oceans of tears as people share the stigmas they are living with on a daily. I am sure you understand now when I say the class was heavy.

 

I think the choices of words used as a topic by the group were not well thought, but then again we are all learning. I took out a few nuggets from everything and I do hope to carry on to be sensitive towards people , not to make unfounded assumptions about people’s behaviours also in facilitating or dealing with team members of family members I will always try to seek out what works well for who, their learning language if I can call it that. People learn differently based on how their brains are wired and it’s important to be considerate and to respect the diversity in people.

Tomorrow it’s a full day class; I look forward to learning more…

 

Honoring our differences

I was very en lighting to learn more about different cultures and crushing stereotypical myths. Especially  about the Tsonga VS Changani debate. I am Venda share the same province as Tsonga people, all my life I believed that Tsongas and Changani people are the same. I also thought that the word Changani derived from them Leaving their children behind when they where fleeing from South Africa to Mozambique.

So thanx to this group I now know the real history.

Bravo guys 🙂

Week 4 Feedbabk

Today I was a bit late rushing to get to my class to find out that everyone was waiting outside for the facilitating group to do room set up. Their topic was Honouring Differences, the theme was learning about different kinds of black women’s hair styles. The topic was one-sided because it was only about black African women hair styles.  I love their room set up even though their music did not exactly go with a topic. I was a bit confused because sometimes the facilitating group was talking at the same time. I have learnt to do a proper research of the topic and make sure that you manage your time. I have learnt that don’t turn your interaction with your audience into a dialogue or argument. With any topic try to include all the nationalities as South African is a rainbow nation. If ever possible choose the theme that is not sensitive. Debrief the audience if the topic or theme is sensitive. Roslyn debriefed us by talking about different stigmas mostly imposed on us by people. I have noticed that almost everyone have stigmas. There are stigmas in ranks and powers. I have also learnt that a person does not own a stigma because most of the time stigmas are imposed on people. One can choose to live without a stigma. Step out of that whatever stigma. Disclose it and make it normal. Another interesting topic we have learnt was Thinking Style Preferences. I have found out that I am left brain thinker, 89%, logic, comfortable with rules. Sensory preference, I have auditory style, 73%, transfer of information through listening.  Information sorting style,  I am detail, 89% information is presented in the orderly manner. Learning style, initiator 64% keen to new ideas. Even though some of the characters of the initiator I don’t agree, example being an extrovert or that I don’t enjoy repetition and practice of activities. Motivational preference, I am internal with 89%, more details information that’s me. All in all what we have learnt opened my eyes. I have asked my 4 coworkers to do the assessment and the feedback was interesting as we have notice that we have a lot in common. My 2 boys also have done the assessment, this as well will assist in their studies. This course is so interesting as everyday you learn something you know but in a different way, professional way. We closed we interesting exercises.

Week 2 – Communicating via Social Media

The 2nd week was very interesting  as the 1st group was doing their facilitation piece and their topic was social media and they narrowed it down to Pinterest. I was fascinated by their topic as i had no idea what Pinterest was,however by the end of their piece i had gained so much knowledge about Pinterest.

After the group had done their facilitation piece we got into groups and did our check- ins.  I discovered that the purpose of this section is to bring everyone’s focus into the room and establish the collaboration boundaries, so that right from the start we are all clear on what we expect of each other, and what we expect from the session.

I enjoyed the check-in as i got a chance to get to know my fellow classmates on a more personal level, and what was more interesting about my group is that we got to debate on about a few issues affecting our lives, it was a whole lot of fun.

Honouring our differences.

The class presentation today was about honouring our differences and the group choose to focus on culture differences since the topic is so broad.
The team did a great job, well prepared though Afrikaans culture was only attended to for like 2 minutes. Yes He didn’t know much about it, but he could have researched just like Zulu, swati and all the others were given attention.
Though for me that was not the highlight of the class.
Generally, in these classes I am so tired from work that my concentration levels are low. On this day, by the time I asked for time, it was 11:50am.
There are 2 things that captivated and Dominated my thoughts in the class and they got me thinking on how I will do thinking differently.
First, the style thinking preferences that captivated my attention.
I have a 12yr old brother who by our observation hates school. He is horrible at Maths. But there’s certain things he does, and you think to yourself, this boy is clever. His favourite thing to do is to take things apart, he calls it fixing them.
In this class at some point we were doing an exercise and were divided into 3 group according to our thinking style. In comes the term “kinaesthetic”. This represents people that prefer to learn through practical experimentation and activities. Let’s just say I had and aha moment as “Oprah” would call it.
My brother’s preferred method of learning is Kinaesthetic. And I now I am on a mission to teach my family how he learns, so we can all know how to help him with whatever tasks the way he would understand.
Secondly, How do you show up?
I am one of those people that believe that they have found their purpose in life. It is to be an encourager, a teacher, a facilitator, and coach. What these have in common for me is that they all seek to influence in a manner that matters the most.
And so, I immediately began to envision the power of that powerful question. It got me asking myself this question, When I walk in a room, what do people see? I would hope that just by sheer glance, they see my attitude. The attitude of a warrior, the attitude of a lion, that says “I can do that”. For I have come to learn, “it isn’t Aptitude that determines your altitude, it’s your attitude”’
Though what came to appreciate was the quote” The warrior is the one who is able to take his armour off”. Because I never take mine off. Vulnerability isn’t something I do. Like anything in life, If I wanted to grow which I do, I would have to learn. And so, the influencer I am, I was just taught in those moments that it isn’t just about the words but it is also about the delivery, the engagement of introverts and extroverts, the ability change someone’s perception, the ability to help them find the answers they seek within themselves, the ability to assist them discover who they truly are and what they could possibly be.
I deem this Saturday time well spent.

lecture 3- Story telling

The one thing I was hoping for that it wasn’t as chaotic as the first class. Well, I am glad to report that order was restored. The class began with a presentation on story telling. The story was told about force-fed chickens and how their chemically manipulated growth to meet the current human demand was toxic to our human bodies.
The facts mentioned in the story about chickens did an injustice to the point of storytelling because even I as an audience fell astray from the point being about story telling and not the chickens. I think we didn’t help much as the audience because we kept probing for answers about the chickens rather than what the presentation was about.
The class continued. One of the biggest lessons I have learned was that as a facilitator, I have a specific role to play and I needed to fully grasp what that is. I was sure of thing, learning this role would take the entire semester and future practise as an actual facilitator.
There were a few pointers if I may call them that, that stood out for me. Had I never taken this class, I know I would have never even thought about them. For instance, it is vital to guide the audience into understanding without forcing answers or information on them. I think sometimes the confusion is we turn to think that standing in front of others and regurgitating sentences regardless of how motivating they are is facilitation.
The other important lesson I learned is that, it is important to influence when facilitating. But how you influence is also imperative. A facilitator needs to influence in such away that the audience arrive at the answers they seek for themselves and by being lead to dig within themselves, draw from past experiences, recognise where they are currently and make informed decisions about the way forward.
It is a facilitators job to notice all audience members and draw the quit ones out of their shells to participate as part of the group so that everyone is heard.
As a facilitator in training at my workplace, the next session being a group of new employees in induction of over 70 people, one of my fellow students highlighted how important it is to even explain what induction is. I see my challenge being checking in with all 70 of them and ensuring that all are engaged and all are engaging so we can clearly set expectation as they set on this journey into the cooperate world.

my first day

My experience of my first day in Facilitation class
On this day, this was my first class to equip me with skills I needed to pursue and use my gift to influence in s manner that matters the most.
I had a sense of pride foe getting to this point and I was eager to see what was about to unfold.
The class started late thought I was unsure of myself and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people in the class because it meant there was so many personalities I might have to deal with at some point.
We got a bit into the content of what the class was about and what was expected out of us.
Much to my preference, we were divided into smaller group which my mind immediately recognized as “manageable”. In our smaller groups we were given topics to discuss which we will all be presenting on a given date.
Let’s just say, the worst thing that happened to us was the calendar and the decision that because the whole class was so big, class would be divided into 2 session namely morning and afternoon class.
Those many personalities I was worried about, some reared their heads. Nonetheless, we are adults and we knew what we were getting ourselves into. So, we suck it up and move on. I wish that, that was the tone for the remainder of the class.
Confusion was the name of the game going forward. I thought I understood at some point. It quickly changed. There were calendar changes, groups afternoon and morning numbers doing something about something. Part of the expectations we were informed about was we would have to write 9 blogs. I don’t have a problem with that, Blogging is a tool I use to get my message across to the masses.
About 10 minutes to class ending, we were told we would now to be writing our first blog, which would be about our experience in our first class for the facilitation course. I puzzled because we hadn’t had the link to the blog yet and we had 10 minutes. And 10 minutes later class was over. I can honestly say, most of us left still confused but like the adults we are, in our smaller groups, we would figure it out.
And so, the next the journey begins to the next 5 months.

communication via social media

I missed a class session to due to work on weekends, which will still happen every 3rd weekend and on this day, there was a presentation done on Communication via social media and the team focused on Pinterest and a media of choice.
Now since, I wasn’t at the class, I needed to do my own research as to the benefits off communicating via Pinterest but most importantly what is was.
Pinterest is used by many as a collection for visual pieces of multimedia. So this would make it an online pinboard. So basically, what one does is upload the app, register using your email, username or Facebook account.
It the prompts you create boards according to what your interest are. For example: I have boards such as “the look’ for fashion I gravitated towards, “my home’” for what I dream my future house would look like and the deco, then my most favourite has to be “quote of the day” because I am absolute fan of quote. They always say something I want to say but couldn’t put the words together.
Pinterest users interact with each other through liking, commenting, and re-pinning each other’s stuff. That’s what makes it such a hot social network.
The Pinterest’s platform makes it extremely easy for anyone to share and interact with other people. You can interact by saving the pin to one of your own boards, by Sending a pin to other users on Pinterest or share it on social media and If you have something to say about the pinned item, you are able leave a comment.

Honouring different cultures – Week 4

Sanibonani, Dumelang,  Nda , clan names, singing  and ululating was how we entered the lecture room with my group as we were introducing our topic “Honouring differences”.  We chose to honour different cultures in South Africa from Venda, Zulu, Swati, Afrikaans, Pedi and Sotho to name the few.  It was so fascinating to see how involved and interested the whole class was. Although we wished we could have represented all of them, unfortunately  we are only a group of 8 people plus we only had 30 minutes to facilitate.

 

We wore attires which represented different cultures from our own, and by doing so our main objective which was to educate people  about embracing each other’s culture was achieved. We each shared some knowledge about   our  individual cultures , opened the floor for some questions ,myths , facts  and comments which was quite fun. I mean the questions and statement ranged from :

 

 

 

  • Who was King Shaka, is it true that he used to kill short people ?
  • Who is King Mswati , his wives  and reed dance ?
  • What do you know about Afrikaans people besides them liking boerewors ? 
  • What do you know about Zulu people besides the myth about them  being taxi drivers?

Honestly  to say I was proud to facilitate with my group is an understatement . Our planning and brainstorming prior to the day really came together.  After our facilitation one of the class exercise was learning what it means to “Show Up” as a facilitator the amount of time it takes to show up. Knowing where is your centre and how quickly you can get  thrown off centre. We also did some practical exercises, teaching us how to show up , which I found to be fun but eye opening especially the standing  , bending the knees and carrying your body while standing, it was really interesting.

 

 I will exit with my funny  Zulu song  called “Uphondo lwami olwasala emthini” meaning    “My Horn that was left in the tree…Bye for now.

 

 

 

 

 

Story Telling – Week 3

Story telling reminded me of the time when I was growing up in KZN, and my grandmother  used to tell me bedtime stories about bears  . Although this one was about a chicken.  My main interest in the story was  to see how much airtime will each get between the chicken and story telling.  And lastly who owned the space.

   

 

 What I learnt  is that when you tell a story telling as a facilitator  you  need  to write down key words of your story so that you don’t have to read up everything on the piece of paper. Be flexible with your and it’s  okay  to leave people wondering. What I realised  is  that distractions are a big problem. Because when a facilitator is telling a story and there are walk ins, people tend to lose focus  and start looking at whoever is walking in class.

 

 

We also had a couple of stories to read so that we can understand the different types of facilitators.  The difference   between  an instructor and a facilitator and their attributes. How a facilitator shows you how it’s done as opposed to telling you what to do. I got to understand that their main aim is to educate and teach different techniques. My favourite story out of them all was the rafting story between Buzz and Kiwi . I mean they both had different styles of teaching but  Buzz was instructing the team on what to do, while Kiwi was showing them which means he was facilitating. What I took from the rafting story is that  some of the skills for a good facilitator are listening, communicating, motivating, being a team play etc.

 

A great lesson  that I learnt on week 3, was that as a facilitator you’re not an expert on topics and you musn’t   try to make yourself one.  Another exercise we did was 4 commonalities in culture , meaning the rituals that are common  in every culture irrespective of who you are or which race you represent. It was actually amazing to see how different we are yet  our beliefs  are similar. Those commonality are as follows :

  • Birth Rituals
  • Marriage Rituals
  • Initiation Rituals
  • Death Rituals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilitation for early birds – Week 2

Wakey wakey. On the second Saturday I arrived beforehand and there was already another group from my class waiting to do facilitation on communicating via social media specifically Pinterest. The class listened attentively and there I was observing in silence,  impressed by how interactive and  well prepared  they were about their topic. I learnt a lot about Pinterest. Everything was precise and fun.

The group did questions instead of statements they asked us about different countries, food and clothing. remember  answering  one or two about Cape Town and Italy. Oh boy there was also an “Oprah moment “where the facilitators asked us to look under our tables and tell the class which food was pasted on the piece of paper. I have to admit though for a moment there during the”Oprah moment” I thought to myself yesssss prizes. Oh well I guess facilitation is a bit different. When the group was done we proceeded with more exercises.

 

So I got to learn the importance of understanding ones objectives. How as a facilitator you play around with time ,how asking questions unlock the brain. We had to do a quick Check in to assess how each group was feeling by showing of thumps up or down and also share our brief life stories. Basically a check in is not a conversation because you are not allowed to ask questions or comment. I have to admit a quick check in is my favourite now , I even at my work place. Another exercise which I think will be helpful when we are doing our group facilitation was learning the value of setting expectations, for example :

·You focus on what you want to achieve
·It assist you with planning
·It get you the desired result
·You are able to measure your success

Anyway I’m looking forward to our group Facilitation without technology. Hope to see you there😊

Facilitation Skills – BLOG 4

The group-presenting today’s topic was “Honoring difference” group centered the difference on culture, I was fascinated with the various traditional regalia within the different tribes, each group member dressed up in different tribe attire and explained about the tribe attire that they had to chosen to wear, plus for me was that, they chose a different tribe attire to speak about.

Ho do I show up? This statement really made me reflect back. How do I show up as a daughter, sister, wife, mum and a colleague, how is my presence noticed???

Do I have a different mask on at home, work, around friends, family, my baby, am I showing up with the mask I have on or my authentic self.

We had to complete an electronic assessment that determined our brain dominance, my brain dominance is my left-brain, totally true 🙂  I am a visual, true again 🙂 I see the big picture, true again 🙂 I am definitely a theorist.

From this exercise the insight gained was that as a facilitator we need to know all the different types of students that are part of a class, need to know the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and operator students, as a facilitator one has to incorporate the different facilitating methods, techniques and styles into the facilitation to make a good facilitator.

I loved this week of facilitation, a feeling of wanting more and more.

Facilitation Skills – BLOG 3

WOW…Storytelling…never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that Storytelling would be so profound, loved the idea of us being instructed to close our eyes during the storytelling by one of the group members facilitating, was a good feeling.

No matter whom we are, where we come from, what we do, we all have a STORY..

I actually have a story and my STORY is SPECIAL and PRECIOUS 🙂

Honoring Difference Blog 4

Celebrating diversity and honouring our differences is what makes us all unique and special. Respecting one another and learning from the experience, personally thought me there is so much knowledge to gain from everyone that participated. When we learn from one another, we have the level of understanding about each other in order to facilitate collaboration and cooperation. Their cultures, beliefs,  traditions, their way of life, their way in which they dress is so amazing it allowed me to have an open mind to grasp information and to remember that culture and traditions are part of people’s lives . The significance of heritage day which was known before as Shaka day in commemoration of the Zulu King, Shaka Zulu. This was observed as heritage day so that all South Africans could observe and celebrate their diverse cultures. I felt personally it was presented well and the message was conveyed, the participation was amazing. Thereafter class continued with Learning about our thinking preference whether it is visual, auditory, kinaesthetic individuals and how do we process the information given. Learning about the difference between the high detail and big picture individuals and how would they understand. How somebody else learns and teaches in a way they could learn faster. We need to speak to individuals in their language and their own style. There was a lot of shuffling around but brought us to a point to understand we are all different.

Facilitation Blog #4

This week we started out with a group demonstration on honoring difference and our lecture focused on thinking style preferences as well as not only showing up but choosing to be present.

I enjoyed the concept of the warrior showing up in body, spirit and mind. This leads to active participation and not only physical presence. The atmosphere was very relaxed and we engaged in a few exercises according to the results of our electronic assessments. The views regarding how people that have different styles of thinking or learning view each other was quite interesting. This was also important to note because as a facilitator you can incorporate different types of exercises that different people can relate to. I tested the concepts based on reactions regarding visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner on my son and it was surprisingly easy to determine, but it could be as a result of the fact that children are much more spontaneous in their reactions compared to adults. This was very enlightening and helpful. We all know that people have different ways of learning but it has been made quite easy in doing a quick assessment like simply asking a question and by looking at physical reaction to make a quick determination.

My favorite part was the exercise with the outstretched arm where you could see that you can reach much further in the second attempt after encouraging yourself mentally which indicates to me that if you engage in a positive attitude it influences your abilities or what you might regard as your limitations.

Houring Difference

The class was impact full in many ways e,g.

  • Realizing how we moved forward since independence
  • Embracing different cultures and customs
  • Accommodating  different cultures and customs from different groups
  • Understanding how other cultures do things and subconsciously comparing with mine without thinking loud.

Very impact full indeed and one can tactfully learn and interact with other people without being judgmental. These are lessons that one can be inculcated to the rest our families . It was masterpiece

I salute you guys and wish people like you can multiply.

Written by Ipotseng Makotwane

 

Week 4

  • Important learning curve from facilitation:
    • Seating arrangements
    • Creativity in how group facilitates
    • Audience engagement – new view on asking questions
    • Also the importance of ensuring that audience is aware of what you are trying to facilitate – create clear expectations
    • Be agile in facilitation – don’t be too structured and rigid – be able to veer off on a tangent, change and then bring everything back on track – don’t become stressed and loose track or confidence if something interferes with your original structure
  • The left brain and the right brain – the differences learnt from the exercise and homework –
    • Everyone has same essential facets but of different extremes – important to understand each person’s strengths as this improves communication and assists in how we work together
    • When we discussed the results in class, we honoured the differences and looked at the different ways of teaching versus learning – we all have different learning agilities
  • Some points from class:
    • A major difference between power and control, is having the confidence in oneself
    • One way of explaining introverts and extroverts looks at where they draw their energy from – internal vs. external
    • An introvert is not necessarily someone who is shy
    • If you don’t want to hear an answer, don’t ask the question
    • An important theory of learning to be remembered – not everybody learns the same way or at the same pace

Week 3

  • A Good Facilitator – an instrument of change
    • An enabler, can teach by example while provoking learning strategies – good strategists know their audiences
    • Facilitators ask questions, expertise is not the realm of the facilitator – they should remain as learners because they not supposed to be experts and don’t need to know all material or be able to answer all questions of audience – throw some questions back at them
    • A good facilitation lesson should leave audience wondering as this enables or provokes learning
  • 4 x common cultural rituals: birth, wedding, initiation, and death:
    • Discussion with colleagues contributed to an understanding of how similar we are and yet different because of how each ritual is learnt and taught – passed down from generation to generation.
    • What could have originally been thought of as an act of necessity, safety, caring and part of prevention of harm, becomes a ritual over time as each lesson is passed on.
  • With the lesson on stories we were allowed to learn from the stories that we read and when we exchanged ideas during group discussion
    • The stories are a facilitation tool
  • This lesson taught us of the different methods of facilitating – the important skills:
    • Why you do it [be a facilitator],
    • The important attributes of facilitator – calm, unimposing, a natural leader, someone who has a willingness to learn while trying to teach, allows people to learn and grow at their own pace, someone who guides the learning while being accommodating to diverse understandings and beliefs]
  • Success of a facilitator can be seen when one has ensured that a new way of thought or doing something has been adopted and accepted – when something has been learnt

Week 2

  • Lessons from facilitation:
    • good to start presentation with questions;
    • make the session as fun as possible – it motivates learning;
    • prevent interruptions as they break the flow;
    • close the loop and ensure if expectations were met
  • Setting Expectations:
    • Define goal, get clarity, get buy-in, measure outcomes, set timeline
    • Assists with the ability to better facilitate any form of learning experience – to interact with new people & to help them to open up & learn
  • Important aspects of ‘ Principles of Engagement’
    • Arrive on time
    • No cell phones
    • Always be sincere and be careful of what you say and the impact it may have
    • Listen with your eyes and ears
    • Always show respect – if you don’t know then ask and learn to acknowledge other people’s contributions
    • Don’t be judgemental
  • The Balcony and the Dance
    • One should step out of the dance floor and go to the balcony
      • This means take a step back – look at the whole picture to get a feeling of what’s going on the dance floor – a different perspective
    • Each of the perspectives covered in week 2’s lesson would be useful in personal growth and they may be used in group dynamics, as interaction tools [to improve interaction], used as a tool for improved leadership, and can also be used as a learning tool for oneself and others

Honouring our differences

The day started with a group presentation on honoring differences. It was based on identity and cultural differences among South African citizens, and their different tribes. They were all dressed in culturally representative attires.It was a good presentation which showed some preparation went into it, and they covered it well. We did a brain dominance patterns, sensory preferences and Information sorting styles, which was interesting and informative. l value the knowledge l gained from these lessons, they made me look at people differently, in terms of trying to embrace our differences, being accomodative, and accepting that we are humans beings that are created uniquely. I find the course, thus far, worth my while, and very relevant and empowering, with necessary life skills, which are critical to master. They can be applied across the board, socially and occupationally.

Facilitation Skills – Week 4

I liked this week’s presentation, they may have done more with the subject to amplify Honouring differences, non the less I thought it was interesting.
There were a lot of activities in class, I enjoyed the exercise about being aware of “how you show up” as well the other exercise that taught us about knowing the kind of person that you are, I was surprised at some of the results, others however did affirm what already knew about myself.
There were a lot of talks about introverts and extroverts and im an introvert something I never knew until 3 years ago can you believe it!! Discovering that was such an eye opener for me and it made me accept myself for who I am and to live in my truth and to never compromise myself.

Facilitation Skills – Week 3

I had to attend the library training in the morning which was interesting and informative, then straight to the facilitation skills class.
I am more at ease with the class now, I no longer feel so puzzled and uneasy anymore which is a great thing. The class was about facilitation through story telling which was interesting. We were given homework to read through five stories I only read three and I read halfway through the third one The African Dress and I could not continue reading.

I found that I just could not relate to the woman that was narrating the story and here experiences. Purley because this was an Afrikaner woman talking about her experiences of apartheid and segregation. When I continued reading it in class I realised that it was my ignorance that was preventing me from understanding her point of view.

I had never opened myself into understanding the other side of apartheid simply because I was never interested, what mattered to me was how black people suffered through those years and now and nothing else.

So, I learnt something about myself that day.

Facilitation Skills – Week 2

Second week, I was in the afternoon class, initially I though the morning was better, but the afternoon is not so bad.

There was quite a lot of activities, the first group facilitated their piece I thought they did well given the amount of time they had to prepare. I also enjoyed the group exercise where we had to talk about ourselves and I’m discovering that I’ve become more and more comfortable sharing details about myself over the years which was difficult for me at some point in my life.

I unfortunately had to leave the class an hour early due to a personal commitment, and I missed a interesting part of the class “so I hear” about the “dance” and the “balcony”.

Facilitation Skills – Week 1

I woke up this morning at 7:00 thinking that the class starts at 9:00 only to realise that the that the class starts at 8:30 after looking at the time table. You can imagine the panic trying to finish getting ready and making it in class at least at 9:00.

I got to class at 9:00 took a book and sat down, I was surprised and overwhelmed by the number of students in class. So, there I am sitting at this desk trying to figure out what is happening what the lecture is talking about (I didn’t know her name at the time) and how much I had missed.

The class was very chaotic I guess it’s the unconventional way of learning which I’m still getting use to. I left the class feeling uneasy and puzzled.

Facilitation Skills – BLOG 2

This week was the first week that we got to witness a group facilitating, group one topic was on “communicating via social media” the platform that the group chose was Pinterest, I was very familiar with Pinterest as I use that platform on a daily basis from ideas for my baby foods to hairstyles etc. group one showed the class on how to set up Pinterest as well as to how to pin your interests, also informing the class that Pinterest is the new marketing tool that a lot of businesses are venturing into as this platform is untouched.

The plus for group 1 for me was that the content was delivered in a clear and concise manner, the class was fully engaged at times, they had pictures that showcased clearly on how does one go about pinning they interest on they personal pin board, team work, high form and substance and a lot of FUN 🙂

My aha moments that spoke volumes to me from reflective experiences, would be to never set expectations, never assume, when we listen we make the person we listening to feel heard, whatever has happened has happened, let it be and move on, life goes on we just need to register that in our minds and move on with it, move away from our comfort zone, step out and look from above to change our perspective and shift our focus.

I loved this week of facilitation, a feeling of wanting more and more.

I need to take care of myself, to take care of everyone else.

I have definitely started CHECKING IN!! 🙂

Facilitation Skills – BLOG 1

I got to class at least 5 minutes late and knowing the person I am, I am always punctual, took it lightly that this lecture would start late from my past lecture which started an hour late, but little did I know that my Facilitation lecturer is actually punctual.

Arrived in class, signed a register and took a handbook while Roslyn the facilitation skills lecturer was busy writing on the board our calendar for the remaining of the course.

As the rest of the students started arriving, the class began to get bigger and bigger which eventually led to the class being very chaotic, I honestly felt like this course had no structure what so ever, as the day progressed Roslyn passed around a fish bowl demonstration which contained numbers, which we all had to choose a number from, similar numbers with the other classmates was the group that we would be teamed with to deliver our Facilitation piece.

My plus would definitely be the different people that I had met in that short chaotic, unstructured time, really enjoyed the different approach to this lecture. Super excited and looking forward to the next few weeks ☺

WEEK 3: STORY TELLING

I was a few minutes late for the class but the presentating group was kind enough to let me into the class. Group 3 was facilitating on Story Telling. They read a story for us which was quite interesting. The story was about chickens and one special chicken that grew much more than the rest. The group sis well although i thought there was a lot of reading from their notes than facilitating.

We later gave feedback as a class and Ross also gave her feedback and ne thing that she mentioned that stood out for me was that when facilitating with someone always allow them to present their topic without you coming in beause when you do you subtract from what they person is supposed to say.

We later got into groups to discuss the stories we had read from our books. We had to discuss who the facilitators were in the stories and what facilitation style they used.

We then got into groups again to discuss the 4 common rituals in our different cultures which are:

  1. Birth
  2. Mariage
  3. Initiation
  4. Death

It was quite interesting to hear how different cultures practise this common rituals.

 

The importance of checking in –   The Stretch Zone , the balcony & the dance. “The day I felt like a professional facilitator”

1st group presented. And the group did very well.    We were given a chance to give feedback. The facilitator pointed out the following important points during the course of the lecture:

  • introduction should have a question.
  • Be clear in your expectation and repeat them at the end just to make sure that no one was left out.
  • Play with time but avoiding rushing through as well
  • a good sitting style like C shells would work better for facilitating a  bigger group.

furthermore, to expand  on what was done we then focused on the following: pages 22 and 27. Which breaks down the analysis of checking in which she described as the tool to assist an individual to land. It also minimizes assumptions and makes other people aware on what you are going through.  However, There were activities done obviously around check in. Moreover,  on page 30, there was an analysis of Value of setting expectations whereby everyone was asked to give their understanding of this. I dotted down a few: Which are to intend to achieve your objectives, avoid derailing from your goal etc. We were then given time to reflect which the facilitator called connecting the dots on Page 24. In addition, a task was given for everyone to write down on what would their expectations be at the end of the course, what they aspiring to  achieve. We also did page 31, which focused on principles of engagement  in which the facilitator  explained what she called RAS – Radicular activating system, she defined RAS as  part of our brain that looks for our expectations. For example if you are planning to buy VW  Polo, You start seeing a lot of it on the road, because your brain start selecting information.
We then did  pages 32, 33 & 35 which covered facilitation tools namely:

  • the stretch zone – where one’s stress levels are slightly higher than normal to maximize performance.  T Harv Eker was quoted as follows ” comfort kills, if your goal in life is to be comfortable , I guarantee two things, 1st you will never be rich, second, you will never be happy”. happiness does not come from living a lukewarm life”                       
  • The balcony and the dance. – a concept developed by Berry  to be used when in a difficult situation.  Then a facilitator can say : can we all go on the balcony and look at what is going on the dance floor?

This is the day I imagined my self being a professional facilitator. I imagined myself standing in front of students using words like the “stretch zone”..and “lets go on the balcony” and   breaking the ice of my facilitation with a check in.  It really felt like my  objectives of becoming a facilitator have been met.

 

#Presentation day (28th of July 2018)

Our Topic was Social Media

I got Pinterest as my theme.

The whole week was stressful as i was so scared i would not be ready or prepared enough

Mostly nervous as i could never speak in front of crowds of people the thought of that made me break out in a cold sweat thinking the whole time everyone would laugh at me or something.

I put together my piece as best as I could with the amount of time we had.

Our group was well prepared and everyone done such a good job  and im happy that my group gave their all.

I on the other hand  struggled as I was so incredibly nervous, at the end of it I felt like I failed at the task,

But the whole class and Ross gave our group such good feedback that  we all felt so much beter.

Through that exercise I feel like I have learned to take criticism as guidelines to improve myself but mostly not to take every comment or remark as personal,

I feel more comfortable asking questions in Class now and Feel like I can not only crack this course but also improve my people skills.

BUT i don’t think Public Speaking will become a Favorite for me 

Image result for wink emoji

Team 2 – Very Pinteresting

So I’m not a social media person. Probably one of a handful of earthlings that has no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, and certainly no interest or Pinterest. I must confess, this is purely by my own volition.

Naturally, a topic like communicating using social media was a huge challenge for me personally for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, I have no experiential knowledge of other forms of social media communication, save for email and whatsapp., yes, conventional, not contemporary.

The smaller (am -GMT +2) group had only met twice in 5 days, and only had 5 days to meet, prepare and present. Hardly sufficient time to even learn each others names. Creativity, spontaneity, and innovation were the key ingredients of successful group cohesion. I learnt all about Pinterest in less than 30 minutes.

After a successful launch of the facilitation project and the positive feedback coupled with a modicum of constructive criticism, we had pulled off something educational, fun and very special.

To all my team-2 members, I wish to thank you for the opportunity and the wonderful spirit in which you all participated. I certainly learnt far more than what I had initially anticipated. To all the other groups both am&pm, I wish you good luck.

Very Pinteresting indeed…!!!

Week 4: Honouring Difference

I marvelled with theme of the topic. I was not aware that HAIR is so sensitive even to the point of triggered emotions.
We need to learn more skills how to Facilitate. We need to involve our audience at all times, that will make it much easier to know how do they understand the subject. We shared about our #STIGMAS. We kept it in the house, powerful and matured.

Saturday 11th:

12:30

Group Presentation gets in motion with an interesting subject matter about the controversial subject of the African woman’s hair, this in the backdrop of Honoring our Differences (I hope I have it is the correct title for the topic? :-)), as the topic for the group presentation.

The discussion opened my eyes in that peoples personal preferences are important and need to be treated as such, however not all perceptions cast aspersions or prejudice. The facilitation could have been better, team work can be improved and kudos to involving the participants.

Thinking Style

Also, I have learned that we actually have superpowers; the gift of the left and right brain, sensory,  auditory, kinaesthetic preferences, detail and big picture abilities; all these character traits inform us and the world who we are. These differences properly harnessed,  can help grow great people. A facilitator who is most informed about who they are can help bring out the best in their audience or participants.

End.

 

Week 2 Story Telling

Each and every Saturday I am looking forward to my class. I was disappointed with my late coming and I found the door closed by the facilitators. I was missing in action in my group. #bribe chocolate revived my mind. Powerful story telling from our fellow student, as Roslyn said its not easy to share your true story.

Listening Skill was mastered when the other people were listening to others without distraction.

Week 3

What an experience
the Power of story telling, one learned that trough story telling you can evoke many emotions and thoughts.
I also came to realize that we all have a story to tell and that such experiences can be used to facilitate change.

the dance floor and balcony came to be tested during the feedback when the presenters had to process the feedback and see things through the eyes of the audience.

I real enjoyed this week.

experiencing life changing skills

I fell that we should call the class facilitating life skills, not facilitations, because every class  I learn something new about myself and the people that I associate with.

the thing is that I am getting more self aware, I now give myself time out to go up in the balcony whereas before I usually stay down at the dance flow and talk and entertain things that I shouldn’t , stigmatize myself and carry with me all that.

since week two I have been implementing what I learn in the class in my life, without even trying hard because I experience learning in the class, I am not thought how to behave. I experience it.

I have one word. ‘amazing

Abracadabra! An introduction to facilitation

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never an easy thing to do. It requires you to completely ignore the knee-jerk reactions your brain has developed and walk boldly into the unknown. It requires you to step completely out of the self and really immerse yourself in the present moment in order to make sense of things in the unfamiliarity of your new surroundings.  It requires a tremendous amount of bravery.

What is Facilitation?

Now, I won’t lie. It didn’t feel like a tremendously brave move deciding on an elective because the classes are on Saturday mornings and there are no exams. In fact, it felt incredibly easy, but isn’t that how magic works? There’s a trick I once saw where a  magician asks an audience member to pick a card and remove it from the deck. With their hands cupped over the card, concealing its face, the participant is certain that what they have picked, is what they’re holding on to. “It’s too easy”, they think, “it’s just not possible”,  until Abacadabra! The magician pulls out their card and what our unsuspecting candidate is left holding is something completely different.

Magic, as an art, is steeped in shroudery and mystique.  It is the art of misdirection which very few enthusiasts are able to master, let alone figure out, without an apprenticeship with a master magician to show them the tricks of the trade. That, for me, is what I have come to discover Facilitation Skills to be – an all access  backstage pass into the magic of outstanding leadership through collaboration.

Facilitation is the creation of experiential moments for everyone you encounter by using specific, simple tools and practices which fully engage and recognise individuality. It teaches you to ask questions without imposing, and to listen without judgement or the imposition of personal opinion on another. It teaches you to lead from behind and to be mindful and present in every situation by allowing moments to progress  organically because being in control doesn’t always mean being in charge – what the movement of mindfulness  calls letting go.

It is leading through learning and listening.

It is the art of impact.

However, as with all magic, what is simple is not necessarily easy.

It takes a long time for the dedicated yogi to master inner peace and reach nirvana, and similarly it takes a long time for one to step out of the programmed responses of how they’ve always done things and into a space which is open to collaboration, critique and self reflection. It is simple, but not easy, to set aside the ego and receive criticism without defensiveness and give feedback with kindness. Especially when you have been trained  by the world that admitting ignorance is a sign of weakness – the cognitive dissonance of keyboard warriors, for example, but that’s a topic for another day.

With conscious practice of the facilitation tools,  one can learn and master impactful leadership and enjoy thriving personal and professional relationships.

Poof! Just like that, one begins to see the hidden magic in facilitation skills.

11 August 2018 Team 3 Honouring different diversity

Upon the forth week of class I received an email mail from Roslyn to prepare us for the next class. I had to fill in an electronic assessment and had to print it out for class.

 

 

The fourth week was quite interesting. Firstly we started off with the group facilitation which covered honouring different diversity. The group came in dressed in different cultural attires and the setting was similar to a classroom setting. They facilitated on the different cultures South Africa has. The facilitation for me was well done, though at first it felt like a presentation and they didn’t cover the Afrikaans culture at all. But overall for me they did a job well doned. Their presentation was memerable because of the attires and materials used.  a learnt that we haveh different perspectives when we see situations when we give feefback and some feedback I was aware of until it was mention, that made me realize to look more to what I see but to pay more greater attention and understand.  What I also learnt was the 24th of September and how it came about and why, which was quite inrinterest for me about the holiday and how it links with Shaka Zulu. I also learnt about Umamulo with the Zulu culture which for me o didn’t know until today. Roslyn and the rest of the class gave feedback but this time it was different because we had to discuss bit amoungst ourselves. There after Roslyn did story telling of a author named Nick Averill who write about Shaka Zulu in regards to learning districting innovative, which entails about the long and short spear that Shaka changed. The two fascinating attributes about Shaka valees which were strong and had binding respect and he would conquer village and make men generals.

 

In closing we discussed the electronic assessment in which I learnt that in learning style I am a theorist. motivational preference is internal. Brain dominance pattern is the left brain. Sensory preference is auditoy and information sorting styles is the big picture. The high looking at my character this is all true and I never knew all of this. So I gain alot of knowledge this week four class.

 

 

Thank you❤️

Communicating via social media

Check-ins can (though very rare) get messy and emotional, so when Roslyn mentioned the word “check-in”, I hoped she meant something else.

Six years ago during a two day  strategic session in the Drakensberg, a colleague had a complete meltdown during check-in. We sat in a u-shape and began checking-in and a colleague “popped” into tears; sharing with us her difficulty in dealing with the death of her husband. She started crying and a few other people cried with her (I also may have had a moment).

People think to be professional you need to ignore your emotions and those of the people around you, but reality is, we don’t leave our humanity at the office door. Crying is a natural reaction to stress and doesn’t make you any less professional than those who do not openly cry. The bravest and most courageous of them all weep when they need to.

I had a huge AHA! moment when we discussed the four principles of open space technology, which are:

  1. Whoever comes are the right people
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time
  4. When it’s over, its over

I’ve always struggled with letting things go, I often replay things in my head over and over again, wishing I could have said things better or rather not have said things at all. Also, during class, I realized I also struggle with letting go of events. After my colleague had her meltdown, I no longer saw her in the same light, in my head she was the lady who’s husband died and she wasn’t coping emotionally. When it was over, it wasn’t over for me; I would spend hours thinking about her and wondering if she was crying, if she was okay, if she was coping with work. Whenever I saw her I saw sorrow even when she was laughing and smiling.

I have learned that in all situations; when it’s over, it’s over and I should truly let go.

Honouring the Difference – Week 4

What a poignant topic “Honouring the difference” …. a bit deep for a Saturday morning I thought …… I couldn’t resist feeling a bit emotional as people shared stories of stigma…..African Hair, Gay and not accepted……. being Coloured……. how could the world be so cruel I proclaimed to my self. I couldn’t help but recall my favourite poem by Carl Jung:

“Emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to lights or from inertia to movement without emotion. Consciousness can only exist through a continual recognition of unconsciousness just as everything that lives must pass through many deaths.”

 

Honouring Difference

There are six ways to Honor your Time by accepting the season of life you are, stop doing stuff you don’t care about just because you think you should, don’t make things a bigger deal than they are, choose where it matters to you, narrow down your choices and lastly embrace your need for downtime.

Week three…Story telling

Week three promised to be interesting not only because my group is facilitating , interesting in that we have had two full weeks of learning , interesting to see how one adds on what has been learnt and build on it. By nine thirty our group had gathered at Zesty to go through the finer details of our facilitation, well before moving to Zesty we needed a room to practise how we were going to use the art of storytelling to facilitate our topic. Getting a lecture room prior to Zesty turned out to be a good idea because by the time we got to Zesty the place was packed with some class mates and others, so it would not have worked as a run dry venue for our task.

We had decided to make use of a poem to tell a story, we wanted to invoke some emotions from the audience and most importantly we wanted to link it to what is happening in South Africa today. Hundredth year since Mandela was born, we chose a poem which he loved and maybe to certain extend related to considering his life story. From our research we picked up a few things around storytelling, although it seemed impossible to trace the historical origins and evolution of fairy tales to a particular time and place, we found that humans began telling stories as soon as they developed the capacity of speech. In some parts of the world sign language may have been used prior to using speech as means of communicating but eve in those settings it appeared that stories were a centre of existence. In some parts of the world stories were simply told to mark an occasion, set an example, warn about danger, procure food, or explain what seemed inexplicable. People told stories to communicate knowledge and experience in social contexts.

So we wanted to facilitate story telling by telling a story, we chose Mandela as a complex figure to get different views from everyone, we wanted to stay clear of what Chimamanda refers to a the danger of a single story. We wanted to build a framework for learning have a detailed creative content as part of our facilitating tool and we wanted the experience to be as seamless as possible

Ros had her colleague visiting who was so gracious with her feedback, what stood out for me was the fact that we chose a man to lead the entire facilitation, while we all participated. The most interesting thing is that we had gone back and forth as to who was going to lead and we opted for a guy because his voice projected better than ours, in hindsight we learned that voice alone should not have been the deciding factor. We did well on time there were areas where we could have done better, all in all we are learning. Coupled with the stories we read in the study pack we learned that facilitation is not training. We also learned something about unconscious bias, which is telling a story with an end in mind of how you want the story to land on people as opposed to letting the stories take or form a life of its own.

We learn something new every day and that’s how we grow.

Hi ho off TWO work i Go

Hi Ho off to work i go

Second lesson and look at us now 60 students in the lunch hour class and our first time interacting.

Our group was given a topic “learning from life” for our facilitation presentation and wow what a broad topic this could be.

Ros took us through the milestones of our class and how it would change the way to facilitate anything we will do further and in each class our skills would be honed more sharply.
This was something new to me , not knowing exactly what to expect but the more i listened the more i was drawn into the form of presentations,this form of public speaking and control of a room and people in it.Madness!

The smaller class became easier to control and better learning ground for me and my fellow students, the previous chaos was now a buzz of a beehive working together.

Ros proceeded to, teach us personal mastery. how to check in and how that influence ans set the tone for the rest of the day by understanding the persons around us. What a great technique!

The check in helped understand that you can create a safe environment for the people around you to interact more learning new techniques like the dance floor and balcony…taking a step back and outside the group discussions to have this overview of the world i am currently in and how it all changes from the top.

hello Facilitations!

Day one

Day one

Hunting down the classroom, taking too many wrong turns and asking for directions that’s where i started my journey. Deep into the corridors i went and down dark staircases and finally into a room filled 140 students strong buzzing like a beehive eager to get to their days work, i had finally arrive!

Taking a seat Ros introduced herself and, a rather booming voice bellowing out from such a petite woman. I was impressed at how the class reacted fully to her. Holding herself high above such and abundant mass of people. Was this facilitation?

The class eventually settled and instructions give to move into groups, with a lot of discord this was done but not without many issues with vague instructions and many students clinging to people they new.

the class then was split up into two groups and this made the transition a little easier the students separated to each corner of the class room. Was this facilitation?

Hello me new group, 3 very different and interesting individuals sat before me from different walks of life and what a story was being unfolded that i couldnt help but keep a smile on my face even though there was a hustle about the room.

Welcome to Facilitation skills!

Week 1

I walked into the class 10 minutes late, I was told to take a book and write down the calendar. I took a book and looked for a place to sit. I found the sit and there was a box that was doing the rounds and we were told to take a piece of paper that had numbers printed on. I looked around and realized that the class was too big and I immediately did not like the size of the class.

I was actually happy to learn that the class was going to be divided into two sessions, the first session was going to start at 08h00 to 12h00 and the second session was going to start at 12h30 to 16h30. I opted for 12h30 because I am not a morning person. I later learnt that the number that I took is for the group that I will be allocated to. I am happy with my group and the topic allocated to us. In the beginning there was confusion in the class but eventually I got to see where we were going. I have enjoyed the class as well as the chaos that came with it.

Story Telling

I was hooked from the word go. I enjoyed every bit of the facilitation and technique used.

We all have a story to tell, and everyone’s story is different and unique. No two persons are the same. Two people looking out the same window pane, will see different world out there.

One poem, story of one man and how he overcome the darkness that consumed him. Every pain, has a lesson. How well you over come the pain and being able to see the victory out of pain.

The short readings gave a different perspective of what a facilitator does and is.  How a facilitator can act and be a catalyst in ones life.  The different people behind shaping future leaders, shaping the world.

 

communicating Via Social Media

This week, the first group will be presenting.  That’s the misconception I thought this was. Facilitation and presenting two different ball games.

As I watch the 1st toughest group give they all, was I glad we didn’t go first, at the same time the group taught us so much.  Trail and error.

This week I learnt to give and listen to constructive criticism. Difference between giving constructive criticism and criticism. This week also taught me about not only being in a safe place, but offering a safe place as well.

being able not to get caught in the dance, but being able to look from the balcony. The dance provided more Delta the should haves and not.  Being able to stand back and watch from the balcony, not only are you watching as a spectator but also being able to watch yourself as a spectator.

Understanding that the Plus or Delta feedback, has much to do about yourself then the next person.  Not forgetting the exercise to listen and speak less(or none), as you took turns to check in.

Checking in not only validated myself, but the next person. Allowing the person to take your down the garden route gave one  a different insight of who the person is.

This allowed the person to gave themselves to you, and learnt more about the next person. Bases for good relations were formed.

 

What is my Eureka Moment for 04 August 2018

Having watched the presentation team this morning, I have just learned that working together as a team does reward. I have also learned the importance of engaging audience.

Image result for photo that shows people working together as group

The group activity that I participated on, taught me a lot. I thought I know all cultures only to prove myself wrong. Today I have learned that there is a culture (Xhosa) which still believe in and performing rituals when a new baby is born in the family. Whether the child is a boy or girl, the little finger (pinky finger) gets cut off as a sign of welcome.

Image result for Picture of a hand with little finger cut off

This Facilitation course is now becoming more interesting by-day!!

Week 3: My Story …

Of course I was excited about this class after last weeks eye opener. As I sat down I I thought of the Balcony and the Dance from last week, I thought about stepping out and looking down at what is happening to get a new perspective… then I remembered to bring myself back to the room for Group 2’s facilitation session (I was often in trouble at school for day dreaming too) LOL!

Once again, I found myself reflecting and looking within after the session with Group 2, it was all about story telling, getting a message across,  who are the facilitators? What is the current state versus the desired state? I learnt about what the role of a facilitator is through stories (I was naughty and only read one of the stories, thankfully Dear Roslyn gave us time to read the rest of the stories and catch up).  After reading the stories we had to think about what is is that facilitators do and what is it that they should NOT be doing.

My biggest learning today was understanding how a story can help people remember things.  I was reminded again of allowing people to learn from each other, a facilitator is not an expert. I learnt to acknowledge everyone in the room, address the groups that are quiet by directing questions to them… A great facilitator get everyone in the room talking and learning.  They do not need everyone to remember everything, but rather take away a few things that will help them be even better at what they do.

And while I was enjoying getting to know my new friends in class, I just remembered that we have 2 more weeks to our group facilitation session … EEEEK!!!!

Until next week folks,

Nolan

Week 2 – My eyes have opened …

So week 2 was a REAL eye-opener, it was a face-crack moment, and I was pleasantly surprised 🙂 It was the first group who facilitated their session ( cant imagine how they felt, because I was nervous for them being Group 1) and after the session, the feedback from the class and Roslyn had me thinking about how I could be a better facilitator and how I could add value and create a learning environment as a facilitator.

My first learning was the difference between facilitating and presenting. Amazing, major eye opener… something so simple yet no one has ever explained it to me before ( I basically learnt to keep my trap shut more and allow others to speak more :-).  Facilitation is about drawing out rather than putting in, create an environment that gets people thinking and questioning and allowing silences to give them time to think and process the information.  Asking questions as opposed to giving answers. Giving and receiving feedback was something was able to understand better.

I sat in class reflecting on my own facilitation style, it was great! I knew I was learning already, I listened attentively to everything that was said and each time I reflected, it felt as if puzzle pieces were falling into place. I could see now how I could learn from this course, how I could become better at managing meetings, or training, or encouraging learning within my team at work.

I left feeling empowered and looking forward to the next lesson…. Till next week friends!

Nolan

Week 2 : From Managing Situation to Facilitating people

It was a great Saturday morning, very anxious to see how the first Group will facilitate. Got into class and the circle setup was prepared, and they begin with facilitating and the topic was Communicating via social media with an expectation of Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. They were so innovative and creative to come up with Pinterest. Introduction was amazing with pictures on the wall, great participation and it was Fun. They also manage to play with time and engage very well with the audience. I must say they did very well with limited time and pressure they had. Feedback from Roslyn was great an eye opener for groups that still need to facilitate, she provided guidance to assist most of the groups.

After group facilitation and feedback from Roslyn we touch on facilitation participation work book in exploring how to move from Managing the situation to facilitating People, to achieve intended outcomes: Check-in, setting expectations, Principles of engagement, Building environment, The stretch zone and The Balcony and the Dance.

  • With check-in it was interesting when Roslyn take us through and ask around the room who does check-in where they work, and there where students that shared their experience  It was great that we had to sit in a group of seven  and do check-in amongst ourselves, they where two way to conduct check in Round robin one person will start and then go around circle and popcorn style when you ready you can pop, it was great to reflect on our experience, purpose and why are we here, and I have found out that we have things that are common.
  • Setting expectation its important, I need to understand my purpose, check for understanding, communicate clearly, focus, deliver and achieve objectives. With principle of engagement it was so interesting that there are many ways to address these principles and it was simple principles like, late coming, cell phone being on silence and missing sessions. There is quote from Margaret Wheatley’s book, “A simple way”.
  • For me I must say stretching zone was the most powerful for me because u don’t realise until someone say it and will raise your eyebrows. I have been procrastinating to further my studies but I’m so glad cause comfort kills and now I’m stretching myself, it was interesting when Roslyn say sometimes in certain situation she will ask us to step onto the Balcony and observe, reach deeper understanding of the situation.

I must say this facilitation class draw attention and touch so much about personal life. I’m starting to enjoy the Journey!!

Week 1 – The beginning…

So it is day one, and a very interesting start indeed.  This was not quite what I had in mind… From signing up on a macbook that was travelling around the room, to moving around furniture and rearranging the classroom and then having to be placed in teams with strangers for group work (I’m sure you can tell how much fun this is going to be…).  I am quite an unstructured person who has learnt to become more structured through my job (that was not easy but of course if I needed my job and salary I was going to have to make a plan 🙂  But somehow this scared me a little, the strangers in my group, not knowing where this is going and what to expect.

Then we finally got a chance to meet the others in my group, and by now I felt settled and more relaxed, I had amazing people in my group, we clicked, and then i thought this was going to be all fine…. until we were combined with another LARGER group. Ok, so now I was worried ….  but the other group was friendly and welcoming and I was happy again. I left the class with an open mind, I know that learning comes from the most unexpected things and of course this is WITS, so this must be going somewhere.

I left with a slightly uneasy feeling, but knew that whatever happens, I will give this my best, and Roslyn clearly managed the very large class really well, I knew that I was going to learn alot from this lovely lady, and hopefully by the time I am done, I will be able to command a large audience like she does too 🙂

Until next week!

Nolan

Tell ’em

WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL, and our stories deserve to be told without fear of shame or embarrassment. It is exactly what it is: our story. I grew up believing that God can use our story for His glory. And I still believe that.

It is often through sharing our stories that we realise how similar we are, and through the sharing of stories that we find companionship.

What do you see as the most important attributes of an aspiring facilitator?

The ability to listen, to take a step back, to engage devoid of one’s own bias and to obtain a holistic overview of what is under discussion are in my mind the most important attributes of an aspiring facilitator.

What excites you about being a facilitator?

I am excited about the journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, and the prospects of impacting and imparting to others, thereby creating an enabling environment for change one session at a time.

What concerns you about facilitation?

I am concerned about the inherent tendency to want to defend a certain view as superior to that of others. Yet, views are meant to be challenged when necessary, unless they are rooted in principle issues.

Which values do you think are the most important to being an effective facilitator?

Respect, integrity, honesty (especially when necessary to acknowledge you don’t know the answer).

What behaviours do you think are most important for facilitation?

Caring, challenging, considerate, excitable, respectful, thoughtful.

What areas of your own growth will you work on during the programme?

Patience to accept that grouping people together bring with it different dynamics, an open mind to learn as much as I possibly can so that I can master myself.

What is your definition of success?

I have a somewhat philosophical view on success, which is informed by having suffered tremendous loss. I view success as the ability to play a good game with a bad set of cards.

How will you know that you are winning (measures of success)?

Despite my very philosophical view on success, I do believe that we each need to devise a bigger picture for our lives. That way we will know whether we are moving in the right direction. Sometimes life will deal us low blows that may cause some detours, but it is in finding our way back to our end goal that will ultimately cause us to succeed.

Confused – 21/7/18

It’s the first day of class and I’m filled with some trepidation as I’m uncertain how I’m going to learn to facilitate in a lecture. All I know is that this is a skill I need.

I get to the building and I struggle to find the venue, I am fortunate enough to come across a good Samaritan who points me in the right direction. I walk into class and am immediately given a book and a number. When the class eventually starts there’s a lot of explaining by the lecturer after which I’m still unsure how I’m going to learn to facilitate.

The class get bigger and bigger as more and more people walk in. We are then thrown into chaos as we are allocated groups and guess what – the class will be split into two and we have to choose a time slot.  There is constant chattering that adds to the chaos as people make their way to their groups and choose their time slots.

I finally find my group – I hate groups – I hate syndicate work! When I finally settle down and start chatting to these strangers I decide they’re not bad, quite cool actually. I can see myself working well with them.

Group one has the misfortune of facilitating their topic next week! I’m relieved I’m not one of them. I feel sorry for them. How will they facilitate when we haven’t been taught a single thing? I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything today any way!

 

Storytelling

4th August 2018,  I walk into the Facilitation Skills lecture with a taught in my head “what’s gonna happen today”. The excitement is real and the day begins.

The second group shares their topic and we get to provide feedback on how they facilitated their topic. Well there was a lot of talking and less engagement with the class however they did a pretty good job. When we were done giving feedback to them Roslyn asked if we had all read the stories she gave to us and if so we should then get into groups depending on the number of stories that you had read.

In these groups we began to discuss each story in detail and had to link it to facilitation and the skills/qualities it had. This was very interesting and the story I loved the most was the ‘Bended Backs”. As we continued to go through each story we realised that there were a lot of similarities and it all linked to facilitation. Interesting I kept saying to myself 😊

Once we were done discussing these in our little groups, Roslyn then allowed the class to share their findings and showed us how storytelling can be used in our own lives, as each an everyone of us had a story to share. Sometime learning comes from storytelling, which is quite amazing at how true this is. We tend to remember things better when a story is told rather than just reading an article or being told thins that might not even make any sense.

I loved how Roslyn emphasised that facilitators are not experts, they do not know everything and they are also dependent on their audience to learn a few things as well. Who would have thought that storytelling was so fascinating.

A few minutes thereafter, we were asked to get into groups of 4 and discuss the following topics: Birth, Marriage, Initiation and Death, this was another way of us learning about each other’s cultures where there were many differences and similarities. This to me was another form of STORYTELLING.

My name has changed to NICOLE *hehe* WEEK 3 Story telling

Joe the chicken Poor lil fatty ( he may make a great addition to the Nandos menu though 😉

Loved loved loved the way the story was told ( could you come read to me at night before sleepy time ? ) Hated the fact that I had to critique someones work, i mean i am no expert, who am i to judge? I reluctantly did my part and gave them a mark …we have to do this every week ?? Grrrrrr

I really dont want to “hurt” anyone’s feelings by grading them. This is another comfort zone that I am in.

Check in ( is that what its called ? ) Anyway my check in, first week i was so over it already, by now i am actually really enjoying this course, started as i just need the 18 credits to this is  awesome im going to learn something that will benefit me at work as well YAY!!!!

My favourite part of the lesson was getting into groups to discuss rituals, wow what an eye opener. Loved it 🙂

My low light of the day is the fact that I am still not comfortable and probably wont get used to the fact that the class isn’t structured that well.

I can take this into my everyday life by trying to get used to the fact that not every situation that I go into will make me comfortable.

The stories that we did were really interesting and showed how stories are a great way to get a message across without spelling it our to people. Its a subtle way of trying to get a point across.

Nicola over and out Oh wait I mean Nicole

Bright Eyed and Bushy tailed WEEK 2: Communicating via Social Media 28/07

Friday night at Wits, Yay !!!!!

The anxiety is kicking in now, we have to do our facilitation piece in the morning. AAAH Im not ready for this 🙁

Poor Irene has lost her voice and clearly feeling yukky so of course Nicola steps in and says she will do the introduction in her place. Uhm why did i do that to myself? I start to panic when the group agrees. Dammit Nicola you’re in a pickle now. I suck up all my courage and take this as a step outside of my comfort zone.  Fake it till you make they say.

Phew it was a success 🙂 Crazy story but i wasn’t even that nervous, I actually had fun * oohhhh changing my career plans now* Oh wait running away with myself abit there.

On a serious note I actually learnt a bit about myself in doing this exercise. I stepped outside of my comfort zone for one. I like to go into things with a clear plan and well to be honest even though we did planning and put effort and work in, it was really just me winging it. I mean 1 week , we had ONE week to prepare THE INSANITY!!!! *drama queen much* but we did it 🙂

I learnt that while receiving feedback not to try explain myself. This will definitely come in handy in my work life, just sit and listen to feedback given by my manager without trying to defend myself

Now to sit back and enjoy the ride 🙂

Pintresting Day

Another day of Facilitation Skills, boy I was excited to see what Roslyn had instore for us 😊

As I walked in I found the first group presenting or better yet facilitating their topic which was around Pintrest. This was a very interesting topic and very familiar as I use the app quite of often for all sort of things. When the team was done with their facilitation, Roslyn spoke about check-ins, which is something we hardly ever do in our lives, we tend to live each day without having to check-in on our families, friends or even our colleagues.

We were asked to get into groups and just check-in with each other, this was a very fruitful exercise and in some way we got to learn about each other as students. I loved this exercise as it relates to my workspace as well.

Oh by the way I also learnt quite a lot regarding facilitation especially in preparation for our team (my group) in the next week as we will be facilitating our topic. Roslyn gave feedback to the team that was facilitating, she stated that talking less and engaging more with your crowd is very important and that we should create an environment where the experience is the same for everyone.

My group and I took a few tips from this and hopefully it helps as we will be facilitating on the 11th of August 2018.

This lecture is becoming fun each week……I LOVE IT!!!!

This was indeed a Pintresting Day 🙂 🙂 🙂

I have to do what ? Ugh !!! Week 1: Introduction 21/07

Saturday morning sitting on my bed, cuppa tea in my hand wondering why on earth I chose this course, 18 credits Nicola you can do this.

What a sh@#t attitude to start a new class with, i thought to myself as i dragged myself to my car. I arrived on time but the class is running late Uffff last thing i feel like doing on a Saturday morning….so much chaos…so much interaction, i felt defeated already……and then it happened … i was in the first group to present , i mean facilitate

WHY???? Must be the negative energy i gave off…. 🙁

But wait the sun came out ( Not literally of course all though i did still feel like i was asleep) I got put in one bleep of a GREAT team. Very strong group dynamic, a lot of ideas flowing YAY!!!! there was a rainbow. The bad attitude and anxiety left out the back door. This could work 🙂

My reflection : Not to go into something with a negative attitude as I will make my life harder. I have used this in my working environment and every day life since then.

My Experience

21 July 2018 first session of Facilitation class, familiar and new faces in the class. First thing I asked myself was how is everything going to work with so many people in the room?

 

I sat down next to a familiar face and hoped for the best. As the facilitator talked in front, I could not hear much as there was a bit of noise. Shortly as I sat down the facilitator asked us to stand up and pick a number. What a commotion that caused. Everyone started placing chairs on the side of the class, some rushed for study material and others grabbed numbers and waited for the next instructions.

 

With all the noise and commotion, people got numbers and the facilitator began to explain the purpose of the numbers. She explained that we group ourselves according to the numbers we had and choose which lecture we would like to attend (08h00 lecture or the 12h30 lecture). There chaos started with people all over the class, others confused, some surprised and I was just wondering what is happening and whether the official lecture would start.

 

We finally got each other into groups according to the numbers and times of when we would attend lectures. I was pleased to be with familiar faces in my group but at the same time meet new people 😊. We proceeded to sit down and then got to be told about our themes and dates of when we would be having group facilitations. The facilitator then explained the purpose of the exercise and wrote dates on the chalkboard.

 

The facilitator then requested that as groups we should discuss out topics, the were adjustments made to the dates and groups which other students were not happy about however the facilitator explained why the changes were made and the lecture continued. I must say the topic we had was quite interesting and amazing as it was broad which means we could come up with different suggestions, themes and content. My group was pleased with the topic. The facilitator showed us a few examples on how we should facilitate our topics and gave a brief description on the difference between a presentation and facilitation. She then opened the floor for questions and comments before the lecture ended.

 

Some of the comments the students gave was not so pleasant however I appreciated how the facilitator responded as she in some way reminded us that we are doing this for ourselves and not anybody else, it is our duty and responsibility to take the Facilitation course seriously, attend lectures and participate.

 

The lecture ended, I left and headed back home. I honestly enjoyed my first day in the Facilitation Skills course, it was interesting and chaotic at the same time however the overall experience was great.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Today we are well underway fleshing through the course material. And what a journey it is: from checking in to checking out, to setting clear expectations for yourself as well as for the group you are about to facilitate, to the principles of engagement, to building safe environments, to the importance of mastering the art of detachment, to finding ourselves in the stretch, to to obtaining a birds eye view of the situation under discussion by moving from the dance floor to the balcony.

Relationships thrive when clear boundaries are set, thus informing the rules/principles of engagement. It is important to be upfront about those principles as they inform behaviour. ‘We train people how to treat us,’ Dr Phil used to assert. But while enforcing the principles of engagement, it is equally important to remain flexible.

Today’s session reaffirmed the importance of what I have been modelling my life on: we all need a safe place, and we need to help create those safe environments. However, as much as safe environments are important, so are detachment. This is probably the part that resonated with me most, and what a stretch it is. But it is good, because we grow when stretched.

Owen Harrison’s four principles and law of detachment cut deep as I sat their looking deep within myself.

The four principles

  1. Whoever comes are the right people
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time
  4. When it is over it is over

The one law (of two feet)

If at any time during your time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.

Rosslyn loves to remind us that feedback – though necessary – says as much about us as it does about the people to whom we give feedback.

We don’t things the way we are, we see things the way we are. I’ve also learned over the years that the attitude with which we listen determines what you hear. So it takes some doing to not become defensive and get our backs up.

Week one of facilitation class 21.07.2018

Day one of class
I went into class with anticipation and a bit of anxiety for the unknown. As I went in, I was told to take a book from the box and have a sit. Then was told to write down the calendar and later to introduce myself to the people sited next to me. The lecture introduced herself and explained about the course and purpose thereof. She went on to explain the task criteria which would be used to score our performance in the course. Immediately we were told to pick a number from the box and after a while we were told to push the desk and chairs against the wall. Because of the size of the class, we were then divided into two groups; that is the morning group 8:30 – 12:00 and the afternoon group 12:30 – 16:30. By this time my mind was all over the place, wondering what was going on.
We then formed groups from the numbers which we picked out from the paper bag. I think this was an innovative way of forming groups because it is random. I was happy to be in a group were I was unfamiliar with any of group members. After being allocated topics, we sat and shared ideas on our topic. I was completely lost and was not sure what was expected out of the task being given. I gave inputs while still lost and confused about the whole thing.
The day ended with my mind still puzzled because the setup and learning sphere was so different from the usual.

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Oh yes… this was a bad day for me… just being late for 3 minutes clocked me off for this facilitation group and was only allowed to be in class after their have presented. I have learnt once again to make sure that i am on speculated required time.

Although i could not participate  effectively on the debate regarding the story telling, i found it very interesting when the class was giving different reactions or comments toward the story telling that was presented by colleagues. Madam Solomon was asking how the group thought they could have presented the subject differently or better than the way they have presented.Fascinating , the facilitators of the day were proposing the way it should have been facilitated, this simply means you learn new things when you are on the dance floor and you can not just implement the new.

After given the scores and comments from the audience, the Lecturer emphasized on few points such as : * When you are facilitating kindly ensure that you look at all angles of the hall otherwise the audience on the other part of the hall may feel like you are not paying attention to their activities.                                    * Facilitator are not expert like lecturer, professor and teachers and ensure that every voice is heard during the facilitation and must show leadership.                                                                                                      * Facilitators must ensure that  they take their time and do not be in hurry just make sure you plan well your timing.                                                                                                                                                                        * Facilitators are :Enablers, strategists,flexible and bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answers.

We embraced another topic about the class story telling. Last week the lecturer asked us to prepare and read at least 5 or more stories that are in the book from pg 40 to pg 54. Some colleagues read and some did not read and this was used as a strategy to split the group into the categories of different groups according to the number of stories one has read. I found it very interesting because it was going according to the numbers of stories you had read. An opportunity was given to every one who did not read and every one was busy reading, once you done reading you join a group for discussion, about the  stories that you have read , but it was also so embarrassing to stand in the queue of those who did not ready all stories or even one or two. I hope from now on when instructions are given it will be carried out as expected as i  believe that no one wants to find himself or herself embarrassed just like last week.

It was a very good exercise as we realized that we can read the same story but with different minds and different interpretations. she has emphasized that in fact we can learn more from story telling and can associate it to real life and see how easy the message can be convoyed through telling stories better than just talking.

And the last exercise was linked to us grouping in 4 and giving each other a chance to speak about the 4 common things that are found during our cultures: Birth, Marriage,Initiation and Death.While talking to each other about these things ,we have realized that there are actually more things to talk about our cultures than the way we always anticipated that there is nothing to talk about.The stories were  very fascinating about each others’s culture but it was a learning curve to know much about each other’s culture.

 

Thank you.

Stories on Facilitation

12:30 Saturday 4, 2018

This day was filled with story telling.

The Group Presentation, which was extraordinary, was about story telling, I enjoyed their facilitation, which was mostly Role Play, everyone was involved and the framework for the subject matter was clearly defined, although the learning outcomes were not clear, still I learned about team effort.

I have observed that as the lessons progress, I find that we all, individually grow comfortable with each other and therefore we trust and respect each others intellectual integrity.

I have learned that Stories take us to magical places, they represent our own truth.

The lesson for the day, Stories on Facilitation; I learned, each facilitator has a role that is different to any other facilitator. How we tell stories can reveal who we are.

First day: 28/07/2018

Saturday 28 July 2018

10:30 Saturday

I had just attended the morning session of the class – having arrived late, for the first time in attendance nogal; Ros suggested I stay and join the afternoon session, “so there is an afternoon class, 1230 – 1630, I wondered to myself”. I must say I enjoyed what I experienced in the morning session, pity that I missed the group presentation.

I joined my temporary group, which was a lovely experience, I loved the energy, they were welcoming and fun!

12:30 Saturday

The class kicked off with the presentation, and it was about Communicating through Social Media/ Social Media Awareness.

Great presentation.

Note to the lecturer:

Ross, I got particularly interested when you mentioned the and made an example about the Reticulation Action System, which was true this occurs all the time, I thought how amazing the mind works.

Today`s class exceeded my expectations, learning about Principles and ways of Engagement was eye opening, even though I have attended a Facilitation course, it was not as extensive and engaging.

I have learnt that admitting that “I dont know” is also crucial.

Storytelling

Today is week 3 and as I navigate through this facilitation course the more I am impressed at the important underlying life skills which are being taught through this program. Today’s lesson was based on Storytelling as a facilitation tool. What an amazing way to encourage learning through Storytelling. There is a huge difference in being fed facts as part of a learning experience versus the very same facts being revealed in the form of a story. There’s something about storytelling that captures interest and lets you feels like you are being taken on a scenic journey of discovery.   It invokes emotion and carries resonance.

I read an article by Mary Alice Arthur a renowned story activist. She unpacks story telling as a learning practice by saying: “The human mind is organised around stories. We capture our experiences and make sense of the world through the stories that form our lens on reality. Since our knowledge is captured in story form, it makes sense to use stories as medium of learning.”  In today’s class exercise we had  number of different stories to analyse within our smaller groups. This was such a great way to encourage discussions within our groups and allowed each individual to present their view points. This was just a fun great way of learning.  It also prompted each of us to think of our own personal stories and how powerful they are. Our stories are the tapestry of who we are so in telling them we stand in our truth.

We completed a second exercise which encouraged each of us to tell a little of our story within our smaller groups. This was very enlightening as we learnt how different each of our stories were in some ways yet so very similar in other ways. Most important was the lesson that others can learn so much from our stories and we too have the ability to improve and change our stories.  I am totally sold on Mary’s thought that “we live in a story, which means we can change it. “

My story does not begin here, but it was given its voice today.

The Comfort Zone

Wow! Talk about being taken right out of your comfort zone. This was all too familiar in this weeks lesson. Today there were 3 things which stood out for me: check-in; the stretch zone and the balcony and the dance floor. To put things into perspective, I have learnt that the stretch zone is a place of optimal learning. In other words, when we find ourselves in our comfort zone  our performance levels are steady but there is no real learning that takes place. We continue to view things the same, we are not open to change and therefore do not grow in our personal mastery. Why? Probably because its easier to continue to do things as we have always done rather than to experience the discomfort and stress associated with learning a new way.Reality check! In order for one to grow we need to step out of that comfort zone and  experience “optimal anxiety.” This is the space where our stress levels are a little higher than usual but ideal for peak performance and maximized learning.

Today we had a group exercise of completing a check-in. The principle behind the check-in in the realm of facilitation is to get an idea of  everyone’s head-space and a great environment for productive and meaningful  conversations to be had. This could be done in one of two styles and can be brief or lengthy.  The check-in exercise we were given was to introduce ourselves to our group without interruptions for a total of 4 mins. (this was not a conversation). Needless to say there were no volunteers among us rushing at the opportunity to go first. So I decided to put on my brave suit and give it a go. Well lets just say that my introduction was all over the place. Talking about myself for all of 4 minutes seemed like forever and was not as easy as one would think. Being relevant, interesting and standing in my truth without boring the team to death  was quite the challenge but “I did it.” 

To round off today’s experience we learnt about the balcony and the dance floor. This had to have been the “aha moment” that tied the entire days experience together for me.  The teaching  behind this concept in a nutshell is that when you on the dance floor you are basically in that moment and your vision is restricted because you are so focused on the doing that you don’t have the time to reflect on the experience. If you take a moment to step out on the balcony  you have a broader view of the dance floor so your perspective changes. Your vision is not obscured and you get to  see the “bigger picture”.  When i stepped on the balcony my viewpoint changed, I suddenly felt a sense of pride. I saw myself breaking out of my comfort zone. In that moment I chose not to be the shy girl who is often intimidated to speak out in larger group settings. I did not overthink the process, instead I pushed through my fear and stepped out in boldness. A scary yet liberating experience.

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, is a term usually used to describe one who is “alertly eager; full of energy and enthusiasm”  So, to put it in context one would say: “Girl, get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.” Today I am the perfect picture of that phrase as I ready myself for my first lecture in Facilitation Skills.  I arrive to this lecture and immediately start thinking I must have missed something because to my surprise it appears that I am late. Not exactly the best first impression to be making. Nonetheless, I grab my notebook and head for a seat. More than a dozen of thoughts and emotions going through my head but the one that is most present is “anxiety”... I look up and suddenly feel overwhelmingly intimidated by the size of this class. I glance at my fellow students looking all smug like this is not their first rodeo.  They are so comfortable in their surroundings like they exactly where they meant to be.

Chaos ensues as our lecturer Roslyn Solomon splits us into smaller groups to discuss a group facilitation exercise which we are required to present to the rest of the class in the upcoming weeks. This was quite the ice breaker and allowed me to engage with my group and get to know some of my fellow students a little better. I soon realized that I actually hadn’t missed out on much except for the details of the course calendar and structure which was later relayed to me. Perhaps all was not doom and gloom after all. We were tasked to discuss our facilitation theme ” Freeing your Mind”…How fitting I thought to myself, and, it was in that very moment that I realized that in order for me to gain the best experience out of this program it was necessary for me to free my mind from any negative pre-conceived thoughts as this would only lead to self-sabotage.

So in closing my plus delta for today was that i didn’t like the chaos of being in such a large class and i those feelings of  intimidation and anxiousness about the road that lies ahead but what i loved, is that i was mentally able to free myself from that “noise” in my head and instead embrace this new journey. I still may not know every detail of what lies ahead but I am not alone in this journey and i still choose to remain “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed”.

Week 3 – Mandela Schmandela

Walking into my second instalment of the Facilitation Skills class I was greeted by the sound of a beating drum. I thought to myself, “well, this is a tad dramatic” until I got reason behind why this was so. The group doing their Facilitation was creating an ambiance for their topic – Storytelling. This was the first group facilitation I experienced.

They started off well, then lost me at Mandela. “Not another Mandela anecdote”, I thought.  The world at large is being force-fed Mandela’s legacy and I for one, am quite over it. My mind drifted, my WhatsApp got my attention, that was it, I was gone. The group did not make it hard for me to not focus as the beginning of their facilitation, a discussion amongst themselves, left me even more lost. I later caught on at the point where we split into smaller groups to engage on the topic. I then saw the purpose of the facilitation and realized it was not necessarily about Mandela.

I enjoyed the feedback session. It was interesting to hear the various thoughts and opinions that came from the class. And also with seeing how the group of facilitators handled themselves and controlled the facilitation.

 Overall, a great learning experience. I am starting to see direction in the chaos of this class.

-Wandile Mashiloane

 

 

Personal mastery week 2

Week 2 glad a came back for round two, the first group presented on social media and it was about Pinterest which I really enjoyed and I downloaded the app on my phone and I have to say its a cool app that I use for almost everything. As the first group they did a good job and I took something out of that. And Roslyn taught us a couple of things which I found to be profound. Check in was one them which I didn’t know much about but once I knew about it I loved it as its something I don’t do on a personal level with friends and family. Life gets crazy at times and I just shut everyone out, but once I heard about about check in that just changed my perspective and since then I’ve made it a point that I check in on my friends and siblings, but not only have I applied it in my personal space but I’ve practiced it at work with my colleagues and they found it to be a useful tool for the team we used the popcorn style. In class Roslyn asked us to get into groups and do the check in and tell the team about ourselves in 5min and what I found out was that its not easy to tell people about yourself in 5min as that 5min happens to be so long especially when you have run out word or things to say, and it was very interesting to hear about other peoples life’s experiences and how some of us could relate to each other and how much I could learn from them.

And we spoke about expectations that one has/had when we came to the facilitation course how I personally had a different expectation regarding the course and the importance of setting my own expectations on the outcomes of the course. I also enjoyed the principle of detachment which is something I need to work on.

Oooooh my favourite was the balcony and the dance, which was pretty awesome, it made me view things differently the fact that I can step back from a situation and view it from the balcony it was an ahaaaaa moment which I get use on a daily basis in my personal space and at work. I don’t regret returning for week 2 its been nothing more than fun and impartation of knowledge.

5 X short stories, one very long discussion

Is it in the content of the story, or the delivery of the story?
Week 3 was all about storytelling…

Truth versus fiction, mode versus content, either way, there’s nothing like a good story, ask any publisher, or facilitator.
The lessons I learnt from storytelling week was, how to keep an audience interested, captivated, intrigued and begging for more.

Facilitator tools and delivery modes are essential to a successful story, more especially if the story is told from different perspectives. Each narrator, each little nuance, a sprinkle of drama, makes an average story, so perfectly interesting.

Very Pinteresting…!!!

So I’m not a social media person. Probably one of a handful of earthlings that has no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, and certainly no interest or Pinterest. I must confess, this is purely by my own volition.

Naturally, a topic like communicating using social media was a huge challenge for me personally for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, I have no experiential knowledge of other forms of social media communication, save for email and whatsapp, yes, conventional, not contemporary.

Being the FIRST of  the smaller (am -GMT +2) groups, we had only 5 days to meet, prepare and present. Hardly sufficient time to even learn each others names. Creativity, spontaneity, and innovation were the key ingredients of successful group cohesion. I learnt all about Pinterest and my team mates, in less than 30 minutes.

After a successful launch of the facilitation project (communicating using social media) and the positive feedback coupled with a modicum of constructive criticism, I realized that we had pulled off something quite educational, fun, amazing and very special.

To all my team-2 members, I wish to thank you for the opportunity and the wonderful spirit in which you all participated. I certainly learnt far more than what I had initially anticipated. To all the other groups both am&pm, I wish you good luck in your endeavors.

Very Pinteresting indeed…!!!

As I reflect back on my first day

It was exactly 8:45am when I pulled into the parking thinking to myself that I still have another 15min to find my class. As I approached the building, seeing the security guide at the door, I asked for FNBGA room. Following the direction given to me, I walk down the stairs I approached the glass door I could see that the already class was very crowded, and had already started with the lesson, it gave me a shock of my life even nervous to go inside, heard the smooth voice by the facilitator as I open the door, telling me to please grab a book and a chair. The chair at the was right at the back of the room, and i struggled to hear Roslyn from there. I tried to catch information from my peer next to me, however she didn’t want to talk to me or to be disturbed. The next thing I hear where is something about bag with number. Meanwhile, we needed to move and pack the desk at the back of the room and get into our groups.

The noise level, and chaos all over the room was horrific, Sometime, one just has to adjust to certain changes in life. I was struggling to hear the instruction, and the noise kept going on and on, and hence Roslyn ended up saying that she could not take this anymore as we are a big group and would need to split into two groups (morning and afternoon groups). This still didn’t make any difference, as most of the students still preferred to attend class in the morning. I’m please to say that after all the chaos and noise, I met an awesome group of people, and we connect very well. We engage very with each other very well, and was a great to end the day.

04 August 2018 Facilitation Team 2 (Stories of facilitation)

I have now settled in my third week into the Facilitation skills class. Prior to the 3rd week class we received an email mail and SMS from Roslyn instructing us to read short stories from page 40 until page 54 to prepare us before hand.

Third week came and I headed to class starting at 08:00 A.m on my birthday. The setting was different to last weekends setting and this time the setting was a rectangular in three rows of chairs. Group two was ready to facilitate about story telling. The story we were told about was about a 🐔 that had gained weight and the name of the chicken was called Joe. We were taught about none fiction and fiction, fun facts such as 🐔 don’t have a vision at night hence they sleep very early. We had to give feedback to the team however there wasn’t much questions asked but few comments were given to the team two. Roslyn also gave feedback to the whole group and the the team that had facilitated. Once that was done we were then placed in groups according to which stories one had read, we had to discuss and investigate each stories in our groups.
Telfar had sent links during the course of the week and he had to give us guidance and process of blogging. He gave us heads up on the following
*The blogs should be interesting
*what was new you had learnt in class
*ideas we had picked up
*techniques we learnt
*what will we take back home and work place

Roslyn then told us a story about Angelina Adrien about a story of 4 common rituals we practice within our cultures
1. Birth
2. Marriage
3. Death
4. Initiation
And in our groups we had to discuss how does each one of practice the for rituals within our cultures which was interesting to learn about other cultures.

Thank you

28 July 2018 Team Facilitation (Social Media) **Pinterest**

My second facilitation skills class. We waited outside class for a good 10 minutes because it was still locked. As we walked into the class, the settings was different from first day of class. There were three big circles made by chairs in which we had to sit as three big groups.

We sat down and team one of the Facilitation groups were facilitating about social media. One of the team members have instructions to check if there were posters under any desk. One one person from my group found a poster of the leaning tower of Italy. There was discussion about social media and the main focus was Pinterest because it not that recognised like Facebook and Instagram. The group did well facilitating about social media. The audience was interacting with the team , the facilitation finished too early though. The group facilitating received positive feedback and comments. Notuch questions were asked because they covered everything. After they were done, we had to give feedback on a piece of paper to the team that had facilitated for that day. However also Roslyn gave feedback to the team.
After the facilitation was done we got back to our books. We read on the following topics
*Check in page 27
*Setting experience page 30
*Principles of engagement page 31
*Building a safe environment page 33
*The stretch zone page 34
We were then introduced to Telfar , the assistance of Roslyn who was to help us with the links to creating blogs.

What I learnt on that day about facilitation was the following
*You need to be clear
*inIntroducti should be made of questions
*Instructions must be clear
*Highlight understanding
*Watch out for time
*Don’t present
*Facilitate
*Engage with the audience
*Be fun

Thank you

Chaos turned into fun – Week 1

That what I thought on my first day at the Facilitation class. Imagine being in the lecture room and you are requested to shift all your chairs to the back and put
tables on top of the other. There I was standing and asking myself is this a playground or university , Mhhhh  ?

While contemplating if I’m in the right place or not we were told to introduce ourselves to fellow classmates just to get to know each other better. Few minutes later we were split up into groups of seven. Luckily my group happento be a bunch of funny and outspoken people so we clicked instantly. Boy did that break the ice or what. That moment I was busy laughing at my group’s silly jokes and our different characters, I even forgot about the chaos . It felt like high school all over again , the only thing missing were uniforms.

Few minutes later we were then asked to choose if we preferred morning or afternoon class. Even though I’m not much of a morning person I decided to be in it so that I still have half of the Saturdays to myself. Finally the facilitation began I learnt about the difference between presentation and facilitation. I got to understood the term in detail. How I can apply it in my everyday life be it at work or home. I was now eager to gain more knowledge about the subject . Needless to say it was an interesting and exciting first day and I was looking forward to the following Saturday to see what chaos and knowledge our facilitator has in mind.

Fam bye for now.

Communicating via social media, day two week two

So the class was so big such that we were split into two groups, morning and afternoon and so I chose the afternoon session.  I figured that will give me time to catch up sleep, run a bit of errands before class. I think I made the right choice not because I would not have to wake up but the afternoon class is smaller than the morning class and I tend to do better in smaller settings. One of the key things I took from the first class was that when you know what you want to achieve the rest is easy.

So I went into week two with and open mind and a clear objective. Week two was the first group’s turn to facilitate. In my mind I thought we were going to have a normal lecture class first then the group would present after, to my surprise when I entered the class the morning group making its way out, group two members were busy setting up. We were given pieces of paper where we would rate the group focusing on a number of key areas, like what facilitation tools were used, was the group knowledgeable on the topic, did they research, did they highlight key issues on the subject etc.

Now I am not a social media person, but from that group’s presentation I learned a lot about Pinterest especially because as much as I had an idea, my idea of it was a bit shallow and the group’s facilitation helped demystify Pinterest for me. When Ros gave feedback I learned something new about feedback and criticism. What I took out also was that less is more and its important when facilitate to create a solid framework for learning. Facilitation is less about teaching and the facilitator should create an environment where everyone get the same experience. I must add that for a group that only had a week to prepare they did well.

Facilitation Day 1

So I signed up for facilitation class because I saw the word Facilitation, then I thought great exactly what I need because part of my day job does have a bit of facilitating. I was not so chuffed by the fact that the class is only offered on Saturdays, but then what choice does one have so I signed up regardless of that one misgiving. The time table stated nine o clock as the start time, to my surprise when I rocked up around eight fifty the class was already in full swing. A lady whom I recognised from my IR class was giving a testimony of how she has grown as a human resources professional from taking the class, I thought oh well im not in HR but hey, let’s go. Five minutes a in a basket where one had to pick a number was making the rounds, If it wasn’t for the fact that we were taking stuff out of the basket and not putting money in I would have easily mistaken it for a Sunday service collection plate.

Ros laid out the rules, groups where formed and I happened to be grouped with six people I’ve never met in my life, amazing , I am always up for a challenge in this case the challenge being to make new friends. Ros mentioned something about her classes not being structured and a bit chaotic, I thought, perfect a woman after my own heart, say what I am going to have fun here. Much needed fun considering the workload form other courses, add work-work as in the job and the other job that is being a mom.

We were given topic number three, storytelling. A week in one member or the group dropped decided to deregister the course. Reality kicked in after first group’s facilitation presentation, if I can call it that. This course may look like its fun but there is a lot of work that goes into it. There is a lot of reading that one has to do, it’s not just about contributing in a group it’s a lot more than that.

Facilitation Introduction -Week 1

Its the turning of the first page that really grabbed my attention……how profound – “What if what unites us is more than we realise ……and what divides us is less than we fear”. My start to the facilitation course was filled with anxiety as I was going into the unknown….. and how unknown it was lol. No tables, chairs in a circle…. this is chaos I proclaimed to myself and to top it all off … we are probably gonna have to talk about feelings…

I had to remind myself of what my intention was for attending this course. This is it for me I thought….. I want to connect with people and use the opportunity of learning from other peoples experiences, share their thoughts …. suddenly I felt a certain level of anxiety because as much as I want to learn from other people… I am sure other people would want to hear my story too…… OMG I thought…”Am I ready to be vulnerable” . I quickly reminded myself that if I was to get the most out of this experience I will need to embrace the opportunity and give unconditionally .

Occasionally one comes across an idea or theory that changes one’s heart and mind…towards the end of the session, this is how I felt. It was clear for me that towards the end of this course I am due to experience a paradigm shift. We all have a worldview and sometimes pay so much attention to the doors that are closing behind us that we fail to see and experience the ones that are opening. What an Aha moment for me as I reflected on the day. I soon realised that my view of the world will determine my intent and consequently my attention ……. and that will manifest itself in all my relationships. “The power in everything we do lies in how authentic and believable we are ……… ” I said this out aloud to remind myself

Looking forward to this journey,

 

Aluta Continua………my journey has just begun!

 

All the best Peeps

 

 

Zubayer

 

 

Week 3 – Storytelling

Today was the day for my group’s turn to facilitator of storytelling. Of course not everything went exactly as we thought it would but overall I think we did pretty well. What I learned from the facilitator this morning from the feedback she gave us was that the facilitator does not always have to answer the questions they’re asked. Instead, they can pose the very same questions to the class to try and get their opinion or knowledge about what’s asked.
I also learned that facilitators , unlike teachers and lecturers, are not experts. They bring about change that’s not forceful, they have management skills and lead by example and present to their audience that there is no right or wrong.

Towards the end of class I got into a small group with 3 ladies and learned about their traditional rituals concerning birth, marriage, initiation and death. I explained how my traditional rituals go about and so did they and I found it quite interesting how people from different cultural backgrounds do their traditions. Although we do our rituals differently, the meaning and values behind them are the same.

Week 2

The class started with group 2 facilitating their task. It was interesting and there was a lot of engagement. In my opinion I thought they did quite brilliant. We got into the lecture with our facilitator explaining the concepts of checking in, setting expectations, principles of engagement, building a safe environment, stretch zone and and the balcony dance.
What I’ve learned from today’s class was that by checking in I can take in constructive critic and learn from it.

It is crucial to set expectations so that I will be able to measure them against my results or it will motivate me to reach my expectations. By setting expectations it will allow myself and others to know what to expect. I also learned that I will not get much by staying in my comfort zone. I should always try to get out of my comfort zone so that I’ll be able to reach or go beyond my full potential. Sometimes removing myself from a situation is best, it often gives me a different perspective than the one I would have being in a particular situation.
What I expect to gain from this course is the ability to be more vocal and social with others. To not be overpowered by my fears but rather I overcome them.

Week 1 – First class.

I arrived in class at 8:30 am, received a textbook and got seated. The facilitator welcomed the class and explained what this course was about. I received a schedule for how this semester will go about. At some point a bag full of numbers was going around and I dogged for a number and the class was told to rearrange the tables. I was so confused, it was chaotic.

I then got into a group of 6 individuals who are all quiet lovely, different beings who seem to share common ground so I assume we will all get along well. The class sat in a large circle with a small one being in the middle to demonstrate how we should handle our tasks. My group and I formed a circle of our own discussing our assignment and reached an agreement. The lecture was concluded with a better understanding of the course and our assigned tasks .

My first day at facilitation skills lecture class, 21st July 2018 at Wits Plus.

My name is Wisani Hlangwane I have enrolled at Wits Plus 2018 second semester doing Facilitation skills every Saturday at 08:00 & Basic research skills every Tuesday at 17:30 until 20:00. I in 2019 I will be majoring in Psychology and HR in Management.

My very first day at facilitation skills class as I arrived at 08:30 A.m I was welcomed by Roslyn Solomon and advising that I should take my facilitation book and jot down the calendar dates for the rest of the year. Roslyn then introduced herself and her background. She too introduced the facilitation skills background , such as what facilitation vs presentation . There was a bag going around the class which had numbers and we had to choose and I got the number six. We then had to move the tables and desks to the back in order to group ourselves into the teams numbers that we chose. We then got into groups however it took time because it was very confusing and all over the show. However we go into the groups and we had to get to know each other with in our groups. We then had to discuss the topics given to us. We discussed the topic however we had to break down the topic because it was too broad. We managed to get a focal topic from the original topic we were given. There was another confusion caused because the calendar dates kept changing over and over but eventually it was sorted.

We were also informed about the 9 blogs that we would do each weekend after class. The class a huge number of students attending first day and some where absent , due to the large group we had to be divided into town groups the 8:00 session and 12:30 session. First day was overwhelmingly to be honest however Roslyn got me to be comfortable and looking forward to the second session due to the live demonstration each group would be participating.

The beginning of my Facilitation journey

Saturday, 21 July. The day I was introduced to Facilitation Skills, a module chosen for me by my HR Director.

I walked into what seemed like a basic class. Much like what has become accustomed to. I was greeted by the passionate Rosslyn Solomon, who literally smiled throughout her entire opening speech. Her upbeat spirit was so welcoming, I felt at ease right away. You could tell she’s passionate about what she does.

Moments later, we went from a classroom setting to a pushing tables and chairs out of the way. I was obviously startled by this as I was expecting a lecture. My confusion sparked an interest, a curiosity. Now I really wanted to know what class was about because for a moment I thought I had enrolled for an improvisation class.

I quite enjoyed the unorthodox method of learning. I am eager to see what more it has to offer. The next few months in this class ought to be very interesting…

-Wandile Mashiloane

 

 

Week 1

I missed week 1’s Saturday morning class due to the fact that I was not informed timeously about the addition of the afternoon Saturday class 🙁

As I am a ‘person of completion’ and one whom likes doing tasks in somewhat of a systematic order and fashioned way (from the onset),  I felt somewhat disappointed, let down and a bit heartbroken, as that meant that I would have had to wait yet another year to take up this course again.

Alas! after I had my little moan about the situation, I decided to turn the situation around and take out positive aspects. So I thought but more so fathomed that…

  1. People make mistakes! Whether it is intentional or not, thats entirely THEIR decision and out of my control.
  2. I am however in control of  – who I am, what I am, where I am and what I want to achieve by doing this course and/or anything in my life and for my life
  3. I had another opportunity to re-enrol again (after already de-registering) and for this I was thankful! So I took the bull by the horns and…HERE I AM!

Group 3 Story Telling

On this day, Third Group was facilitating on ” Story Telling “. It was exciting to watch other people facilitating as our group was done. The group was well prepared, even though I was a bit worried when they started talking to themselves not engaging the audience. But thank God they turned to audience later. I liked the way they handled their topic and the different kinds of facilitation tools were used. I was not aware that story telling can be another way of facilitation. We have learnt different kinds of facilitation which was amazing. Like someone narrating his or her life story. I have also learnt that in order to understand a story you have to read it several times for more understanding. In whatever one do be honest, there is no need to lie about any situation. I enjoyed the chocolates and I had fun

Group 2 Facilitation

This was our day as Group 2. Our topic ” Communication via social media “. Four of us in a group were all panicking and nervous, as we all have never facilitated before. I was laughing,  one lady thought I was the facilitator as it was her first day, and that gave me courage. We were all excited once finished facilitating as we were receiving positive feedbacks. We also received encouraging feedbacks where went wrong or what should have happened. I have learnt a lot, teamwork, accepting criticism in a positive way not personal. The facilitation gave some kind of confidence to stand in front of the audience which I will use more in future. I also have learnt to engage more as a group in whatever we do together. My confidence has grown a bit since this facilitation. I have learnt how to check in and out for the first, you listen without questions. Next time I will not read from paper when facilitating but I will prepare myself more. I am loving this course more every day

How did I get here?

A REFRESHING START to the morning with the lecturer welcoming us at the entrance to the FNB building at Wits University to ensure we were pointed in the right direction.

Settling down in class, familiarising myself with the calendar and outline of the course, while also introducing myself to my neighbours (a student on my left and one behind me). The student behind me has registered for the same major I intend to choose, and I might just have been instrumental in persuading her to rather start with her major in the beginning of the new year instead of midway. While the current module is not dependent on a prerequisite, the lecturer often refers to work covered in the previous semester, which leaves a newcomer somewhat displaced.

An immediate AHA for me was the fact that our lecturer belongs to be the National Mentorship Movement, for which we were encouraged to sign up.

I had to guard against feeling a sense of let-down when we were told she refuses to babysit us, to be disappointed by us, as the success of the course depends on what we put in. I battled to link the two images: ‘I am a mentor’ vs ‘you are on your own’. I guess what she meant is that we are adults and that we need to take responsibility for our actions.

The rest of the morning, though somewhat chaotic, turned out okay, and I do believe we are well on our way to what promises to be an exciting journey of 14 weeks.

What will victory be for you?

To pass the course with distinction, but also to sharpen – as Stephen Covey said – the axe.

What excites you about this programme?

The fact that our lecturer is knowledgeable about the subject matter and that our team seem to be hungry to grow into becoming (better) facilitators.

What frightens you about the programme?

I am not so much frightened by the programme as I am about the busy-ness of life that could get in the way. Also traveling in an out of Pretoria to Braamfontein for class is also daunting.

What questions do you still need to answer?

What makes a great facilitator? I do realise – as Myles Munroe had said – that knowledge is what you know, and what you know is not all there is to know. I look forward to learn more about reading people and scenarios and to bring out the best in myself as I work towards – not only learning about facilitating, but also about coaching others.

1st day 21 July.

Wow, Speechless, shocked, confused and frustrated.  What am I possibly doing here?
Am told that this class is none like other, my mind couldn’t comprehend.  Trying to find the balance and seeing where I could possibly belong.
Being broken down into groups was some sort of relief, the smaller groupings are easier to interact, but I’m still confused what the class is all about.
Presentation and facilitation are not one and the same, as a small Fishbowl exercise was conducted. Trying to take as much pointers as possible and deciding on a topic our group will be presenting, one waits to see what more the class has to bring.

Meeting the group was exciting, specially discovering that its all woman, we had common ground. Some light.

Meeting up to chose a topic, now that was interesting.  We have weeks to go before the presentation. Pressure.

Nervous, will we have enough time to prepare, will we know what to do?.

Delta, the numbers and confusion, Plus having the option to chose which class to attend. Morning or noon.

Ntombi

 

Week 2 – Blog 2: “Communicating via Social Media”

Week 2 – Blog 2: “Communicating via Social Media”

Hey today I am on time and rushing to get to class, got at the door found the first group busy preparing for the first facilitation class. I was wondering how is it different from traditional presentation and  could not wait to step into class and see how it looks like.Waited for instructions from the facilitating group, finally we are all allowed to step into class.  Yooh this is the first facilitation practical class for this course, was very curious to observe what is it all about. We were asked to choose any place where you find comfortable and grab a chair ,sat and paid attention to the facilitators.

The first ever facilitating group topic was communication via social media. Amazing out of all these well known social media such as tweeter,whats-app, Facebook, Instagram etc… These facilitators were brilliants and chose Pinterest as the type of social media. I have heard about pinterest but never border to find out what was it all about, is only after this informative class that i have to go and search for it on the web and read about this social media and even subscribe on it. This was so informative and i have learnt that we can even list our activities and talent on this social media and get known around the globe and grab some new contacts, rather than the one we always have from the obvious social media (tweeter,whats-app, Facebook, Instagram etc…).

During facilitation I found it very informative as well hence we could identify where some common food, fashion and point of interest well known for different cultures around the globe. For example fashion place is associated with Italy, food and wine France, African fashion found in South Africa  and so forth. The exercise was very interactive and some critical thinking as well as a learning curve for some of the stuff that i did not know,then we had scored the team of facilitators and have a tea break for few minutes.

Now was the time for observations, comments and question for better understanding,very interesting stuff  were kept in my mind eg the below  four principles of detachment  by Owen Harrison (1991) Riding a tiger.

  1. whoever comes are the right people: This means threat everyone who shows up for a presentation, event or facilitation with great honor and respect .Give them all the best of the day and do not  hope for the VIP who did not show up at the event that you have called for.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have: do not wish for some thing that did not happens.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time: be flexible and relax and do what you can at your best at that pointing time.
  4. When it is over ,it is over: this is the one that i liked so much it gave me confidence of the previous decisions have taken in the past and buried them and carry on with life and not feeling guilty.             * One law keeps clearly in view…everyone has two feet and is responsible for their use.there is a time to talk or a time to walk.                                                                                                                        These principles and one law  have changed my life and my ways of doing things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The other important thing that i learnt was the stretch zone with few points that was mentioned during her facilitation such as:                                                                                                                              a) In a comfort zone there is no Learning: this was really talking to me straight forward as i always wanted to ensure that i a m in my comfort zone and not realizing that i learnt nothing from that comfort zone. This had changed my way of seeing things, Comfort Kills !!                                               b) In a stretch zone we learn and be creative.                                                                                                 c) In a stress zone brain is stressing and not a good place to find yourself in.                                       d) In a Panic Zone your brain froze and you can not do any rational thing and this is a very bad space for anyone to find himself/ herself in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was a very interesting learning curves and with the balcony and the dance whereby when you stand at the balcony you see properly than when you are on the dancing floor. A good lesson was learnt , that  when you are on the dance floor there are things that you can not see properly until you go to the balcony. So in life sometimes be on the dance floor and other time be on the balcony to make a good critical perspectives.                                                                                                            Few announcements were made and class was dismissed. Wow i had learnt a lot.

 

Thank you !

#Story telling# week 3

Now this morning was well spent, I was on time to ensure that I don’t miss the group facilitation session that was being facilitated by group 2 which I enjoyed since I learned that the food we consume on a daily basis is not really healthy some are genetically modified and can lead to cancer and other diseases.  Their facilitation session prepared us for what Roslyn was going to teach about. We were given homework of reading five stories but Eish I only read 4.  Roslyn put us in different groups to complete the task of the day based on story telling, Its amazing that while I was reading the stories I analysed them in certain way however when I was in my group and we were doing the stories as a team the different views that just emerged from us as individuals made us to view story telling in a different way. I learned about story telling and facts, difference in management and leadership skills.

The stories we read were all interesting but I enjoyed The Bent Backs of Chang Dong, it was a good story that gave me so much understanding to facilitation, the story unpacked the role of a facilitator to me. The last task for the day was about rituals that are performed in various cultures around the birth of a child, Marriage, Death and Initiation and I got into a group and they shared their rituals that are performed in their cultures which was very intriguing  and informative at the same time. I’m really enjoying this course it very interesting and interacting with new people every Saturday is fun.

First day

My first day in facilitation class was chaotic firstly I was irritated that I had to be up so early on a Saturday and then when I arrived in class it was so quiet for the first couple of minutes. OMG then came the part where we had to move the table and chairs to the back of the class and go into our groups. it all felt so crazy and frustrating as I had a different expectation in mind. I was never prepared for this class and at the madness it offered me on the first day. the class was full of students, I’ve never seen such a full lecture room. got into my group and we each got an opportunity to introduce ourselves and I really enjoyed it as I got to know my classmates and Roslyn taught us the difference between presentation and facilitation which I found very interesting. After all the chaos on the first day I contemplated not returning to class due to the first day experience, but then I just said to myself let me go again it might be different.

Week 1- Blog 1: “Introduction “First day  at facilitation skills class”.

Week 1- Blog 1: “Introduction “First day  at facilitation skills class”.

Was like a first day in grade one at a public school. Fortunately the lecturer, Madam Solomon was outside looking for lost students and we were two looking forward to discover what will this facilitation skills will look like. Madam Solomon was handing out the books and giving us verbal directions to where the class was. Because we had expectations and went to the wrong class ,kept looking for the correct class  thank God someone showed us the class.

Ouhf !!! I wondered how is this class all about so many students  enrolled for this class , this must be very interesting. After few minutes, there is madam Solomon stepping in class greeted us and just gave us a laptop and said : “everyone must write his/her details on the excel spread sheet”, yet no one knew what the course was all about. Then new instructions was given:”kindly introduce yourself to the four people around you and pick up a number in a box” I picked no 11 , then wait for the next instruction from the lecturer. Boom !! New instruction:” every one must remove his/her desk and find out who else has the same number as his/hers then a bit of chaos in class … there were few screams in class, who has no X? number y? number b…number 11? after a moment  there are few strangers around me who happen to be my partners for the next long period that the course will take for this semester.

New instruction had landed, introduce yourself to your team members and look at the chalk board where you identify your number and the topic that you must prepare for presentation on the date shown. Yooooh thank God ,we are going to present in September  but our topic is so complex :”Building shared understanding”. Wow … things started lighting up, she stood and introduce herself and gave us the outline and what the course entails now that we started feeling comfortable. The class was too big with many students, she had decided to divide the class into two sessions, the morning and the afternoon and i found myself in a morning session and  i am glad to be in with the strong members of our facilitating group and immediately we put strategies in place to kick the preparations for facilitating in September.

I had learnt that facilitation is different with presentation after she explained, all the differences between the two concepts and that this is the only time i have realized that i am in a correct class for my political future orientation.This facilitation skills is really required for the course that i am going to major in Politics and International Relations. This was my best experience of that day, since i understood the importance of this course i am looking forward every week , not  to miss class as it is inspiring especially when others are presenting.

Thank You.

Story telling

The second group did their presentation today, which was on Story telling. What stood out was when they asked us to close our eyes and pay attention to the introduction of the story. It enabled listening without any distraction, and it made grasping the content much better. There were lively, and engaged well with the audience, using their chicken pictures, and answering questions.However, i did not like the use of the talking stick as it held back people’s engagement. Overall, they presented well. People can relate to stories better than facts. We then went into groups, to discuss the readings that we were asked to read during the week, it encouraged participation from the group members as we tried to dissect the stories according to who was the facilitator and what qualities they carried. we also discussed rituals in groups, and we found that we may be different but, there are common rituals in all cultures, these are death, birth, initiation and marriage. They may be observed differently, but they are practiced. It was interesting to listen, and learn other people’s way of doing things.

Group 1 presentation

I arrived to a well arranged class, in 3 big groups, in preparation for group 1’s presentation. Their topic was on Communicating via Social Media and they chose their platform to be Pinterest. The facilitation was well done, considering they were the very first group to present, with no template to follow. They engaged the class well, and they had good visuals which made understanding easier. We also did other exercises on the day, like Check-In : this was interesting, although l had to talk about myself, it dispelled preconceptions that as humans, we mostly have perceptions about other people, before we have even spoken to them. It was good to know other people, beyond face value. We also did the Balcony and the dance, this exercise taught us to learn to take a take back, in some situations and look at it form a distant. This detachment enables people to be objective about the situation, than being subjective. We looked at Rules of engagement – these ought to be set by your audience, so that you see thing from the same perspective.

My first Facilitation Skills Class 21/07/2018

I arrived well on time for the class. The facilitator Rose was giving us course books as we came in and asked us to copy the Calender which was on the board, so that we have an outline of the course, for the next 14 weeks, which is the entire semester. After that it was time for introductions of ourselves to the people sitting next to us. We were then divided into groups of 7 or 8, and given a group topic we will work on, as a group and facilitate its presentation in class. We were also split into 2 groups, for attendance’s sake, because we are such a huge group. l belong to morning class which comes in, at 08h00, on Saturdays. I met my group members on this day as well, we tried to brainstorm the topic and allocated a portion to each of us. Overall, the day was well spent, it was overwhelming in terms of the the number of students,but, i got to learn that the class would mostly be a facilitated one, they won’t be lecturing, active participation is encouraged.

My First Facilitation Skills Class

Today was my first Facilitation Skills class! When I arrived in class at 8:20, I grabbed a book and took the first seat I saw. While waiting for the rest of the class to arrive, I started reading through the workbook and was excited about the content of the course.

After everyone arrived in class (some a little later than others due to some confusion with the timetable) Roslyn introduced herself and told us a bit more detail on what to expect from the course. I was surprised to hear that the class is going to be very interactive and even sometimes requires working in groups.

Roslyn asked that we introduce ourselves to those around us. I met Nomonde and we got so Carrie away talking that we did not even introduce ourselves to others in the class.

After the introductions, Roslyn gave us each a number and we were split into 8 groups. We were given a topic and were told to discuss it and prepare to facilitate a class. My teammates and I were all very nervous and got straight into discussing various options for our facilitation.

Roslyn asked us what we want to achieve by the end of this class and I thought to myself, a little more confidence when doing public speaking and being more outspoken would be great. I am a very quiet, introverted person and could do with a confidence boost. I am excited about the fact that this course encourages group work and is not the same as other courses offered at Wits. At the same time, the fact that we will need to facilitate a class frightens me very much! I still have a few questions regarding the exact details of my team’s facilitation but we agreed to meet after class and discuss the finer details.