The class did not start well for me, I was late and missed the first part of the group facilitation. I won’t be late again. I finally got into and enjoyed the facilitation, it was very interesting, especially with Dr Nelson Mandela being the central figure of the story. What i quickly learned is that we learn and interpret different things from the same experience. This is what makes life worth living as we learn from each other and a reminder that every one’s story/contribution is worth an audience. What was interesting we read was how everyone interpreted them differently, especially in identifying Facilitators in these stories. I was impressed however that we were able to identify the methods utilized by different Facilitators to create change, such as Kiwi in the “Rafting” story, when he allowed his learners to experience the river for themselves and showed that competition is always not necessary. Also equally important is lessons about what not to do when facilitating, such as Gernia in “The African Dress” when she made assumptions about Mrs Mbeki which turned out to be untrue. The important lesson here is that Facilitation and Storytelling should be about learning and not imposition of one’s views or perpetuating stereotypes.
This week I learned the importance of Checking In as this allows everyone to participate and feel that their voice is important. A definite method I will be adopting at my workplace to improve relations and team spirit. I like the popcorn style of checking in as people speak when comfortable unlike the round robin where everyone has to say something, in this instance, genuine feelings or experiences might be withheld. I also learned that it is important when listening to someone to actually listen with intent, show respect and suspend own judgement or prejudices. This helps to create a safe environment for people and promotes connections.
I am currently in 3rd year studies pursuing to be a Psychologist and this is what brought me to Wits to realise this dream. I love helping people and want to help change people’s lives and the social discourse in our country which is plagued with a painful past. The skills learned in this week are vital for my new career/professional choice as the importance of respecting everyone and their story without judgement were highlighted. I hope I continue to learning more skills and building my character.
The learning continues…