Gratitude

I learnt to adopt the principle of gratitude in high school; by journaling every night what I am grateful of. It was difficult at first, because I did not see the small things in my life such as being able to walk and see or having friends as something to be grateful for; for me those were a must have.  As I started to grow and develop; meet challenges such as losing family members and my constant illness. That was then I realised that that nothing should be taken for granted. I then began to not only acknowledge the what I considered the big things like having the ability to eat whatever I choose or fell like; I also developed gratitude for the small thing; such as my health.  Appreciating others as well is good. I then though of creating an initiative for my team at work; Monday Appreciation; where each member before our meeting will say what they appreciate about the team; to boos morale and assure everyone about their importance in the team.

I now know that in my adult life it is a good habit to keep on doing; as it will help keep me positive and help alleviate depression.

I walked away with these lesson from our last lesson. That as a facilitator you must have clear intentions. Know who you are facilitation to; that will help create a safe environment; that will make it easier to participate in the talks being facilitated. The conscious café. It was a good class.

Pain

The previous week we were asked to bring candles, I was curious to see what they had prepared.  The presentation was about learning to deal with pain. Pain is inevitable; we cannot hide from it and it leaves us with scars.  The lesson was it is okay to go through pain, to feel it, but to never get stuck on it. Pain does not mean the end of the world; looking at people like Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey. They did not let the pain they experienced define their future. I know that is it as phase we all go through; and it will pass. Sometimes pain is a form of a better change.

Forming a functional group can be very daunting. Having to deal and coordinate different personalities to execute whatever task is needed. A group functions when they share the same values and rules; that makes the team to be on the same page and understanding.

It is ironic that the team that presented had conflict internally; which they did not solve prior their presentation. The lesson I learnt from that was it is better to discuss as a team when there are disagreements. Rather than leaving it till the last minute. I feel that Rosslyn as our facilitator should have guided us on how to handle such a situation better; because we will not know what to do if we face a similar situation.

Time management

This week the topic was Time management. I found the facilitation very informative, as I am not very good with managing my time…procrastination gets the better of me. I tend to think I have time; until I realize I have 2 days before the due date.  Then that causes panic and mediocre submission; both work and academic.

I was a bit hesitant when Rosslyn said we must circulate our essays and blogs around the class; because I was under the impression that she was going to look at them and give comments. Although the exercise made me nervous; because I did want to critique other people’s reflective thoughts.  However, the exercise came in handy; as I was able to get some ideas on how to structure my essay and they served as a reminder on some of the lessons or activities we did in class and I had forgotten.

The lesson I got from that was to not be afraid of the unknown as there are lessons to be learnt. Also, that learning and getting criticism from my peers is never all bad.

New set of eyes

We were asked to bring old pairs of shoes. I was very excited to see what they would do with all the pairs of shoes. Also hoping that we would not have to exchange them or wear them. We had to pick a random pair from the basket and wear the shoes; I, like many people in the room did not wear the shoes; mostly because of hygienic concerns.

The group had a presentation about “Being in someone else’s shoes”; they based it on telling experiences homeless people. They shared the different circumstance that lead people in such situations. That made me reflect on how I react whenever I see whether a child or an older person begging; my first thought is always “Why don’t they go back home”. I do that unconsciously without thinking of all the possible circumstance that would lead to such.  The presentation went well; they were well prepared and answered all the questions asked concerning the topic.

We then did groups discussions answering questions. In our group chats; I learnt that we are more similar than we think. Without going into detail; we similar backgrounds; with that then shapes us differently as we grow.  The lesson was being aware of any biases we have; whether conscious or unconscious. Never judge without understanding and asking.

Honoring Differences

This week’s presentation took a different direction; they focused on the different cultures and languages in South Africa.  They were well prepared; their presentation flowed and captured us all the way through.

We had to fill in a learning style quiz. We had to be divided into different groups; such as Left or Right brains.  This was good as it gave us different perspective on our classmates. It gave us a different view of them.

Learning about the different facilitation qualities; Show up, Be open to outcome, Pay attention and Tell the truth. These qualities help us as facilitators to be centered, finding your strength; because once that is honed you are then able to deliver at your best.

What I leant is that I need to show up always. How you enter or facilitate; depends on how you are received in a room.  It is important to find your centre and deliver.

Stories

Today’s group’s facilitation topic is ‘Storytelling’.  The class started; they did not put us in groups; so there would be no group discussion early in the morning; which was a big plus for me. They did a presentation about the hormone they put in chickens. It was very insightful and very relevant. They were very prepared; which is always a good thing. From the feedback they received I found it very useful in that it is very easy to do a presentation; instead of facilitating a discussion. Also, as a facilitator you need to be in charge and not let the group control you by asking questions. Also knowing that as a facilitator you are not an expert and it is okay to not be able to answer all the questions.

Having read the stories and understanding the roles of the facilitators; I learnt that a good facilitator lets the group make its own decisions.

Communicating via Social media-

 

It is the day of the presentation, 28th July. I have a cold which left me with no voice. I had a group of champions; they made sure I still felt as part of the group even though I could not speak.  Our chosen focus was to bring awareness on Pintrest. We used pictures to illustrate and the team members asked questions which allowed the class to engage. Our facilitation went well, as the feedback we received was good from the class.

In terms of presenting the topic, our group did not have major problems that through us off completely.  All in all, the presentation went well.

After we got into different groups from the ones we formed for presentations. We had to do a “Check- In” in our groups; the exercise helps to check the group’s atmosphere; in which we had to each introduce ourselves; it was difficult to do because we wanted to ask more questions as people were doing the introductions but had to remember that a ‘Check-In’ is not a conversation. It helps everyone have a chance; not only the loud ones to be heard. We then did a tool that would be useful for a meeting; to help solve in terms of conflict- The Balcony Dance. This helped me realize that sometimes you must remove yourself from the situation in order to asses it from all perspectives (Balcony view); instead of one (the dance floor).

A good team makes a big difference in what you achieve and that is achieved when everyone in the team has a fair chance to participate.

 

Week 1

Walking into the facilitation class I was filled with so much excitement; because when I walked in Rosslyn was busy writing our timetable on the board; so that gave an impression that the class would be formal and very organized. That was short-lived a few minutes later the class grew in numbers and Rosslyn began looking overwhelmed.  The class was difficult to control, Rosslyn giving many tasks at the same time; such as to move tables and chairs to the side of the class and type our details on her computer; which then the battery died so people could no longer type in their details. It was difficult to be put into groups for out presentations.

That whole day spent in class was full of confusion and resistance; because I wanted to drop the class as I felt that it had no direction.  We eventually got put into groups for our presentations. Our group was the first to present the following Saturday. It was overwhelming as we did not know what was expected from us; all we had was a topic: Communicating via Social media. The good thing was that we had a group that gelled together. Out brainstorming session was easy and very quick. We knew what our concept would be. I left the class feeling edgy and uncertain about what the class was about.

Lesson from that day: People do not always plan; it is okay. I must learn to go with the flow.

Surfacing Beliefs and Assumptions

I was very much hyped up about attending this class! it is in September and a week just before the heritage day holiday! i was very much interested because i had a topic to present at work which had to do with heritage and cultural differences, i knew this class was my ticket to excelling that presentation. the class indeed never disappointed, Ross is the best facilitator, mentor and coach i have ever come across, Telfer is a very resourceful and supportive structure, that is a fact i learned from the short conversation i had with both of them on different levels and topics

today i learned and took in cognisance that the fundamental assumptions about human nature have played a major role in determining the philosophy of life for many people. In fact, the manner in which various societies are organized politically, socially as well as economically has a great dependence on basic assumptions on human nature. There are diverse theories on how societies are organized based on assumptions towards human nature. Actually, all these theories are composed of assumptions on the preferences of human beings. There are various complex problems facing the modern world and whose solutions solely reside in the assumptions that are made by policy makers concerning human nature. The assumptions on human nature have elicited diverse reactions and views from different people. As such, people have had varied preferences on the best and acceptable form of governance for their societies. The world leaders apply different forms of governance depending on the assumptions they hold towards human nature.

i felt that the facilitating syndicate fell short or rather was not well prepared with their theme, but as usual Ross ensured we are well versed with the subject after their session ended.

The Emotional Intelligence

I arrived late for class this day. by the time i got to class the syndicate group was already facilitating their theme. what i could pick up from that point to the end of the class session was to embrace different perspectives, that when engaging with a groupie various problem solving scenarios, there are many different perspectives that are held by the people involved, that different stakeholders have different experiences, agendas and approaches to problem solving which most result in misunderstandings, uncertainty and indecisiveness when dealing with complex problems. the Johari window helped me realise all four windows of communication, i learned that every person has a blindspot, a facade and a transparent display to communication styles and behaviours.

what i took in cognisance was that emotional intelligence is key, and that it is due to facilitated exercises like these that one truly discovers their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and weaknesses! i discovered that i am a very blunt communicating person and that people can grow great deal if the are self aware, options aware and willing to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. The scarf Model was the `aha moment too on that day.

Facilitating Change

I was very nervous on this day! it was a day my syndicate group was to showcase our facilitation experience, learning and ability. we were very well prepared, well researched, and well organised to say the least. we had been to the venue the evening before, plucked our A1 colour posters on the wall and put all the resources for the audience in their desk, we had changed the class setup into a boardroom sitting setup because our topic was facilitating change and we took the time management aspect to facilitate, now because the class is a mixture of full-time students and workers we thought a boardroom setup would be more conducive. we wore formal wear and had flower head and neck band to represent spring and worklife themes since we had just gotten back from the spring break.

fast forward to 8H05 AM that morning, the anxiety was taking its toll on all of us even though we had been practicing and preparing for this day several times. during this exercise i learned that change is inevitable, that one experience change in every aspect of life and sometimes everyday. personally, that day felt like a trial for my best ability, it was a day that made me realise that i have got this and that fear can only limit oneself to reaching their full potential. we facilitated the audience through the wheel of life that explained how ones life balance or lack of may impact their productivity and reaching their goals, the class participation was on a suprisingly high level, we further facilitated the four quadrants, and also how to learn to manage the time in details.

the audience feedback was very positive, sharing how they now see things differently and how they will start exercise proper time management! what i took in cognisant this day was that the wheel of life differs from one person to another and that managing time does not necessarily mean that one should cut out leisure and family time but rather use the time productively! one of my syndicate members advised an audience member that complained about being on the road driving and the impact that it has on his time, she said ” the 2hours on the road can be used productively too if you can download audio books and articles, listen to those while driving and that will be two hours of reading gained” that was an AHA moment for me right there as i spent at least 4hrs daily travelling between Johannesburg and Mpumalanga.

a balanced life is equivalent to an achieving and productive person.

dav

Facilitation on another level!

I got my course pack as i arrived for my first class, first page spoke directly to my anxiety “What if what unites us is more than we realise….. and what divides us is less than we fear” for me, this was a thought provoking quote and it hit home. it made me realise that Fear is a lack of knowledge. If people were to truly get to know the other, whether they be of any background, or continent for that matter, they would realise that in most cases there is nothing to be afraid of, and that there is a lot more that unites us than divides us. in this day i was united with fellow students who are doing facilitation skills as i am and i realised that the anxiety i had was just the fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge.

Class commenced, the day’s theme was “facilitator as instrument of change” there about 5 stories to have been read before attending class, which i did not learn as this was my first class. the facilitator was kind enough to let us read in class and discuss them amongst ourselves(groups of five students) who are the facilitators in the stories?, what is the current situation and the desired state?, what do facilitators do to create change?, what do the facilitators NOT do?, and lastly, what are their qualities?. the audience cooperation and engagement was superb, my fellow classmates were well informed and even had a few phrases (like doldrums and cocooning which i knew nothing about) mentioned here and there during the conversations (i must admit, i got a little jealous).

in this session, i learnt that my perception on facilitators was wrong! actually, facilitators are different from the teachers and preachers which i assumed they were the same. facilitators enable self actualisation, they are more of leaders than managers, they do not impose their ideas on people and they use strategies to send the message across the audience, lastly, they do NOT provide answers to the questions, instead they give the audience a chance to figure things out by posing thought provoking questions and statements, and this was and AHA moment for me and i took this insight in serious cognisant.

Late Registration Anxiety

I registered late for the course by at least three weeks. I realised late in the semester that i needed to do this course in order to develop my presentation skills both personally and work wise. I have lately been exposed a lot in meetings, social engagements as well as political activism, i knew very well i do not want to be the type of person that enforces her views on people, it was in that instance that i realised i needed to do a course on personal development or business communication or anything related.

I started  browsing what is available at wits plus on weekends, i came across Facilitation skills course and i knew then that this is what i need. The attendance schedule was perfect too. I got the confirmation on friday the 3rd of august that my application was successful. I was excited and anxious at the same time because i had already missed three weeks of attendance, the thought of catching up with three weeks of work, the missed assignments, the tests, getting the course pack and meeting new classmates was a bit uneasy for me but it was something that had to happen.but here i am doing better than i anticipated and content with my course choice.

i attended the facilitation skills class for the first time today, i could not easily find the venue but i eventually did. what i learnt today was that this class was going to change how i think, how i get my message across, how i react and how i interact. My fellow student were already in the specified groups and allocated topics to facilitate and dates of facilitation. i was allocated one as well on that day. what i took in cognisance was that one never seize to learn.

Week 7

Asking myself the question what victory will mean to me at the end of this course has been a constant during my time in this course.  One of the outcomes for me was learning that dialogue is deriving meaningful thought through thinking processes.  It allows one to ask curious questions that lead to meaningful learning.  When the topic of conflict management was introduced and we were asked what conflict means to each of us and how we understand it, it was clear that I have a one dimensional view of the concept.  Through sharing and discovering ideas I discovered that although conflict is unavoidable it can be approached through the path of evolution.

Gratitude and Farewell

Blog8: Gratitude

What a way to end the course!

Big ups to the group that was presenting on this day. The flowers and the thank yous made my day. Those people made me think hard on all the people that I usually take for granted in my life. I started making lists in class starting with the people in class. They really helped me learn a lot this year, especially my syndicate group because they were more like friends and parents as well at the same time. I am really grateful for the lectures for the passionate teaching and for the patience. The course in general because it contributed to my self-discovery journey.

Facilitating Change

Blog 7:Facilitating Change

Now this week was the best of them all because our group was presenting. I would stand in front of the audience for the first time and in the longest time I had never felt like that.

I mean I did a little bit of some public speaking in high school but I was really nervous for this day. To a point that I said to myself. Let’s do some self-introspection to see why I am so nervous for the presentation day. Really a lot of it came from the low self-esteem issues I was dealing with.

I went back home after my group practices to face the confidence issue by reading some scripture. It hit me hard that the reason we have any sort of fear can be because we don’t know perfect love. So I saw that although I thought I knew that God loves me, the problem was that I was not aware that this love was perfect and nothing could change that. As soon as I got this revelation it dawned on me that if I love my audience. I will not focus on myself failing but I will focus on them understanding and receiving what I have to bring across.

My syndicates are the best because they not only helped me prepare and take away the nervousness, they also helped me discover that I might have something in acting.

Apart from that I learnt about stuff like the Johari window which is also used in business, communication and perceptiveness. Amazing stuff because now I am very aware of my unconscious bias. Although not completely, now I really try to stand in someone else’s shoes and not judge them.

Amen to that now!

Learning from Life

Blog 6; Learning from life

I really think that this one should have been given a topic’ The best memories in life ‘because even the historical dates reminded us of fond memories in our lives. It was really heart-warming to have everyone have so many stories for particular years. Even though some of them were sad, for example losing your loved one or a heartbreak. All of the stories helped us to reflect and be reminded that we are overcomers through any circumstance. My best year was this year because I got the great privilege to be saved and really find my identity again. I will never forget it.

The no.1 thing I tried to avoid

Blog 5: Conflict

The biggest thing I avoid. If there’s anything to avoid for me it was conflict. Literally like, my friend Bongi will do something that I don’t like. For example, she would ignore the dishes when she is not even busy and at most times I would chose to withdraw. I didn’t want to confront her so I would wash the dishes even when it was her turn. Now I didn’t know that that was toxic because I would be frustrated but not know what to do. I tried hard to fight the root of resentment but by default I was distant on those days she had made me mad and I would find it hard to talk to her.

This Facilitation class is a blessing because. I only tried 2 steps of Solving the conflict and whalla! It worked. Now earlier on I had read from the bible concerning my problem on what to do and Jesus said love others as I have loved you. I realised that as much as Jesus was tight friends with his disciples, he did not condone their wrong mind-set or bad behaviour. He taught right way to go about things in love.

So what I tried was better communication and creating a safe space for me to do that. I call it my delta positive moment because I was not expecting her reaction. One morning I advised Bongi to sweep under her bed just after I swept my space and she did not have a problem. So I realised that the positive response comes from the fact that I swept myself and therefore it communicated to her that I want her to sweep because I cared for her interest, her personal space to be clean.

Although I am still struggling to create a safe space and communicate. I appreciate that I don’t always withdraw anymore.

Seeing with new eyes

Blog 4: seeing with new eyes

Ok. I didn’t know this. Being right is addictive because it actually releases dopamine. I learnt that I have only lived a few 18 years and some months. This means that I still have a lot to learn.

I learnt that I can be very egotistic and think that many things are about me and therefore If I am hurt. I am a victim.

For the longest time I thought that my roommate is rude because the way that she would answer me wasn’t what I expected. I always thought that she does not like me but I would often not consider that she probably had a bad day, maybe she is hurting or she just can’t laugh a lot.

During the week we learnt about assumptions and this is when I understood that I may be making assumptions on her. I tried greeting her with a friendlier smile this time around. Thinking that I already failed. I am not going to get a response but not at all. To my surprise, she smiled back and said Hello. You should’ve seen me. My heart melted the entire day. The image of her smiles never left me and now I am thinking all this time we have probably just been scared of each other.

Now I missed the presentation of this week too. I know I would have taken more stuff home but I am grateful to have learnt that assumptions are dangerous.

Honouring Differences “brainwashing, I first thought”

Yoh! Man this one got me. Honouring differences.

First of all. I hate anything that attempts to change my perceptions because I automatically think that it is Brainwashing. This time I started having problems with the Facilitation class because I thought I am basically being taught how to embrace other people’s views. Not only that but even when they are wrong. ‘Well, yes, wrong according to me.’

I asked one of my colleagues Mpho that, “Do you like what you are hearing coz I don’t?” Even if we have different views, the truth has to be one. I was really angry coz I thought Ross is not only attempting to tell me that we are all right but she says we also look for the clues for what we believe in, For example if you wish for a  red car. You will see what you want. I honestly thought to myself that if there is no one truth then it makes sense that such an immoral drug dagga is legal in South Africa now.

I still don’t believe in Magic though. I think nothing is a coincidence in this life. Those red cars may be signs that you are going to get one soon.

I am grateful however that I am more patient to listen to others’ stories and then decipher for myself if it is true or not. I would not listen to anyone who would tell me anything that contradicts the Word of God but now I pick up any lesson I may learn in those conversations. I am willing to try and listen more because it is wise and caring to listen.

Honouring differences – Week 4

This was by far the most engaging of topics presented by any group.  How we view differences could be the beginning of a healing process or the start of conflict.  Learning how some differences have caused others to feel inferior while others felt superior due to the social standards of what bother degrees mean.  After observing the difference in opinion by group members during discussion for feedback and checking-in, it was evident that we hold the power to disable the crippling effect differences can have to us all.  It’s not always easy to belong to a group who views one group less important than the other but it’s each person’s responsibility to dig deep and find that place within that understands how differences can be to our benefit instead of a disadvantage.  I have found that being able to reflect on you own faults, successes, strengths and weaknesses is one way of combating differences that may leave you uncomfortable.  There will always be someone better, poorer, richer, prettier, stronger, lighter, darker, more helpful, less helpful, etc than yourself, but knowing what your talent is and how you can share that with the world is a place of fulfillment that puts you in a category of your own where no amount of competition can penetrate and you become a better person for it.  The beauty in differences is that the learning doesn’t stop and understanding the purpose of differences is what can help us overcome any inferiority complexes or inadequacies you may have.

Story telling

Blog 2: week 3:Story telling

 

It’s amazing how facilitation always defines itself just in the middle of the day as you go about. Very unaware throughout the week. I needed advice about something and I read a parable in the bible and immediately I knew what to do. To paraphrase, Jesus simply said, you wouldn’t understand if I didn’t tell a story. Exactly what Ross was explaining, not only do we have different stories that we don’t usually comprehend what statistics or plain info tries to tell us but we always remember stories, illustrations and examples?

Mind opening right?

Yeah, it’s called an Aha moment.

My 1st day in class

Blog1: Week3

Aha moments, delta positives and negatives, syndicate group. Excuse me, what is this lady talking about? My first day of facilitation skills class was exactly that. A big surprise. It felt more like first day of school. I walked late into the class, just after a presentation and I wasn’t nervous about anything because as much as I am late and I don’t know any of these people here, there’s nothing to be afraid of, better yet there’s no formal structure. No one is sitting behind a desk, people are conversing and on top of that everyone is so friendly. I had never be so relaxed about a class on first day. It was a first!

When everyone had settled down Ross went through the stories of a facilitation to explain what it was.’ We must be getting to the crux of the course now’ I thought. I thought she was explaining but at the end of the class I figured that: Oh, Ohk, she was actually using the different ways in which the people facilitated in the stories in the course book to help us define for ourselves what facilitation was.

We read about the Rafting story where Buzz the American rafting guide screamed commands to lead the rafters, training them to develop team work and co- ordination. Because the facilitator Buzz was more of a trainer, he taught the guys to see the river as a hurdle, a challenge, and then at the end they couldn’t help but triumph over the victory.

On the other hand there was Kiwi, a very quiet guy who simply thought the guys to be still, quiet and enjoy the ride. Kiwi taught the guys that on the other hand of contesting with challenges, there is unifying yourself with your challenge, accepting it as your friend and that way you go through those moments getting the most out of them growing you.

So now I was aware that there was facilitators who did more of facilitating, helping you learn through discovery and then there are those who are more like trainers, guiding you through the experience. Educational, right?

After these, came one that was my favourite: ‘The Bent backs of Chang Dong. ’I was so inspired by the woman who not only helped people get through to the root of their problem, she also showed them how to overcome it by demonstrating the solution in her own life. I reckoned that, that is exactly what I wanted to do. As a future psychologist, I not only wanna help people identify their problems, I actually wanna help them find solution and even show them that it is definitely possible to be victorious.

All these lessons learnt in a few hours!

At the end of the class, I went up to Ross to ask her what is it that I had missed in the previous two weeks and all she said: Don’t worry, this is no typical class, we don’t do all that studying, writing and marking that you’re thinking. “Wow!. What a class. In my mind I had already missed an assignment, maybe 2 essays and a test. But no, all I has to do take a deep breath and enjoy the learning curve.

I don’t know where this course came from but the very same a week, a decision I had to make troubled my mind. It was something like a way forward in my finances since I had dropped a degree and lost my bursary allowance. Instead of being all panicky and worried, I realised that I calmly put the problem down on paper, asked myself questions. Root causes, advantages, disadvantages and dos and don’ts.

It clicked, the light bulbs went on that without realising it, I am actually facilitating myself to find a solution, just like we learnt in class through the story.

Now I know that I have been a facilitator in my life without knowing it and the best way I prefer is Kiwi’s way.

Expressing gratitude – Week 10

We often receive help from others but forget to give thanks for that help.  Gratitude as I understand it is something that does not come naturally but rather a skill that is learnt through appreciating the efforts of others.  When I think back to my high school years, my Biology teacher Ms Mitchum, handing out exam questionnaire to each pupil.  She often made it clear that if you do not acknowledge the teacher by a “thank you” that you would not receive a paper.  Those words have stuck with me since the 9th grade when she first demonstrated such discipline.  As a result I always remember that an effort from another person not only says thank you, but motivates the person performing the act to repeat such by continuing to do it and often times I find it creates a warmth of smiles when a person is told “thank you” .   It is, I find, a contagious action.  My observation has always been that a thank you softens any aggression and creates a conducive mood.  When someone opens the door and is met by a thank you at the end of that act, it is reciprocated and sends a message of caring for another without any expectation of a returned favour.  So throughout my life I carried one message from a teacher who instilled a value that often the “big world” has no time to teach but thrives from.

Going somewhere slowly

The topic of bias and confessing your biases to your colleagues is so important.

we live in a diverse country full of diverse cultures and people.  we interact with these people of a daily basis, at work, school, church.  How crucial it is that we are aware of the stereotypes that have been built by us that keep us apart.  The old apartheid system understood this and played to this divide rule.

its our duty to break those chains and forge a peaceful society.

Group work

The advantages and disadvantages of working with other people.

I’ve always found working with other people challenging and have always preferred to do things on my own.
Not for this class, i have 5 group member with totally different styles of working.

With a week left to our facilitation session, i sit here and wonder if my team wants excel at this as much as i do….

Week 2

enjoyed Rosslyn’s energy. What stood out for me was everything really. we did the check in 20 min each I thought It was going to be the longest 20 min of my life but it turned out to be the shortest. Speaking about ourselves in a group was a bit hectic, but resulted into being one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. We connected in the human level. And then the balcony and the dance. I got it, I got what facilitation was all about. Creating safe space, listening, connecting from authenticity space. Not about being right or whom. I was about the current moment that matters….it was amazing

Building relationships

Last night i had an encounter with a friend. Through this encounter, this is where every lesson from the class was put to test. The exercise we did about listening to someone, dont disturb, listen with the head, the heart and the will. I did that and had a reaction to the conversation that made think how much I’ve changed.

Who would have known that a last minute registered subject, done just for additional points will have such an impact on me.

Expressing gratitute

My presentation day. I was nervious that I might forget things as I did during the rehearsals with my group and excited at the same time that finally I got to present.

It was amazing we did very well with my group. The prentation was so impactful. Everyone was so present at the moment and was engaged. I even felt emotional. I am truly grateful for this course.

What worked for us we made the topic relevant for letting the class reflect on the course and what they are grateful for in terms of the course…..

personally through this course, I have grown, I am more confident.

I am more aware of my self and comfortable with self and I am more receptive of others.

 

My story, My journey

Wow story telling, we all have a story to tell indeed.

Everytime I attend the class I become more and more comfortable in my own skin
About the class, I have learned about the power of story telling. Story telling is more memorable, it captures imagination and relatable as opposed to facts and stats. And That’s what facilitation is about, being able to capture people’s hearts.

We read stories my favorite one was The bend backs. What I loved about it was, sometimes when you want to teach others do it my demonstration and allow yourself to get to the level of their understanding

Everyone has a story. Often we get caught up in our own world and forget to embrace the impact that others have on us and also that we have an impact on others as well. Our journey in life may differ but we all have a story. The highlight in class for me was realising the impact that the way the information is delivered. Using a story to get a massage across is memorable and people can relate easily to the story and it becomes memorable.

Facilitating change

Change is invincible for as long as we live. Is it for the bad or for the good we decide. It is all about how you respond to change. What I have learned is that listening is key. The case study demonstrated that very well. It is important to tap into the understanding of what change means to others first before you impose any change to them. Preconceived and assumptions should not be brought up into a changing situation especially when genuine and successful change is needed. The johari window is the interesting concept. It gives understanding that feedback gives us insight to who we are and an opportunity to learn, reflect and grow. There are aspects of us that we might not know. Also It highlights the importance to be as open as possible in order to avoid being misunderstood, and that leads to genuine connections with others.

Building shared understanding

We are living in the diverse society. We all have different background and different views. What is right one person could be the total opposite for the other. In most instances strong views about each others views clash. The complexity is how to all parties to have a shared understanding. What I ale from the topic is to achieve that the differences should be acknowledged, one should not assume that theirs is superior to the other. The key is to have a shared vision of what both parties aim to achieve together respecting each others view.

Hounering Difference

Death, Marriage, Innitiation and Birth.
True that through this 4 events in our lives, we get to perform some ritual of sort. The group setting highlighted that. Through that the differences in our culture was highlighted.But with the differences there were a lot of similarities. What I took from this was having an open mind. Open mind gives one an opportunity to learn and understand that others. With that comes richness in wisdom.

Facilitating Change

On week 7 the group was facilitating change and the focus was focus was on time management. I learned that as a facilitator you need to allow the audience to participate and as a facilitator you learn as well. Facilitator is not an expert, you don’t answer questions but you allow audience to discuss among themselve. I also learned that time management is very much important whether at work, at work and scgsch, we need to practice every day. quality of facilitation , as a facilitator you need to know your audience and always remain neutral all the time. In learning the change of perception of certain thing and allowing innovation and communication. What I tokt from this class is that i need to be myself and be confidence all the time.

Resolving conflict

The most interesting class I was in. Resolving conflict is the ultimate for me. Be it with our loved ones, children, parents, sibling …To resolving conflict takes a lot of maturity. Letting go of the strong sense of “self rightousness ” is not easy, especially when you strongly believe in your case. What I took from this lesson is that in every conflict.
Firstly, one should be able to listen not only to what is being said but also read the body language and when you can sense that the conversation is heading to the negative try to avoid it.
Secontly, When you engage into an issue have clear intention. What are you aiming to achieve. Do you intended to resolving the issue? That would guide your attitude, your tone and the manner of approach.
Lastly, be open minded. Acknowledged the other persons view and try to see things from their perspective and try to meet each other halfway. Understand that the should be a level of compromise. And that both sides should be happy.
NB know when to let go…

gratitude

saying thank you goes a long way, by saying thank you to people you love may change our lives as people need to be appreciated. this class brought about a lot of emotions and  for me as we share intimate stories at class and we realised that we do not show gratitude to life to people we love.

the balcony

this exercise was enlightening for me, as I learned that in life you need to step away from the dance floor and go to the balcony. this is where we get to reflect and put things into perspective. however the dancefloor is where everything happens, so I learned that I need to go back to the dance floor after I have reflected and do things differently.

Lessons life grants us

Learning from life, how appropriate. I especially enjoyed the participation on this class. My group and I were given a particular year to discuss what lessons we learned from that year. The year was 1994 and I realised that this was the year that I would have been 6 years or so and would have been doing my grade 1.

Imagine that, first year in school, the good old times

Expressing Gratitude

In life we forget tom be thankful, be thankful for being alive, having a roof over our head and the love around it.  we instead focus on negative and despiteful things. what I have learnt in life is that we must always be thankful may it be a little thing or a bad thing as the is always a lesson .learnt from everything we go  through.

 

When facilitating you must be encourage to individuals to do better in everything they do.

Be thankful!!!

Communicating via social media

What an amazing take off by the group!

They were the first to facilitate and truth is, they shined and outdone themselves. Truthfully, a precedence of high standard was set. They left a lasting impression and helped some of us to explore various ideas.

Their presentation on communicating via social media and how massive and popular it has become; made me to be open minded and realise that the world has evolved over a period of time. I learnt about Pinterest, which I always heard about and saw but didnt pay attention to it unlike your Twitter,Instagram, Facebook etc. Its a lesson that one has to be broad minded and explore other avenues.

Afterwards we did the “check in” exercise, where I had to introduce myself and give a brief to the group about who is Alice. Fortunately, it wasnt a big group which then created a safe and comfortable space. From that point, I appreciated life even more when I realised that we’ve all had our fair shair of hard lesson in life…and still, we rise. What a bunch of beautiful people there was in my group!

What topped it all, was learning about looking at things from a balcony perspective while on the dance floor💃💃.

Expressing gratitude

I was almost late for this class, glad I made it in time. At times we think that we have to be extravagant with the way that we show gratitude because the world has become so materialistic.

The team that facilitated did a great job remind us that a simple thank you and acknowledgement was enough.

Building a shared understanding

Roslyn wasn’t there, however she was dearly missed. The group used an exercise to tell a story through whispering and how communication can be broken. And sometimes in life we listen to respond and not to understand. This affects how we understand individuals, we always see and hear what we what. In our professional and personal life we need to take note of the things we don’t know and those that surround us. Listen attentively. We learned about the Johari window, be able to take note of the things you are aware of? The one that you are not and be mindful of what people know see and know about you that you don’t know. Communicate, have an understanding and always be willing to take constructive criticism. Build relationship and try and understand the others and open up, it aren’t easy however creating an understanding helps to a certain extent.

Building Relationships

Presenting was nerve wrecking and I felt the time provided wasn’t sufficient for the ideas we had. However the idea was to use speed dating to put the idea across and this was a great idea, it did indeed more time however it was great and the response was that the audience wanted more. We enjoyed ourselves as a group and the communication was great during preparation as well as execution. We focused on the components of building a good relationship. Which are communicating, embracing diversity. The making of the rain was a great exercise and engaged everyone to participate and the speed dating was fun. I love my team, the winning team forever

Seeing with new eyes

After a break attending a full class was never a good idea however we have to be there for the learning. It was difficult and daunting however as a big girl, I pulled my socks and went through with it. The group presenting requested that we bring an old pair of shoes, and we were asked to insert them in the box with other shoes. Thereafter we were requested to pick a different set of shoes and wear them. This was indeed uncomfortable and some shared sentiments was that it was unhygienic. The facilitation shifted to street kids and how we see them in a different light instead of seeing them human beings. And there is a notation of them and us, which should be the case. We got to understand that circumstances made them to be in that place they are and they are not so different to us however the issues they faced as human beings is different than ours. How we deal with problems is different to others and therefore we should always try and see things with a new pair of eyes. Embracing difference and individualism.

RESOLVING CONFLICT

Dealing and being involved in conflict is not nice.  It is how you deal with conflict that matters.

Listening just to respond is very dangerous.  Listening and hearing what the other person is saying is the best.  Most conflicts are caused by a little misunderstanding, that could have been avoided.  Listening with understanding is the key.

This topic is very crucial and it definitely changed my way of thinking.  Listening with your heart is the best 🙂

Seeing with new eyes and freeing your mind

It was an eye opening,mind boggling presentation of freeing one’s mind and seeing things with new eyes.

The lesson of it all was that for us to conquer our fears/phobia we have to face them head on, but take it one step at a time. Otherwise we allow that to rule our mind. Every choice and experience in our lives has contributed to our current state of health and the onus lies with us to manage or deal with it effectively and not allow it to define us.

The team taught us about the body tapping technique/body talk which teaches one to self heal by tapping certain body parts to trigger the feel good hormones. It says each system,cell and atom of the body is in constant communication with each other and the deep connection these systems have, brings about healing.

My lesson-change starts today with me,with a set mind and a willing heart I can do it.  A free mind  can conquer anything!

GRATITUDE

What a touching day for me.
The facilitation class is showing me flames lol.  I am learning about myself and my feeling in the Facilitation Class … who would have thought.

Gratitude is a simple word, with such a huge weight.  Just to say THANK YOU and to APPRECIATE goes a long way.  The feeling that I get when someone is saying to me “I appreciate you”,  is a nice one and uplifting one.

I am grateful for this class, I am grateful to our facilitator and her team.  From the bottom of my heart, I am saying Thank you to them.

 

Expressing gratitude – 6 October 2018

People always remember how you made them feel.

I felt this team had an easy topic and they researched the topic well. They reminded us of how important it is to be grateful for what you have instead of pondering over what you do not have.

Most of the examples they made were around non-tangible possessions such as life, peace, love, etc. Although the team focused on these values, I looked around me and appreciated tangible things that make me socialize with people in my circle, money, etc. All these also make a difference although they are not what grounds us and make us human, kind and humble people.

Karen assisted us to understand detaching from the discussion. Acknowledging voices and speaking to voices and not individuals. She shared the sentiments that a good facilitator does not drive or attach themselves to the outcome but enables a safe space for the discussions.

I am grateful for what I have learnt in this course and for the helpful fellow students I met in this course.

Learning from life

The team tied down their main topic to a sub topic called “learning from pain”. It was quite a sad one which somehow brought a sombre mood to most of us, as it made us to revisit our painful past/history. Indeed life has taught me that most life altering lessons are learnt through pain.

Furthermore we discussed group dynamics and how to deal with them. It came as a lesson to me and my team as we had not presented as yet. It gave us an opportunity to reflect and be conscious of our interaction with one another. We were able to focus on our ultimate goal. We concentrated on our vision and purpose of existence and put aside whatever differences we had.

After all was said,we then played the dice exercise which was so much fun. From it I learnt that great teamwork bears great results and that identifying the strength of each team member and capitalising on it, is a good strategy. It motivates each person to do better in the field of expertise and untimately excel and get the intended results.

Food for thought for the day–Resolve the conflict; dont kill the conflict otherwise it will resurface.

COMMUNICATING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

Remember, I mentioned that I joined the class on this day.  For other people this was the second class, for me it was the first and I was late 🙁

I entered the room, breathing heavily because it took very long for me to find the venue.  As I entered, I wasn’t  of what was happening.  I just saw a group of 4/5 people at the front.  Only later I have realized that, this was the group presenting about Facebook, twitter, whatzup etc.

They have done their homework about what they shared, but since it was my first class, I wasn’t sure of what the purpose of those presentations were.

Do you check-in with your team/peers at work? Are they ok?

Work place is the most stressful environment. High pressure to deliver, especially when you are dealing with deadlines. We often work like machine to deliver the service or product needed by the company, working ourselves too hard. What we often forget in a work space is that we have a life outside the walls of the company. Sometimes we are going through a lot in our personal space, being at home or otherwise and we are so good at hiding it. Then we get surprise when people are taking anti-depression medication to deal with their own lives.

After the class where we learnt about checking-in, I asked my line manager if we could have a 30 min with my team of 7 people, over coffee and we check-in with each other. She hesitated but agreed, but because I said it will improve the mood of the team and productivity she gave me a green light. The first few times was difficult because people would assume that you are in the personal business and they would like to separate their work life, from what happens after work. Like in class, I learned that you cannot force people to share their life stories. One of the key things that made people open up a bit more was an agreement that we are not allowed to discuss what was said unless the individual wants to, and we do not carry the problems with them.

Its been almost three months now, and I can see the difference in individuals, I can see the mood has changed in the office as well. People are more considerate and kinder to one another and always want to show-up and cover for each other. Because now we know and understand that we are humans, dealing with a lot outside 9-5.

Our facilitating day – Building relationships

Our turn to facilitate finally came. It is always nice to sit and watch other people do it. Give them feed back, but when it is your turn to do it. It is very nerve wrecking. That time came for us. We tried to prepare as much as we could. However, the direction of the conversation comes from the floor. What we wanted was to ensure that we direct their thoughts and question into a certain way. Our topic was Building Relationship. We chose to focus on the principals that build (and maintain) a relationship. We figured if we focused on types of relationship and how one builds them, we will be opening Pandora’s box.

We chose to play a balancing the hoop game as our tool to demonstrate, what traits one requires to build and maintain their relationship. The game showed traits like communication, listening, trusting each other, and being there for each other. The outside audience also had opinions on how the participants were suppose to play that game. Which added to what we were trying to achieve. In building a relationship, there will be times were there is an outside person trying to tell you how and what you must do in your relationship. As nerve wrecking as our facilitation was, I think we did good. It was all the elements we were hoping to achieve: engaging, fun, and lesson learnt. I can only hope that people take-away and implement what we were facilitating

Yes I had the best team/group. Things were getting heated and pressure was getting to us, but we managed to disagree, and “fight” with respect. At the end of it all, we pulled a good session.

SEEING WITH NEW EYES

Today was a long day.

We started class at 08:00 till 16:30.  The day was draining for me.  I even had to go outside for 5 minutes just to “find” myself.

Anyway, interesting day it was.  Two groups presented.  Seeing with new eyes group presented in the morning.  What an eye opener it was.  I was wowed by this topic, by the group, the energy and all.  Anyway,

The grouped asked us to bring old pair of shoes, that was on email during the week.  I was wondering, why on earth should we be bringing old shoes for.

The class started, the group asked us to bring the old shoes forward, and then asked us to take any pair from the old pairs to wear.  That was an immediate NO from me.  Wearing another person’s shoes, let alone, an old pair, I couldn’t.  There were mixed feelings in the class for this.

The group started presenting – and engaging us in the topic.  The topic was an eye opener.  It was an emotional class for me, as my head started being filled about, not everyone is privileged to have and to afford BASIC things.  Things that we take for granted.  The old shoes that you don’t want, to another person they will be something that they treasure.

I have learnt to be grateful for my life, for the job that I have, for the food that I have for the clothes for EVERYTHING that I have, I am so grateful.

This group just opened my eyes and my heart.

Honoring our difference

Honoring differences

 

This facilitation was my least favorite so far. The facilitating team decided to define their topic as  honoring difference in black girls hair. Let me start by saying I give them props for trying to attempt this topic, and I also understand what they were trying to say/facilitate. It was unfortunate that the discussion went south really quick. The topic about hair is very political, emotional and controversial. Hair speaks to identity, culture, consciousness and speaks to the history of the broader dispossession and dehumanization of black people. Sadly, they didn’t think about this and did not cater for this discussion.

Part of the pointer we received was to make sure that the topic relates to everyday practice and that participants topic can apply their learning in their work and personal lives. The discussion regarding the hair unfortunately missed the mark. Besides that, they handled themselves very well under pressure. Class feedback hopefully was a great for their lessons as well as everyone else. It was a very emotional day and we left feeling down than we usually do.

 

We should honor our difference

The girl and the sailor – my blind spots

I have read through the girl and the sailor story prior to coming to class, as I was going through the workbook. I remember thinking oh the poor girl put herself through so much just for her lover, sometime your heart can make you do weird things. When we did this exercise in class, it was two weeks after we have done the unconscious bias lesson in class. According to my assessment, the person with the lowest integrity and morals was the sailor, because I felt like he took advantage of the situation and the highest was the old man, as he was neutral with his response.

Like any other time, our lecture never gives the wrong or right answer, she let you figure it all for yourself. I must admit, this bothered be the rest of the afternoon. I had to read the passage again. And I saw that when I read it the first time and didn’t apply myself – I was unconscious about a lot of things. In class, the lecture asked, who said the sailor was a man? And that changed the entire story for me. It is like that in life as well. We quickly jump into conclusion before we sit and analyze the situation and ask question before coming up with the solution. We are also quick to bash man and blame them for taking advantage of situation. It speaks to our gender bias, while we always bash the opposite for assumptions that we make based on the reading we receive and what our brains have “double clicked”.

What is your thinking style preference

When you are in a group project, it is sometime irritating working with people who do not have the same “vision” as you do or how to get things done. One of the lesson in class today opened up my thoughts about what thinking style we all have. We did an exercise before class were you had to complete some questions about thinking style preference. Questions were long but the results gave a clearer picture of what kind of a person I am. I agree with most what my results said. I am a left brainer. I know I tend to analyze things (at times, over analyze. I do prefer facts, I will want to study and examine the situation first before I make a decision.

I am one of those people that pay attention to details, I want things to be perfect I my eyes and the order must run the way I want. I realized this as well when out team was preparing for our facilitation. We probably went through the game/tool of our facilitation a few times so I can be sure that we deliver as I have envisioned. What I did not agree much with is that I am an external motivator. It was an essential lesson to learn, that we all are different in how we approach life and need to be patient with how other chose to deal with projects.

I sent the questionnaires to my sister, for my niece and nephew to do the assessment. I think this will help her understand why my nephew is a book worm and an over achiever than my niece. And maybe start thinking of ways to help my niece with her school work once she know and understand her what kind of learning she prefers. Not one size fits all.

Building shared understanding – 29 September 2018

What a fantastic facilitation done through story telling! I was hocked!

We can read, hear or experience the same thing but our perspectives are sometimes limited to our exposure, our biases, culture, preferences, etc. therefore listen to what others have to say.

The reading about the new CEO, David Scott of Electrical and Lightning was enlightening on how change can intimidating, unwelcomed and how team members can sabotage each other if they feel threatened.

The big lesson is to discover meaning and interpretation of what is said. Ask for feedback to determine mutual understanding and how your team members or audience receive, understand and perceive what you want to achieve. The Johari Window developed by Joseph Loft and Harry Ingam is popularly known as the communication window outlines the four arenas that we need to be aware of when communicating and collaborating in teams. The four arenas are called; transparent, blind, hidden and unknown.

 

 

Unconscious bias – stereotyping

Today was the first class were we are having a full day class, which means we will be here from 08h00 – 16h00. And also combining the morning class with the afternoon class. We had a series of important lessons we learned on this day but what particularly stood up for me was the unconscious bias we carry around, because of stereotypes we have been socialized in believing. Luckily for me, we have done unconscious bias training at work, it was easier and familiar to follow the conversation.

Unconscious biases are learned and deeply ingrained stereotypes about other people based on traits like gender, social class, race, and height and weight. These hidden judgments can extend to a person’s educational level, disability, sexuality, accent, social status, and job title. They do influence our behavior and how we treat each other. In most cases, what we think it “true” about other people ends to be our unconscious biased based on our own stereotypes. What was new to me were the additional types of bias, and when we were shuffling around the class to locate which bias we fall under, I went to beauty bias. I work in corporate and in a managerial position – dominated by male. I sometimes being over looked because in other cases people would associate me for beauty more and brain less. It is annoying in most cases because it then puts pressure on me to prove a point. Unfortunately, my male counterparts do not have to go through this. This is above the gender bias, ethnic bias and so-on. I

It doesn’t make the work easier, but it helps me be conscious of their unconscious biases. This was yet another great day – long, but great nevertheless.

Freeing your mind

Freeing your mind 🙂

This here, was my group’s topic.  Can I just start by saying I have met wonderful people on this group.  Everyone is “an easy person” to just talk, laugh, joke, be serious with.

When I first heard of the topic, I asked “haibo, freeing my mind from what? freeing it like a bird”, I laughed at this topic.  When I sat down at thought about it – I said to my self, “this is powerful”.  All individuals have burdens, stresses.  If you are poor, wealthy – there is some stress that you are going through.  Every individual have “things to deal with”.

Anyway, as a group we discussed, on our whatzup chat.  We practiced individually in our spare times.  One was just talking from the heart or from life experiences.

The day came, we facilitated.  We involved the class, asking them how they were feeling.  Everyone in the class participated.  The joy I felt as we were just facilitating from the heart.. It was overwhelming.

We showed the group how to TAP..TAPPING..
Tapping is a unique was of relieving stress  while you are at home, in the office or even while you are driving.  The technique works wonders.  It relieves stress and calms one down.

Group Presentation

We had to prepare our presentation which was Expressing gratitude. One realized during this prep how applying minds as a group is better that one individual doing something individually. Sharing different ideas and trying applying them. I learnt how to work as a team something that I lacked. Also I learnt that expressing gratitude is of importance even for the smallest of things that have touched us.

Week 9 – Johari Window

This week was fascinating as always.

We discussed the Johari Window – I felt comfortable about this discussion as I was taken through this whilst on a leadership program that my employer took us as the leadership team through a couple of years back.

This topic is profound as it teaches you how certain elements from your life will not be known by you but by people around you. There is so much to learn from your blind spot. The Johari Window has four elements:

  1. Arena/Open
  2. Façade/Hidden
  3. Blind Spot
  4. Unknown

 

Four phases of Communication

We are getting closer to the end of the lecture and it has been one amazing ride. This is our last lecture with Rosslyn, she will be travelling to see her family and it has been great. As we are nearing the end, the class starts to decrease in numbers as well. We were very few and the class was shorter than any other day. We spent the day going through four phases of communication. This was after the group that was facilitating today did a great job with their topic resolving conflict. They did a great job, and their tool/method was a play showing how proper communication between parent can influence the change in their daughter’s life. How they can learn to resolve their conflict in a way that will improve their lives.

Their topic lead us to the discussion of the day which was the four phases of communication. Our lecture made us talk for five minutes with no interruption. Once five minutes was over, we discussed what kind of communication we were having. The first round it was clear that we were just downloading and consuming information. We did the same exercise three more times, as we continued we realize it changes all the time, from downloading to debating, conversation then collaboration. With each phase the level of trust, how we are listening and paying attention, how we are taking 5 more seconds to think about your answers. This is an important lesson in life. In most cases, we respond to be right, we debate to be the one that wins the argument. We hardly resolve our conflicts, because someone wants to be always right.

In this lesson, to listen, to think about your response, to be able to engage in a better tone, can change the conversation and two people can try by all mean to find each other. In oppose to always wanting to be right.

Resolving conflict

The group facilitating on resolving conflict apparently had a few disagreement ,which I found ironic. The group told us of the different types of conflict resolutions. I found that it is best to confront your conflicts and resolve the problem.

I usually ignore the problem and move on with my life , however i learnt different tactics to resolve my conflicts. I appreciated these lesson and we have at least able to resolve my conflicts much better.

Learning from life

I always ask myself personally if we’ll ever get a chance to really learn from life as we  the live we live is ever changing.Is there reallly a set rule to this life ? And what really do we take from it going forward.? In this class as well I think it helped with the presentation to help us reflect on life as individuals .

Expressing gratitude  

Blog 8

An emphasis was that” if you focus on what you do not have, you will never be fulfilled”. A final essay criterion was covered: page 18 and 19.

Gratitude was defined as the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. It was further emphasized that being grateful is a choice and being grateful is an attitude. In my own opinion and view, gratitude is clearly a worthwhile practice. Whether it is done in writing by sending out a thankful note, or saying “thank you” to people you love.

Expressing gratitude might not be so relevant when everything goes well, but just in the last two weeks  I was face with a challenge of nearly losing my husband who was  attacked about 1000km away from me. It was not easy but during this difficult time, I was so fortunate to have friends, family members, classmates and even strangers treat me with kindness, love, and compassion—something that I know wasn’t always easy. Since this time, I learnt to really take the 12 Change your mind set points on page 132 of our workbook seriously. I have even pasted them on the wall in my office and at home and I go through them every day.

Through these points, firstly I have learnt that my attitude determines my success or failure. My husband was taken to hospital by a stranger and that was based on the fact that I was polite and friendly on the phone and thanked the stranger throughout our conversation.  I am grateful that he is now out of hospital and the car was not taken. Secondly I learnt that  I will reap what I sore, I am in control of my attitude and I take charge and remain purposeful from first thing in the morning.

This course taught me how to be more assertive not only in my studies but in my relationships with people and family. It helped me to develop a strong character and have confidence in myself. These lessons remain my most valuable because they help me in this process of becoming the woman i want to become. I am indeed grateful to have attended the facilitation course. My greatness has been unleashed. I am now ready to flourish and face the world with a different eye.

Building shared understanding

Blog 7

This is the day my group presented the topic : “Building a shared understanding”. I was excited about our presentation. We started way on time to prepare for our presentation and the group was as tight-Knit. The cooperation level in my group was on another level. Everyone’s idea was taken serious.  However, I could not be part of the presentation due to “change”.

 

Like Ros mentioned before that Change is inevitable and that do not set your expectations too high.  Just two days before our presentation, I receive a call from a stranger informing me that my husband has been involved in an attempted car hijack in East London and sustained head injuries. He ended up in ICU. This is the day I really felt like my world has come to a standstill. I could not think.  It was as if I did this course knowing that so much will happen in my life and I had to be ready.  I am a mother of two little boys aged 1 year 9 months and 9 months. My husband just landed a post in the Eastern Cape and we had to stay separately. Now, as I was trying to cope with the stress of studying, working and taking care of the boys alone, then this happens??? I discussed my problem with my team and they released me to go and be closer to my husband.  I had to handover my script to one of the members in the group. Big thanks to my amazing team.   I heard our facilitation was awesome.

 

In our presentation we had different activities like drawing poverty, telling a story of the blind man and elephant and a broken telephone. Our core message was that we receive, hear and feel things differently. The is no truth that is better that the other. Everyone is correct in their own right and what I important is bring together different truth to build a shared understanding.

 

 

Learning from life

The topic for the presenting group was quite scary, as for most individuals it was  hard to learn from life however we sometimes have to step back from the dance and look from the balcony. The presenting group, facilitated the topic by learning from pain. Quite heavy and brought a lot of emotionally  baggage for me. However it got me thinking that all things happen for a reason and the decisions we make at the time we think they are for good reasons. If pain or anything wrong happens we need to accept move on. We tend to self-critize and blame ourselves however we only human and should accept.

I feel like these classes are sometimes tapping to emotions and becomes a bit difficult not to think about what’s happening in my persona and professional life, good or bad. I guess it’s a learning curve.

Change!!

Blog 6

Change is a process of moving or shifting from one challenge to the next. People deal with change differently as it is also brought by many factors such as loss, separation, relocation, relationship, health and personal growth.

On this day, Ros gave an example of the two monkeys and the potato. This made me realise that change is inevitable. Without change there is no motivation, creativity or even incentive for improvement. I can only change my perspective, by that I can change the system. I really started doing some kind of introspection on this day. A lot of questions came to my mind. The topic took me back to the first day of the facilitation course. I asked myself on what where my intentions when I started the course? Has that changed? Did I achieve what I really hope for?

 

The presentation done on this day helped me in welcoming and understanding change better. We learnt about the limit patterns which opened my eyes when it comes to what takes most of my time.

 

I think something has change in my life. I am definitely a changed person since day one of this course. I have learnt to love and appreciate myself more and understand other people’s views. I have learnt to deal with conflict, manage my time and plan and balance my life better than before. I put myself into other people’s shoes before I conclude or perceive them according to what the truth about them is to me.

Time management and Draft essay hand in

Blog 5

On this day two main events happened: a presentation on time management and the draft essay hand in. The presentation was excellent. What really stood out of me was the wheel of life. The presenters described it as a toolbox for personal development that has been around for over decades.  Learning about it assisted me in balance my life, work and family.  It made me realize and take note of my imbalances and how to manage my life better. I now know on where do I spend more time at?  And I am trying by all means to balance my life.

We learnt about the four quadrants for balancing our daily lives as well.  Below is an example of the time management four quadrant.

The quadrant assisted me in knowing what import is and need my urgent response and what is not important and does not need urgent attention. I now manage my time wisely and think before I act. I give priority to important matters.

 

Instead of submitting our essays to Ros, we were asked to swap them in class and mark each other. This was a great exercise as we got to learn about each other’s writing styles. Though we are not yet specialist in academic writing, I still found this exercise very helpful as some students in class are at their 2nd and 3rd level and they could assist students who are still in their 1st year.

A grateful heart is a treasure found

Years ago I smiled when I heard the singing of the birds outside my room. My family couldn’t understand the big deal. What was new to me had become mundane and almost unnoticeable and forgotten to them. 

I had just received a hearing aid. I stopped several times because I could hear my own footsteps, and even the clanging sounds on my laptop keyboard took some getting used to. 

I call September my marmalade month because it is a month of extreme highs and extreme lows:

5 September – my daughter was born

8 September – my brother died

9 September – my sister and I share a birthday

12 September – my mom died, on her eldest granddaughter’s birthday

13 September – my dad would have had a birthday

15 September – my niece (my brother who died’s daughter) has a birthday

19 September – my nephew has a birthday 

25 September – my brother who died would have had a birthday 

27 September – my niece has a birthday

So it is a rather bittersweet month.

Yet I have learned to find a reason to smile. To give thanks not for all things, but in all things. My giving thanks is that despite the two significant deaths (which CS Lewis likens to amputations) I choose to be grateful because of the births I celebrate, but also because they could have died on my birthday. 

And so too do I give thanks for the gift of learning, and for having been honoured to be part of this course.

 

 

06 October 2018 Expressing Gratitude. (Blog #9)

06 October 2018 Expressing Gratitude. (Blog #9)

This is a sad day indeed…

Even though it is one step closer for us to reaching our Hopes and Dreams, this is our last part of our Journey together as a group,

I would like to thank the Last Group for reminding us how important it is to stay humble throughout everything we go through in life , and how important it is to say Thank you and to be grateful,

On this day so many of my fellow class mates shared what they are grateful for and it truly opened my eyes , i was mostly in shock to learn what heavy hearts most of them have , BUT they are always smiling and making the best. Of life

Wake UP every day and say thank you, for we are truly blessed,

Thank you to all of our facilitators and my fellow classmates that took this amazing and eye opening journey with me,

I am truly Happy i continued with this Course , It has Thought me Many important Lessons and Grew me as a person more than i can think,

I thank all of the people who went out of their way not only to get to know me but also building friendships.

GUYS THANK YOU! ALL OF YOU FOR MAKING MY FIRST LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT WITS FANTASTIC

Resolving Conflict

Being different as people, having different personalities and differences it becomes rather a great challenge having to avoid conflict. Conflict is something we encounter on a regular in our lives but how we handle it is what matters . One réalisés that compromise is essential in building any relationship.Also to avoid unnecessary conflicts rather take a step back and look at it from the outside before reacting.

Honouring differences

The group that facilitated tied down their main topic to “embracing different cultures”. It was pleasing to see the synergy and team work among them.

They each wore traditional attires of different cultural groups and what stood out was that they didnt represent their own but each espoused the other culture. It was such a mind opening session. Its amazing how one thought they knew about culture until so many interesting facts were said! I was just sad that my Tswana culture was not represented😌; with that being said what remains is that we are so diverse as a nation hence we are called the “rainbow nation”. It was a well researched and presented topic.

They explained,unlocked and got to demystify the many myths that were out there, particularly about the Ngunis. I learnt a lot about the history of King Shaka and Soshangane of the Tsongas and how they came about; and that the black ethnic group is infact divided into 4 groups which is Nguni,Sotho,Tsonga and Venda. By the way we might soon have 12 cultural groups should the Khoisan be afforded the inclusion, of which I think is fair.

Equal people; Equal rights

It was interesting to learn  that “braaied meat” is part of the Afrikaaners culture and that they also introduced biltong which is now a South African delicacy that we pride ourselves with in the entire world.

I felt proud of our history as a nation…and a rich diverse culture and heritage we carry.

Building a shared understanding

It is amazing how time flies, and more so, while having fun. 

I can’t believe we have one more day to go to wrap up this semester. It feels like yesterday that I had to decide on my electives, like yesterday that we had our first class, like yesterday that we were lined up and split into two groups, with a further division into smaller groups. 

What a ride, what a journey. There hasn’t been one day that I felt like it was a burden to drag myself to class or that I felt I missed out on socializing with friends. 

Showing Gratitude

The group greeted us with sweets I was with my child so she really enjoyed that part. The group was really encouraged to show gratitude to each other as it often gives a person encouragement and allows the next person special.

They gave 3 individuals sweets with words like you’re smart you’re awesome and you’re wonderful. All three of the individuals felt so appreciated and loved. We were also requested to do an appreciation tree and majority of us were thankful for friends and family and health. I need to express my love and appreciate for all I am grateful for.

Learning from life: Defining moments

From my syndicate group’s presentation, which was daunting but great:

Years

Months

Weeks

Days 

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Meaningful to some

Insignificant to others

Life as you know it can change at any moment…

Value — Marc Levy

If you want to know the value of a year, ask a student who failed a course

If you want to know the value of one month, ask the mother who have given birth to a premature baby

If you want to know the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet

If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus

If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident

If you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who just won silver in the Olympics

Seasons of Love  — Rent

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure,

Measure a year?

In daylights?

In sunsets?

In midnights?

In cups of coffee?

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?

In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a year in a life?

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love…

Seasons of love (love)…

Seasons of love (love)…

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty five thousand journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,

or in times that he cried?

In bridges he burned,

or the way that she died?

It’s time now to sing out,

though the story never ends.

Let’s celebrate remember a year in a life

of friends

Remember the love…

(Oh, you’ve got to you’ve got to remember the love)

Remember the love…

(You know the love is a gift from up above)

Remember the love…

(Share love, give love, spray love, measure your life in love.)

Seasons of love…

Seasons of love…

 

Facilitating change

The most important thing in every relationship, may it be professionally and personally. We have to embrace change and ensure that we understand that everyone is different. Change is inevitable and sometimes necessary but scary. Because we live in an Agile and forever changing world we need to be more accustomed to change however this is not true for most of us. We are scared of the unknown and hence the reaction to change is to avoid or ignore The group presented very well and gave good tips. That in order to embrace change we need to communicate, collaborate and trust that change is good.

Building shared understanding

An interesting facilitation that was well facilitated by the group. Which really gave me a new outlook to shared understanding. The ooooooooh wooooow moment was the parable of the blind men and the elephant which goes as follows

A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: “We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable”. So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said “This being is like a thick snake”. For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said, “elephant is a wall”. Another who felt its tail, described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear. They all touched different part of the and had different views.

The parable has been used to illustrate a range of truths and fallacies; broadly, the parable implies that one’s subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. At various times the parable has provided insight into the relativism, opaqueness or inexpressible nature of truth, the behavior of experts in fields of contradicting theories, the need for deeper understanding, and respect for different perspectives on the same object of observation.

What we say and hear is important and so is understanding and respecting another person’s view earing in mind that we all see things differently.

Facilitatig change

Nothing in life is permanent, except change

It is the only constant.

And one needs to remain open to change. 

I’d like to believe that I am open to change. The most significant changes for me were to move between provinces twice, to move between jobs, and to start studying a course from scratch despite being 3 subjects away from a qualification in another discipline. 

Since the beginning of this course, my paradigm has changed, and perceptions and perspectives have broadened. And hopefully I have helped shape my world, my sphere of influence.

 

Building shared understanding

The facilitation group made us off with a game of broken telephone. Although we were not all able to participate in the game it was still fun none the less.

The game was to show how important it is to communicate well with one another and for you to also have your own self understanding.

The Facilitation also a bit of story telling about the elephants and the purpose behind the story was we all see differently, including the blind men from the story and that it’s important to learn from one another. Every one has they own interpretations on life ,and we should all try to understand we certain people are coming from. 

Week 8 – Perks of Conflict

In this week of facilitation we discussed Conflict.

It is so interesting that we all go through conflict it is just how we deal with it that makes us all the different. Through the learning I have realised how much change can bring about conflict, some people easily adapt, whilst other take time or even reject change. The exercise we did in class was quite interesting and helped us realise that conflict is not all that bad.

What I learnt was to listen with: my head, heart and hands 😊 . Listening this way will help me learn because I will be able to realise that conflict is not all bad and there is so much to learn from the conversations which will also help me respond differently to situations.

22nd September 2018 Facilitation Chance (Blog #8)

22nd September 2018 Facilitation Chance (Blog #8)

The Group that Facilitated that morning where full of confidence , it’s amazing to experience how far we as a class have come in terms of facilitating a group instead of presenting ! Definitely well done guys,

Regarding the lessons for the day, i think everyone learned something.

I personally do not like Change not on anything, but ultimately change makes us grow, Change is necessary in order to make progress,

As we draw to the end here i understand more and More Why Ross picked all of these topics as they all pull into one big Lesson and a change in all of us. (Brilliant Ross)

 

I took three Very important things with me from this Lesson

  • Every Person is addicted to being right
  • Seek first to understand
  • Honour difference (One of my Greatest classes J )

 

I Think After this I am More open to any change coming my way !

Honoring difference

Presentation by group was different indeed and the angle taken in relation to black women hair was a fresh of breath air. It made me reflect on how as black women we try so hard to change who we are in order to fit  in and don’t enjoy and embrace our differences. This can be said in our actual lives and how we try to fit in in stereotype societies and try be what we not. This derail us in terms of our end goal how we can reach our destination without knowing who we are. I have been doing a lot of introspection and realized that I need to accept and embrace who I am, in order to respect, understand and honour difference we are able to engage properly with our audience and ensure the respect and different views are shared.

Great experience indeed, helps both professionally and personally.

 

Resolving conflict, building relationships

I loved today’s session: everything from the group facilitation piece to how class played out. 

My biggest challenge has always been what I think other people think. There is just so much to communication than meets the eye. 

In a world filled with noice, silence very underrated. Musicians are taught that silence is often as important as the note you have played. The same applies to daily interaction with me: we have been given two ears and one mouth for a reason. 

Time and time again I learn to embrace that the attitude with which I listen determines what I hear. 

Roslyn affirmed that the meaning of our communication is the response we get from the other person. It’s therefore not your responsibility how I respond. Your responsibility lies in what you say next. 

I am looking forward to read Words create worlds. 

Much like a migraine sufferer is encouraged to know his triggers, so too is it important to know your communication triggers. We always view things through our lenses. 

Words are powerful, and the wounds and bruises cause by it seldom heals.

 

 

Facilitating Change

Now what an interesting facilitation session that taught me the importance of time manage and the wheel of life.  Finding a balance between work, varsity and my personal life is one of the most toughest challenge ever in my life as work and varsity is so demanding and I’m constantly drained, but the wheel of life and the quadrant helped me to sort out my life buy attending to what’s not urgent but important, spend less time on social media its the worst distraction that takes me off course and getting rid of procrastination.

Having my draft essay reviewed by two wonderful people that provided me with feedback that really helped me was a fantastic moment.

Learning from Life – 22 September 2018

Some topics makes sense and you come in class with a certain perspective, belief and some expectations. It is always refreshing to come out of class having learnt something new.

However, s***t happens in facilitation (disclaimer: I am referencing Roslyn).

The team facilitating on this day was energetic and I enjoyed that aspect as a person who draws energy from others. Aha, this is why I disappear when negative people are around!

There was a lot of suspense around the candles that we were supposed to bring and I was keen on finding out what candles had to do with the topic. The team struggled with time keeping so they could not finish their facilitation. As a result, one of the team members did not get her chance to facilitate which was a shame.

I learnt that teams should focus some of their energies to collaboration, communication and check-in for proper planning and aligning. Every voice needs to be heard because we all have something to learn from each other.

As a facilitator, it is important to remain neutral, allow conflict o happen, create a safe environment for everyone in order for them to feel safe enough to share their ideas, thoughts, frustrations, etc. We also need to be careful as facilitators not to allow attacks on other people while emotions are being expressed. This took me back to a lesson we did around removing yourself from the conflict in other to find a solution “move to the balcony to see a different point of view”.

The big learning for me in the learning from life facilitation was how Roslyn handled conflict. In the process of doing well and being competitive, we should be careful of the unintended harm that may be caused. A good facilitator needs to be aware of their surrounds.

Seeing with new eyes

The facilitation group gave us instruction to put on the shoes we were requested to bring the previous week and no one was able to do that. They spoke about the homeless and how we as people often give the homeless things that we ourselves would never be able to wear.

This was a very sad reality to me and I just felt so bad inside. they made me realize that every one has a story to tell and that we need to break down the stereo types. Communicate with the next person to get a better understanding of where they coming from.

Resolving Conflict

What an interesting topic and it was our group facilitating. I was a bit nervous but excited at the same time. We really had fun as a team and we worked well as a team and I really appreciate the wonderful people I was working with. Conflict plays out in different environments among different people and why is that ? Lets take an example of conflict that takes place in groups or teams, we see team dynamics play out, where different characters with different views, values, interest, personalities and  attitudes are not compatible and conflict takes place, however the 5 tools or techniques that are commonly used to resolve conflict is avoiding, accommodating, competing, compromising and collaborating. When there is conflict the space between is polluted and the above tools can be used to resolve conflict.

Learning from life

The afternoon group did a good job in their presentation as they illustrated that; no matter how good, intelligent, rich, or influential you may be, no man is an island. In their illustration, they formed three groups of people with about five people per group. The challenge was to see which group was going to be able to place the hola-hoop on the floor with all the team members collaborating as per instruction. It was interesting to note that without proper communication and collaboration the task could not be achieved as a group. As human beings we are interconnected and need each other in one way or another.

I also learned a few relaxation techniques which I believe will help me cope whenever I find myself in a panic state because of stage fright before a presentation at work; and also during exam time when I get panic attacks.

September 15th (Draft Essay Due) (Learning from life) (Blog 7)

September 15th (Draft Essay Due) (Learning from life) (Blog 7)

Guys well done on taking us down memory lane, reminding us about import part of our history,

Even if i did not experience of them myself, must say Powerful stuff guys!

I learned quite a few things that day,

The four stages of learning:

  • Unconscious incompetence ( The point before we recognize our deficit)
  • Conscious incompetence ( the point at which we recognize the value of learning something )
  • Conscious competence( the point where we start to understand how to do it)
  • Unconscious competence (the point where it becomes second nature )

 

Most important is we need to reflect on our past experiences, that is ultimately how we learn from them, and overcome bad emotions or bad experiences,

Where we are on the third dimensional thinking we start reaching our goals and start learning valuable lessons.

Ultimately we never stop learning.

Image result for learn from life quotes

Time Management – Week 7

I must say each week of attending the facilitation class, you get to learn quite a lot of stuff. For me this was one of the most important lectures as I related to time management. My biggest flaw ☹
With all the things I do on a daily basis, I really struggle with time management.

We were given an exercise to complete called – “wheel of life” This excursive was very interesting and showed me ways on how I can work at managing my time more effectively. Some of the things that I learnt were: effective planning, drawing up a list, having boundaries, creating aa schedule so I can know what needs to be done when, avoiding distractions and sticking to what I have set out to do.
For me all of that is essential and will help me work better and smarter. I need to ensure that I prioritize and understand the benefits of having to manage my time effectively.

Seeing with new eyes

We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way we are. — Unknown 

We don’t live life devoid of bias or assumptions. And while there is nothing wrong with assuming, it is when assumptions become hurtful that it is wrong. 

Sometimes we need to shift our angle a bit, to get a different view. The fact that my view differs from you does not necessarily make me right. Conversely your difference of opinion doesn’t make you wrong. 

I should constantly check the thinking of my thinking. I am blessed to have a friend towards whom I can speak my mind without a need to sensor my thoughts. 

Iron sharpens iron and we should constantly challenge those in our circle to think about their thinking. 

I have often cautioned my kids against stereotyping, until one day when my son asked if what I was doing isn’t exactly that. 

 

 

Honouring difference

The group really out did themselves. They really looked the part in terms of their attire. The group decided to talk about different cultures and the diversity. They told us about the type of food they eat and what the rituals were. I did not think that the group really went into depth about all the culture ,however I gave them the benefit of the doubt because they needed to also manage time.

The group was awesome and colourful.

Learning from Life

Today’s topic – PAIN – a topic which has in one way or other touched all of us.
Personally this topic was a sensitive topic for me, especially when dealing with emotional pain. Emotions I thought I had dealt re-surfaced, however this was not the place to dwell on these emotions!!
In our group discussions it was interesting to realise that I was not the only that had felt rather emotional during the presentation; this made me feel a bit better and snap out of my “feel sorry for myself” mood.
I enjoyed the rope exercise and it made me realise that communication and team work is so important in life. Also how you think and approach a problem make a huge difference – keeping an open mind, exploring different alternatives and ideas might just provide the solution!

Building Shared Understanding

I was late for this class and missed the group facilitation. However from the feedback provided by other classmates the group did quite a interesting presentation.
What was interesting for me from this weeks class though was the Johari window! The more I think about the Johari window the more I understand that when communicating with people we have to be aware of ourselves and what we reveal or do not reveal to others.
However what we reveal or do not reveal does tie in with trust, if we feel that we are in a trusting climate we will share our feelings and thoughts.
Trust though has to be developed over time – I feel that this is an area I need to work on especially in my current work environment!

Facilitating Change

For this session the group topic was time management. I have to admit I was initially not really interested as I have in past attended time management courses. However as the facilitation continued I was really interested in the “wheel of life” exercise.
Once I had completed the exercise I realised that to lead a more productive life I would need to work continuously on time management! Sounds crazy!! I think this will help in the future though especially at times when I am feeling overwhelmed.
By planning, drawing up a list and a schedule, setting some boundaries, avoiding distractions/interruptions (e.g. TV!!) I will be in a better position to do accomplish so much more.
During this session we also had to review classmates draft essays, I have to admit I was not too comfortable with the idea of someone else reading my essay. However when I was reading other classmates draft essays I understood that I could learn from what I was reading and that hopefully someone would also learn form my essay or provide me with some pointers.
It is not always easy to receive or provide feedback but feedback is essential especially if you want understand if you have either achieved your objectives or not.

Check In

While learning about ‘Personal Mastery’ in class, I learned that an important tool called “Check In”, which is a quality tool that creates an environment for productive and meaningful conversations.  This tool is helpful for many people who have trouble speaking in groups.  One of the rules of check-in is if someone wants to open a conversation or if someone brings up something that needs to be discussed, remind the group that this is a check-in and that we will talk about it after the check-in is completed.

I must say that listening to others was not easy for me in the beginning because every time someone spoke, I had certain questions in my mind that I wanted to interrupt and ask but with the check in rules you can’t interrupt the person speaking.  I realized that this was not a good quality to have and I always say I value input from others but I had not been aware of how to create a safe environment for others to pop and be allowed to without any interruptions from me.

I chair a lot of committee meetings at my place of work which comprise of a lot of different people ranging from Marketing & Events Managers, CEOs of companies and Professional Conference Organisers.  Often I find this to be such a daunting task that I have to pray for days to ensure I’m calm and confident and more than anything, hope I will get good participation and feedback from the attendees of these meetings.  I find it important to have every participant’s voice heard right from the start reduces any anxiety they might feel and can help a person to be comfortable with participating in the conversation.  I experienced how checking in helped me and other people in my group in one of the classes and made a note of it.  At the very next committee meeting I had which was about debriefing after an event we hosted, I used this tool and I really saw the results of check-in.  It’s as if I had created a safe environment for everyone to contribute towards the meeting.  We received a lot of good suggestions for the next event and everyone left feeling important and part of a team.  Check-in will definitely be a tool that I will be using in my committee meetings and also at our church meetings where I have an opportunity of chairing the meeting, or I might have to teach my church family how and why it’s done.

Resolving Conflict…Building Relationships

Regrettably due to not feeling well, I was not able to attend the full day session on resolving conflict and building relationships.
Judging from the blog posts these two sessions were quite interesting and I am quite sad I missed them.
These two topics go hand in hand as part of resolving conflict is also about building relationships.
In my work environment I have experienced situations of conflict, the resolving of the conflict though has been a challenge. However after reading through the notes in the facilitation work book I have realised that I need to look at myself first and resolve my internal conflicts first.
Conflict is a part of life, however how conflict is handled and managed is what will determine a resolution.
Building relationships whether at work or personal relationships is hard work and requires a certain understanding of people dynamics.
Some of the things that need to be considered in building relationships are things like – respect, communication, trust, truth and forgiveness

RESOLVING CONFLICT & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Conflict is undesirable and uncomfortable yet every once in a while each person will conflict with someone or something and it is best to have the tools to know how to resolve the conflict. Conflict arises from not understanding each other perspective and not giving value to the person or their point of view. To avoid conflict one needs to listen with an open mind and try see things from the other person’s point of view. the problem with conflict is when the issues are not resolved and a person character is attacked . We need to engage more to better understand each other and hopefully get along better.

Building relationships take time as trust, communication openness has to exist .Communication is the biggest factor and caring goes a long way to building relationships.

 

Regards

Wakhile

Expressing gratitude

Finally it was our group to present this interesting topic, we decided not to make the topic about ourselves only, but involve everyone in the class about the facilitation skills course. We each highlighted the topics that stood out for us in the past presentations. We related our own experiences and expressed our gratitude.

After the presentation it became clear that this topic has really touched everyone’s heart in a way. Karen engaged the class and asked if we want to continue with the topic or let her do what she planned for the day. The class opted to continue with the topic. People continued to express their gratitude and share their experiences about the course and the impact it had struck on them.

After the break it was a bit emotional when we continued, I related my experience from the week before when we were sharing our highs and lows. I am grateful for that session because it has actually allowed me to go to the archives and confront the issues that I didn’t want to deal with, I got the courage to acknowledge them as experience and acknowledge them without judgement and for that I am grateful for this course.

Thank you Roslyn, Telfa, Fiona and Karen.

Building shared understanding

The group that was facilitating presented on the holidays that we have in our country and whether is it really necessary to have all of them. In the process fairness about the religious holidays was questioned seeing that we are a diverse country with various religious denominations. It was interesting to hear the different views from the people.

We then started with our lesson for a day where we were asked to write down the dates from the time one was born the highs and lows that took place along the way to date. We were grouped in pairs and had to share with your partner as to how you dealt with the challenges that you came across in life. It just took me to the places that I didn’t want to go to at that moment but I guess life has a way of forcing you to go to the places that you thought that you won’t go back to.

Putting yourself in someone’s shoes

So for this week facilitation piece, which was about “Seeing with new eyes” we had to bring in an old pair of shoes.Sounds quite interesting and I was keen to see what the group was going to do.
When we arrived we had to put the shoes we had bought with us in a basket. The group then started their facilitation piece and asked the class to go pick out a pair of shoes from the basket. The class proceeded to go and pick a pair of shoes- either their own or someone else’s.
Then we were asked to put the shoes on, at this point it was interesting to note how we all reacted! Some of the class were reluctant to put on the shoes whereas others tried to put on the shoes they had picked.
The lesson for me from this facilitation was that we sometimes have to step into someone’s shoes to understand and realise what they are experiencing and living.
We sometimes make judgement’s and have preconceived ideas about people yet we have not taken the time to ask or listen to their story.
I hope that I can take the lesson learnt today in class, and apply it in my life when interacting not only with my colleagues at work but in other spheres of my life.

Learning from life

This was also an interesting facilitation session, the group that presented made us sit in groups and they have put posters with different years next to each group. The group that I was sitting with we had 1990. After presenting we were then asked as the group as to what was the highlight on that particular year. In our group most of the people were younger than me and they couldn’t relate with the year.

I related the to them about the release of Nelson Mandela from prison as it happened in 1990. It just took me down the memory lane, the celebrations that took place in the townships on that particular Sunday afternoon. Everybody was in a jovial mood, they were all fascinated by the stories that I was relating. This reminded me that we have really come too far as a country.

HONOURING DIFFERENCES

The third week came and the next group’s topic was honoring difference. The group decided to focus on honoring cultural differences. Everyone was dressed representing a different culture in South Africa and when they introduced themselves they sang and praise clan name in the respective language and that was truly beautiful. They engaged us by opening the floor to ask us what do we now about the specific cultures. Through that exercise we realized we have unconscious biases and stereotypes about certain cultures and they demystified myths about certain culture . The session was well received, entertaining and educational. The groups are starting to incorporate Rosslyn’s feedback into the sessions.

We also learned about Principles of Detachments and how to use objective through practices Balcony and Dance. It is important to be able to read your audience.

Regards

Wakhile

29 September – Topic, Expressing Gratitude

Last participation on facilitation what a bitter sweet session we had. It would’ve been nice for Roslyn to be there and receive the flowers. I am eternally grateful for choosing facilitation and meeting Roslyn. What an amazing experience. What an eye opening experience. Definitely uplifting and my perceptions have changed. How I think about things and do things has changed. This class has helped me to think deeper about myself, improve my communication skills. Not take things too personally and to honour difference!!!

The last group that presented di very well and definitely facilitated experiencing gratitude very well. It was beautiful to see and hear how positively people have been impacted by this class. The exercise they made us do really got people to open up and share beautiful stories and experiences. This was definitely my plus.

My delta is that I expected the class to end on a high note however the sharing our gratitude experiences continued after the break and that session became too emotional, too personal and that killed the mood I was in. On a positive side though I am glad that I stayed and listened to people and their stories without judgement. I am actually proud of myself for that.

Looking back, It’s funny how I dreaded this course on the first day and even felt like I made a mistake. I must say that it has been an amazing experience and it is a module that I would recommend people to do. It is definitely eye opening and an enlightening experience.

Thank you Rosyln, Telfer and guest facilitators.

STORYTELLING

Storytelling is such a broad topic so really looked forward to how the   group will be facilitating the topic.My immediate visualisation is storytelling through different art mediums like singing, dancing, acting, exhibitions.The best way I interpret stories is through visual mediums.

The second group started by asking us to close our eyes and the one of the team members starte reading a story which was our visual theatre until some classmates started waling in the class during the reading session thus disturbing the piece so we has to start all over again.

The group facilitated by sharing with us very scientific facts about chicken.It was very interesting facts however I caught myself wondering was the objective for me to remember all the scientific facts?

Today’s highlight was creating a frame work for learning for the rest of the groups that still need to present.

We need to have clear objectives

What do we want people to learn ?

Have intent?

How to raise the quiet voices?

How to command a room

How to listen more?

Regards

Wakhile

 

 

 

22 September – Facilitating Change

Our presentation day!!!!

What a nerve racking day!!!! I was worried about things going right. I questioned our presentation at the last minute and a part of me wanted to change it. The group however was happy. I was anxious throughout the planning because at some point we could not all meet to practice however things worked out at the end. Our presentation went well better than I expected. It was a bummer though that there was a few people due to the long weekend. I would’ve loved to have a full class to allow us to interact more with the class and allow us to facilitate. Complains aside, my group members are the BEST! Everything that we wanted to do we did and there were no errors from the group. I am happy that everyone contributed and was committed to delivering a good presentation:-) 🙂 🙂

The theoretical perspective that we focused on, on this day and what stood out for me is the theory of the problem with egocentric thinking which states that the unfortunate fact that humans do not actually consider the rights and needs of others (pg 171). I learned to actually consider other people. I believe I already do however I need to be more consistent in doing so and actually questioning my reasoning in situations. I also learned how group think can also be dangerous (well that is my perspective). As I grow older I care more about how I handle situations and the quality of my thoughts and how I do things. It is safe to say that facilitation as a course came at the right time. The one important thing that Roslyn pointed out on this is that team work includes the capacity to build trust. I will definitely carry this with me. We also learned about the problem with Sociocentric thinking which states that most people do not understand the degree to which they uncritically internalise the dominant prejudices of their team, society or culture (pg 172). This resonated with me a lot because it is one challenge that I have been faced with at work this year. I have since decided to be very careful of what I think, say and do and this has helped me to not get too involved in certain situations and has made me be able to chose what I engage and what I ignore.

I also liked 2 things that Roslyn said and that I will continue practicing in my life which are:

  • Seek first to understand and then be understood. and,
  • You don’t have to get into conflict when you honour difference.

Great class.

 

Reflecting

Writing the reflective essay has really put into perspective what this Facilitation Course is actually about. It is a study of personal mastery and success. It teaches you to navigate personal and professional relationships by monitoring your internal climate and really investigating your thoughts and belief systems.

The ways in which this course has enriched my life, and offered practical tools of personal development, are innumerable. I doubt there has been a single class where I have left feeling as though the content was irrelevant; I have identified a useful trick to improve my life, in real time,  every time. From lessons on how to coordinate meetings and popcorn check-ins, to stepping on the balcony and leading by example, this course has been a gold mine of insight into how to live an extraordinary life whilst finding fulfillment in the ordinary. It has been remarkable.

I have learnt, through an experience where my involvement led to someone else’s accidental exclusion, that you can still hurt others when trying to be helpful. Be helpful anyway.

I have learnt that I am a large personality, and thus need to make a conscious effort to give the quieter voices room to speak; this one has served me greatly.

I have learnt to step out of my comfort zone, to be bold and to be open to new experiences because sometimes, as is the case with Facilitation Skills, there is method in the madness.

Honouring Differences and Showing Up

The facilitation today was about honouring differences. I found the session quite interesting and insightful.
I found myself thinking about how in the diverse and colourful country we live in, we have such interesting cultures, languages, rituals and traditions.
This session provided me with insight into the interesting, different yet at times similar traditions and rituals. Sharing this information was fun as it made me realise that by keeping an open mind we can learn so much and be objective in how we view people.
The piece on how we all wear masks made me realise that at work I do wear a mask as a way to protect myself, however after this session I feel that this might be something I need to reconsider and approach differently.
The section on “showing up” was really insightful as it highlighted for me how it is important to “be present” and grounded when showing up. We all show up in different ways in different places, and how we do show up would be something we need to determine for ourselves.
The exercise we did on thinking style preferences was a highlight for me.This clarified for me how when working with groups of people consideration has been taken into account about how we all have different thinking preferences.This has an impact on teams work and at time if not considered can cause a certain amount of conflict.
Thinking style preferences will be something I will consider when working in a team as I now understand that allowing for and considering these styles will allow for the team to work more effectively and achieve the team objective.

15 September – Learning from Life

Back from the term break!! 🙂 🙂

Funny how I was tired after a break.

The presenting group put us in groups and gave us topics and significant dates in South Africa from 1976, to 1994 when Nelson Mandela became president and our topic was 2010 when the soccer world cup came to South Africa! Phillip was here!! (Probably one of the most popular phrases from that year. Our group had to share our experiences good and bad. It was an amazing year for South Africa and really beautiful to see South Africans coming together and celebrating (I wish we were united as we were during the world cup). My grand father passed on that year during the world cup. I will never forget that, I lost my father figure and the most amazing man I have ever known. He really was the best dad I ever had.

On this day my plus was the section we did on surfacing beliefs and assumptions. It was very informative as it gave perspective on Peoples frames of reference which is informed by their motivation, expectations, culture, emotions, attitude and beliefs (pg 112). I tend to personalise a lot of things and the discussion we had on this really gave me a good perspective and made me think about how I need to consider these points when talking to people. Another issue I have is making assumptions. It’s amazing how Roslyn addresses such things and makes you think deeper. What I will take away from this is being mindful of my own assumptions, I am practicing to stop and think before I say something to someone and will continue doing so. Another important aspect of this is the theory we went through on unconscious bias(pg 115). We did an interesting exercise in the book on a short story about the girl and the sailor  when we did the reflection it forced me to actually re-read the story a couple of times and think about how I was ranking the characters on the story based on the highest and lowest integrity and morals. I was blown away by peoples different rankings and reasoning and very impressed with how Roslyn made us think about our biases when ranking the characters. I loved it! and I want to have that skill where I really think about my unconscious biases in my close relationships, work situations and how I engage with people in society at large. This is also one of the things that I have learned in this class and would like to improve on it daily.

Building Relationships

Our group was tasked to facilitate a group learning experience on Building Relationships. Ironically, the process of planning the presentation required us to build a relationship with each other and put to practice what we would present.

We chose break the topic up into its components and chose to use the speed-dating mechanism where each group member would facilitate their chosen component, allowing everybody equal opportunity to speak and lead. Or at least, this was the idea.

The reality was that each of the components of building lasting relationships – communication, teamwork, honesty & reliability etc. are each individuality nuanced and would each need 30 minutes each to get into, but alas, we only had 30 minutes for them all and the class was left wanting.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this with my group. Our ability to quickly set up a Whattsapp group to communicate,and outlining our presentation topics on a shared Google slide helped us to quickly come up with the strategy and kept us all on the same page.

Building relationships might seem like a complicated task in this age of social awkwardness and social media overload, but if you work on a few small areas, it is possible to build lasting relationships.

 

 

 

We all have a story

Today’s session made me realise that we all do have our own story to tell. I enjoyed listening to people’s stories and it was encouraging to hear the different voices and experiences.
By sharing our stories we open ourselves to learning and understanding from a different perspective. It also provides us with an opportunity to keep an open mind and to allowing ourselves to be flexible in how we relate to one another, not only as individuals but as a society.
Story telling made me realise that by sharing our individual stories and experiences we connect to people we might never have connected to because we have a shared experience and common understanding.
I am hoping that I can use the lesson learnt in class today in my work environment a well as with my friends.I think this will provide me with a deeper understanding of people dynamics, and how different experiences, values, cultures and upbringing contribute to how we interact and react to one another.

25 August – Resolving conflict and Building Relationships

Full day number Two!!!

This day is the day I knew that I love facilitation and enjoy the class. It was my close friends baby shower and throughout that week I was stressed about missing FACILITATION and feeling caught between a rock and a hard place. I literally was thinking of how I can miss the baby shower and attend the class 🙁 decided to come to class for the first half then go tot the baby shower for the second half. I was anxious about missing the second half of the class and very reluctant to leave.

The group presentation that I saw was the resolving conflict presentation. What an eye opening and informative presentation. I did a lot of self reflection especially what I was going through at that time. It made me think of my partner and how I want to learn how to communicate better. Conflict resolution is one of the things I am struggling with in my adult life and I want to constantly work on improving it. I have become aware of how I struggle to deal with situations at times and regret what I say after.  What I took from this presentation is me being more aware of myself and try to work on my listening skills and not listen to respond. This really made me thin consciously about handling issues and I will keep working on my self and manage things better. I am determined to improve this part of my life.

We did an exercise from the book on the Protocol for dealing with a point of view that is different to yours. We discussed the path of protection and the path of evolution and also discussed the law of reciprocity. My highlight here was a quote that Roslyn said which is “Beyond the land of right doing and wrong doing there is a truth… I will meet you there” This was a definite plus for me because it really encouraged me to think about focusing less on what is right or wrong between my partner and I’s conflict situations and think more on how to handle them better.

Sad I missed the rest of the class.

Good Morning and Welcome

So today my group did the facilitation piece on “Communicating via Social Media”. We had less than a week to prepare and we only met twice, so it goes without saying that we were somewhat apprehensive.
Standing in front of a room full of people is quite daunting and it made me realise that preparation is very important.Knowing how you are going to kick off your presentation, and watching the audience for cues as to whether they are with you is critical.
I really feel that as a group we come together and achieved some of the objectives of the presentation.We also had FUN and enjoyed working as a team.
The feedback from Roslyn and our class mates was important.I think the feedback has provided us all with some insights into what to consider and perhaps do differently if we ever find ourselves having to facilitate either at work or in our own personal spaces.
My aha moments from today’s class was also how a check in is important, and I also found the balcony and the dance a critical component of today’s class.
I know that I will apply the balcony and dance in future especially in my work environment. I believe it will give me a different perspective on what is happening in the space I find myself in. It will provide me with the ability to use what I observe in assisting myself and my work colleagues to reach a deeper understanding.

Leading by example

In school, we’re introduced to the concept of leadership and are taught that great leaders lead from the front, keep their peers in line and become the authority over others’ behaviours through nominations for the coveted position of school prefect.

In the working world- in companies with a traditional management approach- directors and supervisors are the equivalent of school prefects, dictating behaviour and enforcing their ideas onto the teams they lead. They keep their teams in line, micro managing their every action with the hope of inspiring greatness. However, this method has quite the opposite effect. Teams feel suffocated and become disengaged, ultimately leaving those managers in pursuit of greener pastures.

Employees don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this and have been grappling with what it means to be a great leader and, although being the boss, avoiding being a boss.

Author of The Future of Leadership: The rise of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, Bridget Hyacinth, wrote “Employees want managers who are leaders. Managers who will inspire them, who are fair and honest and will stand up for their team. Loyalty cannot be bought, it must be earned. Sometimes it’s the little things that you do, that count the most.”

The fictitious tale of the American woman who moved to a small Chinese village only to find the old people of that village hunched over is one which resonated with me deeply.  As the story goes, the American woman asks one of the ladies she has befriended in the village why the old people are hunched over, and the local responded that it’s just what happens when people get old in that village – they double over. Refusing to accept this rationale, the American woman observed the old people closely, and discovered that the source of their poor posture was the short -handled broom they used to sweep the roads every day. She suggested they use long-handled broom, which the locals scoffed at, until she sourced the right materials to create the broomstick and using it in the company of the local women, and up and down the streets as a demonstration to the village. It worked, the villagers happily ventured into the jungle to fetch their own reeds and make themselves long-handled broomsticks.

This simple act of leading by example changed the perspective of the village and managers in big corporate could do with the practice of effective leadership which is very different from standard bullying, although much of big industry might tell you otherwise.

Long gone are the days of the old “do as I say and not as I do” adage. Employees want to be inspired. They want to feel that they can trust the leadership which they must answer to and feel a sense of autonomy over their departments.

Great leadership takes humility. As a leader, one must admit to things they don’t know and it requires the ability to ask for help. We have been taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness, and the internet generation has created the expectation that one must know everything about everything at all times. Similarly, when one does have the answers and yet cannot convince their team to follow their strategy, sometimes a visual representation is what people need. Get it done and let them see it, and they will be sure to follow.

Don’t lead from behind.

 

Expressing Gratitude

This weeks class was about expressing gratitude, the group facilitating did their best to get the group to participate although the class was  not having it at all. But we should all be grateful for what we have on a daily basis and satisfied with it.

Its been a good journey, I have meet many different people and have buildt new friendships and with all i say. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Ngiyathokoza Ke a leboha Ke a leboga Siyabonga Ndo livhuwa Enkosi Ngiyabonga Dankie

18 August – Seeing with New eyes and freeing your Mind

The first full-day class!!! I actually enjoyed being with the morning group. They are soo energetic. We got an email during the week to bring an old pair of shoes. I remember thinking (I hope we are not going to do an outside activity that involves running or something). And I thought, Roslyn is unpredictable we might do something extreme!!!

This for me was one of the best presentations. The shoe exercise really got us uncomfortable and to also think about other people’s experiences. This is one of the groups that I feel they facilitated we They engaged well with the class and got us to participate and managed the conversation well. It was also an emotional presentation for me because it immediately got me thinking about my life, my goals, my budget, my future financial plans and also how grateful I am for all that I have. This definitely stood out for me and was my aha moment.  My mind was occupied with thoughts about my life for most of the day.

What I took from the exercise is to be grateful for all that I have and also to be present in my own life instead of worrying about my future. This is also one of the things that I learned from facilitation that I practice daily to be grateful. I also had an epiphany about what I have been through in my life and learn from those experiences and also be thankful and proud of myself for surviving and moving on with life.

The second presentation was on Freeing your mind. This was also good. I absolutely loved it. Both groups did very well in facilitating in my view. They actually made me nervous about our own group presentation. This group made us define what freeing  your mind is and gave us a list of common practices that people use to free their mind and how those made us feel. I particularly enjoyed the emotional freedom technique called tapping where we were made to do the tapping exercise. At first I thought it was weird but I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxing the exercise was!! The exercise made me think differently about mediation actually and how I need to explore that as one of the ways that help me relax.

My only delta on this day is that it was long. However indefinitely enjoyed it and felt light when I went home. I was reminded of important lessons and will carry them with me. 🙂

 

What have you learned?

What I have learned through out this process is the learning techniques, sharing ideas in class and working together as a team. I was amazed by the team effort and how everyone participated. Everyone voiced out their opinions, the topic that I liked the most was the one about marriage, initiation and Birth.

Marriage is  a formal union, marriage is a social, and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, and emotionally. Traditionally, marriage is often viewed as a man marrying into another family where the women would leave her home and live with her mother in-law and husband, there are so many aspects to marriage when it comes to tradition, even with birth and initiation.

Every Ethnic group have their own ways of doing things and if things are not done their way then you are considered an outcast or you follow the Western culture and people will not take you seriously.

Closing

I cant wait for todays class. it will be a rather nice meeting with my peers . I believe this will be a strong foundation building to our respective future channels . it will shape us and harness our path going forward . the approach had indeed changed and things will be different.

11 August – Honorung Difference

A day after my BIRTHDAY!!! I woke up feeling grateful and thinking about the next year of my life and what I am looking forward to.

Got to class and saw the set up, posters about hair and those mannequin heads with different hairstyles. First thing that came to mind (this is going to be interesting). The topic was about honouring difference by appreciating different hair types. As the group presented and listening to the context of the presentation, I thought they chose a very emotive subject and there was mattering from different people around me. I was the only black person in my discussion group and based on the questions that I was asked I realised how other races have serious misconceptions about black women and their hair. Someone even asked why we hate our hair, WE DON’T and she also asked why we put on weaves. What I noticed about the discussions even from the participants is that the conversation  was defensive (This was one of my delta’s). I remember thinking to myself how I wish everyone understood black women and not judge. Another delta was when one of the facilitating group members defended the comments on her child’s relaxed hair ( I was asking myself why she put her child as one of the examples). That situation was awkward.

What I learned fro this session and my aha moment was how to not have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. I once saw a post about this on Instagram and the awkward actually made me realise how important that is. I is definitely a difficult thing for me to do and something I really need to work on and want to improve.

Resolving Isiphithiphithi

I was part of a group that facilitated this topic, we did some researching on this and I have learned quite a bit from it. some point of our lives we will be faced with conflict and what better way one can handle a conflict situation when one is well equipped with the know how to deal with different conflict situations we can encounter in life. it believe it was beautifully done by our group.

Gratitude

Gratitude means thank you and  showing appreciation. It’s the warm feeling you get when you remember the person who told you  thank you and they appreciate you.

Saying thank you does not kill anyone and showing appreciation is a confidence booster, I’m grateful for registering this facilitation course,it has taught me so many things that I did not know but now I know,the knowledge I have is for a lifetime and no one can take it away from me.

Im so grateful for Roslyn and the Team for teaching us about Facilitation skills, for making us not fearful but showing us that we can conquer the world with the knowledge we have.

Free your Mind

we get inundated with work ,friends, family and a whole lot of responsibilities and activities we get up to on a daily basis. it at some stage gets so hectic that one loses themselves in a process so its very important for one to start to be aware of their surrounding and find a space to take a moment to bring themselves on track and sort of free their mind from all the dust of the world… the exercise was rather deep spiritually but nice work from the group.

Week 7: Seeing with new eyes

The group shared a story about living in the street, shared the voice of those who are living in the streets without knowing exactly where the next meal will come from. I remember the lady mention how we as ‘normal’ people pretend they don’t exist. I really felt bad as I am one of those people who literally ignore the person knocking on my window.

I had a guy pester me everyday I go to the office. He would knock on my window and swear and say this and that. I would simply just drive off. One of my friends suggested I look and him and even if I sign to him that I don’t have, just to show him that I do acknowledge him as a human. I proceeded to do exactly that. Once I started looking at him, the swear words disappeared and more smiles came through.

Its funny how we take small things for granted, I mean they are people and there are real circumstances how they got on the streets. I have now changed how I react to others . I consider others feels.

Week 5: Facilitating Change

Change is something that is very uncomfortable even though in some instances it is for the better. For me 2018 has been a year of CHANGE. I was opening and I  refused to rely on the way I do things. This topic is very close to my heart as I have chosen to embrace change and not run away from it. I believe it is always an on opportunity to discover something new, leave bad habits and just grow.

One thing I will use going forward is the  domains of disclosure which are Public, Private, and Unconscious and  Johari’s window which is the awareness of self and others, Transparent,
Hidden, Blind and Unknown.

This definitely helps one be more aware of themselves, surrounding and people around them.

Learning styles

What was very key for me in the course was the exercise we did about discovering our different styles of learning and adopting suitable ways to meet our one unique learning styles to make studying more enjoyable and fun. this made me realize that I am different and I have a different of learning and I should find ways to complement my learning style while studying. so it was rather a nice exercise we did 

4 August – Story Telling

What an insightful session!!! I will start by discussing the presentation for this day which was story telling. The presentation was about Mandela the facilitation was creative and the use of music was intriguing. The questions that were asked from the audience ended up being about Mandela instead of the facilitation itself. I believe as a class we were still getting our heads around what facilitation is and what the presentation are supposed to do. Roslyn asked the class what we took from the presentation and what we would do better. Once again Roslyn reminded us about what it is to facilitate. The low point for me was the comments after the presentation they ended up being about Mandela instead of story telling. The music  during the presentation was also a bit confusing.

We were asked to read ahead for the lesson and divided into different groups of those who read and those who still needed to read for the activity. Luckily I did pre-read and prepare, I remember thinking about how it is important to actually prepare and the importance to engage. I have been struggling with procrastinating especially this year. I have been feeling unmotivated and doing a lot of things on the last minute. I looked at the group that didn’t pre-read and saw myself there however I was pleased to have prepared. This is unrelated to the activity but it was my aha moment. I am slowly starting to actually do things on time and not rush at the last minute. It is difficult because I get overwhelmed a lot and feel like I can’t think. This is a serious working progress and I am determined to improve.

So back to the readings. We had to read 6 different stories which are:

  • The rafting story
  • The Bent backs of changing dong
  • The African dress
  • The Watermelon Eaters
  • The Prince and the Magician
  • A story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment

In our groups we had to figure out who the facilitator was in each story. What was interesting for me in our group is how people see things differently. I think I was the youngest person in my group and I did not enjoy having my opinion shut down by one of the group members (an older outspoken lady). This was my delta, because she did not let us speak and almost wanted us to agree with her. And I thought she didn’t understand some of the stories.

In figuring out who the facilitator is in each story I acquired new ideas about how to facilitate. I liked the rafting story because the two instructors had completely different ways of facilitating and that gave me an aha moment about the type of leader I am and still want to be ( I have aspirations of being in a management position one day). The rafting story had a guide who was soft spoken and who inspired the team to have fun and enjoy the experience. I liked this kind of leadership (I believe Roslyn is this type of leader, she is amazing and very insightful. I wish to be able to facilitate like her in my future roles in my life and be able to make a great impact like she does). This was relevant to me because it immediately made me think of my office situation and the leadership and how I can manage the situation better without taking it personally.

The session definitely added value to me because this is when facilitation started to be clear to me and when I started appreciating what facilitation is about. 🙂

Learning from Life

Due to some challenges at home; I unfortunately could not stay for the full duration of this session.  A number of very key aspects were discussed that were things that I took with me.  Just to mention a few of the ones that stuck in my mind; it was the fact that one’s context is based on one’s experiences.  As human beings we tend to attach different meanings to situations depending on what we’ve been exposed to.  In our bag of experiences; there are different backgrounds that we come from; and different standpoints that tend to influence how we view things.  This then drives how we respond to situations.    I am not quite sure how reading came into the fold; but be that as it may; I  learnt on this day that how we receive data  differs from one person to the next.  What I  hear may not necessarily be the fact.  Given that we select how we receive data; it therefore goes without saying that witnesses to a case or event would not tell the same story despite both having been there at the same time.  Each individual ‘s assumptions are I informed by how they receive data! This for me was very profound.  According to Ros Solomon; the data that we receive is reinforced by our belief systems.  Following this session; I  found I could understand better when dealing with people who have a different opinion from mine.  For me this was a big learning curve!

28 July – Communicating via social media

What an insightful session!!! I will start by discussing the presentation for this day which was story telling. The presentation was about Communicating via social media. I was nervous for the group that presented. They did well considering the little time they had to prepare. the facilitation was very informative on the different kinds of social media. I learned about Pinterest and how it works.   The questions that were asked from the audience ended up being about different kinds of social media and how people feel about it instead of the facilitation itself. I believe as a class we were still getting our heads around what facilitation is and what the presentation are supposed to do. Roslyn gave a few pointers about not taking comments personally and also being able to SEE the positive comments… ( I think most of us focus on the negative comments or take critique personally, this was evident from the discussions after the presentation). She pointed out that when facilitating you are not an expect but you are FACILITATING. The low point for me was how some of the group members grilled and asked very unnecessary questions about the different social media platforms… I think the context was lost here…

What stood out the most for me and my Aha moment  was Roslyn’s facilitation activities, we did an exercise about checking in and she explained the different types of checking in. This was an aha moment because in my life I seldom check in on myself, situations I am faced with or even on my daily activities. The most important lesson I learnt from the exercises was seeing how checking in gives you a different view on a situation. I immediately thought of how I communicate and certain conflicts that I have which is something I have been struggling with lately.

We spoke  about checking. In the reader it states that the purpose of checking in is to bring concerns and issues into the open so there are no unspoken thoughts of distractions from the meeting. It is an invitation to be fully present (pg 27). This is what triggered my aha moment. It made me think about how I can me fully present in different situations in my life.

The different check in processes that I learned about were:

  1. The round robin – one person starts, then you go around in a circle. ( This was a great way to open up, a lot of people had great insights).
  2. The popcorn style – where people choose when they want to check in based on when they are ready.

We also spoke about the check out process, which brings closure. This is where we reflect on the conversation and share concluding remarks and also share individual perspectives.

This session was amazing for me. I have decided to be more present and actually reflect on my personal experiences and how I manage situations in my life. 🙂

Week 10: Expressing gratitude

I remember thinking this is the last day of our facilitation class. I cannot  afford to miss it. I had missed the last class because of a family engagement. I actually arrived late for some reason or the other, funny enough I remember thinking I will ensure that I do not get locked out of class once I take up this course. I must be honest I was very relaxed on this day, I didn’t think there was still a group to present. Only to get there, doors locked. I then saw these posters on the walls. Thank you posters, I thought to myself, are these always here? I later realized there was a group presenting on Gratitude. I thought they used the facilitation tools well as I didn’t need to ask what they were presenting on.

Karen was taking us on this day. We spoke about what goes into a good facilitation session. Ones intention needs to be very clear. This is ensure that the purpose on the session is met, the team is also aligned to the facilitator. We also touched on creating a safe space, we talked about what made our sessions safe spaces where everyone felt comfortable to raise their thoughts. One thing I will always use is listed to the quieter voices, the thinkers. I liked what was highlighted that you don’t have to like those you are working with but every expression must be loved. Listening is one of the key factors to ensure a facilitation session.Sometimes an environment is not safe when  ground rules are not set up front.

In the later part of the day we then discussed NNI which is No Name Initiative which involves deep democracy, forces you to listen to the voice and not what the person is saying. I loved this technique as it forces you to put facts on the table. it can get very heated but the trick here is to remember to address the voice rather than a person. I definitely think its one tool I am keen on learning more about. It

On closing went around the class addressing why one was thankful, which fit in well with the topic of the day. Gratitude. It has been a great time especially when you come with preconceived ideas only to find that you are totally wrong, instead you learn a whole lot about self and how you are with others. Where you would like to improve, how you mind plays tricks on you by exaggerating somethings and when you actually get to do them, it is not that bad.

Ros, Telfer, Fiona, Kate thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with us! I learned a great deal. I had fun.

 

Introduction to Facilitation

This marked my first day at Wits. A day that made reality sunk that my Saturdays will no longer be spent with my kids. What a day!

It was overwhelming walking into this huge class of about 200 individuals. It felt heavy for me, and only to find that the lecture feels the same way too. She then decided to divide us into 2 classes…the morning(08h-12h) and afternoon(12h30-15h30) for ease management.

I always confused facilitation skills with presentation skills and hoped to walk away on that day knowing the difference. The lecture unpacked what the class is all about and established what our expectations were individually.

That became a deciding factor for me personally!

Asifani

we living in a world where there are people from different walks of life. who were raised in a different way and have their own ideologies which may very much differ from us and what we belief. I have learned that it is ok and I need respect the difference and in the same difference learn to live with other people. but what is important to me is the fact that in order to understand that people are different one needs to learn to understand other peoples stories.

Thinking Style

Thinking style preferences was a very interesting way of finding out that I’m more of an investigator.

This assessment would be helpful in many ways from schools to corporate companies.  It could make a huge difference in a child’s life if teachers could use a similar model to assertain the learning abilities for each scholar and to apply teaching methods accordingly. Similarly students can be assessed at undergrad level to assertain whether theotrical or practical projects would be viable to them.

It is my thinking that using this model could eliminate allot if frustration even in the workplace to employ specific people for specific job skill requirements.

Again the resources  and tools handed to us in class, if used correctly and with more experience, will put us at an advantage at work at home and in class.

Expressing Gratitude

We have finally reached the end of the road with the Facilitation class.What a fruitful journey it has been!

My group facilated on the topic expressing gratitude. A topic that evokes positive feelings and somehow ignites an ubuntu fire within. It taught me the value of gratefulness,appreciation and thankfulness whether on the receiving or giving end. Gratitude is a daily experience,each day when God affords me an opportunity to see yet another day I am filled with gratitude for I know its not my will or wisdom that I am still on this earth.I am greatful for who I am,what I have and what I am able to do, rather than being unhappy about what I dont have.

We had a one day facilitator who brought a different style/approach to the class.She brought forth a topic on legalizing marijuana and an open debate ensued thereafter.It was interesting to hear differing views on this subject and the emotions that were placed on it; with others saying its a health risk and others giving it a thumbs up of being a health benefit.As much as it is a sensitive issue that got emotions running high, the seating arrangememt created a safe environment and people respected differences.

In closing we formed a circle and each individual stated what they benefitted from the course…I am personally walking away with overflowing knowledge and a modified character.

One lesson I carry forth on this last day is that, as a facilitator you maintain a neutral position during a debate and respect each persons voice  even if you feel strongly about a certain point of view.

Defining Moments

A defining moment is a point in your life when you’re urged to make a  decision, or when you experience something that fundamentally changes you. Not only do these moments define us, but they have a transformative effect on our perceptions and behaviours.

One of the memorable moments in my life was in 2010,when the world cup came to South Africa for the first time, the experience was enjoyable and exciting.

Seeing different supporters form all over the world coming to Africa some of them might have been for the first time and others might be for the last time. When South Africa was playing tickets where given for free so that we can go and support Bafana Bafana. That once in a lifetime experience and was also a defining moment for me and for South Africa as a whole. We all have the ability to define our defining moments.

Story telling

it is natural to judge people, we judge people on a daily basis most of the time unknowingly so.  And our judgements are based on what our eyes presents to us, what we see. but when you then get to know a person’s story you ought be more accommodating and more appreciative of who they are and not seek to impose  what you believe in them. so its very important to try and get to understand the deep about people then you will be more accommodating of people.

Week 9 Building shared understanding

We read a case study about an organization that is going through changes which created uncertainties and misunderstandings amongst employees. 

We did the Johari window is basically giving and receiving information about ourselves and others. We become aware of self, with a group or other groups – It’s a tool for improving self awareness, mutual understanding between individuals in a group and to assess a group relationship with other groups

We also explored the scarf model which either breeds negative reactions(Resistance, defensiveness and withdrawals) or positive responses (Trust, collaboration and willingness)

Week 9: BUILDING SHARED UNDERSTANDING

I was unable to attend class as I had a funeral at home, burying my aunt 🙁

I heard from my colleagues that Fiona and Telfer were facilitators from this class. It is unfortunate I was unable to attend as I would have gained something from this session as always especially communication skills as that is one of the main sources of why relationships break  down.

Story telling

As preparation for this session we were asked to read a number of stories in our study guides.  When we got to class there was further group discussions on our understanding of the stories we read.  The focus on each was centred around identifying the facilitator in the story as well as identifying what the situation was and the desired outcome. I found this technique to be quite fascinating.  There is something about telling a story in order to get a certain message across.  As the listener you get transported to a place you probably have never been.  Your presence and stay there is however informed by how the story is related.  This I found to be so true in the stories that we read.  I never knew that story telling could have such a profound impact on one.  I found this to be quite fun and adaptable.  It was a great learning that I had probably used before but not even being aware that I was doing so. Going forward I decided I would be making a conscious decision to apply this technique and see where it takes one.  I really enjoyed this session especially its practicality.

Facilitating Change

Change is difficult ,change is not nice and its very uncomfortable but at the same time change is good.

What is change and is it good or bad? Change is a process or an act or a result of how you do things. First you will resist change because it forces you out of your comfort zone and at times become stressful or unbearable.

What is important about change is how we anticipate it and how we react to  it. When our new boss was hired we where all terrified on how she will change the way we do things but as time went on, we embraced it and we grew as individuals.

Change is a good thing when you want to grow as an individual and learn new things.

Gratitude

Ros you were right. Whoever is in class are supposed to be there at that given time just like how whatever happens is supposed to happen.  I feel that each person in this class is special in their own unique way.

We have learned to engage with each other in a way that we would never have outside of this class. The thoughtfulness of the group that presented this day is a reflection of the outstanding way your team has run this course.

On a more personal note, I have learned a ton about myself. Some good and some not so good. My draft essay is a mess with more bullet points than actual AHA moments. It was difficult to just bare one’s soul even while getting to know those in class.  It was  an even scarier experience to discover  the good, bad and ugly  of oneself and to have it uncovered in class.

At the very end its just amazing how our afternoon group came together and really opened up.

 

 

 

2nd class

now this was more interesting as the picture Roslyn was trying to draw to us became a bit more clearer and I was amazed how open one can be if they know they at a safe space. Thus the learning the check in process was very important to me . in a process I learnt more from my class mates that I have with Roslyn. what was uncovered was divine…..

Draft essay debacle

This weeks task included bringing in two drafts of your reflective essay as well as a print out of the blogs you had posted to date.

I obliged eager to receive feedback on the progress of my piece. Who wouldn’t want to know if they were on the right track. While some classmates would have had the opportunity to write a reflective piece before for other modules, this was my first attempt. While we waited to receive a copy of a classmates essay, it dawned on me…there would never be enough time for Ros to read through all our essays and provide feedback before the next lesson, taking into consideration the size of our group combined. Still I felt comfortable to have a fellow students input on my piece, I thought some input would be better than none.

I began proof reading the essay I received, and realised the task at hand was more difficult than I had expected, how could I possibly give feedback if I didn’t even know if I was on the right track. So I stuck to what I knew, I gave feedback on structure and grammar, on the missing references in the reference list, I made a few observations I hoped would assist the author in fine tuning their piece. I know we were told that the academic nature of the piece wasn’t as important as the content but again I thought to provide some guidance and an encouraging message would be appreciated, especially if that person felt anything remotely similar to what I did.

Now imagine my dismay at receiving my piece back, with not a comment, not a mark not a suggestion. I left class frustrated, disheartened and fuming. Why did I even waste my time, I was nowhere closer to completion and better yet, I still didn’t know if I was on the right track.

First class

This was the most confusing day ever I was expecting a normal class setting where as per our old tradition we sit behind the desk and we get taught.  as I sat and prepared to be taught I was told to stand up and remove the desks and put them aside as were are not going to be using any desks. the class was incredibly big I felt that it was going to be one hell off big classes. I began to be resistant, my attitude level drew more to the negative side and I was like what have I done to myself by choosing such a course. I thought to myself am I even going to last in this class…. I must say though I felt better because most of the people in class I knew it was a sort of a re-union with my old mates who started together with me here. mara hai shem I must say it must have been hard for those who came for the first time as they looked all confused and lost.. that being said I was more interested in what other classes will be like.

Shared Understanding

Today’s facilitation was based on SA’s public holidays. Although most of us do not even remember or value the meaning behind the special days, we do make the most of having some time off.

As a Muslim I do enjoy having a break during these times but can also appreciate the fact that allowances are made for us to celebrate our own holy days.

This is indicative of the diversity of the South African culture to embrace every culture and creed.

Telfer came up with a remarkable activity where we had to indicate the changes in our lives marking the highs and lows from birth.

While my chart looked like an Ecg report I can embrace change easily as it’s been a constant for me.

I also like what Telfer said about people who are depressed lives in the past, people who lives with anxiety lives in the future whereas we should just live in the present.

Honouring the differences

 

Hairstyles are constantly evolving as a girl grows into a woman, as fashion trends change, as the seasons change, but, that’s just scratching the surface. Look deeper and you will find that culture, be it traditional, popular or political, holds greater power.

Hair is a women’s identity and without it we are nothing. Natural hair is considered bad in the work place, Most companies do not approve of Dreadlocks or natural hair but this was back in the 60’s

Now women rock they hair however they want to be it Dreadlocks, natural hair, Braids or weaves. Despite the negativity, more women wore their hair naturally as they adopted a healthier lifestyle and became aware of the potential damage of using chemical relaxers incorrectly.

Assumptions and Unconscious Bias

As individuals we are programmed to make assumptions. This was evident in an exercise in which we all judged characters in a story based on our preconceived ideas of the information we were provided with. These are reinforced by the data which we have been exposed to and that has helped shape our perception of the world. Like the notion of spending the night with someone implying that two people slept together, or that a sailor would automatically be a man.

I learnt that in order to understand how we process information, it is important to understand how our filters of the world shape our thinking as well as our behavior. This is often easier said than done, as many of our filters stem from our unconscious bias. From here we make judgements that we do not even realise we are making. We also learnt about the “Decision Spiral”, this helped us pay more attention to our thinking, the main aim of this tool “is to suspend judgement, make our assumptions visible and examine underlying beliefs” (R. Solomon). This lesson really felt like one of self-discovery, where I learned more about myself all my ah-ha moments in this particular class were specifically about me, or a realisation of why I would do and say certain things.

The cultivating of self-awareness and authenticity continues.

Conflict

Change brings conflict its up to oneself  to change the perception of it being good or bad.  The exercise was quite exciting where initially conflict was all negative and ended up being seen in a more positive light.

Listening with head, heart and hands. Only when we learn to listen in this way can the learning begin.  This is a valuable tool to have when dealing with so many of our own issues and biased ideas. Without it we can miss so many essential parts of a conversation.

Many of the skills learned during this course has opened up new possibilities. Have definitely changed my way of thinking and doing.

Building Relationships

Building relationships sometimes is hard because it needs  understanding , sacrifice, trust , tolerance and mutual respect etc..  It is not good to keep ourselves busy and forgot to be with our love ones. We sometimes build relationship with wrong people. During the presentation I have learnt that there are things we need to avoid to keep our good relationship things like gossip, communication breakdown, unresolved conflict and silos etc.

Seeing with new eyes

I was four minutes late already the group facilitating locked the door including one of their member. we watched them participating through the glass, i was curious to see what will happen with the shoes? People where requested to not to fit their own shoes but try to wear different shoes. None of the participants  wanted to fit because u think of decease etc. This simply means today u might have everything tomorrow and  become homeless. People living in the street they have different reasons why they ended up homeless, we need to see with new eyes.

Finally the door was open we joined our syndicates group to provide feedback. Roslyn took us through the manual, she touched on surfacing beliefs and assumptions. The truth of the matter is human beings cannot live without assumptions, she also facilitated on different types of unconscious bias, we did real practical exercise on unconscious bias we worked together with pairs and groups and share our experience most participants where interested in gender bias and beauty bias.

Then Roslyn ask us to read the story the girl and the sailor, very interesting we participated and we had assumptions with all the characters in the story. she then ask who said the sailor is a man? and that was my aaha moment. i learned about the structure of the mental models:

  • filters
  • deletions
  • distortions and
  • generalisations

this model we make inside our head, we need to look at the world through the window/ lens.

Week 8 – Learning from life

The session is about beliefs, about me and what I refuse to believe – The path of protection and that we don’t consider the rights and needs of others.  We are addicted of being right and protect our point of view and we need to start taking responsibility.

We’ve discussed this topic in week six when we went through the four phrases of communication: download, tell-tell both sides not being present (talk for the sake of talking and the listener is just listening); debate, there’s a discord and yet when well facilitated disagreement can lead to creative thoughts; conversation, it’s when groups shift blaming to being curious and when thoughts and belief start to connect the team begins to create a shared knowledge and objectives. 

Another interesting piece we did in class was  the timeline going through the highs and lows that we experienced growing up.

We explored on how change impact our lives when we go thrgough certain changes – we know change is uncomfortable and whenever we experience change there’s always resistance and we turn to pushback because we are scared of the unknown and uncertainty .  

I’ve learned that the only constant is change and the sooner you acknowledge and accept the easier it is to adapt to the change.

Honouring Diversity

Certain ideas or issues may have a diverse different meaning to different people.

There are triggers to manage in every situation and group.. Debriefing is essential.

This is a safe and preferred platform where no one of the senses are discredited, no one’s ways are right or wrong. Warnings of triggers are a given we are vulnerable but safe.

I can say that this session has realised Ros’objective o  Page 10 in the handout… Through my experience in this class I am developing further insight I to who I am and am so ready to unleash my ability to impact, create trust, discuss meaningful issues and build support.

We are in for a good ride and an awesome show.

Thanks Ros

 

Week 7 – Facilitating change

I arrived late and missed out on the group that was facilitating.

We spent most of the day doing peer reviews  and giving feedback. We were exposed to different styles of writing and discussing how to write a reflective essay… I actually appreciated the process of marking other’s draft essay and getting honest feedback from your peers. 

We looked at three dimensional thinking that effective thinking requires different types of learning and reflection by looking at behaviour where we focus primarily on our actions and not on assumptions; perspective is where we begin to change our perspectives on how we do things and lastly look at the whole picture – How learning has impacted my world. 

The day was rather short and unusual for Roslyn to dismiss the class early. 

Expressing Gratitude

This session was my “WOW” session. It is after it that I came to realise how carefully the topics and their sequence had been chosen. Did it have to be so painful??? It felt as though were children who have just lost their parents and they were now being sent to an orphanage! Something in me was taken away when we were told that this was the last session. Had we grown too accustomed to getting to this sanctuary, I asked? Truth is, everything that was meant to be covered in this course had been done and it was time to call it a day.

As usual we arrived in class and there were posters and other material that the group wanted to share with us as part of supporting their topic…”Expressing Gratitude”. Various things were put forward as reasons for us to be grateful. However, what struck a cord with me was the focus on what one would otherwise refer to as the smaller things in life. The team that was presenting did a great job in analysing what it means to be grateful and why we should do it. They also seemed to have done extensive research on the subject as they offered a lot of references and reading materials. They also made good use of various facilitation tools to get the message across, and I really felt they managed to get through to us as their audience.

At the end of the session; I felt I was somehow “forced” to get out of my shell, but forced in a good way. I was made to think about the different everyday things that one gets to be exposed to and receive, but are never truly grateful for. A sense of self-awareness was created; and I realised how much I should be grateful for.

The lesson of gratitude that I was given today was like no other. It is not until you hear what other people have to deal with, sometimes on a daily basis, that you realise that you have been very fortunate in life. That realization alone left me feeling very grateful for all the bad and the wonderful things I have received in my life. The bad were only life’s lessons that were part of my life’s journey and served as great learning points. Today, was also for me a confirmation that there is indeed a super power out there!

At the end of the class; I sat wondering how much of this do our facilitators have to be going through with every group that they teach? If it is anywhere near what I experienced with this group; I can only feel very sorry for them! I can’t begin to imagine the amount of emotions they have to be dealing with all the time!

For me, this class was special in it’s own way. The learning was of a different kind. I have a lot to mull over and to take with me. I also noticed that the bigger class population was female and a few males; and the number of males who attended actually decreased over time.