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.