My first week of facilitation

This was me on the first day of my facilitation lectures

I literally was so upset with myself for choosing a class on the one day that I could get some rest and run away from the world.
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking….
I am glad I did it though, I feel like I have learnt a thing or two in such a short space of time and now look forward to what’s in store for the next class.

Week 1 Blog

Last week I came here thinking that I will just come into this course, keep my head down and just get through but little did I know, group work was one of the core focuses of the course. I registered this course to catch up points and my plan was just to get in, do what was needed to pass during the semester and pass the exam. I got the shock of my life when they told us that we don’t have an exam and out passing criteria is this blog, the presentation and the final reflective essay which is really up my ally. I realised that if I put a little bit of effort in the I definitely will be able to do well.

I really hope that whoever read this enjoyed my thoughts and my take on the class and that you’ll be back for more in the coming weeks, but this is it for now. Thanks for reading my entry and don’t be scared or shy to let me know what you thought about it.

NEW BEGINNINGS: THE FIRST CLASS

I missed the official first class as I was away on work. So the second class is obviously my first class. So I drag myself out of bed, its too early in the morning dreading why I signed up for a class on a Saturday. I have no idea what the class is about except I need it for the credits.

Obviously I’m in a bad mood because my Saturday mornings meet everything to me 🙁 I get on to the N1 to Wits University.

I get to class and as a person who loves structure and protocol….Im shocked, the desks are everywhere and people are seating all over the place. Confused…I take my seat. A group of people, present and Im still confused, but the presentation is also interesting at the same time.

As the class goes on, we now are required to sit in a circle as if we are about to sing ‘Kumbaya around a fire’…I think this is now really strange, Im in University for Goodness sake. We have to practise blogging, we are expected to blog for this class. I groan at the thought of having to share my inner thoughts with strangers….the Facilitator, Ross, asks us to take out paper and not think but write. I think….Did I signup for a therapy session or to learn facilitation skills? I end up thinking yes, this first class is unconventional but the must be method to this madness. Just before i think of running away, she asks who missed the first class…blushing I raise my hand. She asks us to stand in groups, she is putting up in groups for presentations. I look at my group, I don’t know any of them well, how is this going end up?!?

Thats my first class hahahaha

So let’s see how the next few weeks go, hopefully I will loosen up and give it all a chance .

Tim next time 🙂

Setting Goals

Setting Goals and Target Audience influences how you write to yourself, a friend or Head of Faculty

  1. Myself

I arrived late this morning. 15 minutes seems like eternity, even though nothing had changed on the number of traffic lights and stops signs from the house to Wits. I appreciate that Roslyn allowed me to join the class amid the group discussions. I was part of the group that set at the back as observers and I must admit, I was highly embarrassed as I felt like the “naughty kid in the corner”. Things were already in motion. The team that was presenting on Setting Goals were all dressed in white tops and blue jeans. Nice. Even though I missed the introduction, it was easy to settle in and get with the flow.

When I used to manage a TEAM I always expected them to include smart goals as part of their business plan. Back then our smart goals had an extra “A” – like SMAART goals. This is an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Reasonable
  • Timeous

I cannot remember for the life of me what the extra “A” was for? Anyway, back to my management responsibility of ensuring that my team included “SMART” goals on their business plans.  For as long as I can remember, smart goals or rather the setting of smart goals just always seemed to be a daunting exercise for my team. Now that I look back, they just didn’t know how to unpack them and bring them to life. Further to that, as a manager, I had the responsibility to ensure that everyone received adequate training and should have checked for understanding before critiquing their business plans.

Watching the group tackle the issue and facilitate the discussions and creating a warm learning environment, made me wish that I had the skill and ability to offer that to my team at the time. Training and workshops are very important as a skill set in the workplace, instead of just throwing people to the wolves.

  • Best friend,

I was late and felt like a naughty kid in the corner this corner for my facilitation class. Never again. That amount of embarrassment and stress is not good for my hairline, girl. The topic today was around setting goals and the team that was facilitating did a great job. They had matching outfits yazi, you know the “his and hers” type 🤣. Just kidding. I know I won’t be able to make it to the lunch you are having, and I will make it up to you I promise. I can almost taste the “Champagne” darling.

The learnings I’m receiving so far in class are so relevant and I’m having such a great time. Someone even said that I am her “soft eyes” and that my voice is so soothing. Girl, I am making the things that are finding the pots 😊. This is by far, is my favourite class. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull off Saturdays as you know I love my sleep-ins.

The topic on goal setting was insightful. Even though I was in the “naughty corner” I still got to play with the other kids. We were given 3 questions to discuss in the groups under the subject “health”

  1. What is your smart goal?
  2.  What would prevent you from achieving your smart goal?
  3. What do you think you need to achieve your smart goal?

Health is wealth, right? Eating healthy and going to gym require discipline and defining why you are doing what you are doing. And you know girl, most of us struggle with this thing. You know that they only thing that is getting between me and eating healthy, are those chicken licken wings. I can almost smell them. I cannot wait to see you. This semester is packed with tests and back to back assignments. I will make time for us, I promise.

Head of Department

I wasn’t sure what to expect in this class when I registered for it. Its lessons are slowly starting to unfold. The professionalism and content preparation remind me of Corporate Training Workshops I used to attend. The topics that the groups will be presenting on are highly relevant. The power of context is very important and there is a plenty of take-home values even at week two. I suggest that this course be compulsory in the first year as it forms part of the building blocks as your studies progress.

Setting Goals

Week 2 27 July 2019

Setting goals helped me realize the reasons that lead my goals to fail. For example, I would set an impractical goal and expect results without determination. The pass three years I have been running the Soweto marathon and would start working out two weeks before the race and expect to do well. Now on wards I have set my goal to complete the race regardless of finishing time. I have extended my distance, managed to transform my diet in time although is not that easy but I made the exertion. My attitude is positive to concur half marathon set out to take place in November.

First Class

There is a method in the madness

Engagement

My impression of the class was of initial confusion and chaos that I found to be a tad bit much. Maybe this feeling of walking around and asking people’s ages to match your own, as I was not keen on sharing the fact that I’m 41 years old, when I clearly look 26, I must admit gave me palpitations and serious anxiety. Over and above that we had to go around the large room to fish out where we work and stay. And alas, big applause and cheering for the Sandton group – “class dynamics immediately at play here”, as I rolled my eyes. Not surprising on the other hand that someone from the “Soweto” group would feel the need to add a heavy Kasi accent and shout out loud that, “we are from Soweto”. Let’s not forgot the 2 people who came from “nowhere” in Mpumalanga. Shame, poor outliers. I quickly had to snap out of the negative energy as I waited to see what the point of the exercise was? Okay…. age, location, one and twos and then groups of ten, finally. I’ve been at Wits for the past three and half years, I’ve never seen or met anyone in my group, apart from the white guy who was in my International Relations class on our first year. The horror of networking all over again just never seems to end right. As I smiled and waved at my “new family” for the second semester. Whoopi let the fun begin. We are here to get credits so we can get our degrees, YES, 99% of the people in the class agreed to this.

Reflection

Roslyn and Tefler started taking us through what to expect and what we will be doing, how all of this will work. As a Facilitator from my previous job on Sales and Services foundation- I began to remember how much I loved facilitating the sales course and the best part was getting to know everyone in my class when I used to co-facilitate in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and SA. The reflection of my past life became relevant and I loosened up and started to be happy that I took this course. I even forgot about the credits.

Ideation

I changed the way I think when we did the exercise in page 17. I paired up with Myra and she left a great impression on me. We immediately clicked and the anxiety of getting to know new people was out the window within seconds. What stood out was the exercise we did on the two questions:

1. What do you need from others to ensure that you are able to take away the most value?

2. What agreements do we need to put into place to create a valuable learning experience for us all?

These two questions couldn’t have come at a better time as the second semester started with an influx of groups assignments for me. The last semester I had battled a lot with group assignments as I experienced zero accountability, poor response times and some free riders to name a few. “Ahhh” I thought, I will run the same exercise with my new groups in various classes and have a “group contract” that is binging for all.

Experimentation

As mentioned above – I wasted no time to send these questions to my groups mates in hopes that we will respect each other’s time and opinions, we will hold each other accountable, we will listen attentively, support each other and most importantly apply time management and great work ethics to what we’ve been tasked to deliver and deliver on time.

There was no push back and everyone was onboard with my “initiated group contract”. I’m curious to see if people will respect the contract as we work together towards a common goal. What I will do differently henceforth is have a positive mindset when walking into class as I stand to lose the lesson by being closed in. I need to know, learn and understand that the is a method to the madness. My Saturdays will never be the same again.

Introduction -week 1

One of the most important moments in my life. I learned the dynamics of thinking and working in teams to achieve my objectives. It was dark, as dark as charcoal; where one could not see where one’s mouth was. My mind was full of darkness . I was even anxious when entering the accountancy building in the university of the witwatersrand. I thought we were going to write an aptitude test which determines our capabilities whether we can study facilitation or not. Facilitation was more interesting than I thought, my lectures were approachable and interesting. I met a lot of different people with different personalities, professions and skills. I was intimidated by the instruction to find the fellow students of my age group. I had intra-personal conflict, the lecture room was flooded with students. When I reflect back on the course brochure, they said they had limited space. I found my age group and I was very happy. I learned the golden circle technique on that day. I experimented what I learned when I impressed the Director of Operations of collective value creation during my interview. I was successfully selected for South African Energy Coal (South32 intsika) business development program that develops entrepreneurs. I fell in love with facilitation, not because of conditions as Albert Einstein said “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love”.

First week of Facilitation Skills

Day 1 of Facilitation Skills.
After registering I could not commence or accomplish the content of the course, Facilitation skills. The distress of the unfamiliar was disturbing, and I would recollect with my past experiences where I would give up without trying. Also, this was my first class after a six-years long break from studying.

The morning of the 20th of July 2019 I woke up early but lost the track time and I was late which lead to panic. I arrived on campus 20 mins late, got lost looking for the class but a sight of relieve came when fellow students were looking for the same facilitation class. When we finally found the class and I was in distraught doubting what I have missed since class started. The class was packed approximately 100+ students attended.

Most seating was taken and the only seating I could find was in front, everyone was seated, paying attention to what the teacher was saying.  Sat and listened courteously to make up what Rosslyn had already said. Already I am sensing a different overview of the course content. I was amazed with excitement yet terrified of what is expected from me. Presenting in front the whole class I wanted to walk out and deregister, writing essays, group interactions and blogging none of the areas I dominant. I had decided and believed in improving what I lack and my inabilities. Essay writing, blogging and presenting I prefer if someone is doing it.

After everything was explained I looked forward to the next class. This course is what I need, the are some areas in need to improve on massively. Missing a class is not an option by the end of class groups were made and given a topic to facilitate on, and our topic was Facilitation decisions.

I settled fine into my group.