Story Telling

Everyone has a story….Where do I come from? Why and How did I end up here? Life is journey but with every journey comes with a story

This week’s topic was quite relevant and I could easily relate to it because it made me better understand why my story matters and by sharing it, it can shape my perspective of life as well as inspire those who might find motivation from it.

We grew up with story telling being utilised as a means to teach us lessons in life. Our grandparents told us many stories sitting around the fire for entertainment. Just like the Ice-breaker in class which was ‘Broken Telephone’, these stories have evolved over time, from person to person, details have changed but the context and message has always been the same.

Our stories build us, our stories tell our culture, our stories can harm and heal, our stories showcase our diversity. This was quite evident in the class activity on cultures but the manner in which we, as a group highlighted our diversity even if people came from the same culture, is a clear indication of how stories are decoded and the messaging received from person to person over time.

The group presentation and the activities were quite interactive including the activity where we were given pictures and had to make up a story around it.

It was a great class and I will definitely start telling my story more often.

Week 5, Learning from Life

The topic on learning from life was interesting but in my view, there is no one size fits all approach to everyone’s real life challenges. The team made a great effort to illustrate, what we can adjust and use our time more effectively in managing our demanding lives. I liked that they used the GROW (Goal, Reality, Options and Way forward) Model which is also highlights the importance of goal setting and personal reflection. 

The exercise on individual patterns, preferences and styles was very insightful.  I have learned to be more mindful of how I interact with my family, colleagues and classmates. It was interesting to see how different we are at an individual level, even though we all working towards achieving a common goal.

Week 6: Honouring Differences

My syndicate team facilitated on a topic called Honouring Differences. I am grateful to be part of such phenomenal team. Our topic was not an easy topic because of the history of our country and we have to be mindful of our “pain point” and still deliver a meaningful experience to our audience. I appreciated how we maintained mutual respect for each other in our interaction. We are very diverse and there is a sense of appreciation of everyone’s contribution toward making this a success. We achieved our objective and we presented as planned. I think that we might have given the audience an impression that the facilitation focus will be on cultural difference because of our introduction and dress code.  We choose to focus on gender stereotypes and unconscious bias, as these were more relatable and easy to unpack given the time that was given to present.

Next was the peer marking of our draft essays exercise. Very interesting, I appreciated the different writing styles and the views given from an individual perspective which made the facilitation of honouring differences even more relevant.

Week 4: Personal Reflections

The benefits of personal reflections are important in the journey to personal mastery. The process of personal reflection allows us to review, calibrate and measure our progress towards achieving goals. With that said, I find it difficult to set time aside for personal reflect due to work and personal life demands. I used to practice Yoga and I found that the breathing exercises useful to calm the mind, body and to focus on there here and now.  

The exercise on “what makes you great in my eyes is” and “what would make you even greater is” in my view it was very challenging because we did not know each other well enough and some of the feedback was based on assumptions and we had not go through the stages of team development. As individuals, we need to have psychological safety and it is difficult to display vulnerability to new people.   

Story Telling

What story am i telling who?where?why? those are the questions that came to my mind before the class. i was so obsessed to know what were they going to be talking about. the class was very good and i have learnt that story telling is actually one of the good methods to teach people. i have also remembered that most of the things i have learnt from my grandparents they came in a form of a story.

I also taught my players a lot of things while telling them a story and i noticed that everyone was focused,look at me.i also learnt a lot about different cultures and traditions and importance of knowing my roots.

Seeing With New Eyes

Hi everyone,

I was really impressed with how much I actually learnt about the different cultures in South Africa and the different perspectives we all have. I learnt about the different cultures and tribes when I was in Primary School and it is amazing how much we actually forget and take for granted.

The opinions, truths and biases we have to different cultures without even realizing it. I learnt about what the different cultures belief systems are and how some tribes keep the royal family in the bloodline where they would actually marry family members. Of course me being me, I couldn’t resist the urge to point out Incest. This of course made the class laugh. I know it isn’t respectful to say that but sometimes it’s okay to have a laugh without and Ill intent. I loved learning about how a sensitive topic can be handled with care and consideration and much fun was had. I find that we take ourselves too seriously at times and that we can look at different cultures without being judgmental.

We then moved back to our original group where it was great to see and observe the growth and “catch up” with them. We played the game 30 seconds (Which I have never played before but was not going to admit it, I mean like really?! As if I would admit that in class LOL). It was a really fun experience to see how my group is still as energetic as ever which I love.

Of course as usual I was told I was loud but I am not going to dim my light or personality for other people and not to make people uncomfortable but I am very aware of how I compose myself and no matter what a person does or says, they will either be too loud, too vibrant, too quiet and to be honest for me this is a great learning experience as I always tried to be the Chameleon and to please people to make them happy, which is not necessarily healthy for me. It is easy to criticize someone else without taking a personal reflection and thinking… Is it them that is too loud or is it a mirror image of me? Just a thought…

Have a wonderful week
Mégan

Honoring difference 31st August 2019 I enjoyed when the facilitator showed us the Johari Window concept , which shows that through communication we can give and receive information about ourselves or others . It is about how much we reveal to others and make known to others and for receiving feedback – i.e the impressions we make or intensions we have to explore, assess or discover and use to our advantage. As we are different people coming from different backgrounds an action may be interpreted differently by others who come from different societies. I have learned that messages can be encoded or received inaccurately . You may perceive things in a different context to what it actually mean , so if you are communication ,be clear and concise and be willing to take responsibility for the consequence . When dealing with conflicts , one ought to investigate the merits and then try to get the parties involved to a neutral place where they can discuss the matter and resolve the issues without you taking sides but try to resolve it in an amicable way as possible .

Lesson 4 – Learning from life 24 th August 2019 I was partaking in this group session and has learned that as an individual you are primary creative for your own life. How you manage yourself and time is your responsibility. I am to choose and concentrate on important tasks and not to spend my resources on time wasters. Planning, setting priorities and becoming organized is the strategy to take in order to be successful. I am aligning my habits with goals that I want to achieve as I am acquiring knowledge and skills. I am removing inefficiencies to limit factors that are holding me back from progressing. Time is a precious gift from God and should be used wisely. Everything starts with me. I have to use my mind and body in optimal form and take full advantage. I need to become my best self in health, wealth, education and relationships.

Lesson 3 – Personal Reflection 17th August 2019 My ‘aha moment’ was when the instructor was telling us about ‘the balcony and the dance’ that is viewing things at another level in life to be able to take yourself out of the equation and reflect on things about life in general. When you attach something it owns you ….that’s true !To detach it is not easy unless you become like a spectator . This resonated with me as I am going through a stage in life where I have been dealing with a personal problem where I though it would just go away without taking it head on and now am stagnated in the same issue which occurred years ago. As it lingers on, its becoming hard to resolve and could have been dealt with at the time so as to move forward as this hinders progress. The older you grow it you realize it was a state of denial instead of accepting it and finding solutions to progress ahead.

Lesson 2 – Working in Teams 3rd August 2019 As an introvert it is very difficult to work in teams and this has enabled me to know that with others working with you, you can learn from them. We have strengths and weaknesses and others may complement you where there is shortfall. Criticism is a way of building up and no way things can be done timeously every time,if you trust that others may do something better than yourself, then you may delegate to someone who has the same vision as yourself. At work I am now delegating some work to be done by others whilst I take charge of the other things that need my attention. I am now becoming open minded and regard all people’s points as significant and acknowledge them for any contribution brought forward. My colleagues have noticed that I have a change of heart as I had been so rigid in what I believe in and could not be swayed into other beliefs but have a room to accommodate them in what they believe in without offending them and being subjective. Don’t try to do it all yourself. One of the reasons we get stressed out is because we think that everything depends on us. Not Jesus. He enlisted, trained, and empowered twelve others so they could share the load. He delegated His work. He got other people involved. So why don’t we do that? Two reasons: (1) Perfectionism. We think, “If I want a job well done, I’ll do it myself.” That’s a nice idea, but often it doesn’t work well because there are just too many things to be done. We simply don’t have the time and talent to do everything ourselves. It’s really an egotistical attitude that says, “Nobody, but nobody, can do it the way I can!” Do you think Jesus could’ve done a better job than His disciples? Of course, but even knowing that, He still let them do the work. Why? Because we need to let other people make some of the mistakes in order for them to learn, the same way the disciples learned. Don’t rob others of an education. (2) Insecurity. “What if I turn this responsibility over to someone else and they do a better job than I do?” That possibility is threatening to many of us. But you won’t feel threatened if you know who you are, who you’re trying to please, what you want to accomplish, and the one thing you need to focus on. In order to be effective you must get other people involved, because you can’t focus on more than one thing at a time and do it well. The older you grow it you realize it was a state of denial instead of accepting it and finding solutions to progress ahead. I am glad that this was an eye opener for me.

Lesson 1 – Setting goals 27th July 2019 I am an introvert and have problems in speaking publicly. This was an interesting topic as I am goal oriented person. The first week as I participate in this class, I have learned to speak in groups and are becoming comfortable in participating in conversations. The first group that presented in class were dynamic and this put pressure on the following groups as we were the 4th group to do a presentation. What I have experienced is that we are all participation in the activities in class and this brakes the ice and as make you to look forward to the next session. It is just amazing to see the level that we engage in these topics collectively. It helps to be open-minded and hear about other people’s experiences and that way you learn to know that it is good to discuss issues that are relevant to every day life so as to grow as a person and expand in your own capacity. The first lesson was about the setting goals in life and how to be smart. This allows you to do a self re-introspection as what is it that you want to achieve in life and how are going about doing it. As I have taken this course it is one of my goal to finish what I have started. Every year one set goals to be achieved and there can be challenges that one may meet and thus helps you to look at other avenues. I have been conversing at work telling my colleagues of the experience and looking forward to the following week’s lesson.

STORY TELLING

We all have a story to tell. A story that makes us Who We Are. A story that reminds us of how we survived against all odds. A story that reveals how courageous we are. A story of strength, resilience, courage, power and zeal. Have you found yours? More importantly have you told yours? It could change someone’s life and help them tell theirs.

The facilitation group played an old childhood game, broken telephone, which reminded me of the power of storytelling. It also exposed how a message that is spoken at the beginning can be a completely different message, at the end, when it gets to the last person. This exposes how stories, can be changed and altered in the process of being told, but it is nonetheless important to tell them, and when telling them, it is important to honour and respect the story in the process.

I also learnt that our stories are different but have similarities in them. Including the stories and the rituals that are done in our different cultures. In groups we had to discuss the different rituals in cultures and what actually makes cultures the same. We discussed four rituals that are often performed in all cultures, namely what happens in different cultures with Births, Initiation, Marriage and Death.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how similar yet different the rituals are in each culture and how different practices mean different things. For example, in the Chinese culture, the bride usually wears red on her traditional wedding day. Red is a symbol of purity, joy, celebration, fertility, happiness and is believed to fight off evil, while in some African Cultures, red represents blood shed and danger. White in the Chinese culture is associated with mourning and death, while in some African cultures and European cultures, white is symbolic of purity and innocence.

I found this conversation very interesting and eye opening for me. It exposed me to the different cultures and how certain rituals may be different but are similar and vice versa.

HONOURING DIFFERENCE

We are all different. We look different, we speak differently, we think differently, we come come different backgrounds, we believe different things and this is all okay! In fact it is good, imagine if we were all the same? That would be boring. But sometimes, difference comes with discrimination and exclusion, while on the other hand, it comes with curiosity, respect and honour. It is our duty as people, to respect and honour our differences and see how these differences actually make us unique, and how we can use them to work together.

The group that facilitated today began their facilitation by greeting us in different ways languages and they were all dressed in different cultural attires, already highlighting the differences that existed within their own group.

I enjoyed this and learnt that differences should be embraced and welcomed, because we are all different but ultimately the same. It’s important to honour people and welcome their differences.

We later went through people’s essays and were able to add comments on some essays. This also highlighted the different writing styles people have. I had to learn, understand and honour these writing styles even when I was making comments, on the essays.

Story telling

I know story telling in a form of telling izi tsomi my mother used to do story telling for us in the form of telling izi tsomi and she would only tell the stories at night because, she would say if she tells them early we would grow horns on our four-heads and if she decided to tell them early she would asked as to put (uthi loshanyelo) on our hair so that we would not grow horns….lol

The reason though she told izi tsomi she wanted us to learn from them so that we don’t repeat same mistakes. After telling  a story she would ask us what we have learnt. And then she would explain to us the reason of telling a particular story. She would only tell the izi tsomi during school holidays.

What I have learnt from the group is that they are many ways of telling a story and we need to make sure that we articulate the message well so that we don’t lose the meaning of it.

LEARNING FROM LIFE

“In school, you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you the lesson.”

TOM BODETT

The group facilitating explored the different reasons/causes of stress and also explain the different ways in which we could try manage, minimize or learn from its impact. They used a skit to try and explore the different challenges a working mother faces and did well. They touched on how to manage stress to touch on the the various ways that might have been used to manage its impact.

We later learnt about brain dominance and the difference between people who are left brain dominant and those who are right brain dominant. The results were astounding, and really taught me that we are both much more interdependent than we realize. It also helped me understand why I lead the way I do at work, at school and in various other areas of my life. Through the exercise, we were given in the week, the results indicated that I am left brain dominant. That I prefer the details, in any project and pride myself in understand the nitty gritty’s, so that I can execute the desired plan. I have seen this side of me many times and work, at church even at school, but I was very shocked because I know that at my core, I am an artistic person, who loves looking that the bigger picture of things and isn’t really interested in how to get it done, just get it done! At least that’s what I thought. This realization made me conduct some self introspection, which made me realize that some my switch from right brain to left brain dominance, could very well be as a result of learnt behaviour over the years. Different environments require specific ways of thinking and over the years, this may have infiltrated how I do things and created a bias towards being left brain dominant.

At work, I understand that I am the detailed person, so I have changed even the way I conduct my editorial meetings in the morning, I let the creative team members run off with ideas, which I then consolidate and creative an execution plan for it. It has worked wonders with my team, which has brought about an ease in working together.

Week 1 Intro to Facilitation

All along I was thinking Facilitation is presentation (death by power point) to a group of people on various things about about school, work and general life. Meanwhile the introduction to this course gave me a whole new perspective. Attending this first class made me realise that I’ve been a facilitator ever since I had responsibilities that include my relationships and parenting experiences.

Facilitation is more than just standing in front of people telling them what they need to do. It is about facilitating others into realising the endless possibilities available to them. My aha moment was a memory about my mom who was the greatest facilitator in my life, even without formal qualifications, she managed to be a great mother, mentor and coach.

My take away from this first class experience is that I should not take things for granted, everything matters and everyday is an opportunity to learn and when you stop and pause, you get real value.

WORKING IN TEAMS

“Team work makes the dream work…” John Maxwell

When I think about working in teams, this quote comes to mind, reminding me that collective buy-in from a team, will make the team’s objective achievable. Today in class we learnt all about Working in Teams, and the importance of embracing the culture of collectivism and working together.

I’ve learnt that there are both pros and cons of working in a team, and understanding these differences will help the team navigate through difficult times. Things like delegation of duties make the workload lighter, the sharing of different ideas will help shift perspectives and give rise to new ideas, there’s a support structure from the team, who can help you if you need help. The cons range from unequal work load, some people not putting in the effort required and thus pulling down the average of the group.

We also read articles/stories on pages 34 – 37 of the Facilitation Workbook. The stories were Rafting, The Bent Backs of Chang Dong, The African Dress, The Watermelon Eaters, The Prince and the Magician and a Story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment.

SETTING GOALS

Setting goals is not a simply a good thing to do, it’s absolutely essential to help you reach the next level of your life.

Today, in class we were taught not only the importance of setting goals but we were also given tips and tricks on how to set effective goals, which will help you with your everyday aspirations. This was broken down with the acronym SMART.

The goals I set must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. This helped me set specific goals for my life and what I want to have achieved by my mid-twenties. When putting this into practice I realized that being specific with my goals allows me to really zone in and understand what I really want, all while ensuring that the time frame I want to achieve it in is realistic, achievable and timed correctly. One of the areas I have seen this help me is in my goal setting for attaining my degree, as well as my next career move.

Honouring Differences

South Africa is a melting pot of different cultures from all over the world, mostly from within Africa. Todays topic touched on some very sensitive issues about how different we are as people and how we need to be aware of how we treat and honour the differences we see in others. It’s ok to be different it makes you unique and special. Everyone has a certain vulnerability and that needs to be respected. My unconscious biases can lead to crippling limiting behaviours that can make me miss my own potential and also fail to see the good that others are capable of adding to my life.

Honouring Difference

My syndicate group presented today. It was amazing to see all of the prep come together in that moment.

The topic resonates with me as it’s something that I’m passionate about. The magic is in harnessing differences and using that power for good. A case in point, was using the differences within our syndicate group to come up with a compelling and powerful facilitation process. Well done team.

Seeing With New Eyes

Today was a great opportunity to reconnect with my syndicate group. Since our facilitation session, we are definitely at the performing stage of the team cohesion process. It was a journey to get to this point, having traversed the forming, storming, norming, performing stages. The adjourning stage was new for me and a learning.

FIRST CLASS

20th July 2019.

7am. My alarm rings. Just before smashing the snooze button, I asked myself a very important question. “Why on earth are you taking such an early morning class?” but I quickly reminded myself “Points, Nyiko, you’re doing it for the points.”

I arrived on time and as I sat in class and listened to the facilitators, not only introduce the course, but speak about the lifelong benefits the coursework provided, my perspective and attitude towards the course shifted. This was the moment I knew, that this is a course I am going to apply myself in, and learn as much as I possibly can. Social Skills, conflict resolution skills, facilitating difficult conversations, blogging, working in teams, relying on your group members and ensuring not to disappoint when they rely on you. These are skills I am looking forward to learning and implementing in my personal life, in my work life and my social life.

This course will seemingly definitely need some effort and I can somehow see that it has much more to offer than a mere 18 points.

I’m gonna give it a chance!

SEEING WITH NEW EYES

Seeing with new eyes is a challenge but absolutely necessary. I say it is a challenge because what always informs our perceptions and or perspective, really consists of our experiences, our values, our own biases and many more things that may hinder us, or make it different to take on a new lens or a new pair of glasses and see situations, conflict, culture, other people’s attitudes or beliefs with a new set of eyes.

This become quite evident in today’s group facilitation. The group that was facilitating had us sit in groups which represented a specific culture and discusses begun around what the culture is about and how they do things differently to other cultures. Emphasis on Motivation, Expectation, Culture, Attitude and Beliefs were also very evident, throughout this.

During the actual class setting, we were taught about group dynamics. A useful thing to understand as an aspiring facilitator. Not only did I get to sit with my nuclear group, which I will be facilitating with, I also go to fully comprehend the team dynamics within our own groups. The introverts and extroverts and how they both relate with one another. Upon this, I discovered that I am an introverted extrovert. Yes, such a description exists! But more than anything, the group dynamics teaching, taught me how each group is different and that it’s the dynamic nature of the group that makes it great!

Lastly, I’ll share with you the 5 stages of group formation which a facilitator must understand:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing
  5. Adjourning

Until Next Time!

N.

SEEING WITH NEW EYES-WEEK 9

If you think in terms of a year,plant a seed;if in terms of 10 years ,plant a trees; if in terms of 100 years ,teach people . Seeing with new eyes is not about a new born baby seeing the world with its eyes, but is solving problems with socioentric thinking. I have learned that imagination is everything. It is the preview of life coming attractions. After learning I practised to be a superior man, a man who thinks only of virtue and not a common man who only thinks of comfort. After practicing the safety behaviour observations of seeing with new eyes, I started to understand that common looking people are the best in the world; that is the reason why God makes so many of them. Let’s start to look at the world in a different perspective. The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys serveral times the same good thing for the first time. Mahatma Gandhi said ” A man with a grain of faith in God never loses hope,because he ever believes in the ultimate triumph of truth”. Learn to see with new eyes and live like you will live forever but do not forget to learn like you never live tomorrow .

Seeing with new eyes.

Great opportunity to spend time in my syndicate group getting to reflect on when we fisrt met and the formation. We have not had a chance to Facilitate which gave us and opportunity to brain storm some more and how group dynamics come into play at every stage. We are all dynamic being and have a place to add value in the group and achieve great things. From the bigger group as a class I’ve learnt that some opinions and thoughts should be kept internal as verbalising them can confirm certain perceptions and opions are formed from those perceptions.

SEEING WITH NEWS EYES

My comment on today’s topic, Seeing with New Eyes, is that whilst the team presented well, engaged the groups and a number of myths about different cultures were debunked, I really could not get around the Seeing with New Eyes part. I feel that I was not assisted to See With New Eyes.

However what I am taking away from today’s class activities especially after playing the 30 seconds game is that you may have knowledge as a facilitator but struggle to transfer it to the group you facilitating.

Other pointers and tools and things to be mindful of when facilitating a group is that when that group comprises different age groups you need to be tuned to that factor and recognise that people are different. And for a group to excel you need to identify or recognise the different skills and use them to the group’s advantage. As Telfer noted ” We can’t all be goalkeepers in a soccer team”.

But the most important lesson for me is that when you facilitating you need to be very CLEAR in your communicating to the group to ensure you and the people you are facilitating are on the same page so to speak.

Seeing with new eyes

Week 10 28 September 2019

Another Saturday morning at Wits, the topic this week is seeing in eyes. I was irritated before the start of class where the facilitation members moved me in between the desks which I found unnecessary and it did not matter where I sat. The topic was unpacked with the basic theme of Heritage month. We discussed various cultures focusing mainly on the truths, opinions and Mindsets. To be honest nothing stood out for me. My highlight the diverse cultures and interesting and my low-light is I missed the integration of the topic and the activity.  Insensitivity of other cultures. For example, apartheid irrelevant and calling another race as “not people”. I do understand we need to be honest, but we need to bear in mind we are dealing with people and sometimes when touching on culture you need to be aware of your surroundings and how you say it – anticipate feedback.

Sepedi Culture

Telfer introduced how we deal with group dynamics: inclusive, clarity & distraction. In my group we tend to jell well, and we have a strong support of individuals. We don’t overpower each’s personalities or enforce options on the other.

What I take away from class is to stop judging others by culture or background you need to experience what they go through to make judgment only if required. An example made in class was someone who was assigned to journey into a homeless kid’s challenges they face daily. Our country is judgemental I myself I am and ashamed of it.

Changing Perception

Going forward I need to stop judging others either by their ethnic group or as simple as the tone of their skin, I need to realize the same judgment I passed on to others it will passed onto me and start seeing people in my new eyes. Every thought that carries judgement, I will let it pass or filter it from my thoughts. I need to be self-aware of my thoughts or actions and the person I might become. Which might manifest into hate of the others. Mother Teresa once said, ” be the change you want to see in the world.”  don’t let others bad or good experience influence how we see others. Give people a change and get to know them.

Quote from the Bible “Judge not or will be Judged”

Week 8-Story Telling

On my way to Wits and wondering how this will turn out…I remember how we used to tell stories as we were growing up and at creche we had our teacher telling us stories…very entertaining stories like the three little mice and so on and so forth.

As I enter the class, I realise how awkward some people are only to find out that one of our fellow student has passed on. May his precious soul rest in peace.

The group has played well and prepared amazingly and the set of tables were on point, the focus was on diversity more than anything and this actually takes me back to the topic we covered three weeks ago which was Honouring the Differences. This is what I come across on daily basis…like I use metrobus to travel to work and I really hate it when people sing in the bus…like it’s so early in the morning and I feel like people should express their religion at church or privately.This is public transport yes…but please stop singing and preaching. So I have decided to not judge as we are all different…now I bought my self a great set of headphones so to enjoy my own concert on my way to work without hearing and focusing on other people so everyone can do their own thing…they’re different and telling a different story so am I.

Week 9 STORY TELLING

On my way to class (22 September 2019) it felt like I am attending a memorial service, my spirit was down due to one of our own who passed on I would say pre-maturely and haven’t accomplished all the dreams he had on the pipe line.

I wish I heard something different from the sad news but it was confirmed to be true. The previous Saturday most of my team members did not turn up due to sickness, death and other serious challenges. I kept looking at the door asking my self why this young man also not pitching, little did I know that he was lying in the ice. Jolly as he was, forever smiling down to earth you would never imagine him in a coffin. Someone said “life happens” especially when you list expect it but what can we say, be always ready because you do not know when it will decide to knock at your door.

Our group is faced with so much obstacles but I believe that does not stop us from learning from other teams who have already done their facilitation part. When I reflect back to the group who presented story telling, those guys were good, topics well researched engaging the other groups and the tools that were used were on track. They talked to the pictures that were placed on the group and a story was formulated.

Story Telling

Storytelling is fundamental to our everyday lives in communicating with, and understanding, the people around us and the world we live in. The stories we tell are more about how we experience and perceive events than about how things really are. 

They enable our messages and our points of view to be conveyed to the listener or reader.  In stories we are less inclined to be seeking universal truths, and more inclined to be talking about intentions or possibilities.  They can help us deal with unexpected situations and consider the possibilities for what could have happened as well as what transpired.

What I enjoyed the most of today’s class was that our beliefs and traditions makes us

who we are today, hence we need to understand our culture in order to transfer it to the next generation.

Story Telling

My fondest memories of childhood was visiting my late grandmother’s house which was always warm and filled with lots of love and food. I would sit with her on her black leather couches and she would tell me stories of her life. I found it so intriguing and wish I we had the technology back then so that I could record her every word. She was born I 1918 and lived through two world wars. She saw South Africa go through colonisation then through the apartheid era and later democracy. It made me realise how much one can experience during ones lifetime and the memories she was able to share with me through her stories made me feel like I was there. I know that I can tell my kids those stories and we will have memories that will be passed through many generations of our history.

Learning from Life

The presentation on Learning from life was so relevant and portrayed that you should get rid of the first problem then focus on the next on your drafted plan which you set out for yourself. If you haven’t reached a solution at that desired time, change the strategy. That’s’ what I’ve implemented at work and in my personal life. An insane man is a person who does something the same way over and over and expecting a different result.

Facilitating Change

Hi Everyone,

I particularly loved this day because we covered the “Johari Window”, which I have been looking forward to in eager anticipation. This was so valid in my life. I know it is not related to a corporate environment but wanted to relate it to something much more fun.

My sister and I arranged a surprise for my gran. It took us 3 weeks to plan. (My sister came from the UK for two weeks) She arrived on Monday the 23rd of September.

Even Harry Houdini would have been greatly impressed with how I managed to arrange this. To pull off a feat like this would be to Harry Houdini to be the great illusionist and without lying and keeping my standards.

The transparent arena was that my gran and I were going on a short trip on the 23rd of September. I mentioned that she would need to be ready as I would be taking her out for breakfast (However I mentioned that she needs to eat something small) I quickly realized that it may spoil the surprise and somehow she didn’t suspect a thing.

The blind spot was my gran’s surprise. I found that the jealousy from family members that my sister would be visiting my gran and not staying with them, very disappointing. I was unable to tell my gran as it would spoil our well thought out plan.

The hidden arena was where I was upset and disappointed with the family members for being so inconsiderate and jealous. I kept my cool and didn’t say much as I felt this was about my gran and not about them.

The unknown area was when I was driving my gran to the airport as I wasn’t sure how she would respond. I knew she would be happy of course! But I didn’t realise how much it would mean to her and how a simple gesture could make a difference.

Chat soon

Mégan

Honouring Difference

This was an interesting workshop to be part of.

I loved the presenting group’s outfits; it really stood out for me, the cultural differences and the fact that we all have something to learn from someone and a story to tell. As I entered the classroom, I was told to choose a picture of something that resonated with me. This was a clever lesson from the “Honouring Difference” group.

I chose a picture of a woman with short hair (I had recently cut mine, so I thought it would be fun to go to that table). I very soon realised during the presentation that people went to specific groups and of course there were no males in my group. We tend to go to where we are comfortable and tend to not venture into other people’s worlds.

I learnt that some people speak many languages and have travelled well, which I thought was an interesting perspective, there is a lot to learn from other people and cultural backgrounds.

I loved the “Bingo” assignment and it showed me different points of view.

What a colourful day with all the various outfits. I went home feeling inspired and realised that although we are all different in some way, we can still learn something from someone else if we just ask.

Chat soon

Mégan

Learning from Life

Hi Everyone,

This has been a very interesting topic for me recently; I have been observing people around me and seeing how I can improve myself from leaning from them. I have noticed that my boundaries have been pushed in a very big way and a no is sometimes okay.

I found that the people who are offended are the people who benefited from me not having any boundaries. I was dealing with people’s issues that I did not need to take on. (Yes that was my choice, however to the extent that I was pushed, when I said “No! This is not okay”).

I fired the person doing my website because after eight months, promises and proposals of what will be done and R11,800 paid in full. I didn’t have a website I could use, then they started on all of their issues (Which had absolutely nothing to do with me or my website). I was then told about them wanting to commit suicide. I recommended a psychologist and F.A.M.SA. (Which is a counselling service offered for free) as this is totally out of my scope, and ended up dealing with issues which are not mine to solve.

Not only did I not get a service I paid for in full but I lost a lot of money that could have been used in other areas of my business. I found that I learnt from this episode that I am taking on issues and burdens that are not mine to carry.

So why am I sharing a story like this, because sometimes we take on issues that we do not have the expertise or experience to handle and it is okay to walk away from a situation that is potentially harmful to you.

My “aha” moment was realizing that I cannot help everyone, and people need to work on themselves, they need to seek professional help. I found that this situation was becoming harmful to me and my business. Why I walked away from the money is because an expensive lawsuit and the time in court to get my money back would do more harm to my business and I would lose more time which could be invested positively.

We sometimes (Especially me, I am very guilty) focus on the lack of something, instead of the blessings and opportunities we have. Sometimes walking away is the best thing to do!

Chat soon Megan

SEEING WITH NEW EYES…

This class was quite fun. I was a bit late because being a single mother isn’t easy especially when your child is a sportsman. *sigh* I missed some of the team facilitation presentation. It encompassed a Melting Pot of emotions but gave us a diverse view of the groups and people we have shared our Saturday mornings with. I started to see my classmates through the lenses of new eyes.

Telfer took centre stage in this class was a refreshing change as a facilitator. His interactions with the class made me view him and his role with a different set of eyes. His energy was naturally infectious especially when it came to the engagements and the game of 30seconds.

What I took home with me and will have to try work on because I am generally always set in my own ways is; Getting out of my own way and giving myself the ability to see things from a different point of view.

Once you are prejudiced and used to seeing things in the same way, you could miss an opportunity to grow because you don’t see it in the manner you should or would if you stepped out of the way and looked through the balcony.

Facilitating change

I am a change lead for various high profile changes at work, so was excited about this class to see if i can learn something new that will help me facilitate change in my organisation.

The class was very theory heavy which was different to previous classes and most of what was discussed i had a good understanding of. What i did take from the class is that change is everywhere and our brains are not wired to deal with change very well. I think we always think of change as evil and unnecessary, but change is good, sometime as good as a holiday… But it is only as good as how well it was managed!! If it is managed badly, the change will be seen as unnecessary and potentially unfair

Change is everywhere and we will deal with change wherever we go… the only constant in life is change… its all about how we manage it and prepare for it that matters.

Honouring Difference

It was time for my team to do the presentation! Loads of prep and back and forth the time has finally arrived. When we received our topic at the start of the course, i was extremely excited as i am very passionate about this topic and makes up a huge portion of my daily responsibilities at work.

The presentation went awesomely and exactly as planned and we even got comments like its the best one yet!! very exciting.

Group presentation and assignments are always daunting and never easy as we all have lives outside of school. BUT, my groups was amazing… i loved working with them and bouncing ideas around until we got to the final product. We were able to stay true to our topic and by understanding we are all different and do things differently, we were able to work well together. it was an amazing experience with great bunch of people!

Learning from Life – Balancing Life

Life always happens and this guy named “Murphy” always gets in the way. I believe that no matter how well you planned, you always need to be nimble and able to make adjustments.

i dont believe there is such a thing as work-life-balance but rather prescribed to something called work-life-integration. We will always need to do personal stuff during work time and work stuff during personal time, so if you can balance that, rather then trying to keep the two separate, i think one wins…

Its not easy but i have found that the moment i changed my mindset and started focusing on integrating the two rather than separating them, i started having a little more balance…

Working in teams

Woke up in the morning and felt a bit bleak to have to go to class and was not in a great mood to be honest. The team that did the presentation had great levels of energy but some of the exercises did not match the topic and i struggled with connection. Some of the groups tasks were not really team related but more individual.

i think because of the mood i was in, i gave the team some harsh feedback in a way that was probably not very constructive… I am typically someone that can give good or bad feedback in a very respectful and calming way but for some reason, i didnt do it that way this time around. It was not fair of me…and to make a worse, one of our class mates actually called me out on it and said you were a bit harsh.

Ross then actually spent a considerable amount of time teaching us how to give feedback… on reflection i realized that no matter how irritable one is, take a step back and think first… even though i am typically quite good at giving feedback, this experience has taught me to be even more mindful when dealing with giving feedback.

Goal setting

i think everyone understands the importance of setting goals but we often dont do it because it may be daunting or even just scary. Being scared of not reaching a set goal further put us off even setting the goal in the first place.

To be honest, I didn’t really gain any new skills as i am an SMART goals advocate and always drive this at work… what i did get from class though is that i am not the only one that struggles with proper goal setting. i also enjoyed being able to share my experiences and passion for the goals setting with my groups members. The class also just reiterated the importance of setting clear and achievable goals.

Setting goals is easy, setting specific and achieve goals is much harder… i heard so many stories in class around goals that were set but not achieved purely because it was actually not achievable in the first place…. On reflection it just made me think about the importance of proper goals setting, in the work setting, personal and societal setting. i think we, as human social creatures set ourselves up for failure more often than not and if we dont change that we will be in this continuous viscous cycle. once we achieve one goal we will have enough confidence to set another and another and another.

Week 1 – intro to the class

Waking up to go to class on a Saturday was very difficult indeed but looking through the content of what will be covered, rather excited me… My job requires me to lead various strategies around change management as well as transformation, diversity and Inclusion. This mean i need to facilitate various weekly workshops, training sessions as well as masterclasses. From the looks of the course content, this course will greatly assist me in my daily job.

I also got to meet a whole bunch of new people which i quite like and speaks directly to my strength profile.

Week 7: Honouring differences

People are different and we as human beings forget that and treat each other unfairly. The situations and circumstances that we go through shape people’s personalities and characters. Some people are living in the streets and shacks because of the challenges that they are going through. We need to learn and understand that we are different and have different personalities and life experiences.

The reason why there are clashes and misunderstanding is because of misunderstanding and differences. We have different families, cultures, jobs, country etc. Ethnic groups and cultures are also different. There different ways of doing things for cultures. Companies also have different cultures, they have their own way of doing things. As long as we understand that we are different and honour those differences we will be a better society.

Week 8 Facilitating Change

Nothing brightens up a room like a well decorated and set up room… That is a summary of how the group had organised our seating arrangement.

Quite an engaging presentation and standing out from this, well one of the few, is the TARPI model ( Trigger, Assessment, Response, Plan and Implementation). This if followed appropriately is found to be very effective in accepting and embracing change… afterall, it’s the only constant in life.

One thing that stood out from what Ross said was that “Our brains are wired for certainty, hence change causes so much resistance”… now it all makes sense… huh….

The Johari Window touched on a few aspects: The transparent arena, The Hidden arena and the blindspot… it’s interesting how we fail to see our blind spots, sometimes not even want to acknowledge and accept…

What is certain for sure is the fact that the Facilitation Class has opened my eyes to a different world, one that’s meant to help me navigate both my personal and professional life positively…

Week 4: Working in teams

Team work is good because a number of people work together towards achieving the same goal. There are challenges and benefits towards team work. The benefits are that a number of ideas are put together to solve a problem or set goals. The challenges found in teams, strong Characters may influence the team to use their ideas.

Different personalities are found in the teams which might result in clashes and conflict but once managed the best results can be achieved. Team work produces good results because different ideas are put together are great.

The most important thing is how you give and receive feedback to each other. If the positive method of feedback is used then the team will survive all the challenges. Feedback is a method of indicating the gaps to each other and is also an opportunity to grow and correct mistakes.

Story Telling

Who doesn’t love stories…..I can sit for hours and listen to all different types of stories – of all different kinds of cultures, history, places and so on. Today we sat and listened to stories about everyone’s culture and whether they had special rituals and traditions that they practiced. Ros made the most beautiful and valuable point – and that was that we should always enforce and practice the rituals and traditions that we were brought up with in our homes. These are part of our roots and our heritage. If we loose our beliefs, our faith, our religion, our traditions – who are we then? Our beliefs and traditions make us who we are. I believe that without faith – one cannot live?

These days most people are converting to cosmopolitanism. Why – does this give us our inner peace? I certainly do not think so. We need to remain who we are. We live in the rainbow nation and this what makes our country so unique and beautiful. Lets always love ourselves and our traditions. If we don’t have this…what do we have.

Story Telling

I absolutely loved this presentation, it was simply presented and had me going. A simple child game, telephone cut wire, reinforced our memory to understand that what is said at the beginning is interpreted differently at the end. We all have stories to tell, what is amazing about it is that it is our story to tell. Life experiences gives us the ability to even write a book :), as we all have special stories which enhances our ability to communicate and learn.
I enjoyed discussing cultures and rituals. The discussion surrounded birth, initiations, marriage and death. We are all so different yet so similar. In my group I found that we do a lot of similar rituals when a child is born. I found that cultures and rituals have been changed due to the modern world we currently live in. Our roots, culture and rituals need to be understood otherwise we won’t be able to transfer this to our future generation, thus losing the essence of culture and ritual.

Honouring Differences

I learnt that we are all different. All should be treated with respect and understanding. I felt that even though a person has more money or less money we should treat people equally. We were all created differently and we all deserve respect and good treatment. As humans we all are deserving of not being judged by others. We are unique and come with lots of skills, knowledge, talents, each of us have our own way of expressing this. We all have something special to offer and that should be treated with respect and understanding. We also need to accept gender differences, in that God created both man and woman but God sees both genders in the same light. If we teach our children at an early stage in life that he/she is to be respected and treated equally then our country will go a long way. The values we instil in our children will avoid many types of gender abuse. I have always taught my daughter that no matter what, she must educate herself and be independent. I also taught her that she must respect the next person as much as she respects herself. If one is able to respect oneself then the ability to respect another will be easy.

Learning from Life

This group was absolutely amazing, a very good presentation. I found that we give too much to others and we offer less to ourselves – basically over committing ourselves with unnecessary responsibilities instead of taking care of ourselves.
Topic were outlined so well, I found that time management and balancing of life is essential. Without me focusing on what is important in life I lose balance and therefore become overwhelmed. The presentation where the lady he taking care of the house, satisfying her mother, child and husband is very similar to my lifestyle. It made me realize that I need to calm down, step back and live my life rather than always worrying to satisfy the world before myself. I realized that I need to focus on doing me right rather than by doing others right. I often leave a lot of stuff for the last minute instead of just completing tasks – this creates stress for me. I’m tired of putting myself through stressful events in my life. This group made a huge impact on me, I realize how effective and how realistic this presentation was especially in my hectic life.

Week 8: Facilitating Change

Change is constant and inevitable. One thing that we are all sure of is change weather we are prepared for it or not. Change happen in different areas of people’s live that is family, relationships, work, finances, health, culture etc. Change is good but not always. In most instances when change happens there is resistance. Change can be scary sometimes because it is not easy but has lots of benefits in some situations.

You hear motivational speakers say if you want to see different results then change what you do. I had to do alot of changes in my life from apologizing where you know that you are not wrong to forgiving those who hurt me so much. My life has not been a smooth ride I faced challenges from a young age to my adulthood. In this journey of life I learned to adjust and change certain things in life. I must say without change I don’t know how the world will be like. Change is good and is also an opportunity to learn

Week 5- Personal Reflection

On this specific day I missed class due to the state of mind I was in and it turned out that I missed out on a beautiful presentation of Personal Reflection. This got me thinking or rather reflecting on my own life and what I still want to achieve. In this course I have learned not only about the subjects presented in the texts and lectures, but about myself and how I have adapted to my own personal learning cycles. Recalling the information presented in class is only useful if there is a practical outlet to allow this information to flourish and contribute to the greater good of my surroundings.  I asked myself the question on what I want in life, my desires. I realized what a great vexation this is to my spirit and pure distress to my soul, for the eye is never satisfied from seeing, nor ever filled from hearing. No matter how hard I try, this will not be sufficient, and it taught me that sometimes I need not be too hard on myself for that which I am doing, is enough. The more you feel you are not doing enough, the more you desire to quit, and I am not a quitter.

Week 9: Story telling

Everyone has a story to tell, be it youngsters, old people or children. Life experiences are different and we learn different things everyday. Telling a story is an effective way of communication and learning. People love listening to stories and this method grabs people’s attention. Different things tell stories e.g pictures, words, body language and signs also tells a story.

What I have learned is that we can tell different stories through a common or single source. Culture is evolving and different cultures have some commonality in them. We need to know our roots and understand where we come from and who we are. We should also not resist change in culture. I am going to teach my family and everyone whom I know to continue to tell the stories.

Week 3: Setting goal

A lot has happened in life to the extend that many people are good at setting goals be it short or long term but end up not achieving them. At the beginning of the year people set resolutions but never attain them which tend to be OK. In short we are not scared of setting goals that we know very well that we might not achieve. The goals that we set must be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.

I need to take time and do a lot of thinking and planning before setting goals but this should not lead me to setting simple and easy goals. A lot of work needs to go into put up measures to regularly assess progress. The goals that we set should be attainable and be attainable at a specific time. Goals are important and contribute towards a healthy and challenging life since one will focus and work hard towards those goals. People who set goals and revisit them regularly progress in life. Failure to achieving those goals doesn’t mean that it is the end of the world. Goals keep people om their toes living outside their comfort zone.

Story Telling

The most profound lesson gained from this lesson was the importance of creating and maintaining traditions.

The workshop on was not what I expected – after the syndicate presentation, we held group discussions on rituals performed within our culture at birth, coming of age, marriage and death. I have not considered rituals to be important. There are too many demands in life as it is and culture is fluid and constantly changing – this is what I told myself. Roslyn, whom I now consider a Sage (with all the wisdom and unconventional perspectives she shares) inspired in me a different way of thinking about traditions and rituals. Rituals connect you to your past and foster community – yes! Yes!

Story telling

I enjoy attending a Facillitation class as I learn different things every time, today I learnt that I need to step back and allow the people am facilitating to make their own decisions, make mistakes and learn from them. also am going to use this in my work place, be a good listener when others come up with ideas.

STORY TELLING

#We all have a story to tell! I have learned and reminded that story telling evoke emotions, arouse interest and also paints a picture. 

I enjoyed the activity that was given to class where each and every group to tell a story about the pictures in their table. In my table we had a picture of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s pictures, where we come about the story that he was a caring human being, very focused, educated, resilient (picture in Robben Ireland) and had unconditional love for his country.

It is very interesting that with just a picture you can be so creative in bringing motions, interest and a live movie to a person who is listening. We need to tell more of our personal stories.

STORY TELLING

What I learned from today’s class,( first the ice breaker) is that a story can lose its meaning as it gets told. You tell the story to someone they tell it to another person and as it gets told the meaning changes. So I think when you tell a story, the message must be clear, know your audience, you need to chose the appropriate medium(radio, book, tv,) and the story telling model (narrative) to make your story easy to understand and not lose the intended meaning. But as you know we interpret stories differently.

Use everyday examples especially when you communicating numbers, pain pictures with your words.

What I am taking home with me is that we need to tell different stories. Not of Western hero’s like Superman who comes to save the world or of a beautiful princess, (although she has the power to do things for herself) would rather wait for prince charming to come save her. We need to tell traditional African stories of communities that did well together, of powerful single women who against all odds managed to rise above their adversities. That we need to read stories to our children, positive stories, that are truthful and empowering that they too can do it against adversities.

Facilitating Change

As a participant on this topic, i found it informative and it was relevant to my current circumstance. I currently moved departments within the institution i work for. The previous department was a skills development oriented and its core function was the compilation of skills development research and statistics. Because i had been in this portfolio for 8 years i wanted to diversify.

Consequently, i job shadowed in the HRM environment for while to verify suitability and finally i moved. The new environment is fulfilling and i like that interaction with people. It includes technical and Soft Skills which i enjoy. lastly, it combines various aspects of aiming at assisting both the organisation and the employees. For example, career pathing , performance management, employee health and wellness, training and development as well as organisational development.

Honouring Difference

Honouring difference topic was very informative and allowed me to reflect on my understanding and appreciation for diversity. while i was not oblivious to the differences in work spaces and socially, one tended to not really think about the differences that exist in different spaces. for example, one is readily aware of differences in race, gender,sexual orientation, culture and ethnicity.

However, differences exist in how one perceive people. for example, women are emotional,men are abusive and aggressive, gay and lesbian people are promiscuous. On a personal level, to perceive talkative people as opinionated and have abrasive personality. Therefore, this facilitation class allowed me to reflect on my behaviour and learn to be patient with people and never judge.

STORY TELLING -WEEK 8

If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it .learning the fundamentals of story telling was one of the best experience in my life. I learned how,where,when,why and to whom should I tell a story. Telling a story became a new determination of dimensions. I discovered that story telling is not about talking in an open environment but speaking in a supportive environment which creates a supportive learning experience. After learning, I turned to tell different stories in a logic manner. I diverged from infinite to finite ,from analog to logic and from combinations to combinatorics . I practised the culture of telling a story as an event of consecutive words coming after one another ,in a sense that envoys the speaker’s massage. After practicing how to tell a story, I discovered that; story telling gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great. Story telling also influences us to open our arms to change , but don’t let go our values. By experience which is the bitterest, I can tell a story but by immitation which is the simplest I can listen to a story but not understand its content.

Story Telling

In life I have learned that every one has a story it might happen that it is different or it’s the same as yours but it’s a story, so for me my story is growing up being raised by a single mother who was not working. So she later passed on and then we had to learn to provide for our selves, learn how to cope without her and in learning that I realised that it made me to grow and to have goals in life. One of those goals was to go to university little did I know that I will be in wits one day but because of perseverance and knowing what you want I’m here today.

Today I learned that story telling is about emotions, is about understanding the other person’s life based on who they are not what they are or how they look

Story Telling

Everyday we are telling a story but in a practical way. Life is a story on it’s own. It became interesting how the story is related to the next person. Therefore, our behavior, conduct and many norms we do in life became a story that others can relate too. But what’s intresting is, how do you want your story to be told.

The team helped me to understand that stories are everything that we do in life. But what was key is stories became part of memories that assist in helping me and you not to repeat the bad stories we onced performed. However its important to understand also your own story in life and how you are telling it to the world.

Well done to the story telling team. Your presentation, organization and meterail was on point, most definitely great clothing combinations.

Great Work Guys!!!!

Story Telling

Week 9, Saturday 21 September 2019

Saturday morning, we started off with a broken phone exercise/ice breaker it was creative and well thought off. The experience was enjoyable and reminded me of the dangers we facet as the society: the original or authenticity of the story will never be same, we tend to interpret stories to our own understanding and end up losing the whole meaning of the story. Usually it will be different and somewhat not making sense.

Next off we had pictures allocated as per group, we had to make up a story line and segment the story to class. Our topic was Social Relation and we focused on the recent Xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, violence is sought not to solve issues but jerks’ abhorrence. The conditions brought the country into distraction and it interfered with classes and work, tautness was in the midst.

Story telling it is enjoyable; stories is evident to our existence as human beings. I remember the time when my mother and I would share stories of respect, love and humility. This tradition will passed-on to my son. Stories implants culture.

Ms. Solomon, touched on how our HISTORY has been re-written; it is His Story. The History we are reading today is not the same as the one read 10 -15 years ago. Cultures may be different but how we do practises, and rituals can be the same. For example, most cultures celebrate birth and they mourn during death. We are the same only the colour of our skin sets us apart.

I have now realised that any person cannot be defined by their single story. Personal stories change with time.

Video: The danger of a single story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (http://youtu.be/D9lhs241zeg)

Week 8 – Facilitating Change

This year has been reflective of change for me- I lost my dad. Change, as I’ve learnt during facilitation becomes harder when pain is involved. It’s resisted and avoided at all costs even when we know that it’s a natural process of life. We experience the most painful feelings of loss when significant change occurs – irrespective of whether the change is perceived as positive or negative.  However, the more one value something, the bigger the emotions that are attached to that state of being. Change and loss are intertwined and can be seen as opening a door into the unknown where you don’t know what’s on the other side. Loss can be seen in the form of death, loss of a relationship, loss of time/years, comfort, health, security, opportunity, control or phase in your life. Loss and change is everywhere. While I cannot undo the past, I can choose how we I will react to the situation and what experience or learning I choose to take from it.

FACILITATING CHANGE

Change is inevitable, I have always believed in this statement. Well, last Saturday I learned that change is never easy but good and sometimes needed.

What I take away from this facilitation team is learning to control or facilitate change.

The team has demonstrated in different aspects in our daily lives about how we can facilitate change. Their well researched tools and skills will be useful in most of our daily lives.

The problem is trust and power in ourselves to facilitate the change. In some situation, you are not even given the power to control your change, you must just do it and adjust yourself later.

I feel like as people, we hold on to too much comfort, we get used to doing things a certain way, work the same way and being around same people and doing same routine daily, make one resist change.

Personally, I need a big change in my life, I need a career change, I have been doing the same thing for over 10 years and time for change has come.

Thank you team for opening my eyes.

Thank you team for opening my eyes .

#Week 2

So moving on to my second week of Facilitation, still not happy with having to wake up so early in the morning, specifically on a Saturday, but the facilitators accomplished in setting the tone for this course quite superbly.  I enjoyed meeting new people and learning to do things differently. I always heard about blogging but never in my wildest thoughts did I ever think I would be doing that someday, and here I am, blogging away my experiences. What an AHA moment this was !

Facilitating change week 8

I must say I was very much Impressed by the way the check i was done, the jangling around of alphabets in our names and getting someone to tell you your name was amazing exercise.

The topics that we were given to deliberate on, were true reflections of where change has to be facilitated around our lives.

The model of TARPI they came out with was outstanding for me. P standing for triggered, A standing for assessment R for response, P for Plan and I for implement. My take on this model that they came out with gives guides on how change came about and how it can be tackled until the implementation stage.

What I have learned is that in every are of our lives change comes whether you are ready or not so have to manage it to ensure positive results

Week 7- Facilitating Change

The moment we have been waiting for, the anticipation it came with, this is my group preparing for the topic at hand, we met on Friday to can prepare and rehearse each one’s role to can bring the topic to life on Saturday. So I woke up Saturday morning and all I can hear was “Sam Cooke” singing “Change is gonna come” so I decided to download the track and listen to it as I get ready to attend the class, anyway… Change is what happens while we make other plans and the reality of it is that it takes one out of their comfort zone. So, we decided to stretch a topic a bid wider as change brings many things to the table like Financial change, Relationships and Career. With that being said, I have an ill father, he is been ill for couple of months now as he is been diagnosed with a specific condition, I will be moving to his house this month end to can be there and support where necessary, I am the first born and I take full accountability of many things, it is really sad but because I was fortunate enough to be placed in this group “Facilitating Change” I have been applying the T.A.R.P.I acronym to deal with all types of changes I encounter even at work.

Facilitating Change

Change is a process of shifting from one challenge to the next. Change transforms people to new levels of thinking, believing and understanding. In general, individuals understand change differently and change can be brought on by various factors. The process of change requires actual change for it to be materialized. The group that I was placed in discussed changes in different areas of improvement: relationships, career, organization financial management, technology, and education. I now understand that, I have to encounter challenges for me to develop my flaws into strengths.

Goal setting..

I’ve never been one to set goals never mind new year resolutions, I am literally just winging it. “Wherever the wind blows, I’m there”. Jeremiah 2911 has always been my daily mantra.

During the presentation on goal setting the group has a SMART model on how to set goals. This was quite helpful and makes the process a little less dreadful. I have learnt that without goals one lacks focus and direction(See my life). Goal setting not only allows me to take control of my life’s direction; it also provided me a benchmark for determining whether I am actually succeeding or it’s just wishful thinking. My new goal setting process started with careful consideration of what I want to achieve and by when, it ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it.

I am glad to say that I have finally set a few goals all thanks to the goal setting team for changing my mindset, I am now planning better by having a sense of direction and organizing my goals better.

Working in Teams.

Let me begin my mentioning that I’ve never been a fan of teamwork, I’ve always struggled with entrusting people to get the work done (I’ve been disappointment far too many times). I am a perfectionist of note, So who better to get the job done efficiently and on time other than myself 🤷🏽‍♀️.

First presentation in the facilitation skills class was about working in teams and the importance of team work. We encounter teamwork in our everyday lives, from the work place, our homes, relationships and even in friendships.

My sentiments were changed during this presentation, it made me realize that teamwork can be great and can produce better results than when working individually. Working collaboratively and sharing responsibilities to achieve a goal increases efficiency, strengths of team can mates compliment each other and that will increase productivity.

I learnt that I need to take a step back to allow people to do what’s is required without taking ownership of everything (As always). Truth is, team work isn’t always the greatest work. When working in a team we could encounter conflict, non participation of team members (As expected), differences to reach an agreement, a clash of different personalities, and often times difficulties of the team members to gel.

Working in the creative space, I now communicate better and allow people freely express their own ideas without correcting them(Miss perfectionist). I now give feedback differently and try to acknowledge the work of others by appreciating their efforts and insights to provide a dynamic and interesting work environment.

Setting Goals

As we were placed in groups, an activity was given allowing us to see which goals we set for ourselves and how we will go about to reaching these goals. At first, as a mother and as a wife, it turns to be extremely difficult to juggle everything at once. Being a working mother and studying was not an easy task, but this was a goal I set for myself and linking it to always making time for my family. Since I’ve been studying, this was quite a challenge, as I am returning home late from class, plus tired from a long day at work as well as having to tidy up from my husband’s cooking was not an easy job. Hence, this made me learn time management and discipline which are both extremely important not only in class, but in my personal and working life as well. I learnt that no matter how difficult it gets, I need to prioritize so I can make time for my family as life is not all about school and work.

FACILITATING CHANGE

FACILITATING CHANGE
What I learned during class this past Saturday is that CHANGE is inevitable. It could be career wise, organisational but it is certain. But what I took out from the class activity which has helped me in my current job and role is that there’s RESISTANCE to change. Through the Resistance Barometer I have managed to identify some of that there’s resistance to my management and by whom. I see this through the gossip, jokes, excuses and disruptions made by some within my team. But I again learned that this could be that some of them feel they are not being heard or their status undermined or unrecognised. So, what I am doing with what I have learned is that I am beginning to give the individuals some status or key responsibilities, so they feel they are being recognised and not feel under any threat. I am monitoring to see how’s this working but so far, it’s encouraging.

Change

We had an interesting facilitation session on changes that occur in various aspects of one’s life. I particularly enjoyed the part about changes to one’s personal life, and how one should embrace change. That change can be good as long as you see it in a positive manner.  I feel that it resonates with me because I am going through a lot of changes in my personal life. I am almost done with studying and being hermit after 4 years and almost feel like I have to find myself again. I feel like I have lost my social skills due to being at home and school most of the time and only socialising with my kids. I look forward to starting afresh and experiencing good change I my life using all the knowledge I have acquired during my studies at WITS.

FACILITATING CHANGE

This particular topic was based on our presentation as a group, with countless discussion, agreements and disagreements on how to go about doing the workshop. We decided on nine aspects of change-which are organizational, financial, career, relationship, technological, family, social, educational as well as developmental change. Each person was then tasked to do some research on an allocated change which will then enable them to interact with the allocated group they’ll be facilitating.

The presentation went exceptionally well leading to interactions that went deeper in exploring the topic. The feedback was great specifically from Roslyn, who mentioned that some of our activity weren’t really necessary as people cannot even remember what we have said. She went on to explain the substancial part of the day was the interaction-which allowed learning from each other.

The highlight of the day for me was the story of of electricity and light, which spoke about a newly appointed CEO whom was too excited to introduce new changes without considering how the executive member feel about it. He assumed that everyone shared the same ideas even though conversations were happening in his absence. The moral of the story is silent doesn’t mean consent, different role players have different perspectives and we tend to think that people think like we do. These are points I will use in my daily work life ensuring that I’m in the same page with my team, as for their opinion instead just bringing ideas that they should go with.

Honoring differences

it was one of those classes where by i did not know what to expect.they were very beautiful with their different attires.the presentation was very good but most importantly is what i learnt from the presentation which is the power of diversity,  understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.

From that moment i started treating people with dignity and respect and i understood that we are all unique.it really worked on me because i stopped being racist and discriminate other people because of their looks ,culture,age ,language or sexual appearances.

Facilitating Change

I previously believed that the only guarantee in life is that you would one day die. However, the longer I spend on earth, the more I am convinced that we all are also guaranteed to be exposed to change. These changes relate to our health, finances, family, career and many more.

With change being guaranteed, it is crucial that we have a process for managing such change (whether positive or negative). I believe that people’s attitude to change or truly understanding the need to manage change is a consequence of the society they have been brought up in (including the influence of parents and peers) as well as the education they have been exposed to.

Changes occur for a variety of reasons. For example, with the passing of time our bodies naturally weaken and we may be susceptible to diseases which were not a problem in our younger years. Similarly, we may put on weight or as a result of an accident may have injured ourselves.

When it comes to finances, this may be affected either positively or negatively. I could win the Lotto (Wishful thinking) or I could lose my job and therefore my income. Family situations could change as a result of the extension of a family such as the birth of a baby or the death of a loved one.

In our careers we may either be promoted within the organisation where we are employed or we could go through retrenchment. Either change will have a dramatic change in our lives.

The point is that change will occur. Sometimes change can occur without warning whilst at other times we may be able to plan for it. I may know that I will be getting married in 3 months time which allows me to plan for the change but situations such as a motor vehicle accident which changes my life dramatically cannot be foreseen.

Ultimately we can attempt to manage our risks by taking our life insurance, having regular medical check ups but there will always be that part of life that will be unknown.

In contrast to only being able to manage change to a certain level, it is my view that our attitude and response to change is totally within our control. Should we after suffering a heart attack become placid and withdrawn or will we take actions such as losing weight, changing our diets and exercising regularly. This will also relate to changes in our career, finances and family situation.

Facilitating change

The presentation was well coordinated. The content was very much relevant but I feel that the team could have gone deep on the topic. Change is a very big and complex topic. I am off the view that change is constant and its inevitable. There are different stages of change, some include denial, and acceptance among others. The change journey must really be unpacked so that we can learn and be equipped to deal with change.

Honouring Difference:week 7

It was lovely to see the group presenting the topic in their beautiful traditional attires representing most different cultures. they showed how diverse we are and also emphasized the importance of respecting each other’s differences. we are all not that same and we are all from different cultures, backgrounds with different beliefs. we should always respect our differences and understand that we are not the same. In future, I am planning on learning and getting and clear picture of people and cultures that a different to mine. Get a better understanding and knowledge of different beliefs and cultures.

Learning from life Week 6

The group presented for this topic was greatly presented. the role play performed made me contious of the fact that we sometimes offer too much of ourselves and give little time to ourselves to nature and take care of ourselves

Time management is essential. need to focus on what is important and beneficial at that moment. Balancing life and minimizing stress is something I really need to work on. I tend to focus on the not so important things and end up stressing on the important ones that need to be done. I leave things till late and contemplate a lot which negatively effects me in the end.I need to learn to say no to things and people in order to look after myself and manage my time effectively. I need to start doing things that make me happy, the things  I enjoy and things that will give me peace and happiness.having not enough time is one of my biggest excuses. the group presenting made me realise I actually do have time and I just need to manage it better.

I have also learnt to accommodate people who have different working styles and have different ways of doing things. understand and accept their level of doing things.

Facilitating Change

We all know that change is inevitable. We often go through change in many aspects of our lives and grow from it. Change can certainly be positive or negative depending on the root cause of that particular change.

Earlier this year I had no choice but to close my business, it was a major change in my life, which changed most things around me. It was hard to come to terms with it but at a certain point, after several push backs, I became honest and realistic with myself. The change was a ripple effect and I had to be kind enough to myself to know when to change a few things. I didn’t allow the change to deter me hence I find myself writing this blog…

I realised I had to press the reset button and allow myself to have a clean, fresh start and learn from my mistakes. I speak from a safe place today, knowing that I needed professional intervention. I was highly aware of my resistance to change but I couldn’t sit and not initiate anything. I knew what I needed to do, when to do it and how to do it in order to deal with my business failure. I also taught myself to look for good even in a bad or awkward situation. My long-term memory is filled with valuable lessons I learned in and out of business. A few months after my therapy sessions, I am studying, rejuvenated, enthusiastic, undergoing more change and looking over from the balcony. Change is part of life, as it is I am moving houses which means I have to build new memories at the new house and my intention is to ensure that every member of my family is content, embraces the change, continue to grow and learn from any change that occurs.

A colleague once left me with these words, ” Signs are always there, we just choose to ignore them”. Like the story told in the book…” Who moved my cheese” by Spencer Johnson. We have to learn to cope positively with change at any given time and it is well known that the only thing that remains the same its change.

“The quicker you let go of the old cheese, the sooner you will find new cheese” – Spencer Johnson

Facilitating Change

Nothing in life is constant – except change.

Human Beings are naturally not receptive to change. We have to teach ourselves to be conducive and adaptable to this ever changing life. Currently, we are experiencing this “4IR” hype in our work places as well as every where around us. I think that if we accept this and really put our minds to the new 4IR sphere, we can enjoy the new learning experiences as well as gain from them.

In my work place specifically, there is a huge hype about 4IR. I’m excited. I am looking forward to the positive change and developments. We currently have 4IR related programmes available to enhance our learning, our working methods and our thoughts to balance and “fit in” with the new and improved way of doing things. Yeah – it looks good!

Honouring Differences

We are all made uniquely and differently. Every person should respect the other for their differences as this is the way they were were created. We have no right to judge some-one because they are different to us. Just as each person possesses their unique talents and abilities – each human being has a special quality or gift.

Another aspect of differences between genders are the way men were created differently to women. We need to educate our little children and instill the value of respecting others into them. This will prevent lots of the gender based violence issues that we are currently seeing happening at an alarming rate in South Africa.

Facillitation changes

today I started to understand that  when a business’s environment changes it is vital to identify, reassess, and possibly change one’s organizational structure and design. This happened within my organisation when the founder of the company retired and we were all wondering what was going to happen next. today I realised that most of us are afraid of change even if its for the best.

HONOURING DIFFERENCES…

This class started off so well, as I entered class, I was welcomed by the beauty of the colours traditional attire.

The different coloured traditional attire was an ODE to the topic of the week….Honouring Differences. The facilitation group’s introduction was quite unique, as they used various languages to introduce themselves. Showcasing their diversity in the group, it was refreshing. I also loved how much they respected their chosen topic by showing and representing their differences in a unique manner throughout their facilitation.

This class made me reflect on how I react and approach people who are different from me. I ended up asking myself the following question: “Do I see differences as a negative or positive thing?” the answer prompted me to start looking at diversity as a positive trait, to try find comfort that when someone is different from me, they come with a different outlook (point of view of life) which can be a great strength and provides fresh perspective to any situation (whether it be personal or work)

Thanks to this week I am going to make a conscious decision to to embrace diversity as much as possible.

Facilitating Change

Everyday we try to find the best formula of living our lifes better than yesterday. However we find ourselves in the trap of doing the something over and over again but expecting the different results. This simply because change is not easy, specially growing in the environment where things that you would love to change in your life, but for the people that are guiding you or raising you up is and it has being working for them.

Therefore this perpetuate you to overlook things like blindsport of your life because you constantly trying to convince people what you want and need. But the group today’s presentation on Facilitation Change as opened my perspective on how I must facilitate change.

Change in behaviour and patterns are things one really need how to learn the best way to manage my personal life. I guess it boils down to plan, discipline and commitment. But most importantly is self honestly. Change is good, but you really need to know what you want, why you want it or I you ready for change.

Great presentation by the team and looking forward to implement this principle TRAPI. The material used, group discussion and organization of the participants want outstanding.

Great work guys….

Facilitating Change

Week 8 Topic Facilitating Change

The weekend after the mid-term break and I was looking forward to class. The topic for this weekend is facilitation change. Our group was given a romantic relationship to discuss and give examples. This whole exercise made me realize how we expect things to change but we don’t make a determination to change.

I am not happy at my current employment and I made a choice to change my situation. Being a student and a mother is not easy but it will be worth the effort at the end.

Honouring Difference

Wow! Every new facilitation piece gets better every week… each Saturday I get more inspired and learn new things with different groups. I am also learning to trust my own judgement and giving people a chance. I do not judge and compare as I used too, I guess the “Honouring difference” team well demonstrated this piece for me. It all makes sense now. At a first glance I got the impression that team were going to speak to us about cultural differences, little did I know that what they revealed about gender stereotypes was happening in our daily lives. We are so unconscious bias without even thinking twice, we do it at work, with our children and within our circle of friends.

After watching the video of ” the dangers of a single story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I realise that I have had single stories about a whole lot of things, from marriages, single successful women and children in general, the lack of knowledge is dangerous and leads us to stereotyping. Thank god to people like Chimamanda, who constantly open our eyes by EDUCATION! You see, with education we can become less bias, and we can learn the difference between power and control.

What I take from :Honouring difference” team is that we should be accommodating as a people. Learn to accept and learn from each other. It is okay to be different. Let us embrace our differences and be patient and understanding. Realising that our learning styles are different, made me think about me being impatient when someone is not getting my point or being things as me, i am learning accept and be patient. This has been an eye opener for me truly and I thank this team.

HONOURING DIFFERENCES

Firstly the team looked amazing,this was a great facilitation piece considering everything that is happening in our country at the moment. Even though the team focused more on gender stereotype i think the topic carries more weight regarding what is happening in SA NOW. People discriminate other people because they are from other countries, criminology should be dealt with accordingly without checking where the person is from,or whether they are black or white.

We should learn to honour our differences and remember that we can learn a lot form other people and fix our country without looking down on women or other african people….Remember together we can do more.

WEEK 8

The weekend of the 6th September was a day off from class. I thought I would enjoy some time off but I felt the gab of not attending I missed class because I always anticipate what would transpire from the facilitating teams.

There is always a lesson to be learned in each and every class, the facilitators, the teams in fact it is more than what I expected when I came here.

I am looking forward to the class on the 14th.

HONORING DIFFERENCE

This is an interesting topic. The presentation was excellent. We talked about gender stereotyping. A stereotype is an over generalized belief about a particular category of people, an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group.

Each group made a list of different gender stereotyping and came up with solutions

From this discussion, I’ve learned that gender role can be influenced by the media, family, environment and society impacts, how they socialize with their peers and form relationships.

Learning from life

The topic was very relevant to me because we learnt how to balance life which was very vital. We are living a very busy life whereby someone is a student,mother,wife and employee,all this duties they need time,we end up having headache,depression and anxiety because we are failing to balance life. The group taught us how to balance life by making priorities and how to start with main goal,they demonstrated that by using 2 baskets,the other one was having small balls and the other one was having big balls,the one that get full first was the one with big ball. I have realize that on my side the problem was time,i was unable to allocate time correctly,i end up not meeting deadline at work and school , after being taught how to balance life things are now simple to me and my family because i can manage to balance life and still have time to for myself.

Honouring Differences

“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” – John Gary

So, in class we discussed gender differences and stereotypes that we live with daily. For example, women belong in the kitchen, men are providers, men are dogs, women can’t be CEO’s etc. This topic is very interesting, bearing in mind that we are all different. Yes, in most cases we might have similarities but the small 0.1 percent of our DNA is what makes us different.

The past weekend I was hanging around with a group of married male and female friends. Now, I am not married but most of my friends are. I had the privilege of asking them this question…”If you get a divorce, would you ever get married again” to my surprise, four out of four men firmly said they would never to do it again and three out of three women said the same thing too. I was surprised to hear this response from women because I thought women are more stable and not scared of commitment but it turned out, it was just my perception. This whole experience sparked an interesting debate about monogamy. I believe in marriage and that it can work if the people involved are willing to honour each others differences, so… you can imagine how difficult it was for me to sit and listen to married men blatantly telling me that monogamy doesn’t exit, that as much as they are married they would like to tell their wives about their interest in other women and that they can love two people at the same time. My views where different and I was unconsciously biased despite them opening up to me. I then thought about what we touched on in class, that we should respect each other’s differences. The conversation triggered deep emotions and one of the married men had his girlfriend there, who happened to be married to someone else. I calmed myself thinking…to each his own, that I’m allowed to have a different view because I am different and it will be unfair, under any circumstances, to try and change who they are, what they want or how they think. I learned that the way people choose to live their lives has nothing to do with me and this is simply because we are NOT the same and we need to appreciate this about each other. After seeing Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s TED video ” Dangers of a single story”, I realised I had a single story about marriage and monogamy. My quest for related stories was intensified because going forward I know what I will be getting myself into should I choose to get married. Then again, not all men are the same.

Week 6- Honouring Difference.

Now that I am learning each day from life and that I reflect on myself so much… it now make sense that one should remember that we are all different, I am placed in a “rugby” group as per the picture of a rugby player and I thought we would actually reflect on the picture placed on each table as all pictures were different and to my suprise we had to give feedback on “women versus men”. The activity I enjoyed is the one that got “us” some chocolates were we played the BINGO game. This topic “Honouring Difference” has a link on the activity we had previously with Telfer on Left Brainers versus the Right Brainers as it shows that thou we are different we need to find a way to work together which takes us to “team work topic also, anyway… me and my girlfriend had a chat not so long ago, she is very moody and impatient, sometimes she thinks that I understand what she means and I really don’t get it at times and when I ask for emphasis she thinks I am taking her for a ride and very often she she feels that I don’t listen to her, we fight more since she is pregnant, she will have cravings in the middle of the night and expect me to get her russians and fries at that very time and shops are closed…”really” Sje pulled this stunt again this past Thursday and due to this Xenophobic attacks more shops were closed like around 14:00 and when I try to explain to her that it will not be possible, she takes it very hard, but because I have learnt so much in class (Facilitation Skills) so, I was facilitating this episode of us being a cat and mouse, I decided to stand on the balcony so to see through this and come with a solution. Thou we can communicate and promise each other that we should avoid this and that, we always find a way to get back in the ring and fight over little things like tv programs and all, I realise that we will never be on the same page and I need to honour the fact that we are different.

Facilitating Change

I have learnt that change is good. It is through change that we get to learnt new ways of doing things smart, if I may put it that way. Because change is a process of shifting from one challenge to the next point of achieving our goals. I have learnt that change transforms us to new levels of thinking, believing and understanding. With this in mind, I am certain that all people deal with change differently and change can be brought on by many different factors.

From the case study that we read on page 92 of the Facilitation handbook, “Guiding Change”, I learnt that it is not wise to just force people to change by management ruling and instruction. To facilitate change (If I were given an opportunity as CEO in a new company) I must change their underlying assumptions with a credible plan. Be tactical when I list what assumptions need to change. Include all team members in a strategy session with an aim for overcoming any resistance to change that I could have identified for each department.

The lesson learnt this week was that assumptions about what motivates people will somehow determine the success or failure of any change program. If assumptions are incorrect, as a facilitator I may miss a valuable opportunity of gaining ownership of the change process.

FACILITATING CHANGE

I must say the group that was presenting, they were well prepared. I have learned a lot from the presenting team and from Roslyn. We are all ambassador of change and change is inevitable.  I enjoyed the activity done by the presenting team, where we had to facilitate change in our education journey, Financial situation, Relationships, Career and Technology. This exercise was an eye awakener because it highlighted the fact that in all our spheres of life change needs to happen and we need to be aware, embrace it and take action.

The business case of a new CEO Davis Scott and the team was a very interesting way of how can you manage change better and choice of words to use during change process, and importance transparency, constant communication and engagement with the team throughout the change process. Apply SCARF MODEL : Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. Also utilize Myrna Lewis Resistance Barometer model to obtain if the team is in a covert or overt state.

FACILITATING CHANGE-WEEK 7

Climbing to the top demands strength, whether is the top of the Mount Everest or the top of your career. I have learned that the concept of changing is all about the power of change overcoming the change of power. That means that there are a variety of different outcomes to any change. I practised that when I taught myself to understand that an opinion is a medium between knowledge and ignorance . We can only experience change when we put our thoughts into actions. Overcoming change is one of the processes that we go through every day, but we turned to ignore it as if nothing is happening. We find it hard to accept that change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. After practicing change I learned that life is all about change and changing is actions . I came up with intuitive models of eradicating change. In order for you to conquer change you need to know ,which change am I dealing with?what cognitive levels does that change fall in? What may happen or go wrong ? How do I prevent that from happening? The interesting aspect about change is that you can only see the outcomes after going through the process to attain set objectives. Nelson Mandela proved that when he said ” it seems impossible until its done”.

Setting Goals

In a world that is busy and has people who are constantly engaged in their respective activities, it is important to set your goals. Setting your goals gives you a long-term vision. The vision will allow you to properly plan journey towards towards your target. The group that facilitated, “Setting Goals”, did a very good job by connecting with the whole class through the interactive activities. The activities allowed the class to connect as a group and also as individuals, one highlight in particular was using the SMART acronym which stands for (Specific, measurable, realistic, time-based) goal objectives. The group did not only demonstrate why it is important to set goals, but they also indicated how to achieve the set goals. With a clear and well defined approach it is a straightforward course to reach my goals.

Honouring Difference

Learning by collaborating with people from different cultures from mine taught me the importance of diversity. The group’s attires were self-explanatory and the group well presented their topic by using the South African Cultural week celebrations. Being respected by important people in our lives growing up teaches us how to be respectful toward others regardless of our cultural authenticity. Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they are different from you or you do not agree with them. On-other-hand, Ross introduced the class to different learning styles. The learning styles were: Initiator, Operator, Theorist and Investigator. The learning styles were an interesting topic because it revealed the learning style that I used, and I found that I am an Initiator when it it comes to learning. Whilst it was good to learn how honouring differences impact our relationships with other people, it was also a good experience to find out about my learning style.

Honoring Difference

Our team was on the receiving end of feedback today, what an experience. It was exciting to be rated the best workshop to date – our team work very hard on the presentation, considering how best to ensure the audience guided the session but ensuring we remain on track with the topic and accurately highlight key lessons.

We had strong personalities in the group, adults who are at Wits for various reasons and who weren’t particularly interested in group work on day one. In the weeks prior, however, we had done an exercise on highlighting aspects of a person in the group that made them great, and what could make them even greater in our eyes. It was key to bringing the group together as people appreciated that people saw in them qualities which resonated with them.

Our team further aimed to highlight stereotypes while ensuring that we did so in a manner that elevated, rather than denigrated any marginalized groups. We focused on gender stereotypes and the class fully participated.

Further to this, Roslyn taught about the Johari Window model – a tool through which we give and receive feedback about ourselves and others. I have begun applying the tool, as with most lessons gained from this course, my experimental space is office my workplace. I have tried to self-disclose as much as is appropriate in an effort to assist others in understand my view point and similarly seek to understand that other people’s behavior may not be motivated by only what I observe in the moment. The feedback sessions I have with our apprentices are richer as a result.

Week 3: Working in Teams

Even though I did not attend, the class in week 3 and I missed the presentation topic on “Working in Teams” but I took the time to reflect on what does it mean for me to work in a team. I recalled that recently I attended a conference and we did the Marshmallow Tower Building challenge by Peter Skillman. The idea is for teams to build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, on meter of tape, one meter of string and a marshmallow. After the challenge we debriefed and what I learned from this experience is the importance of collaboration, the importance of succeeding as a team, helped us to identify our hidden assumptions and the importance of facilitation skills in order to get the best out of each other.

Week 2: Setting Goals

This week I missed the presentation on setting goals but I joined the class soon after and I was able to pick up some of the key themes that where discussed around setting goals. For me, this topic really hit home because all my adult life I have struggled to stick to the goals that I have set for myself. Although, theoretically understand why it is important to set goals and how the process of setting goals can help us to achieve our goals. I still find it had to follow through on my plans.
Ironically, part of my role at work is to drive and implement the company’s performance management process and assist employees to set their performance objectives. To facilitate this process I often advise employees to use the SMART Objectives model to set their performance objectives so that they can achieve their goals and milestones and yet I struggle to set my own goals. With that said, I want to make a pledge to myself to finish what I start and apply the SMART objectives.
The feedback given to this group I was very important and it was a great set up for the next teams. I learned that it is important to give your audience an opportunity to participate, be creative, use what was done well, and use the three questions.
During class, we were wrapped over the knuckles for not heeding to Rosa’s suggesting about watching Simon Sinek’s – Golden Circle video as suggested by Rosan, however in hindsight I realise that it important everyone to understand their individual purpose.

Week 1: First Class

The first class was a bit unsettling because I did not know what to expect from this first interaction. I was initially intimidated by the sheer numbers of people who have signed up for the class…(+-100 students) I must say, that I was happy to see some familiar faces from the English class (Psychological Safety). After Roslyn and Telfer introduced themselves, thereafter they asked us to do an exercise in pairs on what value we hoped to gain from this programme. We were assigned partners and we went through the exercise in the workbook. For me, the exercise was very insightful because I understood that most of us where there for different reasons but we all agreed that we need to create a valuable learning experience for everyone.

Learning from Life

This week we learn about a sub-topic “balance”. Because we take lessons in our daily lives consciously or not, we eventually tend to use what we learned to into practice. The scenario that was examined in this presentation was that of time management in balancing one’s activities in live. This was executed very well and the lesson here for me was to prioritize the most important things you have to do without neglecting others. We must stop waisting time for example visiting a friend when you know you have assignment to prepare… The GROW model was also presented which I find quite useful in measuring one’s progress.

I find myself struggling with this topic, because all I have been doing for the past two weeks is to put it in practice and I find myself failing 😭 at all turns. However I have picked up that I put too much on my plate, yes it’s nothing compared to people who have families, I couldn’t imagine how they do it. I just have to go back to my principle of ‘simplicity’ and drop some activities until I get on the right track and ‘balanced’

We are all different and unique

This week’s session was about on respecting people as we all different and unique. We all come from diverse backgrounds and all have something special about us. I for example am mixed race my mom is black and Swati and my dad is a white British citizen. My parents met during the apartheid era and fought to be together despite the law not allowing them to be together. My family also has a mix of other South African cultures so I have been exposed to different viewpoints and this has allowed me to see that people are really people it doesn’t matter how you look and we need to respect each other’s differences.

Life and learning from it.

Last week the topic that was presented was on learning from life. The team that presented was very impressive and had relevant points to discuss, I specifically enjoyed the topic on balancing the different elements in one’s life. Perhaps because it resonated with me especially with all the things that are going on in my life and how I am trying to balance everything with the aim of not dropping the ball. It also made me realize that I am not the only one with a lot on my plate after speaking to other colleagues and that I should not be so hard on myself. I just take a deep breath in an and out once in a while. According to Morack (2007),  the lessons we earn from gaining gratitude and insight from misunderstandings and errors are learnt from life experiences. In order to achieve a balanced life one must develop measures for success to stay focused on ones priorities, while establishing a strategy to assistance one stay on track of the plans and focusing on synergy so that you have the essential support to realize success Renshaw & Holden (2009).

Personal reflection

Unfortunately, I was not about to attend class because I was writing a test for one of my other subjects, however I tried to read up on the topic to gain some insight. I discovered when reading “How Do I Write a Good Personal Reflection,” (n.d.) that personal reflection is a response to a specific stimulus, which is written by an individual on their personal experiences and events relating to what the individual is studying i.e. reflecting on what you are learning. This can be influenced by:

  • Life experiences, views and beliefs
  • The subject matter
  • One’s emotional state at a specific time

Upon reflecting on this information, I appreciated the significance of reflective writing and how this adds value your work as it allows you to be more objective and remove personal biases one might have and reflect on other influences whether positive or negative that can affect your writing.

Team work

I had such anxiety because my group literally had only two weeks to prepare for our facilitation session and to present it to the class. I was not sure how we would achieve this because we had such little time and very busy schedules.  Our group met after the lecture to plot the way forward and how we would tackle the topic we were given. we all agreed that it is important to provide sufficient information on the topic we would be presenting and therefore had to do research on teamwork. We also wanted to add variety to our facilitation so we decided to find interesting activities that involved working in teams to get the class engaged and stimulated as opposed to just standing in front of the class and just presenting which is not what facilitation is about.

I discovered from doing my  own research on the topic in a book by Payne (1982) that a team can achieve more than in individual working on their own. The book explains that teams are a collection of people who work together to accomplish a common goal. I learnt quite a lot about working in a team and about working in a team and how to play to each other’s strengths as well as collaborating to achieve better outcomes. That teamwork creates opportunities to improve communication and relationship building skills, as well as forging stronger personal connections, which fosters a welcoming and supportive workplace culture.

Our team managed to work together to facilitate a successful workshop and used the tools we had at our disposal to carry out our objectives. The class gave us positive reviews and some constructive criticism which we reflected on as a team to bear in mind for future facilitation.

Setting Goals

I learnt how important it is to set goals for yourself and write down your vision, whether it is short or long term, it is important that you record what you want to achieve in your personal and work life. When you set goals you commit to the outcomes of those goals. Goal setting creates a long-term objective, and helps you decide how you want to focus your resources and spend your time; it further provides an individual the motivation to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. In order to achieve one’s goals you can use the SMART (Specific, measurable, realistic, time-based) goal objectives. I will be applying this concept more often in my personal life to achieve the goals I have planned for myself.

Self Reflection

On the agenda they was a question which said “When last did you reflect on yourself? The question really blown my mind because i didn’t take issue of self refection seriously,the group even gave us mirror so that we can see our self through mirror. When the group go deeper with their presentation that’s were i realize that self reflection is very important,because is actually teaches you of being honest with yourself,you notice behavior patterns,consider whats important to you and evaluate whether you are leaving those values . In actual fact that’s we i realize that self reflection its all about loving yourself,respecting yourself and leaving according to the values. I have learnt about the benefit of self reflection because it give us the ability to understand our emotions,strength,goal and values. Feed back from the groups they highlighted the benefit of self reflection as well,which they said its self correction,Self development,Self review and measure yourself.

When the presentation was done we gave feedback to the team and it was actual not good. So we were taught about the principle of engagement and how to give feed back to people without not hurting people. We learnt about detachment meaning we deeply care from an objective place. The problem about about being attached to people we end up owning them and which is very wrong . So were taught about balcony principle,which say that stand in a balcony and take care of people from distance. We did feed back practically within our groups ,we were given 2 question which said 1. What makes you great in my eyes? The exercise was very good because they way you see yourself sometimes people can see you differently,we did participate to our groups giving them feedback,question number 2. What would make you even greater in my eyes? We got different opinion from our group mate and it was good. I realize that feedback is very important because it can motivate us,it promotes personal and professional growth.

Honoring Differences

I admit that when the presentation initially started I was under the impression that the group will discuss cultural differences. This was due to the attire and the greetings in different languages.

I was pleasantly surprised when they narrowed down such a vast topic to gender stereotype – very clever, I admit.

The presentation went on to illustrate the innate bias and prejudice we have about people, situations etc.

Fantastic presentation.

Honouring Differences

Here i am rushing for class, it was exactly 07h58 and as i approached the door, a group of ladies dressed in differrent tradiotional attires welcomed me and requested that i choose a pic from the table that had catched my eyes. I chose a picture of a young lady dressed so nice, as i was about to leave i wanted to change my choice to a picture of a man dressed in tradional cloths unfortunately i was told i can not make the change. As i entered the class to sit on the table i chose, i noticed that it was only females sitting there. This made me laugh bacause i thought it would be packed by males because of the picture (Lol). I must say i could not wait for the presentation start, i was so excited.

As the presentation started the team took my attention by welcoming us in their different languages, that to me showed the link of the weeks topic of “Honouring differences”. The AHA moment for me was how the presentation was informative, based on the aspects covered such as diversity classification, difference in people and culture and these topics truly related to the essence of our country being a rainbow nation and how we are not judging people based of their differences. It was also discussed that we sometimes tend to be uncounsciously biased, where we unfairely judge and how this prevents us to honour our differences.

I have gained a life-long lesson, that we are greately different as people and we should respect the fact that we are not the same and will never be the same.

Honouring Differences Presentation

Week 7

31-08-2019

Before we entered class, we were advised to selection a picture which we mostly related to. I selected a picture portraying a young confident, beautiful and independent woman. I felt like I related to this picture more, because that’s how I normal dress when going out and I’m confident about my body and what I bring to the table intellectually. The presentation was about ‘Honouring Differences’’ – the members of the were beautiful dresses in traditional clothing. They greeted us according to their respective cultures and thoroughly demonstrated beauty of diversity.  Our activity was ‘Bingo’ with a twist of course. We had to list the stereotypes within society and solutions.  The presentation was extremely informative the aspects covered, were diversity classification, difference in people and culture. I felt these topics truly related to the essence of our country being a rainbow nation and not judging people based of their differences. They touched on the ‘Bill of Rights’ – everyone is equal and will be treated equally and cultural differences will be respected. Elaborating on the ‘Bill of Rights’ was really good- I feel like it added more value to their concepts covered. Another concept was introduced ‘Our first response ‘when we meet new people is in fact based on aspects which can be considered as unfair and gender stereotypical judgements. Gender stereotypes was discussed further in our groups.

I enjoyed this presentation. I felt like the group was well organised and demonstrated their ideas and concepts fairly well. The visual aids were useful. I don’t really have anything negative to say about their presentation. I loved the it related to the ideologies of South Africa being a ‘Rainbow Nation’. 

After the presentation we assessed our Reflective essays. The feedback which I received was fairly good. I tried to stay as honest as possible- and related each presentation, the concepts which I learnt to my personal experiences. I’m so used to writing technical essays for my other modules- this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I learnt that the ‘Reflective’ essay can be anything you want it to be, structure, style wise, sub-headings etc.

LEARNING FROM LIFE

Learning from life was extremely interesting in more ways than one. I got a very different outlook on the value of my time. The excuse of saying I don’t have the time is put into perspective, because it is just that an excuse. If we plan a time to the point where we are accountable for every hour in the day we realize that it is possible to do so much more than we think we are capable of. During this lesson a YouTube video I once saw came to mind, “A valuable lesson for a happier life”. It speaks to prioritizing the important things in life and not allowing trivial matters to overshadow what really matters. Making sure that we know what’s important and what matters allows us to put the right measures in place in order to prioritize and plan our lives accordingly.

Honoring Differences

This week’s presentation was beautiful and it represented our diversity. The group had well researched their craft and they also went an extra mile by adding different cultures in their facilitation task. I could relate to them and I enjoyed the games and exercises given to each group

We live in a diverse world, we come from different backgrounds and cultures. It is vital to any individual to be woke and be able to acknowledge each others differences.Through this topic, I was able do distinct MY uniqueness from what my peers perceive of me.

When I look into my inner self, I am certain that it actually forms a valued perspective about me as a person so and will not rob the world of my potential. I believe that if a person is keeping themselves in small room that has limited opportunities to discover who they are, then it does not serve the purpose to blame the world that it is holding them back.

By honouring yourself and others you move closer to who you truly are, your truth knows your greatness.

WEEK 7 Honoring Differences

I stand in amazement of how the group presented their topic ” Honoring differences” They themselves they embraced their differences by how they displayed different cultures.

The moment I got in class being asked to identify myself with a picture I did not hesitate to choose the picture that I was familiar with. This is a movie I watched many times laughing my lungs out. It is one of the movies I love so much.

I was directed to the table where there was a big picture of the same person. I set down in anticipation of what was to follow. The introduction of the different cultures was one of the highlights to me, showing how passionate the group was with the topic and that they have been thinking outside the box. A team work was displayed.

Even though the scenario that was brought forth I did not have an understanding but the moment the word bias came in I then came on board and its true. I remember of once incident at work we we were doing a quality check of performance agreement, the moment they picked my sections pack I wanted to be excused because subconsciously my mind was telling me its assessment yet its just aligning the agreements. The bias part of it brought and awareness of mistakes we always do when faced with situations.

The gender stereo type regardless of male or female, the deliberations there were so profound. It is true, culture has perpetrated this stereo types”man do not cry, women s place is in the kitchen.

The solutions of educating, communicating deal with the cultural stereo types that to me was so informative and bringing awareness to combat it.

Comments on my essays was diced, the other one was constructive, appreciating me for doing much better for a start with positive critics of clear referencing oh the other one was an English teacher

Looking forward for another great Saturday

Week 7 – Honouring differences

Thank you to the Group for an excellent display of facilitation skills on Saturday. I was personally very impressed - So much so that I wondered whether some of the group have not been involved in facilitations or presentations before – perhaps in their “normal jobs”? Some of the very effective techniques and even the phrases used in the presentation seemed to indicate this. Anyway, I felt that the audience benefited greatly from this. For me, the group brought alive many of the techniques as verbalised by Rosslyn in the past weeks. There was so much that I will be able to introduce into my own life which requires me doing presentations and facilitation exercises at work from time to time. I think the bar has certainly been lifted now and it will be interesting to see how the remaining groups can maintain this level and build on it.

In terms of the content of the presentation, my big take-away was around the subject of unconscious bias. The session piqued my interest and made me re-think my own biases which may exist. Some examples of the way in which people differ and which could lead to bias (conscious or unconscious) are race, culture, religion, sex, age, sexual preference and economic status. People may develop bias against others who do not fall within the same segment 0f society, have different views of the world or do not look like them. I have always considered myself to be open minded as I felt I could accept and be friends with anyone regardless of how they differed to me. However it is within the ‘unconsciousness’ that the rub really lies and where I need to consider my own thoughts very carefully.

How many of us can honestly say that we have not shown unconscious bias? Personally I can think of a very pertinent example in my own life where I have caught myself after the fact realising that my thoughts were borne of generalisations when thinking that all taxi drivers in South Africa are a danger on the roads and don’t give much regard to the safety of others, be it passengers or other drivers on the road. But is this really so? No doubt, many taxi drivers are irresponsible, have caused accidents and injury but are there not an equal number of respectful, careful taxi drivers? Do we ever even consider the full picture when we formulate generalisations in our mind? Do we stop to consider that these drivers themselves may be victims of taxi owners who demand that they meet certain daily goals before they can even start making money to feed their families? Might we not also behave in the same way taxi drivers do if we walked in their shoes for just a day?

Thinking about how biases form within our minds, I would believe that these would be have been formulated as a result of a number of factors such as our own experiences, what we have read in the media, what our parents believed, what school we attended and our circle of influence in general.

How do we counter our biases then? Education does fulfil a role and so does the values of the corporations, sporting teams, educational institutions, religious entities etc. These bodies have a significant role but I do think ultimately it comes down to an individual’s own awareness and their willingness to accept people as equals. Seek to understand others, accept their differences and expand your horizon to include people that differ from you in all respects. We have only one chance on this earth and I do not want unfounded biases to affect me from being able to engage and befriend people from across the spectrum who would enhance my own experiences not only in South Africa but across the globe

Honouring differences – Week 7

“If you hate difference, you’ll be bored to death.” ― Toba Beta

This quote resonates much with what this week’s topic was. Firstly, whatever is done differently by another individuals is automatically unacceptable, but why would this be the case in such a diversified world and society?

Much as I missed the better part of the presentation, the last exercise on gender biases was truly relevant in today’s world. The differences between genders, much as they are social constructs, form a greater basis of how male and female perceive each other.

Dumisane from the group I was in stated something that rang loudly in my ears: What man can do, women can do bleeding”.

Through this exercise it was clear that both males and females have unconfirmed perceptions about each other and that honouring these differences is key in moving forward with a different narrative free from these socially constructed biased, perpetuated through a constructed set of norms, values and societal acceptance.

And given that we had to submit our draft essays, the blindspot about this exercise was that we were expected to constructively critique each other’s writing… tough but necessary especially having to note how the next classmate engages with one’s work. Afterall, the theme for the day was dedicated to honouring each other’s differences right?