Week 4 – Going from good to great

Another great Saturday that flew by so quickly.
Today I realised that self reflection is very important.
But, I also realised that self reflection is only useful when followed by action.

Today’s facilitation piece, “Going from good to great” made me realise that I do have leadership skills and qualities within me. These qualities though are meaningless if I am not going to put them to use, if Im not going to improve my life, or help in improving someone else’s life.

As of today, I choose to show up and be present in the moment.

WEEK 4: Going from good to great.

Well quite a lot has happened, that took me back to class and reminded me about personal mastery.

Now with my newly acquired knowledge about resistance line and how setting boundaries feeds into personal mastery, It has me thinking how as a nation we are in shock and striking out beneath the ”line” in efforts to deal with the current situation we face as a country.

I now find myself having ample quite time to myself to process how I truly feel, with regards to certain aspects of my life and how I interact and respond, both in terms of thinking and my behaviour towards those around me.

This has lead to personal revelations, and thus the self discovery journey continues.

Going from good to great

On week 4, I learned many lessons that came in time for my preparation for a workshop on “Reinventing Leadership Development Together” which took place on the 19th of March. As part of my preparation, I had to design a poster on any identified question or challenge on leadership development that I wanted to take a deep dive into.

One of the greatest contributor to my thinking from the Week 4 class was “The Quality Spiral” and I used it in connection to how leaders need a better quality of thinking which is usually impaired by a myriad of factors that have taken years to form.

I also learned the importance of separating positive feedback and areas of growth so that the person receiving the feedback does not get stuck on the areas of growth alone. The concept of using ‘and’ to connect two points instead of ‘but’ was also mind blowing.

The greatest life lesson was “the quality of your thinking influences the quality of your communication first to yourself and to others and that influences how you show up!” that hit home. This was profound for me because on the Wednesday before the workshop when I had a cough I thought “perfect excuse to not go to the workshop since most people are already not coming because of Covid-19” but in the evening I had a huge realization “it was not about the cough and Covid-19; it was about the anxiety that I felt having to go into a space where I would be the only black person in the group”.

The fear and anxiety came from my experience of the past month when I came face to face with the fact that racism is still very much alive in South Africa and it does not matter what your accent sounds like, your skin color in some spaces is a ticket for how you should be treated. When I confronted what was really going on , I told my husband that I am going to the workshop and I showed up and to my delight and possibly an act of affirmation from God; after my presentation, everyone else emphasized in their own presentation the need to design leadership development programs that help people “show up”as their best version. I was honest and that allowed for others to learn in ways that I previously imagined not possible.

Here’s to showing up for every moment of everyday!

Week 4 – ways of Facilitation

I’ve learned about how the Qualities impact each, I’ve learned the ways of Facilitating how you should be aware of your crowd and that as a facilitator you are holding your group.

I’ve learned learned that you need to pay attention with no judgment and you must always show up, you need to have agility however care but don’t get to it.

I loved the quote that said whatever happened its the right thing to happen because that’s the only thing that happened, and when it’s over its over.

Puzzle pieces falling in place

When I first met Ros in 2019 for a work engagement, she shared passionately and with great conviction about the facilitation skills course. We met again at the beginning of the year and my boss was sold and asked if I’d be keen to do the course and my immediate answer was “of course “.

On the 21st of February I found out that the course was beginning the following day and Ros said to me “come and check it out and if you like it you can stay”. So, on the 22nd of February, I woke up and made my way to the first class. I got lost a bit but finally found Ros after navigation through phone calls. The other participants had also started arriving.

We started off with an introduction from Ros about the course and she facilitated a process where we had to discuss the differences between facilitation, training, gardening and coaching. We then had another round with different group members to discuss the differences between the same variables and weaving.

I sat in the room the whole day in awe of how my facilitation journey has been so in line with what we were doing without any training. It so happened that 2 years ago to the day I had facilitated my pilot workshop for my masters and I had reflected on the day and how I had been humbled by my supervisor’s comment on how I’m a natural facilitator. The first day of the course was a great reminder that I should stop playing small with the things that I am passionate about and good in.

My greatest take away was that each facilitation session requires you to show up for that specific moment as if it’s your first ever and self awareness makes this possible. As a facilitator one needs to be able to gauge the atmosphere in the room and be able to navigate it such that the participants show up authentically. I got to facilitate assessment centres that I am self aware and kind.

Week 3: Realising your dreams.

Well, this proved to be a learning curve for me, a moment to take stock.

After prepping and dealing with my own fear of presenting the work, then actually presenting and not knowing how to process the feedback, put me of focus. It pushed me to a point of so much stress that my mind could not accept any other information that was discusses/ shared during class except that which felt as thought was directly related to me.

However during the week, a particular dream of mine came to pass, and in hind sight i realised that without my conscious knowledge i had used the steps which we had present ed to the class, in order for the to see the dream become a reality.

For extra reading, on the the readings which informed our presentation kindly view the below list:

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-steps-to-realizing-any_b_123463 ( 04/03/2020).
  2. https://steemit.com/life/@machhour/7-steps-to-realize-your-dreams (04/03/2020).
  3. https://www.toolshero.com/personal-development/7-steps-turn-dreams-goals-achieve/ (04/03/2020).
  4. https://www.dumblittleman.com/how-to-realize-your-dreams-even-if-you/ (04/03/2020).

Week 3: Realising your dreams

I just realised that no matter how big or small, difficult or easily attainable ones hopes and visions might be…a dream-is a dream- is a dream!!

On so many occasions I have put off or dismissed a certain goal or vision about where I saw myself in the future. I did this only because society has taught me that, oh yea sure I can aim high but not too high as I can end up missing and lose even the little that I had to start with.

But it just dawned on me during the class discussion that, it’s crucial to dream. The scarier the dream the better because then in my quest of trying to realise that dream, I also discover ME and what I’m capable of.

So I continue to dream…

I dream crazy! I dream scary! I dream colourful! I just dream and use that as my guiding compass…

Telling your story

This session where storytelling was used as a facilitation tool was extremely fascinating to me. The idea of using storytelling for this purpose had never before occurred to me. Thus this was a significant learning opportunity for me, also because I do love telling and listening to other people’s stories. The story that stood out for me was: A story of vision, leadership and commitment. How the protagonist had to continue through their pain and numbness and the toughest of circumstances; through the tears and the pain and continue to build. The Aha moment for me was realising that I had to be committed to achieving my visions and dreams even through sometimes very trying circumstances. I cannot for the life of me think of any delta moment in this particular story. I now approach the realization of my visions and dreams with this awareness and consciousness that there will always be challenges but I should continue nonetheless.

Realizing your dreams

I was significantly moved by this facilitation piece by Sana and Lebo. While their approach was very simple, the topic was addressed considerably well. It is clear that research was conducted as they were able to outline the steps to be taken for one to realize their dreams. Lebo did most of the talking as the natural leader of the team and represented the team very well, however, this could be perceived as overpowering the less vocal Sana. For the objective of the learning experience, I would have preferred if both of them accommodated each other to achieve a mutually inclusive facilitation piece where the polar personalities would be more balanced. This represented a delta moment for me. The Aha moment was when we did the exercise with the piece of paper individually. How we each received the same size, type of paper and same set of instructions but skillfully displaying through all the different interpretations that our individual perspectives and backgrounds do produce different results under the same circumstances.
The learning has opened my eyes to different perspectives, has helped me understand people better and is helping me to be more accepting of differences.

Week 3 – Realising My Dreams

Today’s session started with a facilitation piece on “realising your dreams” presented by the 1st group.

This session somehow took my back to my Vision Board. After a long time, I remembered my Vision Board that I took my time to create, posting all my hopes and dreams.
Much to my surprise, most of my goals are still in line with what I’m doing today, I’ve clearly just taken a totally different route, encountered a few detours and changed plans slighty, while growing in the process.

Our facilitators did an exercise where we tore up pieces of paper while our eyes were closed. After tearing this paper, we looked at the shapes and sizes we all ended up with and not one was the same, even though we were all given the same instruction.

Lesson learnt: No two dreams are the same. While we may have similar goals and dreams, our means of reaching them are all different.

Week 2

And once again another class has passed. All I can say is that these classes seem to be flying by. Cant even call it a class really, because the entire session is just like one big discussion with people sharing idea and thoughts.

I’ve begun to really look forward to these sessions. If I had known that there would be no formal lecturers involved I would have signed up for this ages ago.

Today’s session, was somewhat relaxed, but very thought provoking.  Something that I’ve taken away from today’s session and I will keep reminding myself as I go about my business is the phrase, ” He who knows what he wants, gets what he wants!!”

This phrase has now somehow become my Mantra!

WEEK 3

Today, there was a bit of catching up to do…

My expectations of what facilitation is are knocked completely out of the window.

I’m learning and I’m glad that I’m learning, and that my perceptions are changing.

I critiqued the presentation from the team presenting this week based on my expectations of what should have happened, I wonder though how I would have run the facilitation and if it would have been any different -with my expectations in mind.

I’m looking forward to next week’s class and the new thing to learn next!

Week 3- Realising your dream

This week we started off with the first team presenting their facilitation peace to the class, it was on realising your dream. It was great and got me thinking about how well this is following to what I previously noted as great take always. In order to have a dream you must know what you want and a wise lecturer once said “a man who knows what he wants gets it” and balancing it with substance and form will get you there and keep you there. I have always been very clear about what I want, even though the path is not always clear, I still get there. Now it feels like I am being equipped with tools to expedite the process and how much better now that i know i need to add the substance to this overflowing form that I have. These sessions are bringing a lot of clarity for me. I feel like i am moving from good to great!! haha that’s our topic to facilitate this week whoooo hooooo….so exited. Cant wait to learn some more.

Week 2 – Telling your Story

On our second week, we analysed the Facilitation short stories that we had to read during the week. The story that got into me is “The Bent Backs of Chang Dong” because Emma Atkins brought practical change in the community, even though they didn’t comprehend at the beginning, but at the end the results were marvellous. To me it says as a facilitator, it is imperative to focus on a common goal and common process, group discussions and an efficient way to reach consensus and productive outcomes.

Ros talked about the “Unpopular voice”. It resonated with me as it usually happened to me at work, where I would say something early to my colleagues and to find that no one heard me. Ros advised that the key to be heard as an “Unpopular Voice” is timing – knowing when to say it at the right time and place.

There was another question that was asked by Ros – How do you facilitate in your daily life? I facilitate in my organisation that I work for, by making sure that when we receive the content, it is processed effectively until it gets to the viewers at home without any glitches.

Ros also spoke vehemently about Sustance and Form, that it is important to balance both. To put a lot of effort in your outer and inner self by doing that you are bringing value to others through your personal wisdom and that Substance and Form are the main factors of success.

Week 3

This week I’ve learned that Facilitation means to draw out not only to feed in, I’ve learned a lot about different types of learning, and that no one is dumb and failure is still part of learning the different types of learning are concrete experience, Reflective observation, abstrac conceptualization

I’ve learned about, Distress learning were your mind just freeze on you and I got to know who am I through the intelligence type activity that we did.

I also enjoyed the Facilitation peace on realising your dreams, it made me Reflect on my self.

Week 2 : Telling your story

I can say so much about ths week

Starting off with the stories we had to read the week before. i was so touched by “A story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment” In summary it is about a Tibetan Elder that talks to a tourest at the top of a mountain about the harships he has faced and even though it was very evil and harsh, most of us would not forgive people for such cruelty, but becuase he was a true leader from within he forgave them and found the leader within him to lead himself and the the few people that was left with him to a better place in their harts and minds. In the end relating it back to leadership in the corperate space. Saying that in order for us to live a meaningful and successful life you must be aware of what is in your heart.

Then there was substance and form, mind blowing.

Having substance but no form…..gets you up the ladder but doesn’t keep you there 🙁

Having form but no substance….you will get the quick but probably won’t stay there for long 🙁

But Substance and Form…a recipe for success, I need to get me some substance and form at the same time 🙂

Another statement in class that stood out for me was “He who knows what he wants get it” I probably knew this one al along, but WOW did it hit home.

I find myself thinking about what I don’t want. Do I really know what I want?? Do you know what you want?

Week 2

I went into class with an open mind this week. I analysed each classmate as they spoke because I really find them interesting. One of the things I saw is that each time tgey say something it’s something that mesmerized me, they know so much and I ask myself “where have you been Decky?” They speak well and have so much knowledge so I find that truly fascinating. I’m usually a loud mouth but in this class I sit and listen.

I got a better understanding of what Facilitation is and realised that facilitation is everywhere. At some point in our lives we take the role of facilitator, unaware. Oh another thing I learnt is that it’s very important to do homework LOL!!!

This class excites me in such a way I can’t explain. It gels so much with my vision. Ros explains things in a way that I find myself resonating with most things she says. She should have been a psychologist really. I find myself looking deep within me and reanalysing things because I know and believe my purpose is greater.

Week 2 – Telling your story

Shoo, what an interesting week it has been!
So during class, we spoke briefly about what is dubbed the “unpopular voice” which is when someone says or mentions something much too early before the group/ people are ready to accept it. Well this helped solve some of my communication barriers with regards to my relationships with my colleges, Ros mentioned that during her study she realized that all it took to remedy being the “unpopular voice” is knowing when to say what need to be said based on the groups dynamic and feel. This was like a revelation to me, suddenly by paying attention to the mood during our team meetings I knew when to speak so that I may be heard. I’ve also learnt to share selective bits and pieces of my background as this makes me ‘more’ human and life like (relatable) to those around me more so my students, which in turn makes our interactions easier and they become more open to receiving the instructions and help I give them, even beyond the ‘classroom’’.

Week 1 – First Class

First day in Facilitation class. I was very excited to meet new class mates. It was even more exhilerating to find that it is the ladies only “Girl Power”.

We met our lecturer Ros, warm and well educated woman. We introduced ourselves to each other. We learnt the difference between Facilitation, Training, Coaching and Counselling .

We had to write a reason why we are studying this course, but answer in different formats. Answering to yourself, to an important person in your life and to your lecturer.

Lastly we were told to start blogging every week. It really enjoyed the 4hrs with the ladies. It was really an amazing class.

Week 2: Telling your story

Google defines a story as (1) An account of imaginary or real people and events for entertainment. (2) An account of past events in someone’s life or in the development of something.

We all come from different walks of life and have experienced a whole of things in our lives, and as a result, we all have a story to tell.

What sparked my interest today in class when we were busy analysing the short stories in our books, was that we are all directly or indirectly the facilitators of our own stories. The difference lies in how we choose to facilitate those stories which then will ultimately influence the meaning, intent or truth of our stories.

Week 1

First of all I don’t even what facilitation is. I don’t think this is what I signed up for tlwgen I was told that this was going to be a short course. By the way, doesn’t short course mean easier?! Oh well, my facilitator Ros  seems like she knows what she is doing and if she says no one must get less than a distinction then that might mean that I can actually do this. I’m scared though because most things I have started I didn’t finish and here I am studying at Wits.
Wait, let me answer the question…First day of class was frightening! Lol. My classmates are all female and they seem interesting. I like the fact that this course seems like it aligns with my ultimate goals.
Let’s see how second week will go….