All posts by Sir Albert

Wits student majoring in Politics and International Relations.

Week 6 – Blog 6 :” Resolving Conflict and Building Relationship”

Week 6 – Blog 6 :” Resolving Conflict and Building Relationship”

Yo ooh! Another longest Saturday in class from 08:00 – 16:00

On schedules two teams facilitated on

Resolving Conflict &  Building Relationships.

The topic seems too be close related… i was so exited to be ready to learn new ways of doing things that most of us always going through conflict and reconciliations.

Group one on :Resolving Conflict:

The team exposed different people and different styles of how to handle conflict in societies. I have quickly picked up my own personalities immediately when they were facilitating  i am a Compromiser because i always but all means attempt to avoid conflict no matter how but conflicts always found my address because people are different but for me albeit i still attempt to avoid it for peace keeping sake. In my house my wife always thinks like i am avoiding conflict because i just want peace and she always says i must not avoid conflict i my confront it as a man and for me that is just a good way of losing energy. i always try my best to run away from conflict and my way of resolving it is always inappropriate hence it end up in more quarrels than solution. Thank God this session has brought few lights and styles of how to resolve conflict peacefully. I will ensure that i use all these new methods (competing,collaborating,compromising,avoiding and accommodating) and apply them and see how i can be able to resolve.

Building Relationships: 

The Icebreaker with the second facilitation basically summed up the point they were trying to get across about building a relationship is about working together.

The way madam Solomon explained about building relationship it was very interesting hence she explained the cycle of a relationship and she provided steps ( Risk, Hurt, withdraw, reclaim Identity,Hurt and relationship) of how to maintaining a good relationship in our society and i my life.

Indeed a very extra long day but with full needed information to use on daily basis in our lives.

Thank you.

Week 5-blog 5 -“Seeing with New Eyes & Freeing your Mind”

Week 5-blog 5 -“Seeing with New Eyes & Freeing your Mind”

Today is the longest day from 08:00 -16:00  we will have two groups facilitating:

First group facilitated on  “Seeing with Different Eyes” <old Shoes>.

This topic was hectic as they wore the shoes of “homeless people. One colleague shared an experience of being homeless whereby she also used a storytelling facilitating tool from the previous facilitation session.They had requested us to bring old shoes and we were asked to wear other people’s shoes which was not so good for everyone. and i did not at any given time attempt to wear them. The stats on the homeless people ratios in South Africa was so shocking after 24 years of democracy this stats is shocking and has changed my mind to view this situation as a serious challenges. We always try to run away from the homeless people and associate them with crime and stuff but at least today i learnt that they need a serious assistance and i must provide when ever i can.

The 2nd Group facilitated on “Freeing your Mind”, this topic pointed more on emotional prison.    The subject was interesting as they have provided the smileys, angry, stressed, excited faces. These colleagues were very well informed about their topic. The topic was talking to my current life style and I picked up where i need more work to be done in my own life.It was really enjoyable and informative session.

Although it was a very long day in class but worth full. By the time she said class dismissed i was very tired and just left rush home.

Thank you.

Week 4 – Blog 4- “Honoring Difference”

Week 4 – Blog 4- “Honoring Difference”

Week 4 .was done by the group facilitating on Honoring difference.

These group facilitated very well by presenting different culture outfits.This was a great set up even from the class sitting arrangement . All cultural items were facilitated with honor, i felt so great to see other people considering other’s culture with respect and love.

The session was so informative for me hence there were releasing important information such as how it was agreed to choose the 24th of September as an Heritage day in South Africa for me this was so informative and i did not know for real about this revelation.

The group members dressed in their beautiful, respective traditional wear, to convey the message that we are all different and belong to different ethnic groups, but we all constitute a rainbow nation. Indeed it was great facilitation and informative as well.The exercise of brain that we completed for brain dominance was also good for my own sake.

What a wow day of learning ,honoring , respecting and loving people with their cultural life style.I told myself to accept and compromise on people’s ceremonial  practices which shows their cultures and way of doing things on : Birth, Initiation, Marriage and Death.  I was linking the way of doing these things, to the negative forces and only believed in Christians ways of doing things now that i understand and i will accept and give them space to practice their believes but not practicing them as for me it is christ’s way as the holy book (the bible) tells.

This facilitation session of honoring differences has changed my way of seeing things.

Thank you.

Week 12 – Blog 12:”Expressing Gratitude”

Week 12 – Blog 12:”Expressing Gratitude”

Today ‘s team facilitation is about Expressing  gratitude.

The team has touched so many important points which affect most of us as audience, the team showed us how important to express gratitude toward each other within our societies, families and among friends. Expressing gratitude brings  peace among the people you live with and the surrounding.

I have learnt that expressing gratitude of saying thank you to someone is not just a sign of being polite or good manner but it is the right thing to do in society hence it shows that you respect the next person who is just next to you.

Expressing gratitude or message of thank you, can be addressed to your boss, your colleague , family members , and friends as well .This message is seen in different ways some sees it as you do care about them, some as i sign of trust and some as a sign of good relationship.

After the group facilitated, madam Karen took us to a new level of facilitation method where she explained to us via a debate around a very hot topic with mixture feeling on cannabis.                                  The hot topic was about our feelings about legalization of cannabis. We have formed four groups:

Group one : Believed that it is a gate way to drugs therefore the state should have not legalize it.

Group two: Believed that it is was a good thing to do because cannabis helps on Health issues.

Group Three: Wanted the state to regulate the use of cannabis before legalizing it.

Group Four: believed that it is democracy let everyone enjoy life and cannabis ‘s legalization is the great thing that the state has done so far.

This topic was not a easy one to digest has the room was fuming with mix feelings and colleagues were angry and some even were disappointed in other’s comment it was boiling and we all forgot about being nice to our friends in other groups.Madam Karen was insisting that you do not address directly to the people in that particular group but you are addressing to the idea or the believe of that particular group. We were also allowed to rotate and go sit in the other group and attempt to feel the heat of the group and try to defend the group, for sure it was not easy and pleasant student were boiling with anger and disappointment.

By the time Madam Karen called for the show to be stopped, people were high in feelings and she asked us to dust off a little bit. I have learnt how to take it easy and allow other people’s views and accept them. We also have to find a way of compromising even if you do not agree with the other person.

THIS IS A BIG LESSON THAT I LEARN TODAY .IN MY LIFE I WILL MAKE SURE THAT I ALWAYS REMEMBER TODAY’S TOPIC ” EXPRESSING GRATITUDE”

At the end, she advised that it is how we are in really life , we only want our views to be accepted by others, and reject totally other’s view without attempting to understand why the next person had taken that decision. She also emphasized on expressing gratitude as a control of our feelings and that will allow us to keep checking your level of feelings because without this check up we will always be out of the track and allow our emotions or feelings to control us and which is bad hence when controlled by emotions we are always end up taking wrong decision that make us regret in near future.

Oh yes! It is another day of learning big ways of leaving life within our societies.

Thank you.

 

 

Week 11- Blog 11:”Building a Shared Understanding”

Week 11- Blog 11:”Building a Shared Understanding”

Finally our day of facilitation has arrived, today 29th of September 2018 is a big day for our team.

We met at 07 o’clock in the morning for preparations and we wanted to kick start immediately at 08:00 , unfortunately the classroom was not opened on time.We were panicking outside the classroom waiting for Security personnel to open the classroom nothing happened. Around 08:10 The lecturer  Mr Telfer came and told us that they still looking for the key but we can go and look for any available classroom where we can start rearranging some chairs and get ready to do our facilitation session. Indeed we found a classroom and arranged all chairs, there comes Mr Telfer again” Guys we manage to open the classroom go and start preparing.We all started arranging and preparing the classroom setup, ask some assistance from our colleagues, and were set up and we were a bit nervous while setting up the classroom.

Yeah now it is time to facilitate the audience on what we have been preparing for so long ” Building a shared understanding”. Wow !! all went so well we were so happy confidence was building up as we were facilitating all just come together in a sync. After the facilitation we got positive comment and feedback from the audience a very good and encouraging comment. Comment from Madam Fiona and mr Telfer were also positive.

I personal enjoy the facilitation as my part was to facilitate on the 5 steps of building shared understanding namely:

Step 1: Establish leadership.

Step 2: Establish relationships with each of the Members.

Step 3: Build relationships between your employees.

Step 4: Foster teamwork.

Step 5: Set ground rules for the team.

Indeed it was a great day, i was released and happy that i finally facilitate without any problem.

All techniques thought were applied. This was my best Saturday class and i enjoyed !!

Thank you

Week 9 – Blog 9:”Time Management- Wheel of life”

Week 9 – Blog 9:”Time Management- Wheel of life”

Saturday the 15th we had two biggest part of activities for the day. Being an audience foe our colleagues facilitation and the draft essay submissions. The facilitation was so great hence the group was explaining time management which is so crucial for me as a parent student. It is about my understanding of  more important for me and how well I have to balance time across all my activities and in different life areas. The wheel of life exercise was the perfect starting point for goal setting the most crucial is to maintain and consult the wheel of life. I can now set my career path, studies and my social life around this wheel of life. Time management is very important and we all need to use time accordingly. The four quadrant is a very good tool for me to use time effectively.The urgent important deadlines,  not urgent important planning, urgent not important and not urgent not important is a tool that one can use to manage time optimally and this was a very important part for me and i was not aware of such ways of selecting what is really needed not what i want.

Draft Essay submissions:

After the presentation and the usually criticism of the facilitation in our respective group, the draft essay submission was the most dominated topic as we were just whispering around the draft essay.             Then comes the time to submit the essay. I had so high expectation regarding the Draft essay, thinking that the lecture will mark them then tell us where we did not do well. Eish! only to found out that the draft essays were to be given to each other, and a comrades who is also here for learning to mark and that was a bit of disappointment to my expectation.

No wonder madam Solomon always says you should not set your expectation to high, because you will lose the opportunity to learn when things are not going according to your expectation.  I was quite disappointed to discover that all the essays were redistributed to the rest of the class randomly, for students mark each other’s work. After class our group needed to meet to discuss about our facilitation that is coming on the 29th of September just to put some of the aspect in order for that biggest day.

Was a great day!

Week 10- Blog 10:” Learning from Life.”

Week 10- Blog 10:” Learning from Life.”

Saturday the 22nd ‘s class was so emotional, for me  it was like  attending a memorial service. The topic was so emotional , the setup was so memorial, lighting candles , facilitators were wearing in black colors and it just brought back so many memories around my minds.
The presenting group was a bit confused between minutes and seconds, nevertheless it was more of the presentation than a facilitation session. After the facilitation there were few  very interesting games. Game of two using a ropes and the game pf dice,throwing of dice and collecting chips the team with more chips wins the game.Indeed very nice game thought and for me the games were like the after tears because we really enjoyed the games and all the sad memories I went through during facilitation class were fading away while playing games.
During the Game it was important to Learning from Life including, especially learning from each other by: seeking help, changing strategy, communicating, these are still the keys of all activities, collaborations, rules of engagement and conflict resolution also mentioned as  important to observe. We cannot forget about being patient, compromising listening and giving other’s chances to explore and express themselves.
At the end of the class when Madam Solomon was telling us that she is leaving and this was her last class with us for this semester, I felt so bad like  another sad memory to register but i have to adjust as the topic of the day was learning from life and I have to accept without conditions some of the things that life presents to me.
After class we went to practice again as our facilitating day is approaching.

 

Thank you

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Oh yes… this was a bad day for me… just being late for 3 minutes clocked me off for this facilitation group and was only allowed to be in class after their have presented. I have learnt once again to make sure that i am on speculated required time.

Although i could not participate  effectively on the debate regarding the story telling, i found it very interesting when the class was giving different reactions or comments toward the story telling that was presented by colleagues. Madam Solomon was asking how the group thought they could have presented the subject differently or better than the way they have presented.Fascinating , the facilitators of the day were proposing the way it should have been facilitated, this simply means you learn new things when you are on the dance floor and you can not just implement the new.

After given the scores and comments from the audience, the Lecturer emphasized on few points such as : * When you are facilitating kindly ensure that you look at all angles of the hall otherwise the audience on the other part of the hall may feel like you are not paying attention to their activities.                                    * Facilitator are not expert like lecturer, professor and teachers and ensure that every voice is heard during the facilitation and must show leadership.                                                                                                      * Facilitators must ensure that  they take their time and do not be in hurry just make sure you plan well your timing.                                                                                                                                                                        * Facilitators are :Enablers, strategists,flexible and bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answers.

We embraced another topic about the class story telling. Last week the lecturer asked us to prepare and read at least 5 or more stories that are in the book from pg 40 to pg 54. Some colleagues read and some did not read and this was used as a strategy to split the group into the categories of different groups according to the number of stories one has read. I found it very interesting because it was going according to the numbers of stories you had read. An opportunity was given to every one who did not read and every one was busy reading, once you done reading you join a group for discussion, about the  stories that you have read , but it was also so embarrassing to stand in the queue of those who did not ready all stories or even one or two. I hope from now on when instructions are given it will be carried out as expected as i  believe that no one wants to find himself or herself embarrassed just like last week.

It was a very good exercise as we realized that we can read the same story but with different minds and different interpretations. she has emphasized that in fact we can learn more from story telling and can associate it to real life and see how easy the message can be convoyed through telling stories better than just talking.

And the last exercise was linked to us grouping in 4 and giving each other a chance to speak about the 4 common things that are found during our cultures: Birth, Marriage,Initiation and Death.While talking to each other about these things ,we have realized that there are actually more things to talk about our cultures than the way we always anticipated that there is nothing to talk about.The stories were  very fascinating about each others’s culture but it was a learning curve to know much about each other’s culture.

 

Thank you.

Week 2 – Blog 2: “Communicating via Social Media”

Week 2 – Blog 2: “Communicating via Social Media”

Hey today I am on time and rushing to get to class, got at the door found the first group busy preparing for the first facilitation class. I was wondering how is it different from traditional presentation and  could not wait to step into class and see how it looks like.Waited for instructions from the facilitating group, finally we are all allowed to step into class.  Yooh this is the first facilitation practical class for this course, was very curious to observe what is it all about. We were asked to choose any place where you find comfortable and grab a chair ,sat and paid attention to the facilitators.

The first ever facilitating group topic was communication via social media. Amazing out of all these well known social media such as tweeter,whats-app, Facebook, Instagram etc… These facilitators were brilliants and chose Pinterest as the type of social media. I have heard about pinterest but never border to find out what was it all about, is only after this informative class that i have to go and search for it on the web and read about this social media and even subscribe on it. This was so informative and i have learnt that we can even list our activities and talent on this social media and get known around the globe and grab some new contacts, rather than the one we always have from the obvious social media (tweeter,whats-app, Facebook, Instagram etc…).

During facilitation I found it very informative as well hence we could identify where some common food, fashion and point of interest well known for different cultures around the globe. For example fashion place is associated with Italy, food and wine France, African fashion found in South Africa  and so forth. The exercise was very interactive and some critical thinking as well as a learning curve for some of the stuff that i did not know,then we had scored the team of facilitators and have a tea break for few minutes.

Now was the time for observations, comments and question for better understanding,very interesting stuff  were kept in my mind eg the below  four principles of detachment  by Owen Harrison (1991) Riding a tiger.

  1. whoever comes are the right people: This means threat everyone who shows up for a presentation, event or facilitation with great honor and respect .Give them all the best of the day and do not  hope for the VIP who did not show up at the event that you have called for.
  2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have: do not wish for some thing that did not happens.
  3. Whenever it starts is the right time: be flexible and relax and do what you can at your best at that pointing time.
  4. When it is over ,it is over: this is the one that i liked so much it gave me confidence of the previous decisions have taken in the past and buried them and carry on with life and not feeling guilty.             * One law keeps clearly in view…everyone has two feet and is responsible for their use.there is a time to talk or a time to walk.                                                                                                                        These principles and one law  have changed my life and my ways of doing things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The other important thing that i learnt was the stretch zone with few points that was mentioned during her facilitation such as:                                                                                                                              a) In a comfort zone there is no Learning: this was really talking to me straight forward as i always wanted to ensure that i a m in my comfort zone and not realizing that i learnt nothing from that comfort zone. This had changed my way of seeing things, Comfort Kills !!                                               b) In a stretch zone we learn and be creative.                                                                                                 c) In a stress zone brain is stressing and not a good place to find yourself in.                                       d) In a Panic Zone your brain froze and you can not do any rational thing and this is a very bad space for anyone to find himself/ herself in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This was a very interesting learning curves and with the balcony and the dance whereby when you stand at the balcony you see properly than when you are on the dancing floor. A good lesson was learnt , that  when you are on the dance floor there are things that you can not see properly until you go to the balcony. So in life sometimes be on the dance floor and other time be on the balcony to make a good critical perspectives.                                                                                                            Few announcements were made and class was dismissed. Wow i had learnt a lot.

 

Thank you !

Week 1- Blog 1: “Introduction “First day  at facilitation skills class”.

Week 1- Blog 1: “Introduction “First day  at facilitation skills class”.

Was like a first day in grade one at a public school. Fortunately the lecturer, Madam Solomon was outside looking for lost students and we were two looking forward to discover what will this facilitation skills will look like. Madam Solomon was handing out the books and giving us verbal directions to where the class was. Because we had expectations and went to the wrong class ,kept looking for the correct class  thank God someone showed us the class.

Ouhf !!! I wondered how is this class all about so many students  enrolled for this class , this must be very interesting. After few minutes, there is madam Solomon stepping in class greeted us and just gave us a laptop and said : “everyone must write his/her details on the excel spread sheet”, yet no one knew what the course was all about. Then new instructions was given:”kindly introduce yourself to the four people around you and pick up a number in a box” I picked no 11 , then wait for the next instruction from the lecturer. Boom !! New instruction:” every one must remove his/her desk and find out who else has the same number as his/hers then a bit of chaos in class … there were few screams in class, who has no X? number y? number b…number 11? after a moment  there are few strangers around me who happen to be my partners for the next long period that the course will take for this semester.

New instruction had landed, introduce yourself to your team members and look at the chalk board where you identify your number and the topic that you must prepare for presentation on the date shown. Yooooh thank God ,we are going to present in September  but our topic is so complex :”Building shared understanding”. Wow … things started lighting up, she stood and introduce herself and gave us the outline and what the course entails now that we started feeling comfortable. The class was too big with many students, she had decided to divide the class into two sessions, the morning and the afternoon and i found myself in a morning session and  i am glad to be in with the strong members of our facilitating group and immediately we put strategies in place to kick the preparations for facilitating in September.

I had learnt that facilitation is different with presentation after she explained, all the differences between the two concepts and that this is the only time i have realized that i am in a correct class for my political future orientation.This facilitation skills is really required for the course that i am going to major in Politics and International Relations. This was my best experience of that day, since i understood the importance of this course i am looking forward every week , not  to miss class as it is inspiring especially when others are presenting.

Thank You.