All posts by Ludo Dube

Expressing gratitude

Today was our last class attendance in facilitation skills course. lt’s been a worthwhile journey for me, personally. lt started with a group presentation on expressing gratitude. Their facilitation session was clear and, detailed.Well covered. I could easily identify with their theme because I am one person who likes relaying my appreciation, even for a tiniest gesture. It is within me to always offer acknowledgement to another person,for showing their regard of me. We then had a lesson on intentionality, particularly, on our syndicate group presentations, we had open discussions, regarding the reasons for our presentations, what were our intentions with them. Different intentions were explored, with an overall understanding that it’s to convey a clear message with no ambiguity, a message that communicates the reason behind that particular presentation, with the hope that the message is well delivered.

Team Cohesion

We had a presentation in the morning, on learning from life. The group chose pain as their facilitation subject. It was an emotional facilitation, as group members shared a personal experience which involved physical, emotional and mental pains that they have gone through. The group had a controversial facilitation as one group member verbalised that she was not treated fairly, she felt sidelined from the beginning, by her group. She left the class without presenting her portion. We were then asked how the situation could have been handled, we shared different opinions, others recommending that the facilitator, Rosyln, should handle it herself, with the group, so that she can get two sides of the situation. We did exercises on team cohesion processes, with team stages like forming, storming, norming and performing, these stages enable working together as a group, to achieve certain goals. It was so informative as its necessary for teamwork, which is paramount for a job success, to be realised, in the workplace.

Reflective essay

The morning started with a presentation on time management, which was well facilitated by different group members. It was enlightening, as it got me to work on managing my time properly, and motivated an improvement on that front. We then had to submit the reflective essays that we brought, the two copies, one with an attachment of the six blogs that have been written thus far. The essays were swapped among our selves as students, and we were given marking criteria, like a rubric, to follow when marking. It was a challenge for me as l have never marked anyone’s essay, I was expecting the facilitator, Roslyn, to do the marking herself as she has the experience, and knows what to expect. It was, however, interesting to read other students’ work, and draw a comparison, and learn from them, as well. I managed to follow the rubric as l went through the essays, which were two, and l made corrections were l could, and rewarded them as well, whether the marks were appropriately allocated, it remains a mystery.

Communication Intelligence

The second, and finally long workshop day started with a group presentation on resolving conflict. The presentation went well, and it showed a great deal of preparation that went into it. Their simulations scenes, and facilitation tools resembled real life experiences, it was situations that l have personally experienced in some aspects of my life. We then did some exercises in pairs,about communication intelligence, we did an exercise on barriers of communication, where l learnt about being judgmental towards others when they are talking, l do not give them time to express themselves clearly as l keep interrupting and wanting to dominate a conversation. We did a left hand column exercise as well, where one encountered a difficult conversation, where we had to answer interrogating questions about our conduct in the whole conversation, like what was l trying to accomplish, what was the outcome as well as feelings and thoughts that were going through my mind during that conversation, and l did not say it loud. An exercise was also done which dealt with handling a point of view that is different to mine.The path of protection and the path of evolution were explored, l learnt that if one is on the path of protection, they get addicted to being right always, and they are always defensive as they tend to protect against pain and fears.O n the other side, the path of evolution is non-defensive, they are warm and assume personal responsibility. My group got to present after lunch , on building relationships. For a change, l was not nervous, we did speed dating kind of facilitation and in my own observation, it went fairly well, and l am relieved its behind us now. I will start focusing on my draft essay henceforth.

Seeing with new eyes- Presentation

This was the first of the two full-day workshops scheduled for this course. The day was long but, worthwhile, and informative. The presentations that were done on the day were well researched ( Seeing with new eyes and Freeing your mind) and facilitated well. The one that focussed on “homelessness” was too close to home and depressing. It invigorated feelings of empathy and seeing things from an angle of being nonjudgemental. It was touching and depressing, to note that life can be unpredictable, and the worst can strike at any point, in anyone’s life. The Freeing your mind equipped me with techniques for handling emotional stress, how to overcome an overwhelming situation. They demonstrated a great exercise which has since become helpful for me. We had lessons in clear thinking which were so mind-blowing for me, real-life lessons. I got to understand the different types of biases that are there, which we incorporate into our daily lives, unconsciously at times. The decision Iceberg was so informative, little did l know l follow such processes to make a decision. I also learnt about the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is very relevant as l tend to experience it most of the time when I fixate my mind on something I want. These lessons for me, are so important and powerful. I am grateful to have enrolled for this course. Thank you Ros.

Honouring our differences

The day started with a group presentation on honoring differences. It was based on identity and cultural differences among South African citizens, and their different tribes. They were all dressed in culturally representative attires.It was a good presentation which showed some preparation went into it, and they covered it well. We did a brain dominance patterns, sensory preferences and Information sorting styles, which was interesting and informative. l value the knowledge l gained from these lessons, they made me look at people differently, in terms of trying to embrace our differences, being accomodative, and accepting that we are humans beings that are created uniquely. I find the course, thus far, worth my while, and very relevant and empowering, with necessary life skills, which are critical to master. They can be applied across the board, socially and occupationally.

Story telling

The second group did their presentation today, which was on Story telling. What stood out was when they asked us to close our eyes and pay attention to the introduction of the story. It enabled listening without any distraction, and it made grasping the content much better. There were lively, and engaged well with the audience, using their chicken pictures, and answering questions.However, i did not like the use of the talking stick as it held back people’s engagement. Overall, they presented well. People can relate to stories better than facts. We then went into groups, to discuss the readings that we were asked to read during the week, it encouraged participation from the group members as we tried to dissect the stories according to who was the facilitator and what qualities they carried. we also discussed rituals in groups, and we found that we may be different but, there are common rituals in all cultures, these are death, birth, initiation and marriage. They may be observed differently, but they are practiced. It was interesting to listen, and learn other people’s way of doing things.

Group 1 presentation

I arrived to a well arranged class, in 3 big groups, in preparation for group 1’s presentation. Their topic was on Communicating via Social Media and they chose their platform to be Pinterest. The facilitation was well done, considering they were the very first group to present, with no template to follow. They engaged the class well, and they had good visuals which made understanding easier. We also did other exercises on the day, like Check-In : this was interesting, although l had to talk about myself, it dispelled preconceptions that as humans, we mostly have perceptions about other people, before we have even spoken to them. It was good to know other people, beyond face value. We also did the Balcony and the dance, this exercise taught us to learn to take a take back, in some situations and look at it form a distant. This detachment enables people to be objective about the situation, than being subjective. We looked at Rules of engagement – these ought to be set by your audience, so that you see thing from the same perspective.

My first Facilitation Skills Class 21/07/2018

I arrived well on time for the class. The facilitator Rose was giving us course books as we came in and asked us to copy the Calender which was on the board, so that we have an outline of the course, for the next 14 weeks, which is the entire semester. After that it was time for introductions of ourselves to the people sitting next to us. We were then divided into groups of 7 or 8, and given a group topic we will work on, as a group and facilitate its presentation in class. We were also split into 2 groups, for attendance’s sake, because we are such a huge group. l belong to morning class which comes in, at 08h00, on Saturdays. I met my group members on this day as well, we tried to brainstorm the topic and allocated a portion to each of us. Overall, the day was well spent, it was overwhelming in terms of the the number of students,but, i got to learn that the class would mostly be a facilitated one, they won’t be lecturing, active participation is encouraged.