All posts by MAT


The icebreaker with the stress balls was so interesting, I enjoyed it. What a way for each of us in a group to introduce ourselves while randomly throwing the balls at different team members. The fact that there were more than two balls thrown around and people calling out their names at the same time, forced us to really check in and be present since it required attention.

In our divided teams, we were given an activity where we were given a box with different materials inside and a model to dress up. Each team was given 25 minutes to finish the task. We chose plastic since it was a flexible and had slim chances of falling off. We made a dress, a doek, and accessories. I really enjoyed that creative part, so did everyone in the group. The interesting thing is that part of the instruction was that in completing the task, we were not allowed to be vocal when communicating, we had to use sign language. It was tricky at first, but we were given pen and paper to write on.  As the activity progressed, we found better ways of communicating and still delivered a beautiful outfit for our model. Later someone thought out of the box and wrote on the piece of paper “Guys, the instruction never said we can’t go outside and talk, it only says, we are not allowed to talk in class”. Talk about freeing one’s mind, that was awesome. We went outside and finished talking and arranged who will be walking on the ramp with our model and we really were convinced we were going to take the first prize since our dress looked much more beautiful compared to the rest of the other groups.

As one of the facilitators was busy engaging the audience with feedback, their 45 minutes allocated to the facilitation was up and Ros stopped them from continuing. It was so sad though because I would have loved to hear the whole feedback from Group 10 and how they were going to conclude the lesson for the day and what I was going to take out of that whole workshop. I just wish they had practiced bearing in mind that time was limited and taken from previous groups that activity time should be less to allow room for participation and feedback from the audience and the group itself and that it was ok to do the facilitation in less than 45 minutes. Even now as I am typing, I am still wondering how the end of their piece was going to sound or look like.

The one thing that stood out is that there are different styles of communicating and that as a team we need to identify one that corresponds with the formation of the team. The more we spent time doing the activity, the more our team communication improved.

Well, we finished class early and we are going to polish our essays for final submissions. What a lot I got to do still, phew!!

While we just learned how to facilitate team decisions, we need to acknowledge others in our experiential learning journey.

Till next workshop, Ciao!





The day has come and it’s my team’s turn to facilitate the day’s workshop. Well, first of all, we came to class on Friday night to rehearse on our piece. We were meant to get to class on the day of the facilitation as early as 7 am to have a final run of the rehearsal before delivery in class. As the universe can dish you anything at any time, the class was locked and we struggled to locate the security guard and as a result, the class was opened a little later and we never got to rehearse. The nerves were just killing me as I really wanted to do that final run before class started because I have a serious fear of speaking in front of people and as the one introducing the group, I wanted to give a banging intro without stuttering. Yeah, I stutter… especially when nervous. LOL!

So, we started and surprisingly everything just fell into place, everyone did their part well and it was amazing that even though we did not have the final run of rehearsals, the delivery was better than what we did the previous night. It was like someone had a magic wand and we all had an out of body experience in the delivery.

Ours was different , we still had 15 minutes left out of 45 that is given per workshop and Ros shared our group’s conflict resolution story and made us sit in the middle of the class and gave each one of us a chance to tell the class about our emotions and everything that happened leading to that day and how Justice also came to the party and hugely contributed to the workshop in that short space of time and how we all had a change of heart after the conflict and building a relationship with him and accepting him as one of us. It’s amazing how giving another person a chance to tell their story and accept them in your space can change your perception about them.

Moving right along…  The lessons Ros gave for the day was about the three skills that were essential in meaningful conversation.  Advocacy, listening and inquiry. The ability to explain our views, where they come from and building understanding about what we are thinking. The exercise on listening to head, heart and will was my Aha moment. It’s amazing how we always think we know what a person is thinking, feeling or willing to do when in a situation. We do not repeat what the person is saying to us, instead we say what we interpret without asking for clarity if you heard correctly, we do not listen with intent and miss that which the speaker wants us to hear.

I learned that when conflict is managed with slowing down a conversation, communication can be meaningful and we can learn the other truth and find ways to move forward together, therefore building relationships. This is a tool that I am going to apply since it has proven to work and I am going to try listening to people with intent to enable others to find their voice and speak their truth and not mine.

Justice has done Justice to our group facilitation by willing to do whatever it took to be part of Group 9. Don’t get me wrong, everyone worked hard at putting the workshop programme together, his dramatic return put a twist on the whole thing and it was a perfect personal story to tell about building relationships.

Building relationships from conflict resolution can help in facilitating team decisions. What a long 9 weeks wait it was, I can now sleep at night knowing that we have done the facilitation and no more meeting every Saturday after class all that’s left for me to do is to catch up on my blogs and polish my final essay submission.

Let’s meet again next Saturday when we continue with meaningful conversation and facilitate team decisions with Group 10.


So, the day started on yet a different angle that was taken by Group 8. In delivering their message from their topic, they used a miming technique to demonstrate a type of conflict and they focused on sexual harassment. I remember I was laughing through the demonstration as I was awed by how much it made sense even without them uttering a single word. It was presented in a simple yet powerful manner.

I could relate with the victim of the harassment since I also went through a similar experience at my previous place of work and realized that more people have had this experience and chose to keep quiet about it because they feared to lose their jobs or people judging them and blaming them for the incidents. We tend to blame ourselves for the conflicts in our lives and it just becomes unresolved.  The facilitators also brought to the audience’s attention, two different types of conflict. Intra-Group and personal conflict. We have a choice of how we react to situations in our daily lives, we are either part of the solution or we are the problem.

As the day’s workshop progressed, I learned about communication barriers and how it can break a conversation. Ros gave a left-hand column exercise where we had to write a dialogue on the right-hand side about a time when we had to deal with conflict. Later, we had to go back to the left column and write on how in our heads how the conversation continued and our feelings at that moment. The stuff that I wrote on the right-hand side made me realize just how angry I was with my daughter and how unresolved issues with her dad contributed to how I communicated with her.

Dialogue is important in our everyday lives because it is where we think together and build shared understanding and use different perspectives to strengthen our collective wisdom. To generate meaningful conversation, I need to start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. I know it’s going to be hard practicing that, but I am willing to try.

The class ended and a meeting with Ros was called to address the conflict we had within our group. What a coincidence, we are the next group facilitating after the topic of conflict resolution and we have our own conflict to resolve. I won’t say much about the issue, but I will just scream JUSTICE!  He was the center of this conflict and responsible for all these emotions flying high. Instead of rehearsing for our facilitation, we spent over an hour addressing our in-house conflict. I learned that assumptions don’t bear any fruit and that communication is key. A lot can be avoided by just applying meaningful conversation so that we learn about the other truth.

As much as most of us in the group were  furious in the beginning, Ros helped so much by slowing the conversation down and killing the fire to a point where we were all calmer and could listen to his story and learn about the other truth. I personally couldn’t help but want to give him a chance after the situation was calmer and he stated his story even after almost all the group members wanted him out.

I guess that most relationships were built from conflict? Well, let’s wait and see how next week pans out with our new member on board and if he’s going to have a part to play in this workshop or is he going to get half the marks as agreed at the end of the meeting…

Let’s resolve conflict by building relationships…

I can’t wait for my group and I to deliver and we hope you take something out of next week’s lesson.


I was super early that Saturday, the facilitators were also ready and they had no last-minute preparations. Their workshop was differently run, they didn’t lock anyone out of the facilitation. At first, I was confused why that happened since I learned from the beginning of the course that if the door is not closed, the workshop gets distracted. I only understood at the end of the workshop that it was deliberately done since it linked the topic of the day.

One of the activities given to the audience was that volunteers were to leave the room without letting their any of their body parts touching the floor. There were small carpets, boxes on the floor. Most people used the mats to slide out of class while others climbed tables to do so. I mean, we could have just walked out of the class since none of our body parts would touch the floor anyway? Yeah, we were wearing shoes, but our minds were imprisoned by societal norms. You get an instruction to do something and we don’t think before executing the task and at the end, we end up complicating the journey towards finishing the task.  The whole aim of the activity was to check if we can think out of the box when given instructions. Can we apply ways that are less complicated when performing tasks?

I learned about ways I can free my mind and they are exercise, meditation, and forgiveness. I suddenly realized that I have been employing exercise as my way of freeing my mind, but I wasn’t aware I was freeing the mind. I think I just always interpreted it as a way to get tired so that I sleep without struggling. Now I had to go back and think about it, I had an Aha moment when I realized that I was unconsciously freeing my mind given how light I felt after every gym session even when I was super stressed on that day. After this workshop, I plan on practicing forgiveness and meditation to alleviate the burden in my head and learn to be happy.

Just when we were settling in, Telfer dropped the bomb and told us that class is over immediately after the workshop. Shuuu, I thought to myself… Did I wake up so early just to come attend for an hour? Couldn’t they just tell us a day before so that we can plan our Saturday wisely? Oh, well… Refilwe and I went for breakfast and I had more time to prepare for the wedding later that day.

I hope that Ros gets better soon and that she will be able to join when we resolve conflict with Group 8.

It’s 09h30 and I’m out…


Our day to day lives are hugely impacted by perception. The workshop for the day was proof thereof, our perceptions are the foundation of our assumptions that we make each day. The challenge is that most often the validity of our assumptions is not questioned and we behave as if they are facts. One of the activities of the day was to say what you thought about a person put in front based on what you see.

That exercise alone exposed a whole lot of us about how stereotypical we are generally as a society. The guy whom my group was analyzing or judging was wearing a Muslim/Eastern traditional attire and when asked what we can say about him, we went on him and nothing positive was said in describing him, all this because he belonged to a certain culture, it got worse when he fetched his backpack.

From the feedback of that exercise, I learned that one should never judge another by looks, clothes, possession, cultural background or language and how dangerous it is to assume based on what the eye sees or your ears hear. It also taught me that our perceptions may be what we want to believe rather than what is factual.


An eye-opener for the day was to look at myself, how I think and how my brain processes information. My Aha was being able to identify and surface beliefs, mental models and assumptions and understanding the decision spiral (Tool 22) from the workbook. This is the unconscious thinking we apply when making decisions and taking actions and it is meant to help us put judgment on suspension and examine underlying beliefs. Out of this experience, I will practice mindful communication in all spheres of my life by exploring my assumptions and examining my underlying beliefs to avoid miscommunication and poor decision making.


In the past weeks, we have facilitated change while communicating via social media and through that process honoured difference in telling our stories. We also learned from life and started seeing with new eyes. I cannot wait to free my mind from the next Saturday we meet.


Your girl Mat, checking out!


Well, this workshop was a bit different. We started the morning as per tradition of participating in a group workshop, but we never had any follow up learning from the workbook.  The group that facilitated the workshop spoke about “Learning from Life”. Although the instructions were not clear and facilitators confusing us, I still learned a great deal about the lessons of life. The workshop was focused on family, social and education aspects. The “Broken Telephone” activity was very entertaining and enjoyable, at the same time, it brought out several important messages for effective communication, which in my view is also the key to effective knowledge sharing. Being a good listener along with making a conscious effort to hear what people are really saying helps open up knowledge flows and make knowledge sharing more effective.  Having listening skills is very important when it comes to life’s lessons. The was another activity where we were supposed to write a secret about yourself and put the paper in the bowl. Yhuuuuu, the stuff that was read out from all the papers from the bowl was really something that I was never ready for. It taught us that we as people walk around with secrets and find it difficult to share them because we fear being judged and that our secrets sometimes hold immense emotional value.


After all the fun and games, came the part that gave me sleepless nights for the whole week. The part of my essay being marked by fellow classmates. The thought of having someone at my level mark and criticise my work didn’t sit well with me. Oh well, I just had to bite the bullet and wait for feedback. At the same time, I also got the opportunity to mark others’ essays and I must say, some of the essays were too short and were not as reflective as I imagined. I read some pretty good essays where people really wrote from the heart and from what was written, I could tell that the authors really learned something from this class every week and that they took something from every workshop. One thing that the markers had in common regarding what I wrote is that my essay was well presented. There’s only one marker who was completely honest with their feedback. She said that I should avoid repeating the words “for example” when providing evidence of my personal view and that I must find alternative words to use instead. Also, I tend to use capital letters when unnecessary, therefore in my final essay, I am going to try to rectify those mistakes.


Let me see… I really am trying to think back and hard about my lived experiences, whether as a child or as an adult and can’t remember penning anything that was reflective. I have never! I always told stories without reflecting, at least not consciously. LOL!

I always thought that I had my lived experience’s answers at my fingertips. My thoughts, my opinions, my lessons, I thought all of that was at my fingertips. This Saturday taught me otherwise… I realized just how much I had to pause and think about it before writing. Or maybe I can tell my story in an interview style setup but just never knew that I could write my experience as an interpretation of what is going on between my learning and thinking.

Although this Module is short, I had so much to learn.  Before Saturday’s workshop, the only reflection that I really could describe was the mirror reflection. You know, that obvious “What you see is what is looking right back at you”? I think that , if ever there were moments where I would reflect on my experience, those moments would most probably been triggered by heightened emotions , more than just telling my story from a deep but calm place.

Trying to unpack the term reflection, I learnt that it is a mental process, a contemplation or a long consideration of some sort. The thoughts and opinions that come to you while you are reflecting on your experience are called reflections.

It is like rewinding your life to a past event and then thinking about how it has affected your life, what you could have done differently to change the outcome, or what came out of the experience or event.

You ask what my point is or where I am going with this and I will tell you that as new as “Reflective Writing” is to me, I am finding it fascinating.  It has opened my eyes into realizing that anyone can be a writer. All of us… We just need to find the writer in one of our voices.

The writing exercises that we did during the workshop where we had to test ourselves on four different writing styles, really helped in trying to find my voice. When I did the automatic writing, I wrote really slowly, almost like my thoughts were suddenly on hold and though I was meant to be free-styling, I had long pauses between sentences and managed to write one lousy paragraph. Imagine!

After that first exercise I thought to myself that maybe writing is not for me and I got nervous thinking about future writing exercises that I might be expected to do. What future exercise? *Rolling my Eyes* Immediately after that exercise, we had to write to our best friend. Well, I suddenly relaxed as I wrote to him, I found myself smiling through it.  Guess what… Yeah, I was confused. How could I have hated the first writing exercise and less than 10 minutes later feel comfortable? I mean, I was still doing the same thing, right? I was writing. The exercise went on and I wrote to myself and to my lecturer.

The problem with being left brain dominant is that we want sequence, details, order and clearly expressed communication and free-styling showed me flames on Saturday. I am still traumatized.

Writing to myself was more like punishment and writing to lecturer was a bit slower, but unlike free-styling, I was forced to think deep about my experience, the words I chose, logic and structure of my essay. I enjoyed it too. So, my voice is lying somewhere between my best friend and my lecturer. I just need to find the balance.

Then there was Group four who facilitated on storytelling. The facilitation was light and fun and showed that telling stories does not have a fixed way of being delivered.

My highlight for the day was discovering that I actually can write and that I had a unique voice in which I tell my story. The activities that were introduced by group four showing that we all can achieve beyond our expectations if we put our minds to it. I really loved the picture frame exercise which really told a story about our personalities, it was really fascinating and interesting how or why they came up with that activity. All I can say is that I was never ready for the revelations.


In the next few days, I plan writing to a stranger, a matric student preparing for university and my colleagues to try and see if I will feel comfortable or not. I am just going to practice, practice, practice!

So far, we have facilitated change to honour difference in telling our stories and I am looking forward to learning from life.

It’s time to write my reflective essay, see you on the flip side!



When my Aha was in the Case Study, I identified so much with the Executive Team. The same thing was happening at my recent employer where I ended up leaving just a few months ago.

Listening to a new “Leader” go on and on about themselves; where they have been, what they have seen others do and the things that they want to change without having one on one meetings with everyone to try and understand what their day to day operations are, can cause one to switch off and give only that which is asked of them and not go the extra mile.

We normally make situations be about ourselves in desperation to want to prove to the world that we know what we are doing, forgetting that we need others to perform to our fullest.  We do not check how what we say can impact those around us. We get so consumed in being the bosses of our territories.

Resistance comes in different forms and that can frustrate us since we mostly don’t stop and think about hearing views from other people. We believe that everything we say or do is right, even though other people may not agree with us or make us aware of it, especially our blind spots.

Group 3’s HONOURING DIFFERENCE, was silent and very short but to many, it was straight to the point. To be honest, I was a bit confused in the beginning as the group didn’t say a word but just acted. At the end though, during feedback I really got to understand what message they were sending.

Sitting in groups discussing different rituals at various stages of our lives, I got to learn a lot about other cultures and religions. Traditionalist as I am, I realised that I didn’t know enough about what is out there and how some cultures/religions were similar to mine, some people also didn’t know about my culture and still proudly frowned upon it during the discussions. Before reacting, I quickly remembered that a facilitator doesn’t put emotions to issues and instead apply an open mind and understand that people see things differently and educates when necessary.

I appreciated the facilitation more during feedback and I realised that as different as we are, we shouldn’t look down upon each other and that we need to embrace each other’s differences and most importantly respect them.

I learnt that we might all be coming from diverse cultural backgrounds or religions, but we are all drawn to the same force. We have different names for who we worship but we are all from the same universe and we have the same creator. Our differences are what makes this world and interesting place with endless learning.

HONOURING DIFFERENCE; An activity that will make an action or a process easy or easier. From today, I am going to try every single day to honour and respect difference in all areas of my life starting with You.


Group 4, I am ready for you, bring in on and let’s listen and watch you TELL YOUR STORIES.


In this week’s workshop, I learnt how imperfectly perfect left and right brainers can work together in their differences.

The activities during class where according to the test results, we were grouped, were amazing. Learning that accepting and embracing your “YOU-NESS” is okay. For years I was told through various stages of my life that I was a left brainer and I was in denial, especially since the people who told me that about me, made it sound like I was stuck up.

When we were to name things that we hated about the right brainers, I suddenly realised that I am not the only “stuck up” person and I am not weird. I also got to understand the right brainers, whom at some point, irritated me as they came across as irresponsible and didn’t apply their minds into doing things.

There was a category of the tests where my Thinking Style was unpacked and there’s a lot of truth there.  During the activities, I also learnt that learning and appreciating others’ thinking styles, helps with knowing the right approach when dealing with them so that you can achieve the desired outcome of your engagement.

I am a Left Brain dominant individual who applies a detailed information sorting style. My motivational style is mostly external and I am both visual and kinaesthetic in sensory preference. My learning and communication style is an Initiator. My friend, Refilwe, is a Right Brain, Bigger Picture, Internal, Visual and an Operator.

What’s my point? My point is that Refilwe and I are so different and after the activities, we both understood what being on the other side of the fence meant and how to deal with our differences towards working together without too many hurdles.

Group 2’s facilitation piece, FACILITATING CHANGE was just too close to home. Change does change who we are, it’s up to us whether the route we take is positive or negative. I loved how the audience flowed with the group during their facilitation, myself included. I am not one to talk during people, but that day, I spoke and was audible enough and my story touched a few people. I think that because their message related to everyday life, it made it easy for me to choose to be present in that facilitation, I paid attention, I told the truth without fear of being judged.

The more I learn stuff in these workshops, the more I look forward to the next workshop. I cannot wait for Group 3: HONOURING DIFFERENCE and how it will be executed next week.

P.S. Remember, when change happens, trust can be broken.  Am I handling change in a way that can change my life and those around me to be better? Are you?


It’s funny how one of the questions I had after class last Saturday was what exactly is facilitation was, and this week I am asked the same question back. Could it be that the Universe is teaching me that I must find the answer by myself?   How I would define facilitation now after two classes is that it is action and experiential learning and what you get in is what you get out. So far, I think, it can be further defined as any activity that makes an action or a process easy or easier.

I have always thought that facilitation is the same as a presentation by definition, but after Saturday, the 5th August 2017, I can slowly separate the two. I now can see a differentiation between, a lecture, a discussion, a presentation, a facilitation and a performance. Yeah, I said performance! After the first group facilitation topic, the feedback took me aback. Even though I missed Group 1’s facilitation piece, COMMUNICATING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA”, I still learnt a lot from the feedback. I realised that I had to unlearn things that I had believed to be true and right about facilitation.

I have always thought the way to capture your audience’s attention, was to add an element of fun to it. One thing that I did not know was that it is not feeding my audience with information from slides and it being a one-way journey. Your audience need to learn and take something out of your facilitation after you are done. Your audience need to be part of facilitation.

Showing up, Paying Attention, Telling the truth and Being Open to Outcome, the four facilitator roles, are things that I learnt the true meaning of and how they can help in becoming a good facilitator or coach.  I realised that these roles apply in our everyday lives and that it is necessary to practice them on people you interact with daily, especially when you are in a leadership position. I started applying the above roles as soon as I walked out of the workshop and I am not missing a single class or coming late in the next few weeks. I want to be part of it all.

I cannot wait for the next few weeks to learn more about this fascinating word. Waiting for the second group’s turn and being early to catch it all, really excites me. I am itching to see how after the Group 1’s facilitation’s feedback, is Group 2: FACILITATING CHANGE, going to facilitate their topic and use the feedback from Group 1 to their advantage in delivering the message. What is more important for me is what I am going to learn and take out from next class’ experience.

I must say though; this course does really keep one on their toes as one does not know what the next move is and what I am going to take out of that experience. Being locked out of class when you are late, has taught me that one needed to respect time and fellow classmates by showing up whey they facilitate.


Till we meet again, your girl is checking out!




To be honest when this semester started, all I wanted was credit points.  The last thing I wanted was a course that was going to take a lot of my time and energy, I wanted an effortless way to get 2017 over and done with as painless as possible. I went to the Wits Plus Admin Office and spoke to one of the consultants and they advised me to register for Facilitation course. I remember their exact words: “Go for it, it’s a walk in the park and you are not going to write an exam. All you need to do is show up every Saturday morning.” The joy in that was in my heart when I heard that I am going to be getting credit points just like that without working for them is unexplainable. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get it over and done with.

On my first day, I really did not have expectations, I went to class with the “Whatever” attitude. All I wanted was adding credit points without working hard, right? Well, I had a surprise waiting for me, the class was not passive but one that that promised to be very active.

When I arrived, students were busy moving chairs and I was really confused. When we sat in a circle, in my head I had 1001 questions about what was going on and if we were going to be playing games. I was expecting a “normal” class setup of chair behind desk, not the facing everyone type of setup that didn’t allow one to hide behind fellow class mates.

One of the first things we were introduced to was the Check-In, where for me, I started paying attention because that was the effectiveness of the workshop where we could share our thoughts right at that moment and deal with them before getting deep into the workshop to prevent confusion. Check-in helps because during facilitation when you speak for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time, you would have been speaking with a clear mind and sharing your thoughts or experience with people whom you already feel you know and are comfortable around. During that process, while people shared their thoughts, I found myself, my thoughts in them. It was amazing how similar some of us were.  The phobia for public speaking and the reason we were there to start with.

During and after class, I began to understand why I had to attend, the Universe knew I needed this course and I had a light bulb moment, realizing that WOW, I am at the right place. This is where I needed to be as part of my journey of becoming a future leader.  

After the break, we had a ruffle kind of exercise where each of us chose a number and those that ended up choosing the same number, were put in the same group. My number was 9 and all groups were assigned a group facilitation assignment. All my life I hated working in groups, but this was different. I learnt that the facilitation course was about learning the art of support, the real meaning of team work. TEAM BUILDING! The “I AM BECAUSE WE ARE”… That is if the phrase even exists. *giggles*

The class/workshop was amazing in a very amazing way. *I know, you are asking yourself what that means* *giggles* I left there with some light of why I was there and why I needed to be part of this course. I left with a clear understanding that facilitation is not a lecture. I learnt that not all learning has to be structured for me to learn anything. I think that the credit points that I was initially looking for from this course, the credit points that I wanted, are not only going to be a number in my transcript, but a valuable credit that I will value and use in my journey even long after I have qualified.

I still need to fully understand what exactly is Facilitation? How do I make sure I do not confuse facilitation and a presentation? In the next few days, I am going to practice using the check-in technique in my daily engagements with my colleagues and other students in other classes.

I have checked in, and for now… I am Out!