All posts by Michael Reid

Week 11 – Gratitude

This topic was rather fitting for the last session and even though I missed a portion of the facilitation, the group really did a great job.

It was also heartfelt when they gave the facilitators, Karen and Telfa flowers. Putting the lesson to practice was actually inspiring. I left there thinking how am I going to express my gratitude towards  my family who is my support structure. Went home feeling extremely grateful.


Week 10 – Change – Building a shared understanding.

The topic was change and it was apt that there were so many changes. Roz  was not there so Telfa and Fiona was standing in for her. The way the class was setup was different, specifically the seating. It was different but interesting. We were working through timelines and allowed us to make some connections with fellow students. Obviously based on what we made puplic and what was kept private. We also did the Johari Window and what was interesting to me was the link or the integration of the story and the theory of the Johari window. What was more interesting was because of the timeline exercise the memories of my past was still fresh in my mind and it was so  easy to see how it applied in my life. The story, the Johari window and how it applied to my life, all linked.

Week 9 – Draft Assignment

We came back after a two week break and our draft assignments were due. I thought Roz was going to mark the drafts and I was looking forward to the feedback. When I heard we had to pass the assignments around and mark it amongst ourselves, it didn’t make sense to me. How could a fellow student who was not clear on the requirements, just like me,  give constructive feedback? It definitely was a different way of doing things or perhaps it was different to my expectations, but I think, it got the job done. I walked away having more clarity on what was expected of us for the final draft.

Week 6 – Building Relationships / Resolving Conflict

Today was the facilitation piece we did on Building Relationships. The day has finally come and as it got closer to the time, the nerves started to unsettle. Not knowing how the class would respond started to become a reality. There was last minute changes that did not help the nerves but staying focus on the objective was important. That was my anchor and as long as it was what was best for the group and trusting the group to do their part and it was about the audience I believed it would be ok. It was an opportunity to put all those theory to practice and what better way to do it than in a learning environment. What I did not expect was people would be that tired at the end of a long day. I think for the most part they were engaged but towards the end I could sense the fatigue. Perhaps what I could have done differently was to ask the audience to get up and move around to re-energise the room. To change the energy in the room. But lessons well learnt.

As it turned out Roz sensed the students fatigue as well. The students were way to tired to revive even for her so we went home early. With all the challenges we had the experience itself was great though and I think our group was awesome for the first time as facilitators. I am thankful for the experience but I am also glad it’s done.

Week 5 – Clear Thinking

Today we did a piece on beliefs, decisions and took a deep dive into biases. I enjoyed the “The Girl and the Sailor” story. I thought I was aware of my biases and to some point I guess I am but when I did the story I could see how easily they can stay hidden. But the thing that really got my attention was the comment on the deepest unconscious beliefs with regards to deserving, e.g. if you deserve a big piece of cake then you’ll take it. In other words you get what you deserve. Still so much to ponder on that one.

Week 4 – Honouring the Differences

Today we were working through our learning, thinking, communication etc., styles that we had for homework. I don’t remember all the details because in some cases it seemed as if the different biases overlapped but what I do remember is that we are all the same, but different things work for different people. I liked when we were broken up into groups and we had to say who we are and others had to say who they were and why. It made it so much more relatable in a real life sense as appose to academic. I think the take away for me here was I never considered honouring our differences can include our different types or styles of thinking or communicating. This definitely made me more appreciative of others and especially at home were I live with detailed communicators and creatives.

Week 3 – Stories on Facilitation

Some members of the group that joined last week did not come back to class and some others joined…. constant changes and I’m just going with the flow at this point, its all good. Added to that, things just became crazy as work. In my opinion, my manager is being deceitful and I can see the negative impact this has on the team dynamics. Being on the balcony somehow seems to help with the chaotic shit at work as well.

We read stories today about what facilitation is and I think I am getting a better sense of what a facilitator ought to be or perhaps what type of facilitator I would like to be. Even though Emma was a facilitator to the community and facilitating that change, I found it interesting that I saw the husband, Homer as a facilitator to he’s wife Emma. The way he held her in that safe space and supported her. He reminded me a lot of the kiwi who was more in the background and part of the journey of someone else’s change.

Week 2 – Comunication Through Social Media

So as a group we got quite far in terms of what direction we were going to take re the facilitation then we were told that the group will now be joining the other group and we were now being split up. That was rather disappointing considering we already started discussion and made arrangements where and when we were going to meet. It was becoming frustrating because I figured all of this was resolved in week one. I guess I moved to the balcony and I tried to understand that it was a large group and the facilitator was trying her best and what would I have done if I was in that situation. It helped me being more understanding towards the situation I guess. Some time later we were then told that we can get back together as the original group and by then most of the other members had already joined other groups. More members were added who joined class later. I think at this point I surrendered to the fact that nothing is constant and I should learn to adapt to a ever changing environment which is not easy for me because if I know the “rules” of the game then I can anticipate the moves and I can achieve the goal. All these changes seemed like a setback, a constant hindrance but in effect that was the lesson for me. The lesson was letting go of the outcome and to experience the journey. I think at that point I became more of an observer just watching how things unfold and if shit happens then it happens.

We were doing communication through social media and I found it quite powerful they way Telfa (shine) facilitated the group. Even though the topic was about social media I really learned a lot about facilitation. It was the way how he did got the message across. He assumed nothing and asked questions to get a feel of where everyone. He listened and understood what the issues were and tried to address them. He managed his time by addressing more serious problems after class, which were exceptions rather than what everyone was experiencing. I’m not sure what it was specifically but it felt different. Maybe because I was expecting a teacher student experience but it felt more collaborative.

Week 1 – Intro to Facilitation

Came to class thinking I was on time but as it turned out, class started 30 min’s earlier. So I came into class, grabbed a book, a number and a seat (not necessary in that order). Everything was pretty formal and I tried to position myself so that I could read off the board as I could see a whole lot of info was already as there that seemed important. Then we were asked to move our seats and desks to the side and that’s when all “hell” broke out. It’s an exaggeration when I say that so let me say its not as bad as it sounds but for me that was when the confusion started. What helped was the facilitator and the skills she used to handle the situation. We were then broken into groups and it seemed we were getting some structure until more confusion was added with regards to the calendar change. The piece of paper I drew had no number and there was so much confusion around the group arrangement as well. The group I eventually ended up in seems interesting and all in all a good learning experience from a practical point of view.