All posts by Mpho Lekeba

Third year psychology student. Free spirit. In God I Live, I Breathe, I Am! #Live&LetLive

Week 7: Seeing with new eyes

The group shared a story about living in the street, shared the voice of those who are living in the streets without knowing exactly where the next meal will come from. I remember the lady mention how we as ‘normal’ people pretend they don’t exist. I really felt bad as I am one of those people who literally ignore the person knocking on my window.

I had a guy pester me everyday I go to the office. He would knock on my window and swear and say this and that. I would simply just drive off. One of my friends suggested I look and him and even if I sign to him that I don’t have, just to show him that I do acknowledge him as a human. I proceeded to do exactly that. Once I started looking at him, the swear words disappeared and more smiles came through.

Its funny how we take small things for granted, I mean they are people and there are real circumstances how they got on the streets. I have now changed how I react to others . I consider others feels.

Week 5: Facilitating Change

Change is something that is very uncomfortable even though in some instances it is for the better. For me 2018 has been a year of CHANGE. I was opening and I  refused to rely on the way I do things. This topic is very close to my heart as I have chosen to embrace change and not run away from it. I believe it is always an on opportunity to discover something new, leave bad habits and just grow.

One thing I will use going forward is the  domains of disclosure which are Public, Private, and Unconscious and  Johari’s window which is the awareness of self and others, Transparent,
Hidden, Blind and Unknown.

This definitely helps one be more aware of themselves, surrounding and people around them.

Week 10: Expressing gratitude

I remember thinking this is the last day of our facilitation class. I cannot  afford to miss it. I had missed the last class because of a family engagement. I actually arrived late for some reason or the other, funny enough I remember thinking I will ensure that I do not get locked out of class once I take up this course. I must be honest I was very relaxed on this day, I didn’t think there was still a group to present. Only to get there, doors locked. I then saw these posters on the walls. Thank you posters, I thought to myself, are these always here? I later realized there was a group presenting on Gratitude. I thought they used the facilitation tools well as I didn’t need to ask what they were presenting on.

Karen was taking us on this day. We spoke about what goes into a good facilitation session. Ones intention needs to be very clear. This is ensure that the purpose on the session is met, the team is also aligned to the facilitator. We also touched on creating a safe space, we talked about what made our sessions safe spaces where everyone felt comfortable to raise their thoughts. One thing I will always use is listed to the quieter voices, the thinkers. I liked what was highlighted that you don’t have to like those you are working with but every expression must be loved. Listening is one of the key factors to ensure a facilitation session.Sometimes an environment is not safe when  ground rules are not set up front.

In the later part of the day we then discussed NNI which is No Name Initiative which involves deep democracy, forces you to listen to the voice and not what the person is saying. I loved this technique as it forces you to put facts on the table. it can get very heated but the trick here is to remember to address the voice rather than a person. I definitely think its one tool I am keen on learning more about. It

On closing went around the class addressing why one was thankful, which fit in well with the topic of the day. Gratitude. It has been a great time especially when you come with preconceived ideas only to find that you are totally wrong, instead you learn a whole lot about self and how you are with others. Where you would like to improve, how you mind plays tricks on you by exaggerating somethings and when you actually get to do them, it is not that bad.

Ros, Telfer, Fiona, Kate thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with us! I learned a great deal. I had fun.

 

Week 9: BUILDING SHARED UNDERSTANDING

I was unable to attend class as I had a funeral at home, burying my aunt 🙁

I heard from my colleagues that Fiona and Telfer were facilitators from this class. It is unfortunate I was unable to attend as I would have gained something from this session as always especially communication skills as that is one of the main sources of why relationships break  down.

Week 6: Learning from life

In today’s session, the group facilitated on pain, might I add they did a good job creating this uncomfortable emotion. They asked us to think back to a place when we experienced pain. One of the speakers invited by the facilitating group shared a story about her parents going through a divorce while she was young and her father only remembered her mother during his last days on earth.  I loved how light she made the whole story and I could relate to her story.  I thought the group had researched well touching on emotional pain, psychological pain as well as  physical pain.

I believed this group was on track until one of the group members voiced out her dissatisfaction  with her group, because they ran out of time. I think she was supposed to raise it privately within her group and not involve the rest of the group. It place both Roslyn and us in a weird place, but as always there was a lesson to learn from all of this. Funny enough I thought the group member who complained was trying to be funny and they were all in on the joke. Only to find that it was all real. We then continued to discuss ways to to handle such situations.

Which reminded me of the first techniques we learned in this class about taking one out of the situation. “the balcony and the dance. This helps one understand group dynamics and any interactions taking place. We continued to discuss how to work with others within a team. This is an important skill that I will apply within my work environment as we work mostly as teams.

Important points to remember is understanding the team vision and goal or purpose. Understand what motivates team members within the different teams. We discussed intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. I am definitely motivated by job satisfaction and achieving my purpose and not necessarily by money (Extrinsic). For the team to reach their goal they need to understand and communicate clearly, be willing to collaborate as well as be dedicated to their work, thus be passionate. I think the  most important one is setting rules of engagement, thus when people default they cannot blame anyone else. They would have understood what is permissible and what isn’t permissible.

This brings out to leading a team, we have all been in leadership position, whether it is at home, work or other groups like at church. It is important to highlight that the team needs to have a shared vision. Members must be engaged and clear communication at all times to also ensure conflict is resolved.

It is interesting how the steps highlighted in Team cohesion process take place naturally as I have experienced them before without necessarily being aware that the debating is a normal process calling storming and once the team members start having a normal conversation it is called the norming stage until there is solid collaboration and the team is performing.

We closed off the day by playing a game which brought out the type of person one is most likely to play. I definitely and the motivator and encourage the members to keep going no matter what.

Week 4: Honouring differences

On this day, group facilitated on honouring the difference, what I thought was most confusing is how facilitators were wearing the different cultural outfits but representing a different culture. I later discovered that this was very much deliberate. This was the groups ways of showing diversity. I really enjoyed this facilitation, got to know about Shaka Zulu, which some of the facts I wasn’t aware of.

We later split into our syndicate groups unpacked this topic some more. It was also highlighted that as much as we are different we are similar at a certain level.  we also discussed the different phases all cultures go through, from birth, Initiation, marriage and death.T this for me was so interesting and also I realized in most cultures women I expected to allow the men to be coming up the rules and women need to just follow. This is something that is still very much prevalent and as woman we need to understand. I think this is a broader topic for another day as it is  so close to my heart.

This also brings me to topics discussed regarding substance and form. The amount of work one puts into preparation will show once one is facilitating a group.  The most one that I will attempt to use in my everyday life is being open to the outcome and not attached to the outcome. This for me applies in my everyday life. When I meet knew people I don’t place then in a box and decide this is who they are but allow the process of getting to know them. Just like this facilitation class, I came in with preconceived ideas and luckily enough my mind changed almost in the first session. I am learning to be more open to outcomes and not attached to the outcome.

Week 8: Building relationships + Resolving Conflict

Today our session was on resolving conflict, the group presenting this topic did a great job in trying to make the class understand what conflict it and how they can resolve it. I enjoyed it, I remember thinking groups are getting more and more good at this facilitation skills.

We were paired with a team member, expected to listen to their story and understand without judging the situation they were in. It was interesting seeing people personalities, who are good listeners, who don’t judge.

The trick is to listen to an individual without reaching conclusions but rather hearing what they have to say and what they want you to take from their story because as people we create our own understanding.

We also touched on the conflict cycle, that in a relationship say within  two people one the other party is hurt, it takes them a white to reclaim their identity, once they do, the other party now feels hurt. It just made so much sense why some relationships suffer.

One has to know their truth, reality as well as the other persons truth and reality. If only this was easy we would have easy flowing relationships.

Week 3: Storytelling

4 August 2018 was the day my group needed to facilitate. Group 3. Our topic was Storytelling. What does that even mean I thought to myself. We are dealing with adults here, what could we possibly share to make an impact. The starting group had set the bar high. I literally spent the whole weak stressing and trying to come up with ways that would allow for our group to be entertaining, informative and get our message, our story across. What settled it for me was a passage Roslyn read out in class, which is something I remember all the time, that what is meant to happen will happen.  All I can do in this instance is prepare to the best of my ability. I learned about the positives and delta. It is easier to hear positive feedback, but negative feedback helps you grow, notice things you might not have thought of and also it helped me understand that as individuals we see the world through our own lenses. This is very important to understand in a facilitation class, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I also have my own perspective and it doesn’t mean this is incorrect. What stood out for me on this day is that as a facilitator you don’t have to know the answer to every question asked. There are facts, and some stories are from the heart. It is very important to share message using story telling as people will respond to the story. In my career I will definitely use this technique instead of just using hard cold facts.

Week 2: Communicating via Social Media

The first group to facilitate presented on communicating via social media, they selected Pintrest. I thought they shared a lot of information because I too believe not a lot of people use this particular social media. To be presenting first I thought they set the bar really high and the groups to follow had to also work hard. Group 3 was next, I remember feeling the pressure. there was no time to be mediocre.  During week 2, it all changed for me. I realized Facilitation Skills was not  just about points for me. Roslyn asked us to write down what we are hoping to walk away with. This made it real for me, it changed my perspective and I was ready to put it the work to actually realize my desired outcomes. During this facilitation session we also touched on Personal Mastery. What I loved most about this session, which is something we have done continuously throughout my working career is “check in”. I didn’t realize this was purposefully done and there was a point to it. I know that I enjoyed how my colleagues were doing and sometime you would realize that we are going through the same feelings without knowing it. I have also learnt the importance of setting expectations. I am expected to facilitate a lot of meetings in my career and I believe I will be able to heighten my counterparts attention, they will know what to expect and focus on what I am sharing. My AHA moment for this day was learning about “the stretch zone”. I have previously referred to the comfort zone. Understanding the process was very interesting. I prefer being in the stretch zone rather than doing what I know on a daily. In this way I know my brain is learning and I discover new ways of doing things.

Week 1: Introduction week #Blog 1

I have heard good reviews about this facilitation skills course, even though that was the case; the main reason I selected it was mainly for points. This also meant that my Saturday morning jogs vanish. I was okay with that as I am determined to finish my degree in 2018. I am a third year psychology student. Saturday, 21 July was our first lecture. Our call time was 08:30, when I arrived, had to grab a course pack and find a seat. I vividly remember thinking this is a big class. Then as I was sitting had to select a number and I pulled out number three. I had no idea what this number meant. Roslyn the facilitator asked one of the old students (Kate) to give us an over view of what to expect. Kate made it sound interesting. Once she was done exactly what she said happened. We had to move the chairs and tables aside and had to find those with the same number. Because the class was so big Roslyn decided to split the sessions into mornings and afternoons. I then selected the 8:00 clock session which means I still have my Saturday afternoons. Selecting 3 meant that I was in group 3, which translated to being the second group to facilitate the morning session. We sat together as group 3 and started introducing ourselves and getting to understand our facilitation topic which was Story telling. This left me very confused is a broad topic.  Where would one start? Overall the first day of this class was both confusing and interesting.  I must say it left me intrigued!