All posts by Palesa Zikhali

Week 9 Building shared understanding

We read a case study about an organization that is going through changes which created uncertainties and misunderstandings amongst employees. 

We did the Johari window is basically giving and receiving information about ourselves and others. We become aware of self, with a group or other groups – It’s a tool for improving self awareness, mutual understanding between individuals in a group and to assess a group relationship with other groups

We also explored the scarf model which either breeds negative reactions(Resistance, defensiveness and withdrawals) or positive responses (Trust, collaboration and willingness)

Week 8 – Learning from life

The session is about beliefs, about me and what I refuse to believe – The path of protection and that we don’t consider the rights and needs of others.  We are addicted of being right and protect our point of view and we need to start taking responsibility.

We’ve discussed this topic in week six when we went through the four phrases of communication: download, tell-tell both sides not being present (talk for the sake of talking and the listener is just listening); debate, there’s a discord and yet when well facilitated disagreement can lead to creative thoughts; conversation, it’s when groups shift blaming to being curious and when thoughts and belief start to connect the team begins to create a shared knowledge and objectives. 

Another interesting piece we did in class was  the timeline going through the highs and lows that we experienced growing up.

We explored on how change impact our lives when we go thrgough certain changes – we know change is uncomfortable and whenever we experience change there’s always resistance and we turn to pushback because we are scared of the unknown and uncertainty .  

I’ve learned that the only constant is change and the sooner you acknowledge and accept the easier it is to adapt to the change.

Week 7 – Facilitating change

I arrived late and missed out on the group that was facilitating.

We spent most of the day doing peer reviews  and giving feedback. We were exposed to different styles of writing and discussing how to write a reflective essay… I actually appreciated the process of marking other’s draft essay and getting honest feedback from your peers. 

We looked at three dimensional thinking that effective thinking requires different types of learning and reflection by looking at behaviour where we focus primarily on our actions and not on assumptions; perspective is where we begin to change our perspectives on how we do things and lastly look at the whole picture – How learning has impacted my world. 

The day was rather short and unusual for Roslyn to dismiss the class early. 

Resolving conflict

Yay! Another full day … 

Our turn to facilitate!

I want to believe that at some point almost every syndicate groups had disagreements and argued about the topic/theme selection and/or member participation. Some groups experienced personality clashes and some members had strong personalities over others – controlling.  

Often times there’ll be those that avoid conflict and prefer to hold back and maintain peace at all costs however they withdraw from participating. In every conflict situation all parties must aim to collaborate and have a win-win outcome.

I, realised that most of us have strong personalities and sometimes it’s good to take a step back and allow others to be in charge and take the lead – I had to down play my character and “compromise” – This also made me realise that at times one needs to adapt to situations in order to get a positive outcome.

We did three exercises on the day: How to overcome barriers to communication, listening and protocols of dealing with point of view that is different to mine

One of the exercises was meant to illustrate our conscious bias – how we choose to omit certain information when we are having a dialogue with others. While the aim is to achieve a win-win situation through collaboration and being open minded through honouring differences marked by deep respect. 

… there I was, drifting again! My brains packed up it was too much for a Saturday – Information overload!

Week 5 – Seeing with new eyes

Week 5 – Seeing with new eyes

Lesson learned from the group that was facilitating is that never take what you for granted because tomorrow might find myself being homeless because sometimes being homeless is not by choice.  

The second part of the session had me thinking how unconsciously biased I’ve been toward others especially those that share the same interests (Similarity bias) where I would surround myself or being in a company of people I consider to be “my own” – How  we gravitated towards others. This has opened my eyes that one way or the other, we all have unconscious biases and at times it’s unintentional, and that we need to break limiting stereotypes. Lately I find myself actively checking out others to see if there’s any biasness in them including myself – Am I now being judgemental🤷🏽‍♀️, I’m confused. 

We also touched on perceptions, that it varies from person to person and how two people can see the same thing or hear the same word (double clicking) but interpret differently. 

Unfortunately the day was too long and my concentration levels were depleted and challenged and I started drifting away…

Week 4 – Honouring difference

The group was facilitating about cultural diversity. The members wore traditional outfits and honoured each other by swopping cultures and talked about the type of cultures represented within the group. 

We also did an exercise on cultural rituals and discovered that there are commonalities across cultures that they perform at birth, adulthood, marriage, death and after death. 

The second part of the session was about making a choice of showing up and being present (Power and control)… However what stood out for me the most was about staying genuine, telling the truth and being considerate when communicating with others without blaming or being judgmental. It also made me realised how I’m always in my armour (defense) when I go to work, and protecting my space. I’ve learned that and that once I take off my mask and allow to be vulnerable I’ll start connecting with others on a deeper level and start building trust and relationships with others – To be honest I am battling with this mastery, I’m still learning to unlearn certain habits. 

I believe honouring differences should be instilled and encouraged at an early age in order to break down stereotyping. 

My story, Your story – Story telling

The group upped the bar.

The main character is a good story teller, he kept his audience captivated even though I wish the rest of the group members participated to show case their facilitation skills – I want to believe that it was a group effort and decision to make him the main lead.  When I looked around the room, the audience was drawn in and they were paying attention to a gripping narrative.

It’s been a tough and a challenging year for me, at work and home! The poem/story, The Invictus, is about those who find themselves in dark and trying situations and about survival. It gave me courage to what seemed to be a downward spiral and only then I realised how easy it is for one to be lost in the story, in this case, my own hopeless story – how I have been focusing on the negatives and how my negative energy has affected those around me especially my loved ones.

I remember thinking back in class about “The Principle of detachment” that when we can approach difficult situations with sense of humour, we are detached and can remain flexible. And when we are detached, we are able to calmly observe our reactions to situations and not get pulled into an emotional position. That I must learn to let go in order to identify and take advantage of opportunities presented.

I have learned that we all have a story to tell, life is about telling a story, your story but it’s how you tell your story!

Self-reflection – Week 2

Kudos to the first group.

They did the best they could considering the little time they had to prepare for their facilitation, they didn’t have enough time to prepare.

Even though their topic was fairly easy because it was about Social Media and majority of the us was familiar with the topic however some of the audience were not familiar with other social networks like Pinterest, WeChat amongst others – It was an eye opener for me because I took it for granted that everybody is familiar with all social platforms available that took over our lives. The only thing that was missing for me were the disadvantages of social media, less was mentioned.

What stood out for me it’s when we did an exercise about the Check-In.

As a person who leads a team, often times I am required to do self-reflection, check-in on myself to see if I am meeting the needs of my team members and if I’m holding the end of the bargain. I must say that it is not an easy exercise to follow through given of the number of people within the team.

The purpose of check-ins is to bring concerns and issues into the open during huddles and/or formal meetings and be in a position to say what’s on your mind without having any reservations. It is about having open discussions in a group and taking into consideration that we all have different views.

New Beginnings (Day 1) – 21 July 2018

So, the first thing that came to mind was – Did I make the right decision?????

I was overwhelmed by the number of people registered for this course. I really battled, I was constantly flooded with thoughts of quitting because we didn’t get to the context of the course.

All I could remember was, we were instructed to pick a number that was written on a piece of paper and we were grouped according to that same number. Each group was allocated a topic to be “presented” in class.

My first impression about Roslyn was that she seemed to be disorganized, she was not sure of what she was doing and she didn’t how to manage a large group! I was expecting her to explain to us what the course is about and to discuss the purpose and the objectives of the course.

I left the class feeling drained and I had a lot of unanswered questions.

… oops! I then realised that she took a non-traditional approach and demonstrated her facilitation skills and in fact she was  in  control of what seemed to be an organized chaos/ mess.