An emphasis was that” if you focus on what you do not have, you will never be fulfilled”. A final essay criterion was covered: page 18 and 19.
Gratitude was defined as the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. It was further emphasized that being grateful is a choice and being grateful is an attitude. In my own opinion and view, gratitude is clearly a worthwhile practice. Whether it is done in writing by sending out a thankful note, or saying “thank you” to people you love.
Expressing gratitude might not be so relevant when everything goes well, but just in the last two weeks I was face with a challenge of nearly losing my husband who was attacked about 1000km away from me. It was not easy but during this difficult time, I was so fortunate to have friends, family members, classmates and even strangers treat me with kindness, love, and compassion—something that I know wasn’t always easy. Since this time, I learnt to really take the 12 Change your mind set points on page 132 of our workbook seriously. I have even pasted them on the wall in my office and at home and I go through them every day.
Through these points, firstly I have learnt that my attitude determines my success or failure. My husband was taken to hospital by a stranger and that was based on the fact that I was polite and friendly on the phone and thanked the stranger throughout our conversation. I am grateful that he is now out of hospital and the car was not taken. Secondly I learnt that I will reap what I sore, I am in control of my attitude and I take charge and remain purposeful from first thing in the morning.
This course taught me how to be more assertive not only in my studies but in my relationships with people and family. It helped me to develop a strong character and have confidence in myself. These lessons remain my most valuable because they help me in this process of becoming the woman i want to become. I am indeed grateful to have attended the facilitation course. My greatness has been unleashed. I am now ready to flourish and face the world with a different eye.
This is the day my group presented the topic : “Building a shared understanding”. I was excited about our presentation. We started way on time to prepare for our presentation and the group was as tight-Knit. The cooperation level in my group was on another level. Everyone’s idea was taken serious. However, I could not be part of the presentation due to “change”.
Like Ros mentioned before that Change is inevitable and that do not set your expectations too high. Just two days before our presentation, I receive a call from a stranger informing me that my husband has been involved in an attempted car hijack in East London and sustained head injuries. He ended up in ICU. This is the day I really felt like my world has come to a standstill. I could not think. It was as if I did this course knowing that so much will happen in my life and I had to be ready. I am a mother of two little boys aged 1 year 9 months and 9 months. My husband just landed a post in the Eastern Cape and we had to stay separately. Now, as I was trying to cope with the stress of studying, working and taking care of the boys alone, then this happens??? I discussed my problem with my team and they released me to go and be closer to my husband. I had to handover my script to one of the members in the group. Big thanks to my amazing team. I heard our facilitation was awesome.
In our presentation we had different activities like drawing poverty, telling a story of the blind man and elephant and a broken telephone. Our core message was that we receive, hear and feel things differently. The is no truth that is better that the other. Everyone is correct in their own right and what I important is bring together different truth to build a shared understanding.
Change is a process of moving or shifting from one challenge to the next. People deal with change differently as it is also brought by many factors such as loss, separation, relocation, relationship, health and personal growth.
On this day, Ros gave an example of the two monkeys and the potato. This made me realise that change is inevitable. Without change there is no motivation, creativity or even incentive for improvement. I can only change my perspective, by that I can change the system. I really started doing some kind of introspection on this day. A lot of questions came to my mind. The topic took me back to the first day of the facilitation course. I asked myself on what where my intentions when I started the course? Has that changed? Did I achieve what I really hope for?
The presentation done on this day helped me in welcoming and understanding change better. We learnt about the limit patterns which opened my eyes when it comes to what takes most of my time.
I think something has change in my life. I am definitely a changed person since day one of this course. I have learnt to love and appreciate myself more and understand other people’s views. I have learnt to deal with conflict, manage my time and plan and balance my life better than before. I put myself into other people’s shoes before I conclude or perceive them according to what the truth about them is to me.
On this day two main events happened: a presentation on time management and the draft essay hand in. The presentation was excellent. What really stood out of me was the wheel of life. The presenters described it as a toolbox for personal development that has been around for over decades. Learning about it assisted me in balance my life, work and family. It made me realize and take note of my imbalances and how to manage my life better. I now know on where do I spend more time at? And I am trying by all means to balance my life.
We learnt about the four quadrants for balancing our daily lives as well. Below is an example of the time management four quadrant.
The quadrant assisted me in knowing what import is and need my urgent response and what is not important and does not need urgent attention. I now manage my time wisely and think before I act. I give priority to important matters.
Instead of submitting our essays to Ros, we were asked to swap them in class and mark each other. This was a great exercise as we got to learn about each other’s writing styles. Though we are not yet specialist in academic writing, I still found this exercise very helpful as some students in class are at their 2nd and 3rd level and they could assist students who are still in their 1st year.
In conflict, one could be the best they can be. The only thing that can change is you. You take personal responsibility to be in this place at this time. There is the difference between taking responsibility and taking action. Ros gave an example of a person driving past an accident, the person can decide to pass or stop. However, what remain is the consequences. Conflict was described as a disagreement between two parties. Few ways were shared on how to deal with conflict. We have learnt that some people would decide to avoid dealing with problems, some would just tolerate others just to end conflict and some just conform to whatever that is put on the table to have a peaceful conversation. Energetic conflict is when you always find a way to resolve issues. Conflict is about the space between me and you.
An advise that stood out was that:
- Never resolve problems because we see the world our own way.
- Take responsibility on how you respond to incidents.
- Take in consideration you won actions, biasness, perceptions before you reach a conclusion to a situation.
- The path of protection and evolution is influenced by your own thoughts and actions
- Seeing with different eyes assists in resolving conflicts
We listened to a song retracted from the 8 Miles movie by Eminem. In the song the rapper is setting groups against each other by creating an in-group and out-group biasness. I learnt that the things we learn from famous people create extreme out group biasness and unconscious biasness can be subtle.
The ice berg taught us about how we select data from what we see or hear and make decisions. The decision spiral also argues that we sense data, select information, interprets data then assume. The data we select reinforces our believes. We see the world through our own lenses and distort the truth to fit our own picture of the world. We never know what other people are up to until they tell us. Our work as human being is to lower the water line. We all have Reticular Activating System that controls what goes to our brain. This system responds to anything that is perceived as threat to our survival. It allows us to see what we want to see.
On this day one group presented about setting our minds free. We learnt methods on how to deal with stress which I found very exciting and helpful. What stood out for me was the EFT method of dealing with stress. EFT was described as an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is something that can be learnt quickly (in a matter of minutes) and can help you to feel better immediately. EFT is often also called “tapping”. EFT involves verbalising the problem or issue in hand whilst using an affirmation phrase and tapping energy points on the body.
Seeing with new eyes
As human beings, we see the world through lessons and the environment dictates that. Perceptions are gathered by many things. There are much truth and one need to double click words before reaching conclusions. I was fascinated by the fact that when we were asked on how we perceive being Rich and one guy in class responded that Rich to him is family when the rest of the class thought being rich was about money. This puts an emphasis on the fact that words carry meanings we are attached to. Do I really double click on word before I reach a conclusion that everyone understands what I am saying?
The way we perceive things is different. What makes us happy does not make the next person happy. Perception is what we see and our motives are determined by our needs and wants. Human being cannot make assumption but are wired to make assumptions to make meaning of the world. Learning about biasness made me realise that as human beings we tend to make unconscious biasness meaning, we make judgement at a speed of a light without even realizing it.
I have learnt to understand the different types of biasness:
- Conformity bias – swayed by majority e.g black women and hair. Wearing weaves to sell products. This conforms to the general view.
- Similarity bias – Gravitational to people who are similar to us.
- Gender Bias – All CEOs being tall men.
- Ethnicity – racial bias
The Power of Story telling
Story is often used in the corporate world as a tool for influence. And for good reason. From a facilitation point of view, Story can:
- awaken the leadership potential in everyone
- create the frame for collective action
- share the vision and journey
- illuminate mission, vision, values, and ethics
- Strengthen the collective field within a group and make “safe enough” spaces to show up firmly, allow the dissenting voice to be heard and enable the hard conversations.
Stories are a potent support in positive change making and positive agent for facillitation. They carry more weight than facts. We seem to be mesmerized by stories of violence, fear, anger and war. Stories can also be used to help us grow courage, collaboration and connection. It all depends on what we use them for. They can be used for developing potential for positive change
A story of Shaka Zulu (the Zulu warrior). He changed a long spear to short spear. He had strong and binding values. He did not discriminate and lots of tribes wanted to be part of the Zulu nation. We have learnt from this story that a warrior persevere even in difficult times. And that a resilient community is not the community with more resources, but the one that’s more connected.
Creating spaces for people to meet and share their stories of work, learning and life is an important ingredient in strengthened relationships that lasts. We all have challenges. We all have coping strategies. We all have hopes and dreams, fears and frailties. Listening to others helps us to make sense of the wonderful or frightening mess we find ourselves in. Hearing how others cope encourages self-responsibility and action.
The understanding and community feeling that arises from storytelling can build the foundation for a positive future. “The power of Storytelling”
1st group presented. And the group did very well. We were given a chance to give feedback. The facilitator pointed out the following important points during the course of the lecture:
- introduction should have a question.
- Be clear in your expectation and repeat them at the end just to make sure that no one was left out.
- Play with time but avoiding rushing through as well
- a good sitting style like C shells would work better for facilitating a bigger group.
furthermore, to expand on what was done we then focused on the following: pages 22 and 27. Which breaks down the analysis of checking in which she described as the tool to assist an individual to land. It also minimizes assumptions and makes other people aware on what you are going through. However, There were activities done obviously around check in. Moreover, on page 30, there was an analysis of Value of setting expectations whereby everyone was asked to give their understanding of this. I dotted down a few: Which are to intend to achieve your objectives, avoid derailing from your goal etc. We were then given time to reflect which the facilitator called connecting the dots on Page 24. In addition, a task was given for everyone to write down on what would their expectations be at the end of the course, what they aspiring to achieve. We also did page 31, which focused on principles of engagement in which the facilitator explained what she called RAS – Radicular activating system, she defined RAS as part of our brain that looks for our expectations. For example if you are planning to buy VW Polo, You start seeing a lot of it on the road, because your brain start selecting information.
We then did pages 32, 33 & 35 which covered facilitation tools namely:
- the stretch zone – where one’s stress levels are slightly higher than normal to maximize performance. T Harv Eker was quoted as follows ” comfort kills, if your goal in life is to be comfortable , I guarantee two things, 1st you will never be rich, second, you will never be happy”. happiness does not come from living a lukewarm life”
- The balcony and the dance. – a concept developed by Berry to be used when in a difficult situation. Then a facilitator can say : can we all go on the balcony and look at what is going on the dance floor?
This is the day I imagined my self being a professional facilitator. I imagined myself standing in front of students using words like the “stretch zone”..and “lets go on the balcony” and breaking the ice of my facilitation with a check in. It really felt like my objectives of becoming a facilitator have been met.
My experience on 21 August 2018
As I arrived at the lecture room, the lecture Roslyn Solomon was standing at the door and she gave me a course pack and offered me a seat.
A laptop was already doing rounds for everyone to put in their details. Soon after a register also followed and a gift pack that had pieces of number in it for everyone to choose a number.
The lecture asked that we introduce ourselves to the person next to us and behind.
She introduced herself as Roslyn Solomon who is a member of the National Mentorship Movement and urged everyone to join the movement which is about merging entrepreneurs with mentors. She said she also teaches facilitation to corporates.
The calendar was written on the chalk board and we were asked write it down.
What I enjoyed most
The teaching style – how we were grouped into smaller groups.
When the lecture explained what facilitation is, the purpose and Tips and pointers.
She did a fish bowl discussion (A form of dialog that can be used when discussing topics within large groups) with group one on a topic about social media.
We were given 30 minutes to discuss the facilitation criteria based on the topic given to each group.
What I did not enjoy
Having to look for a venue with no proper signage.
People asking impossible questions.
Disturbance caused by people walking in the class late.
Everything went well. A different teaching style altogether. Due to late arrivals and big numbers in the class. Ros decided to divide the session into two which I hope will lower the late arrivals at the next session. We were asked to state the positive and the delta at the end of the session. To me this really completed a whole meaning of facilitation.