Week 4 – Going from good to great

Another great Saturday that flew by so quickly.
Today I realised that self reflection is very important.
But, I also realised that self reflection is only useful when followed by action.

Today’s facilitation piece, “Going from good to great” made me realise that I do have leadership skills and qualities within me. These qualities though are meaningless if I am not going to put them to use, if Im not going to improve my life, or help in improving someone else’s life.

As of today, I choose to show up and be present in the moment.

WEEK 4: Going from good to great.

Well quite a lot has happened, that took me back to class and reminded me about personal mastery.

Now with my newly acquired knowledge about resistance line and how setting boundaries feeds into personal mastery, It has me thinking how as a nation we are in shock and striking out beneath the ”line” in efforts to deal with the current situation we face as a country.

I now find myself having ample quite time to myself to process how I truly feel, with regards to certain aspects of my life and how I interact and respond, both in terms of thinking and my behaviour towards those around me.

This has lead to personal revelations, and thus the self discovery journey continues.

Going from good to great

On week 4, I learned many lessons that came in time for my preparation for a workshop on “Reinventing Leadership Development Together” which took place on the 19th of March. As part of my preparation, I had to design a poster on any identified question or challenge on leadership development that I wanted to take a deep dive into.

One of the greatest contributor to my thinking from the Week 4 class was “The Quality Spiral” and I used it in connection to how leaders need a better quality of thinking which is usually impaired by a myriad of factors that have taken years to form.

I also learned the importance of separating positive feedback and areas of growth so that the person receiving the feedback does not get stuck on the areas of growth alone. The concept of using ‘and’ to connect two points instead of ‘but’ was also mind blowing.

The greatest life lesson was “the quality of your thinking influences the quality of your communication first to yourself and to others and that influences how you show up!” that hit home. This was profound for me because on the Wednesday before the workshop when I had a cough I thought “perfect excuse to not go to the workshop since most people are already not coming because of Covid-19” but in the evening I had a huge realization “it was not about the cough and Covid-19; it was about the anxiety that I felt having to go into a space where I would be the only black person in the group”.

The fear and anxiety came from my experience of the past month when I came face to face with the fact that racism is still very much alive in South Africa and it does not matter what your accent sounds like, your skin color in some spaces is a ticket for how you should be treated. When I confronted what was really going on , I told my husband that I am going to the workshop and I showed up and to my delight and possibly an act of affirmation from God; after my presentation, everyone else emphasized in their own presentation the need to design leadership development programs that help people “show up”as their best version. I was honest and that allowed for others to learn in ways that I previously imagined not possible.

Here’s to showing up for every moment of everyday!

Week 4 – ways of Facilitation

I’ve learned about how the Qualities impact each, I’ve learned the ways of Facilitating how you should be aware of your crowd and that as a facilitator you are holding your group.

I’ve learned learned that you need to pay attention with no judgment and you must always show up, you need to have agility however care but don’t get to it.

I loved the quote that said whatever happened its the right thing to happen because that’s the only thing that happened, and when it’s over its over.

Puzzle pieces falling in place

When I first met Ros in 2019 for a work engagement, she shared passionately and with great conviction about the facilitation skills course. We met again at the beginning of the year and my boss was sold and asked if I’d be keen to do the course and my immediate answer was “of course “.

On the 21st of February I found out that the course was beginning the following day and Ros said to me “come and check it out and if you like it you can stay”. So, on the 22nd of February, I woke up and made my way to the first class. I got lost a bit but finally found Ros after navigation through phone calls. The other participants had also started arriving.

We started off with an introduction from Ros about the course and she facilitated a process where we had to discuss the differences between facilitation, training, gardening and coaching. We then had another round with different group members to discuss the differences between the same variables and weaving.

I sat in the room the whole day in awe of how my facilitation journey has been so in line with what we were doing without any training. It so happened that 2 years ago to the day I had facilitated my pilot workshop for my masters and I had reflected on the day and how I had been humbled by my supervisor’s comment on how I’m a natural facilitator. The first day of the course was a great reminder that I should stop playing small with the things that I am passionate about and good in.

My greatest take away was that each facilitation session requires you to show up for that specific moment as if it’s your first ever and self awareness makes this possible. As a facilitator one needs to be able to gauge the atmosphere in the room and be able to navigate it such that the participants show up authentically. I got to facilitate assessment centres that I am self aware and kind.

Week 3: Realising your dreams.

Well, this proved to be a learning curve for me, a moment to take stock.

After prepping and dealing with my own fear of presenting the work, then actually presenting and not knowing how to process the feedback, put me of focus. It pushed me to a point of so much stress that my mind could not accept any other information that was discusses/ shared during class except that which felt as thought was directly related to me.

However during the week, a particular dream of mine came to pass, and in hind sight i realised that without my conscious knowledge i had used the steps which we had present ed to the class, in order for the to see the dream become a reality.

For extra reading, on the the readings which informed our presentation kindly view the below list:

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/7-steps-to-realizing-any_b_123463 ( 04/03/2020).
  2. https://steemit.com/life/@machhour/7-steps-to-realize-your-dreams (04/03/2020).
  3. https://www.toolshero.com/personal-development/7-steps-turn-dreams-goals-achieve/ (04/03/2020).
  4. https://www.dumblittleman.com/how-to-realize-your-dreams-even-if-you/ (04/03/2020).

Week 3: Realising your dreams

I just realised that no matter how big or small, difficult or easily attainable ones hopes and visions might be…a dream-is a dream- is a dream!!

On so many occasions I have put off or dismissed a certain goal or vision about where I saw myself in the future. I did this only because society has taught me that, oh yea sure I can aim high but not too high as I can end up missing and lose even the little that I had to start with.

But it just dawned on me during the class discussion that, it’s crucial to dream. The scarier the dream the better because then in my quest of trying to realise that dream, I also discover ME and what I’m capable of.

So I continue to dream…

I dream crazy! I dream scary! I dream colourful! I just dream and use that as my guiding compass…

Telling your story

This session where storytelling was used as a facilitation tool was extremely fascinating to me. The idea of using storytelling for this purpose had never before occurred to me. Thus this was a significant learning opportunity for me, also because I do love telling and listening to other people’s stories. The story that stood out for me was: A story of vision, leadership and commitment. How the protagonist had to continue through their pain and numbness and the toughest of circumstances; through the tears and the pain and continue to build. The Aha moment for me was realising that I had to be committed to achieving my visions and dreams even through sometimes very trying circumstances. I cannot for the life of me think of any delta moment in this particular story. I now approach the realization of my visions and dreams with this awareness and consciousness that there will always be challenges but I should continue nonetheless.

Realizing your dreams

I was significantly moved by this facilitation piece by Sana and Lebo. While their approach was very simple, the topic was addressed considerably well. It is clear that research was conducted as they were able to outline the steps to be taken for one to realize their dreams. Lebo did most of the talking as the natural leader of the team and represented the team very well, however, this could be perceived as overpowering the less vocal Sana. For the objective of the learning experience, I would have preferred if both of them accommodated each other to achieve a mutually inclusive facilitation piece where the polar personalities would be more balanced. This represented a delta moment for me. The Aha moment was when we did the exercise with the piece of paper individually. How we each received the same size, type of paper and same set of instructions but skillfully displaying through all the different interpretations that our individual perspectives and backgrounds do produce different results under the same circumstances.
The learning has opened my eyes to different perspectives, has helped me understand people better and is helping me to be more accepting of differences.

Week 3 – Realising My Dreams

Today’s session started with a facilitation piece on “realising your dreams” presented by the 1st group.

This session somehow took my back to my Vision Board. After a long time, I remembered my Vision Board that I took my time to create, posting all my hopes and dreams.
Much to my surprise, most of my goals are still in line with what I’m doing today, I’ve clearly just taken a totally different route, encountered a few detours and changed plans slighty, while growing in the process.

Our facilitators did an exercise where we tore up pieces of paper while our eyes were closed. After tearing this paper, we looked at the shapes and sizes we all ended up with and not one was the same, even though we were all given the same instruction.

Lesson learnt: No two dreams are the same. While we may have similar goals and dreams, our means of reaching them are all different.

Week 2

And once again another class has passed. All I can say is that these classes seem to be flying by. Cant even call it a class really, because the entire session is just like one big discussion with people sharing idea and thoughts.

I’ve begun to really look forward to these sessions. If I had known that there would be no formal lecturers involved I would have signed up for this ages ago.

Today’s session, was somewhat relaxed, but very thought provoking.  Something that I’ve taken away from today’s session and I will keep reminding myself as I go about my business is the phrase, ” He who knows what he wants, gets what he wants!!”

This phrase has now somehow become my Mantra!

WEEK 3

Today, there was a bit of catching up to do…

My expectations of what facilitation is are knocked completely out of the window.

I’m learning and I’m glad that I’m learning, and that my perceptions are changing.

I critiqued the presentation from the team presenting this week based on my expectations of what should have happened, I wonder though how I would have run the facilitation and if it would have been any different -with my expectations in mind.

I’m looking forward to next week’s class and the new thing to learn next!

Week 3- Realising your dream

This week we started off with the first team presenting their facilitation peace to the class, it was on realising your dream. It was great and got me thinking about how well this is following to what I previously noted as great take always. In order to have a dream you must know what you want and a wise lecturer once said “a man who knows what he wants gets it” and balancing it with substance and form will get you there and keep you there. I have always been very clear about what I want, even though the path is not always clear, I still get there. Now it feels like I am being equipped with tools to expedite the process and how much better now that i know i need to add the substance to this overflowing form that I have. These sessions are bringing a lot of clarity for me. I feel like i am moving from good to great!! haha that’s our topic to facilitate this week whoooo hooooo….so exited. Cant wait to learn some more.

Week 2 – Telling your Story

On our second week, we analysed the Facilitation short stories that we had to read during the week. The story that got into me is “The Bent Backs of Chang Dong” because Emma Atkins brought practical change in the community, even though they didn’t comprehend at the beginning, but at the end the results were marvellous. To me it says as a facilitator, it is imperative to focus on a common goal and common process, group discussions and an efficient way to reach consensus and productive outcomes.

Ros talked about the “Unpopular voice”. It resonated with me as it usually happened to me at work, where I would say something early to my colleagues and to find that no one heard me. Ros advised that the key to be heard as an “Unpopular Voice” is timing – knowing when to say it at the right time and place.

There was another question that was asked by Ros – How do you facilitate in your daily life? I facilitate in my organisation that I work for, by making sure that when we receive the content, it is processed effectively until it gets to the viewers at home without any glitches.

Ros also spoke vehemently about Sustance and Form, that it is important to balance both. To put a lot of effort in your outer and inner self by doing that you are bringing value to others through your personal wisdom and that Substance and Form are the main factors of success.

Week 3

This week I’ve learned that Facilitation means to draw out not only to feed in, I’ve learned a lot about different types of learning, and that no one is dumb and failure is still part of learning the different types of learning are concrete experience, Reflective observation, abstrac conceptualization

I’ve learned about, Distress learning were your mind just freeze on you and I got to know who am I through the intelligence type activity that we did.

I also enjoyed the Facilitation peace on realising your dreams, it made me Reflect on my self.

Week 2 : Telling your story

I can say so much about ths week

Starting off with the stories we had to read the week before. i was so touched by “A story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment” In summary it is about a Tibetan Elder that talks to a tourest at the top of a mountain about the harships he has faced and even though it was very evil and harsh, most of us would not forgive people for such cruelty, but becuase he was a true leader from within he forgave them and found the leader within him to lead himself and the the few people that was left with him to a better place in their harts and minds. In the end relating it back to leadership in the corperate space. Saying that in order for us to live a meaningful and successful life you must be aware of what is in your heart.

Then there was substance and form, mind blowing.

Having substance but no form…..gets you up the ladder but doesn’t keep you there 🙁

Having form but no substance….you will get the quick but probably won’t stay there for long 🙁

But Substance and Form…a recipe for success, I need to get me some substance and form at the same time 🙂

Another statement in class that stood out for me was “He who knows what he wants get it” I probably knew this one al along, but WOW did it hit home.

I find myself thinking about what I don’t want. Do I really know what I want?? Do you know what you want?

Week 2

I went into class with an open mind this week. I analysed each classmate as they spoke because I really find them interesting. One of the things I saw is that each time tgey say something it’s something that mesmerized me, they know so much and I ask myself “where have you been Decky?” They speak well and have so much knowledge so I find that truly fascinating. I’m usually a loud mouth but in this class I sit and listen.

I got a better understanding of what Facilitation is and realised that facilitation is everywhere. At some point in our lives we take the role of facilitator, unaware. Oh another thing I learnt is that it’s very important to do homework LOL!!!

This class excites me in such a way I can’t explain. It gels so much with my vision. Ros explains things in a way that I find myself resonating with most things she says. She should have been a psychologist really. I find myself looking deep within me and reanalysing things because I know and believe my purpose is greater.

Week 2 – Telling your story

Shoo, what an interesting week it has been!
So during class, we spoke briefly about what is dubbed the “unpopular voice” which is when someone says or mentions something much too early before the group/ people are ready to accept it. Well this helped solve some of my communication barriers with regards to my relationships with my colleges, Ros mentioned that during her study she realized that all it took to remedy being the “unpopular voice” is knowing when to say what need to be said based on the groups dynamic and feel. This was like a revelation to me, suddenly by paying attention to the mood during our team meetings I knew when to speak so that I may be heard. I’ve also learnt to share selective bits and pieces of my background as this makes me ‘more’ human and life like (relatable) to those around me more so my students, which in turn makes our interactions easier and they become more open to receiving the instructions and help I give them, even beyond the ‘classroom’’.

Week 1 – First Class

First day in Facilitation class. I was very excited to meet new class mates. It was even more exhilerating to find that it is the ladies only “Girl Power”.

We met our lecturer Ros, warm and well educated woman. We introduced ourselves to each other. We learnt the difference between Facilitation, Training, Coaching and Counselling .

We had to write a reason why we are studying this course, but answer in different formats. Answering to yourself, to an important person in your life and to your lecturer.

Lastly we were told to start blogging every week. It really enjoyed the 4hrs with the ladies. It was really an amazing class.

Week 2: Telling your story

Google defines a story as (1) An account of imaginary or real people and events for entertainment. (2) An account of past events in someone’s life or in the development of something.

We all come from different walks of life and have experienced a whole of things in our lives, and as a result, we all have a story to tell.

What sparked my interest today in class when we were busy analysing the short stories in our books, was that we are all directly or indirectly the facilitators of our own stories. The difference lies in how we choose to facilitate those stories which then will ultimately influence the meaning, intent or truth of our stories.

Week 1

First of all I don’t even what facilitation is. I don’t think this is what I signed up for tlwgen I was told that this was going to be a short course. By the way, doesn’t short course mean easier?! Oh well, my facilitator Ros  seems like she knows what she is doing and if she says no one must get less than a distinction then that might mean that I can actually do this. I’m scared though because most things I have started I didn’t finish and here I am studying at Wits.
Wait, let me answer the question…First day of class was frightening! Lol. My classmates are all female and they seem interesting. I like the fact that this course seems like it aligns with my ultimate goals.
Let’s see how second week will go….

Week 1

Today, my first day of this Facilitation Course and it is totally not what I expected. Somehow, I had this picture in my head that this would be your normal formal lecture, probably boring me to sleep, but it was a totally different, thought provoking and unexpected. This session was based on open group discussions, where ideas, thoughts and experiences were welcomed and shared freely.

The class was made up of a diverse group of 9 ladies, from totally different fields of employment, each lady bringing their own uniqueness to the group. It did not take long before everyone got comfortable with each other making it so much easier to communicate.

Ross, our facilitator was totally unexpected. I somewhat imagined this lecturer standing in front of us belting out lessons while I tried to stay awake, this was not so. She encouraged us to think out the box, write our thoughts down and express ourselves.

From what I’ve summarised from today’s session, these classes are going to be very interactive, going to require my full participation and lots of writing. Strangely enough, this time around I do not fear the writing, as we were told to write as we feel, or as we would talk to our friends and this shouldn’t be too difficult at all.

I am definitely excited to see what the next session holds. Least I know now that I do not need to be armed with an energy drink for fear of falling asleep during some monotonous lecture.

Week 1: First Class

Today I came for my first Facilitation class. I had no slightest clue what to expect because I didn’t really choose this but it chose me in a way, and oh boy, am I glad we found each other!

Except from meeting a group of amazing & very smart ladies, a new world was introduced to me today, a door was unlocked. A self-discovery door…

In the few hours that I’ve been here, I’ve already been pushed to think out of the box. I’ve been challenged to dive deep into thyself and start asking questions.

There’s still many weeks to go and a lot of material to be explored but I’m excited about this fresh perspective and new way of thinking!

Week 1 first class

I’ve learned that nothing is impossible we all can do something that we hope for in different ways and forms, now I know the difference between teaching, training, leading, coaching and facilitating and also that being a facilitator does not mean that you are the expert in the room you can still learn from others, and also understand that every person is able you just need to nature their skills

Week 1

Today was a very calming and interesting day. Anxiety believes itself to be the most welcome feeling in new situation – as luck would have it though, today was a very calming day.

I am glad I came today. I am glad to be on course with these wonderful, strong women.

I believe we are making genuine connections that will enable us to learn more about ourselves and how best to develop our facilitation skills, how to better manage our internal conversations – even if it means writing our thoughts to allay them, and how to lean on each other when necessary as will be seen when we facilitate in teams.

We will nurture and draw out from each other the teachers, counselors and leaders we endeavour to be.

I came to learn how to facilitate, yet I am convinced that this class is a life lesson in motherhood, partnership, women-power and genuine networking with no strings attached. We are free to learn as much as we want to learn.

I will leave this classroom able to engage my audience in the topic at hand and able to guide them to achieve their pre-set objectives with ease.

I will leave this classroom an aspiring master of facilitation, who is able to provoke delegates to an elevated level of thinking that draws out the answers they are looking for from within themselves.

I will leave this class an expert in continual learning – whether it be learning who I am, who my clients are and what they hope to achieve with my help or helping others learn who they are and how best to harness what they possess within them are all paints on the canvas, we shall await the masterpiece.

Week 1: First Class

Wow! Definitely not what I expected…did I just hear the lecturer, Ros say make the circle bigger!! and wait…what…she wants to set us up for success!

Never before have I felt so aligned with my life purpose. I am in the right place at the right time surrounded by brilliant woman about to do amazing things.

Until I was told to start blogging!!!!

Image result for cover my face with my hands

But here goes….lets see how this journey unfolds 🙂

Week 12: Expressing Gratitude

The Final Lesson.

how fitting…

Gratitude is so important. When you are constantly evaluating your life and are thankful for what you have- both tangible and intangible, you are aware of your life and how blessed you are. This opens you up to receiving more because your vibration is one of gratefulness, you attract more things to be grateful for. This is my personal philosophy in life and the key to manifesting what you desire- I’m so glad this lesson was reinforced by the presenting group.

The session was well researched and well executed- It was perfect.

This course has been life changing, I am SO grateful I was a part of it.

Week 11: Facilitating Decisions

Making decisions is a perpetual task we constantly need to be engaged in in our daily lives. It is important that our process or methods of coming to those conclusions or decisions is coherent, well thought out and all encompassing.

The presenting group shared with us the PEST factors that influence our decision-making process: Politics, Economics, Social factors and Technological factors. All these elements affect the choices we ultimately come to- they are the constraints that limit or direct our possible course of action.

When you have to decide on something- are you calm and patient or are you impulsive and stressed out? This is what the exercise was about- the tangled rope signified a challenge and all the decisions and options that come with resolving it. The lesson was really the fact that our decisions either build us or destroy us. It is all up to you at the end of the day.

A motto I have in my life that helps me when it comes to making decisions that I learnt from Oprah Winfrey: You either make the right decision or you make your decision right. What this means is that you have the power to direct your own path: either you make the right decision the first time, or you have the option of living with the bad decision and making it right by doing damage control, either way- you still have the power and have the potential to be your best.

Week 10: Building Relationships

Today’s session was another very reflective one. We were challenged to search deep and evaluate our friendships and the role they’ve played in our lives.

We take the relationships in our lives for granted- well for the most part. But under close inspection, we realize that in actual fact, our lives would be very different without the people in it. They are more important than w realize.

During the session- I recalled how much emphasis my mom always placed on being careful about the company I keep and the friends I trust. It rings true for me because those people shape your life- you influence each other and are essentially interdependent for a variety of things.

Our relationships do however require building- they need constant maintenance. There must be healthy levels of trust, loyalty, accountability and also a little room for making mistakes.

This was one of the most important lessons, I loved the lessons.

Week 9: Seeing with new eyes

As we evolve on our human journey, it is imperative that we adjust our minds to see things differently. As humans, we are biased and full of prejudices. this is why we must constantly challenge the stereotypes we hold as well as our beliefs.

The group presenting today had culture as its theme and in my opinion that is a very practical way of illustrating the importance changing perspectives. When we learn about others and open ourselves to the truth of the facts, our perspectives are justified and enlightened.

This has been a recurring theme in our sessions- the idea that it is necessary to dig deeper and not just take things at face value- that we need to hold ourselves accountable for our beliefs and then go on further to challenge them and look at things in a different light. I love it! The world would be a better place if everyone followed this method..truly.

Week 8: Story Telling

Finally!!! Our Week!

A lot of planning and preparation went into making today come together. The experience has been a great one overall,, with minor hiccups here and there.

My group was wonderful in terms of cooperation and engagement- apart from one original member who only ever attended class once and never joined the group. Another challenge we had was misinterpretation of ideas- we constantly found ourselves having to explain and re-explain over and over again to ensure everyone was on the same page about our approach. In the end, none of that matters because we executed our mission successfully and it was excellently received.

I learnt a great deal from all the work we put in- about working in a team, cooperating, about facilitating, about story telling itself- It was all invaluable information I will cherish forever.

my favourite bit of information from the session (which I shared):

” Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. “

~Robert McAfee Brown

Week 7: Facilitating Change

“The only constant in life is change” ~ Heraclitus

Today’s class was incredibly valuable- The presenting group facilitated a lovely session and Roslyn also shared some very valuable nuggets about complexity theory which I think will come in very handy in my life.

The bottom line of the session is that change requires action. In order to ensure that the situation is a success, proper planning needs to go into the process. For example, in the case of a relationship where one partner needs to relocate to a different province, the couple needs to communicate, weight their options, decide on a course of action and commit themselves to that decision.

I appreciated the session because the activities really made you reflect on your own life and how you deal with change. It was reflective for me.

Week 6: Honouring Difference

This topic was very pertinent to our context. We live in a majorly diverse country and so difference is everywhere. The message was to honour the differences we see in society. In order to this, we need to seek to understand one another instead of tolerating each other.

When we tolerate each other without understanding the things that make us different, it becomes hard to appreciate the things which we have in common. The group presenting was adorned in their traditional garb, it was absolutely stunning.

The way the group explained their topic resonated deeply with my understanding of diversity and living in a city filled with so much difference. It is indeed important to interrogate our own biases and stereotypes we gold close- we need to constantly unlearn the urge to other people or groups that are different or do things differently from us.

I really appreciated the session- it was in line with my own ideas and outlook.

Introduction

In the first class, I was uncertain about what to expect. It turned out to be a very interesting session. We were introduced to what a check-in is, the first and quite possibly the most important thing in a Facilitation piece. This is what sets the tone, and asuch the facilitation piece can follow. There are no right or wrong ways of going about it. However, it is dependent on the Facilitator/s on how long they want the check-in to be.

In the piece itself, I learnt that insofar as there is substance- there must be form. One should strive to be both of these things, in the facilitation piece itself and in their private lives.

One concept that I learnt in a Sociology lecture some time ago is that nothing happens in a vacuum. There is content and there is context. What we often focus on is the content and not so much in understanding the context within which the content took place or is taking place. Once one is able to sit down and look at these two things conjunctively, they get to understand other people better. Which also translates to them understanding themselves better too- I believe.

Spaces such as Facilitation for me always pique my interest. They awaken some level of consciousness that I cannot get any other way. What I always try to do- is understand the Human Condition, and those that are different to me. To listen to their stories, to hear what they have to say about their experiences in the world. It’s not always easy to maintain an objective mind. However, the only way that one learns is to keep an open-mind. This, I feel, is the manner in which e are able to transcend situations and manifest our glory in the world. We live, self-actualise and hopefully change the world just by having being.

Week 3 – Working in Teams

As the third week comes by I’m feeling a little better about the expectations about what the facilitation presentation should look like… As I walked into the room it was easy to see the team who’s presenting – they were all wearing black.

I was part of the group that was so confused about the check – in game…LOL. The game 24 was a math game, turned competition. Part of my confusion was because my understanding of working in a team means leveraging on each other and this was more about who in the team are quick thinkers to answer first. I thought the aim of the presentation was to work in teams? …

Games aside, the best thing that came out of the presentation was an acronym which I will never forget is T.E.A.M. • T – together • E – Everyone • A- Achieves • M – More.  

During the lesson we were given an opportunity of read a few short stories and my favorite was about the Bent back ladies of Chaung Dong. It really reminded me about a lot of things we do out of habit and sometimes people don’t like to rock the boat and just continue with life as is, and it takes a complete stranger to shake things up.

  • T – together
  • E – Everyone
  • A- Achieves
  • M – More

Quite profound, and I think the most of all was the thought that in a team we are all diverse, nobody is perfect, we all have our strengths and shortfalls – I’ve learnt to leverage

Week 14-Expressing Gratitude

I really enjoyed Saturday’s class, the presenting group really did well and it shows that they have learnt all lot from the previous facilitating group and were coming with all the experience combined. I would also like to show my gratitude to Ros and Telfer and also all the facilitators. I have learnt a lot from this course and will carry the learning where ever i go. Thank you, thank you!! Shalom!!

Story telling

This is nothing new and nothing I’m proud of. I was late again and missed out on the presentation. I realised that I have learned so much the past classes that could have helped me to do better with my late coming. I thought the session facilitating change would have helped me with tools to make change. But as I can see, it’s a long way one step at the time.
The group that I joined gave me a short brief about what was happening, it sounded so interesting and I was mad at myself for being late again. I just hate missing out and not knowing what’s happening. Well that’s my fault and I have tools to make a change.
The topic was “What is story telling?” We look at different aspects of storytelling. The following question you ask when telling a story: why storytelling, who tells the story, when to tell a story how to tell a story and when to tell a story?
When you tell a story it involves two people, the teller and the receiver. This is important as how you tell a story and how it is received by the other.

Facilitating Change

This day is another day. I come in late as usual. I try every Saturday morning but somehow I don’t make it. Yes, I could blame others but I m the one to blame.

Came in 20 min late and missed out again the presentation. I was directed to join a group that was already discussing the activity they did with the presentation group. I greeted the group, the response was cold and some didn’t greet back which made me feel not welcome and bad for coming late. I sat there and watched while they were discussing and you could see no one cared if I was thereon. When the second latecomer come by our table. she got the same treatment. I then thought maybe it was part of the presentation. The latecomers had to feel how it is to come late. You miss out on things, feel not included or being part of the group which will result in you changing habits of coming late to class.

Dololo

That was not part of the presentation. The people were either tired or did like the presentation and wanted to get done with it. I have to say I was glad about going back to my main group because that’s where I felt welcome and warmth.

But then what I learned for this day is that different things involve a change in someone’s life.
People don’t really like change. They prefer things to stay the same. Change triggers resistance and you have. When you want to change something you first have to understand your surrounding to implement change. You look at the different aspect that involves whatever you want to change. You don’t just look at yourself.

Seeing with New eyes

okay.. this one is going to be difficult. I usually make notes every time I have class. But this time it looks like they are too little. Either I was not paying attention but I know I was late.

The little I remember is the they discuss about culture. But what I took from the class is that how we perceive things. I remember when i started facilitation I didnt know what was awaiting me, I didn’t know what I will use facilitation for.

But then I learned about the group dynamics and that it is not easy to transfer knowledge even if you know things. This brought me closer to know what facilitation is about. It teaches you that facilitation is not about us is about the audience. This was a great preparation for the groups that were going to follow, to be aware on how they preper and do facilitation.

Facilitating Decisions

I am grateful for the learning curve here as I was part of the group doing facilitation decision. I have to say it was not an easy journey, but I am so glad we manage and did well.

With us doing the presentation I read a lot about decision making and realised that I was not aware “we constantly make conscious and unconscious decisions in our everyday lives”. As well I have learned that there are those we do from the gut, heart and head. This made sense as I could reflect some decision I took in in life.

What was interesting to me as well, is that we as a team had difficulties to make a decision on what we really wanted to present. I believe some were taking the decision from the head, some gut and the other’s heart. This was great to observe as we were back and forth on what we wanted to do, but because we were able to listen to each other and the fact that we had built a tight relationship with one another it made life easier. In the end, we had to come up with one decision that will bring all of us to success. We had a goal, that we wanted to achieve. We checked how we can target the goal because we were scared to be grilled by the class. Finally, we got our flow back and work in many ways until we finally got a way on how we can achieve our goal. This also reflected what we have learned from other group and lectures. managed to make one decision on what and how we want to present and did well.

For me what was important here is to implement what I had learn from this class and other presentation. It was not about us just presenting and doing something exciting and different to other groups. It was about how do we ingage the audince and for them to benefit from our facilitation.

Building relationships

Was I late or was I not? lol Those who know me will know.

The topic here was building relation. This time I was more observing on how the group was facilitating as our turn was in the following week. It was important to me to know what they did well and what they could have done better so that we learn out of their mistakes.

What was interesting in this class was the question and discussion to talk about what we do in our lives and where we would see ourselves in 5 years. This helps me reflect and to think about myself. Where I was career and life-wise and where I see my self in 5 years. this is not an easy question to answer because you can see yourself somewhere in future but then the outcome is different. However, I feel being conscious about it give you some sort of direction and encouragement to work towards your goals.

The classes before we have learned so much that complements this topic.

As we were building relationships some were also broken before they could even gom anywhere, but apology taken, we are all human.

The bridge activity was exciting though I felt it was not well elaborated or we were just all tired or missing Mrs Ross. I feel this activity gave a lot out that building relationships. It showed that communication is important to build relationships as well as team work.

Expressing Gratitude

Unfortunately I could not attend this class. I had to work and this was decided last minute. Having been unemployed for 8 months, you don’t debate a lot of things when you think of the challenges once faced.

So, on this platform – whoever reads it. Thank you for allowing me to be your friend and learn from each other. To Ros and Telfer, may you continue to do an amazing job of enlightenment more than anything else. I felt empowered with every session.

Thank you!

Facilitating Decisions

We make decisions with our heart, gut and brain. Trust your gut (it has history in it). The consequences of your decisions are impacted in time and space. We judge our decisions by the results of our decisions.

I loved the story of the Girl and the Sailor. We are so quick to jump to conclusion without know the facts. There is so much underneath the iceberg that informs the story. The power of context.

First day!

It’s 6:00am my alarm just went off. I have a 8:30 am class starting today and I want to just cry, waking up so early on a Saturday is a nightmare for most people but Because i committed myself that I want to study this year, I must just go and get this done. The course I’m attending is called Facilitation Skills . I’m not sure what to expect but I hope it’s nothing I can’t handle. 

Finally I get to class and I’m late . I manage to find a sit at the back of the class and try to settle in. The class is full all I wanted to do was to take my bag and leave. I sat there asking myself so many questions, the fear of unknown taking over. While I was still trying to find myself in the class, Ros asked the class, “How many of you are here for credits?” Half of the class raised their hands 😂 all I can say that definitely changed after we were grouped and given information of what is the course about and what to expect.

My group was a 3rd group to present. Hearing that I was going to stand in from of the class and present was just unbearable but When Ros and Telfer explained on how these marks will counts towards our final exam, it made me realized that I have to take the group thing seriously and fortunately my group was made up of determined mates. I’m so grateful to my team.

WEEK 14- Expressing Gratitude

Wow! When they say “Save the best for last” they talk about todays presentation.. everything was on point 👌🏾I loved how the group summed up all the topics that we had from the beginning of the course, it was really great. 

To Ros, Telfer and all my classmates- I’m humbled and grateful that in my journey, I had an opportunity to be part of this class. It was a long journey but hey look at us now, the course is done. When I first entered this class I had no clue what was going on but now I can proudly say I learned so much from the facilitation course. The encouragement and constant motivation pushed me to new heights I never thought possible. Thank you all for inspiring me to be excellent in everything I do.

Building Relationships

Our day has finally arrived. Our chance to present and showcase our skills is here. We had enough time to prepare, but whenever we met our conversations would be taken over by the talk about our brother who passed on. Hugs kisses and all tears and sorrow took over. We never met as the whole group to do a dry run. Through it all we have learnt that good lessons to take home. The whole class was very supportive. The presentation went well, we managed to facilitate to the best way possible.

Story Telling

Today’s was facilitators where Story Telling. It was exciting to watch other people facilitating and learn as our groups’ turn was yet to come. The group was well prepared, even though I was a bit worried when they started talking to themselves not engaging the audience. But then they turned to audience later through their. I liked the way they handled their topic and the different kinds of facilitation tools were used. I was not aware that story telling can be another way of facilitation. We have learnt different kinds of facilitation which was amazing. Like someone narrating his or her life story. I have also learnt that in order to understand a story you have to read it several times for more understanding. In whatever one do be honest, there is no need to lie about any situation.

Honouring Difference

The syndicate group facilitated well. The research was extensive. The topic was not an easy one as it could easily spark some racial controversy. The team handled the facilitation well. Now I believe everyone can facilitate, they just need guidance. I continue to learn daily about the people with whom I work. I have expanded the script to acknowledge any differences such as religion, tradition, or heritage that, had I not asked, I would have never known existed. I am seeing that even people of my same race have differences that affect their point of view. When I engage with classmates using the script, I can literally feel barriers melt and doors of communication open. Classmates and colleagues are empowered by the fact that I care enough to ask and truly want to understand them better.

Learning From Life

The group did an extensive research on the topic. they executed well. Their check in was unique and exciting. The activity on balancing life done by balancing ten nails was interesting. All learning necessary involves experience of some sort, prior or current

Students study for a degree or diploma through activities conducted primarily in their workplace and within topic areas for which there may be no immediate equivalence with university subjects. Learning opportunities arise from the circumstances of normal work; work is the curriculum foundation. One effect of such study is to directly advance the work-enterprise itself; the university, however, is ultimately responsible for any qualification.

Personal reflection

It taught me self awareness. To face reality about myself and my life. In order to keep track of my life i need to reflect now and again and that’s when I can see all my weakness and my strength. I really enjoyed this topic, it taught me a lesson to assess myself at all times. If I don’t like what I am seeing as I reflect it helps to go back to drawing board and start afresh.

Expressing Gratitude

Wow what a lovely way to close the course. Gratitude team you were amazing and you kept the whole class awake. you made me realise how much i have improvement i have made, how much i have gained from attending the facilitation class. i am now a different person and thanks to both lecturers and fellow students. because of you i can now face the world without judging myself let alone fear. am very proud of the person i turned out to be today. Also am grateful to my group members for being very supportive and i will do the same at my work place.

Introduction

This was our first day in class, though as some point if felt like i was in AA meeting lol it was interesting.

The setting was different from the usual class setting, we were siting in a circle with no desks. We were made to interact a lot, grouped according to our residential area. I enjoyed Facilitation from the very first class, i just had a problem with the starting time 8:30. this was a bit too early considering the fact that it is a weekend.

Building Relationships

what i learned on this day was the different types of relationships we have with different people for different purposes.

Our table topic was acquaintances, so we had to discuss how we feeling about having acquaintances. People that we not really friends with or know much about them . what was common amongst us as group member was that it was important to have such people, building networking.

what i also enjoyed was the exercise we did after the group presentation. We had to build a bridge, the team work was very interesting with lots of fun and laughter.

Building relationships

It took me back to the first day in class. It was a difficult day for me because i don’t find it easy to make new friends. The course itself requires group discussion. This taught me to make friends in class. I now find it easy to make friends because the course has taught me to work well with others. Everywhere I go I no longer worry about how I will get to talk to people.

Facilitating Decision

what important for me this day was learning to make decision based on data presented in front of us and not using our own assumptions.

From the reading a story we were asked questions based on the story but most answers we influenced by perceptions, past experiences and cultural beliefs. and that may at time lead to wrong decisions as we all different in a way. we need to learn to see things for what they are not what we think

Diversity and group cohesion activity or discussion showed me that we are different but all have the rituals we perform on the same situations. This includes on child birth, marriage, and burial. Most of African cultures have the same ritual on marriage of lobola. I discovered that we are diverse but share some common beliefs.

GRATITUDE

It was a sad day for me that this was my last day of Facilitation Skills. I really enjoyed this class more the other classes. However, I was impressed by the performance of the facilitating group. They were well organised, dressing code and the presentation was perfect.

They were presenting on gratitude, the feeling of being thankful and appreciative. How do we express our gratitude to others. Each of us has to be thankful. Why not express our gratitude? It costs us nothing, yet yield countless benefits

We were grouped according to our original groups and we had to show gratitude to each one of us. It was emotional moment for me, I couldn’t talk, I was in tears and overwhelmed by the love I got from this group

During September this year, I lost my sister and the group “Learning from life” were calling to check up on me, also made some contributions showing their support. I honestly did not expect this. However, I realized that family is not people that you are born with, ” Learning from life” group is definitely my family. I really don’t know how to thank them for their support but I am grateful.

We can acknowledge whatever drama exists, but still choose to focus on positive. Let’s take this lesson of this journey (Facilitation Skills) to work towards happier, healthier and more grateful.

Honestly, I will miss this class, I believe we were a family. It pains me that we won’t see each other every Saturday.

I would like to thank Mrs Ros and Telfer for taking us through this journey, it was not an easy one but we all achieved the goal at the end. Thank you once more.

Building Relationships

Every relationship is very important and crucial. Someone said that you don’t meet people by coincidence, but there is a reason for that. That is so true, during my tenure on this course I met wonderful people and to some I made friendships. When the team spoke about different types of relationship it was interesting to hear that other groups were exchanging Nnumbers.

Expressing gratitude

What a perfect way to end the term.So much gratitude was shown in class  I must say I got really motivated by all the appreciation that I got from my peers and really see how being grateful  for things that we have is so important.This lesson taught me to appreciate people and the things that I have a bit more than I used because they can easily be taken away and some people don’t have what we have.I am greatful for the opportunity of gaining the skills that came with this,for Ros and Telfer for all their hardwork and dedications as well the team that I was in,thanks you for al your contribution throughout the semester.Well done team#Expressing gratitude.

Seeing with new eyes

what a perfect illustration of the diversity in SA. As much as we are all aware of our differences it s sometimes difficult to understand and accept the difference in others although we would want to be appreciated, understood and loved with our differences. I can sometimes be challenges to accept and acknowledge the differences in others especially when we don’t give ourselves time to know one another and view things from other people’s point of view. We need to know and understand that what is normal to us may not be as normal in other people ‘s eyes. Seeing things from a different perspective  can enhance our relationships with other people as it will give us a chance to get to understand what influences certain behaviours and why they do things in ways that the do. This lesson not only taught me a little bit more about the different cultures we have in our country but our different personalities that are influence by the different cultures

Facilitating decisions

This is definitely one of my favourite presentations. Everything was well organised and the check In was so different, loved it! I also enjoyed the exercise, it was a perfect illustration of how difficult decision making can be. It also taught me the importance of carefully analysing situations ,gathering relevant data that can help with making the right decision. I also got to see why it is important to weigh your options taking into consideration all the pros and cons of the choices you want to make. Great presentation, perfectly done. From now on I’ll consider all my options and look at things from different perceptions before I make choices.

STORY TELLING

It’s just amazing to realize how much knowledge stories from our elders have. So much wisdom in each story that is told. Through story telling our elders share with us their past experiences and how to deal with challenges that they face in the apartheid era and how they managed to adapt survive situations that most of wouldn’t survive. This lesson got me so intrigued that I will  share life ‘s lessons with my children one day through story telling

Story Telling

The highlight on this presentation was the influence story telling has in our lives, our very understanding of the world is through story telling. Different stories for different purposes.

For me what was import about story telling was, you taking the initiative to tell you story as no one can tell your story best then you. The check-in exercise was broken telephone which showed how a story changes the more it is told by different people. We interpret things differently as people.

Facilitating Change

so what i learned from today’s presentation is that change is inevitable, be it good change or bad change. The important thing is preparing for the change

having plans of how you gonna welcome the change that is coming in your life, if instant some of us we knew that registering to study will have a big impact in our financial life. It was important to sit and re-budget, see things that you can cut down on and find other ways of raising extra cash if possible.

Honoring Differences

today presentation was about honoring our differences. Our differences make us who we are, South Africa is a rainbow nation and chances of interacting with people of different races and culture on a daily basis are very high

being open-minded and having an positive attitude helps and this is likely to produce positive result and reduce conflict when interacting with people who are from different culture or race.

Learning from Life

emphases on today’s on today’s presentation was learning to balance life

the group presented different type of life trails that we normally go through as Wits plus student, having too many commitment. This such as family, school, work and church, it can be too demanding on one at times. We get tired and burn-out, suggested solutions were proper time planning and taking time off every once in a while.

EXPRESSING GRATITUDE

The most wonderfully supportive and understanding group of people prompted me to add this section. I am blessed with the greatest facilitation group on course.

Celia, Mandy, Lebo, Mark, Khaya, Lulu, Tshepo, Masekela, Lindi, Nhlanhla and Chwayita have been amazing. Collaborative, challenging, encouraging, entertaining and a blessing.

I am grateful for each one of you and the impact you have made, big and small, to my life. My value, plus, ideation and experiment gained from you all will be to pay it forward in the manner you have done for me.

Ngiyabonga.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

I approached this using the tools I learned from Setting Goals and Facilitating Change. I learnt that respect, AUTHENTICITY, honesty, trust and love and the pillars of building a good relationship. Reflecting, I came back to whether I was prepared and had a good enough attitude for the change process that is building new relationships. As I said, I do not do well with change. I have had the same friends since I was 21 so I clearly do not build new relationships either. I am such a lost cause! I have a tool kit now though so my idea for experimentation and growth centred on enhancing and strengthening the relationships I do have. I set up a midterm outlook over the next five years to double my professional network and reinforce my connection with acquaintances. Short-term goal, this week: show everyone I love and value that they are important to me. Progress report: so far, so good. Expect an I love you call!

Setting Goals

So today’s presentation was focused on Smart Goal, the mini goals/steps or preparation that one has to put in place in order to achieve your goal.

we were made to reflect on individual goals achieved and those that were not achieved and figure out where we went wrong in achieving them. For me mostly it was poor planning and lack of effort.

SEEING WITH NEW EYES

You will never be the same again

This topic followed nicely from the Johari Window discussion as the facilitating group asserted that what you see and hear depends on where you are standing and the kind of person you are. The discussion moved to influences on perception. I immediately remembered a presentation I listened to about the limitations of our minds and questioned what assumptions existed within mine that held me back from the highest expression of myself. How I should change my own reality?

It clicked then that this is what this mysterious Personal Mastery is all about. If I can be fully aware of myself and my biases, skills, influences and expressions then I can better align myself with others. Not just individuals but also the dreaded group and all its dynamics.

Queue angelic AHHHHHA. This realisation helped when it came to my side hustle. I had struggled with this without being aware. I saw, during the communication exercise that what I understand and say does not mean my audience interprets and understands it the same way. I was now cognitive in the room. I gave real thought to how what I was saying was translating to the people receiving it.

STORY TELLING

Kwa suka sukela…. That is the Zulu equivalent to “Once upon a time”. It is how folklore and stories of heritage are told and these stories are what tie so many of us together. Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral. So what will my story be?

Thus began an angst-filled week of asking myself how I want to be remembered. In seeking guidance on how to express this want, I trolled the web for all the great speakers and influential people I admired. I found one.

From Oprah (who else, right!) in a commencement address to Spellman College. My story will be of person who lived, worked and fought to find a way to serve. Once I choose to serve as the highest expression of my being, I “will truly and authentically be empowered.” True story.

FACILITATING CHANGE

play me

Change requires action. I am a creature of great inertia. I think it is mostly because my job has so much upheaval and “moving parts”. Change does not come easy for me. I never thought to equip myself with tools to alleviate the stress change puts on my mind. Therefore, the facilitation was incredibly valuable in laying out systematic steps for dealing with change.

I acquired a planning tool that I experiment with when faced with a new situation.

I set checklists and to do lists so I can track my requirements and progress during each change scenario. Greatest quote for this week based on the Johari window.

HONOURING DIFFERENCES

I have always been a live and let live kind of girl. Life is just too short to be all up in each other’s business because we are different or do not understand the other. Aint nobody got time fo dat!! So for the most part, at least consciously, I am much like a people-loving hippie. My outlook is as long as you are not hurting anybody, are a functioning member of society and not a “teat sucking layabout” (as Cameron from Modern Family says), you are good with me. The discussion on unconscious bias really “touched me in my studio”. I derived value though in applying these ideas in my Basic Research Skills assignment on factors affecting children’s career choice. I keep talking about the unconscious bias males have towards female in my sector but what about my unconscious thoughts and actions. Therefore I endeavour to exercise tolerance, show appreciation and give respect to just one person I consider an idiot per week. Unfortunately, this has been a trying experiment and I have no positive feedback. I feel only mildly chagrined.

Building relationships

This presentation for me highlights the importance of forming relations in life. It shows how we as people need each other in life and in surviving.

Reflecting back to the facilitation class, I see how important it was to be part of this team, though it came with unexpected outcomes. but it helped in conducting me in being a better listener to others, and such lessons can never be achieved if another being is not present. As people we might overlook the importance of relations but in becoming a better person, you need other people around you to help you better yourself. by how you relate to people and all, for instance I am not a very talkative person but I saw how being part of this class required me to be vocal on most times and express my thougts.

This is a big part of building relationships, to be able to communicate and allow others to communicate back. As the terms has ended, I think I have become better at building relationships and hope to keep igniting this skill in me.

Oby

Expressing gratitude

Today’s presentation was awesome!

I say this not only because I believe in the spirit of gratitude, but because of how they conducted the whole presentation, as one class mate mentioned, it was really saving the best for last.

Everything was well thought and delivered greatly.

To me giving gratitude has opened doors that I never thought would ever open. By just having joy and saying thank you and feel grateful on a daily basis, things start to happen in one’s life.

I myself am grateful for my team, when I first started I got welcomed with warm hands and there has never been a greater feeling like that. We are now family and have stuck together through this term, which was quite challenging and very short. I am grateful for the lessons learnt, and what I was able to do with them in my life.

Showing gratitude

Through everything that we go through in life, hardly do we take the time out to be thankful for that which we have. Be it the good or bad.

There’s a quote by the poet Rumi, “ Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” Everyday, I learn to ascribe to it. For I am thankful for everything that I have. There was a time where everything was brought to a screeching halt for me. I had to re-evaluate how I viewed the world and my position in it. Small things such as, good health, having access to three meals a day, a roof over my head, being able to wake up, etc… Life becomes an enriching microcosm of acts of kindness. Life is unpredictable, fortunes change all the time. Complacency is a costly exercise. I believe that when one is appreciative of their blessings it creates a conducive space for them to self-actualise and ultimately fulfil their life’s purpose.

Dr. Maya Angelou appeared on an episode of Super Soul Sundays, she said, “Thank you for this day. Thank you for the light coming through the window. Thank you that I am breathing. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the phone call that told me that I am not wanted anymore. Thank you because I know you have something better for me lined up… Thank you, because I know something better is on the road for me. You fired me? Good on you. And very good on me. ‘Cause what I’m going to get darling, you will long for.”

Honouring difference

This topic and the presentation have a great perspective into how different we are and how we perceive each other with this difference in mind.

I really liked how the team presented the differences in their clothing, and how it the topic was not given straight on.

In my own life I have learned to honor differences in other people, just as I expect mine to be honoured. we live in a society that sometimes sees difference as something taboo. we still see difference as a weird thing and each time someone appears to be different we tend to abnormalise them. This I believe to be the problem of society in general. A woman who does not want to be married or to have children is seen as not being normal, but what could be better, a woman who doesn’t want a child and sticks to that or a woman who has a child and then abuses them?

Honouring difference is important and begins with respect for the self and others.

Oby

Week 6: Facilitating Change

Change is never easy to implement, but quite a necessary aspect in one’s life. For without change there is no growing or development.

As a facilitator, this is key in conducting your work. It requires one to be open minded and be open to change before being able to facilitate it to others. In this regard it will require people to get out of their comfort zones and be exposed to unfamiliar territory, and not only change can be implemented from this but an opportunity for growth can also be achieved. The group brought in a great view to the concept and opened my mind to what is possible.

In facilitating change we ourselves need to be open to change.

Honoring differences

What really stood out for was the reconditioning of future generations. The team did an activity where there were stereotypes and you had to decide on how you can improve on them.For example, Boys don’t cook and then we look at how we can teach young boys to cook,Women make the worst drivers, perhaps look at educating  young ladies by teaching them to drive at a younger age. South Africa is a diverse country, we have people from various cultures, different belief systems and morals. We all bring different contributions to this world however we must never forget that we all are human beings and should be respected for our differences. This presentation was done during the xenophobic attacks and definitely gave the class food for Thought

Facilitating Decisions

I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by; it is the second last presentation before class comes to an end. It is my teams turn to present on facilitating decisions. Being the second last group to present definitely has its positives and negatives. The negatives are that we know that we have even larger shoes to fill after witnessing   great improvements by the week with each team’s presentation. Don’t forget the additional pressure of ensuring that the class is entertained, keeping the class interested and ensuring that their energy levels and ours are high as we are nearing the end of the programme. The positive is that we are aware of what worked for other groups and what did not. We also want to be different in the approach, techniques and activities that we selected. In preparation for our presentation, we experienced clashes as all teams often do. Our group consisted of more than twelve individuals and was one of the larger groups within in the class. Getting everyone involved required some work  however we all had a common goal which was to go out with a bang but leave the class with valuable lessons on Decision making that may be taught to others and remembered for years to come. In the end we were proud of the outcome and knew that if it were not for teamwork and collaboration the presentation would have ended differently. On the day of the presentation our team work shined through as we facilitated “Decision making” with oomph and impact . There was synergy in the team and we worked well together. Making Decisions is a part of our daily lives; we make decisions consciously and unconsciously. I learnt that decisions can be made using a tool called PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological Factors), that decisions involve emotions and are made with your heart, brain and gut .When you use your heart to make a decision this might allow your emotions to get the best of you, making a decision with your brain can result in a logical one and with your gut because it feels right. A decision made correctly will be known to the decision maker if given the opportunity to make that same decision again they will choose the same outcome. Practice makes perfect, the more often you make decisions the better you will get at making them. I have a two year old daughter and from a young age I have   provided her with options to choose whether it be between what to eat or what toy or sweet she would like. This goes to show that we all can make informed decisions and that we base them on a variety of factors likes, dislikes or what end result we foresee. My learning’s will be shared with young friends and family as without sharing knowledge no one grows.

Setting goals

Class started with the first group facilitating on “Setting Goals”. We all rolled our eyes and thought; we know that we have to do it at some time or all the time for the more driven individuals. The big question that comes to mind is do we actually set out the time to note our goals down without procrastinating and follow through with it. This lesson reiterated that  it is definitely required that we put pen to paper and I strongly believe that if you do not write down your goals by making them visible they will either fade away over time or just become items on our to do list which can become miles long. The lesson reiterated the setting of goals using the SMART methodology and definitely reminded me that the sooner I start committing to my goals the sooner I can achieve them. We often get so stuck in day to day tasks that we often neglect time to set goals. After the lecture, I jotted down a few goals I wanted to be reminded of and most definitely wanted to achieve. This lesson reminded me the sooner I start the better. As I begin to list my daily goals to achieve, Number one – Drink at least 2 liters of water daily – this will be beneficial to my health and overall wellbeing, Number Two set aside twenty minutes to read over course material per day this will decrease anxiousness when prepping for an exam, Number 3 –  Write down all important due dates to remember to ensure that assignments are handed in on time, Number 4 – Prepare a study time table to eliminate last minute stress  and last but not least close my eyes for 15 minutes daily. I personally feel that if you do not set the necessary time aside to write your goals down on paper and regularly track progress it does become difficult to achieve them. I learnt that by setting time to list your goals, you commit to specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic and time bound goals. Going forward I chose to use the SMART principle in setting goals and teach it to younger family members.

Principles of Detachment

I learnt that detachment is to care deeply from an objective place. It is about giving people the freedom to be, no baggage. Yesterday is in the past, now is the present and tomorrow is a new day. This reminds me of younger children, they never really get upset for long, and it’s over in two seconds. Detachment teaches us to let go. I believe that we all can develop into greater individuals by understanding or practicing detachment. What I have learnt I usually share with others this aids in me remembering learning’s for longer periods. Detachment also allows individuals to respect others ideas and opinions which is loveable. It is said that you can achieve the greatest heights only through detaching yourself from the things that matter to you to a certain extent and by taking a step back .Stepping back in order to identify what things add value in life such as health, relationships, growth     and clearing out clutter. Imagine if we all practiced the principles of detachment, what a better place South Africa would be

Working in Teams

Working in teams is important as we often cannot do everything all the time. At the beginning of class we were separated into groups and the working in teams is portrayed very well in the presentations every week. Individuals cannot work together without a common vision, deadlines are clear   and you can see that the team is committed. Working in teams as observed in class portrays a picture that working in teams always works well and there are few or no issues however this is not always the case. I learnt that when working in teams, you must have excellent listening skills, respect for each other and give each person a voice. Age difference in teams brings a different touch to teamwork, as different skills and experiences are shared and this effectively contributes to our learning experience. When working in teams you need to ensure that each individual has a voice and is heard, Working in teams fosters creativity and learning. Always remember that two heads are better than one and can get the job done quicker.

Building Relationships

Building relationships is a key part of lives which we cannot live without. Imagine having no relationships in life… I cannot even begin to think how boring and gloomy life would be. Relationships involve emotions both good and bad. There are relationships that are perceived as healthy and others that are toxic, it is important that we choose to nurture the healthy ones and put an end to the toxic ones. Building relationships is about give and take. Building Relationships also foster growth and development. Building relationships is how we network with each other. I learnt that building relationships is important, you never know where you will have to offer a helping hand or ask for support, afterall we are human and need each other. I will educate others to take every opportunity to build effective relationship and most importantly choose which seeds you want to water and see flourish.

Story Telling

The group facilitated Story telling by separating the class into seven interesting topics: Inspiration, Leadership, Social Relations, History, Marketing, Education and Awareness. We either love listening to stories or love telling them. People often easily relate to stories and often remember them much better. Many companies use Story telling marketing as most of the time individuals can relate to the story much quicker, examples are Clientele, DSTV and Outsurance etc. Stories  can be told by using pictures , the class activity was around pictures that you had to arrange and tell a story , pictures are indeed with a thousand words. This lesson on Story Telling was fun. I learnt that the way a story is often told and how it is perceived could be two different matters on its own therefore it is important to know :

  • Why you are telling the story?
  • Whom to tell the story to?
  • When to tell the story?
  • How to tell the story?                  
  • Where to tell the story?

On story telling, I learnt that we all have a story to tell for different reasons, tell a story that changes lives, that shares experiences that other generations may learn from. Let the teacher out in you, the more you able to share, the more others can learn and the more you grow.

Facilitating Change

Facilitating Change

We all have been faced with the challenges of change be it good or bad. How we react to change is important because this can either make or break you and prevent you from progressing. If nothing changes in life and everything remains the same we are not improving nor are we moving forward. When going through a change of any sort , you need to identify what that change is ,  understand the reason for the change and  plan next steps , in doing so one can quickly accept the change and move on. Change is evitable and all individuals should equip themselves with effective change management skills as this will assist them throughout their journey of life. I  really enjoyed the story about “The bent backs of Chang Dong”,Emma Watson was a straight forward person who was not afraid to question why the old people of Chang dang are bent over and received an answer that with age their backs become bent. She was persistent in finding out and realized soon that the  brooms were the issue and made longer brooms , at first the old ladies were stuck in their ways and did not want change and accepted  things as they were .Through this story I will always remember how Emma brought a small change that had a huge impact. I learnt that small changes can make a big difference. I will share this reading with other individuals to reiterate the importance of change and the benefits thereof.

Seeing with new eyes

Seeing with new eyes

Seeing with new eyes means that we should always assess situations from different angles. Don’t be quick to make judgements without data or jump to conclusions by making assumptions. Never judge a book by its cover, you may be seeing what you want to see in situations and people.Dont talk about people but to them. Unconscious behavior often becomes the blind spot. I learnt that sometimes you need to move from your comfort zone in order to make an overall observation on what is really happening like moving from the balcony to the dance floor and vice versa, this is crucial for seeing with new eyes. A mirror has two views how you see it and then how others see it. I learnt that seeing with new eyes will reveal to you many new qualities and skills that you never knew existed. This is a topic that I would love to go deeper into. This also reminds me that seeing with new eyes, children can learn not to be too critical of themselves when negativity is spoken to or about them or what they see versus the worlds critism.

Seeing with new eyes

This topic resonated well with the saying ‘do not judge a book by its cover’…i have had so many experiences of getting angry, upset or worried about something only later to discover that what i got upset about was actually no the true reflection of what the true events are; that i had no reason to be angry or upset, that my anger was misinformed. I have had so many of these experiences it is not a joke!!! What i took out from this topic is that i must learn to see things with ‘new eyes’ and begin to see more fully in order to see things for what they are and not what i think they are.

Facilitating change

The team that presented this topic did well despite the tensions that were created by the discussions on the different languages and what each language represent within the South African context. What i took out from this topic is that there is a lot we as South Africans still to need to talk about regardless of how difficult these conversations may be otherwise we may never heal.

Expressing gratitude

The team that facilitated today closed off the course with a bang! The activities facilitated made the class so vibrant, i liked the activity in which all of us were asked each write in the pieces of puzzle what we were grateful for. Well done! What i took out from this learning is that we sometimes, well, if not most of the time, are caught up in in everyday challenges of life that we tend to forget to appreciate the little things that matters most and make a difference in our lives. I am grateful for life itself, i am grateful for the friendships we created in this journey, some of us gained more than friendships, we now have families too…THANK YOU!!!

Building Relationships

I arrived late for this session and from wjat I could sum up, it was a difficult facilitation session for the team. Hearing that they losr one of their team members tragically made me understand why the feedback they were receiving. The week was taxing for them and it set a tone on the delivery of their performance.

I enjoyed the learning session with the stand in facilitator as we used building block to build a bridge and how we needed to communicate effectively to make sure that all the company sections knew their roles. It was also a change experiencing the facilitator (Andriaan) because her methods were completely different from what we were used to. Goes to show change is inevitable we have to embrace and enjoy the experiences.

Facilitating Change

” When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment it grows in, not the flower”. It was a nice change to see how the team embraced the new season of spring. They set the tone very well. There is something about flowers that changes a mood and I personally feel that the flowers facilitated a change of new and beautiful things to come.

Visibility and vulnerability is trust, if the environment doesn’t allow to grow, then change it. Being self aware of the different hats I wear in my roles brings the confidence that I’m making a difference.

Gratitude – Last class

SO today was my last class, not only last facilitation class but last class for my degree… Its been a journey.

Today’s groups presentation was really good. They were very well prepared and had some really great surprises for both us and the facilitators… I liked how the class almost finalised the course and was a huge thank you to everyone there. Well done team…

Key point of reflection for me was to be more thankful for what we have and not always wish to have more… There are people out there that have a lot less than us. It was also awesome to see our syndicate group for the last time and say good bye.

Expressing Gratitude

Driving to class this morning brings along memories of the past months of attendng facilitation lectures. With a glimpse of my initial intentions when registering and the developments over this time, I suddenly realized how one can undermine certain elements in life. From day one as mentioned before this course tend to bring new meaning to me as a person with every lecture.

The presentation on ‘gratitude’ was mind blowing in the sense of the word. A good summary of the previous presentations as well as integration of the related tools and concepts learned over the past couple of weeks.

One important lesson learned is that life should never be taken for granted. Humans are dependent on one another for their existence an therefore we need to appreciate each other more by expressing and showing gratitude for the difference they makes in our lives. Life is like a dance…the more you enjoy the music the better you perform on the dance floor. It’s the same with relationships in life.

As we contribute to the lives and success of others, so our lives are enriched. The exercise about telling your team members individually how you appreciate them as individuals turned out to be very personal and emotional as you find out how we have influenced the lives of total strangers in such a short time.

Guys you’re great… I’ll be missing our Saturday morning meetings. All of the best with your studies and future endeavors. ‘The Facilitation class of 2019 rocks’

As for the future, my Saturday will be be dedicated to prepare for next year’s Comrades Marathon…

Bon voyage but not farewell.

Facilitating Decisions

We finally made it to this day. My team have been a great support throughout. We went through the process of team cohesion, and I can say during the storming phase we werr able to implement what we have learnt from the previous sessions. Team dynamics came into play, however we proudly maintained our positions and were able to get through our tasks and perform well.

The sharing with Ross positively reinforced the learning that relationships are a work in progress. We learn everyday from each other and by intentionally making positive decisions towards attaining our goals for the greater good we move forward. Decisions are made with the head, heart and gut and although we go through the PEST, which is thr model we adopted to facilitate the team with. It helps us nevigate our way through life

I’m happy with the results of our faciliation today anf my team did very well. Proud of the Facilitating Decisions teamwork.

Facilitating change

Change, is better envisioned than undertaken. It is not an easy process to undergo. We want change, however, in the same breath we trersist it. Our brains fight and avoid it at all costs. Much to our detriment. What often brings about change is the admission that with each passing day we are evolving. Nothing stays the same, yesterday is yesterday, today is today.. No two days will ever be the same. Change is part and parcel of our stories as human beings. Regardless of how much we evade it.

Facilitating change requires one to take the first step. One may not necessarily see the entire staircase, but, that one first step will unlock the pathway to the others. Personally, I struggle with that- I am learning to manage it as I go along. Some days easier than others. What I have come to cherish is an advert that flighted many years ago, it reads as thus;

Wake up! Wake up! Today is your day
Spread the news. Put on your shoes.

You’re on your way. You have smarts in your head. You
have hope in your feet. Where will you go?
Left or right? Avenue or street? Things
happen at every turn. So be quick, be wise.
And you could be in for a big surprise! And
when the road gets windy, and the forest
may howl. Or when you’re scared to your
toes. Don’t throw in the towel. You’re a big
idea. Just waiting to happen. So take that first
step. Then take another. And when you’ve
reached your mountaintop. You’ll look down
and say “ oh what a view! What was all the
fuss? If I can do it, so can you!”

 Wake up! Wake up!

There’s no time to lose.

 The world is yours

 Just put on your shoes.

As one goes further and further, one gathers momentum, to such an point that they surpass their own expectations. We live in a world of infinite possibilities, only when one chooses to go beyond their comfort zones and change their ways can they self-actualise.

Seeing with new eyes.

As human beings, what we often do is to look things from a single angle and viewpoint. One that is based upon our backgrounds and experiences. Hardly do we ever give ourselves the space, time and opportunity to peer out of our lived experiences and cages and look out. Instead we we stick to the old guard – not because we do not know any better- but because we are within our comfort zones.

Actively seeing things with a new eye begins with having an imagination. There is a Commencement Speech delivered by J.K Rowling at Harvard, in it she said: ” Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared… Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.” The team that presented an image of two figures: each one standing looking over a figure. The one was looking at a 6, the other a 9. These are the same number, it all depends on where one is standing.

When one gives themselves the time to look beyond what is in front of them, wonder could be- then can they only begin to see things with new eyes.

Personal Reflection

MMMHHHH

I am not sure about this one. But I think this was a heavy one on me. Not in a bad way but in a good way. It was kinda like counselling to me.

“Personal reflection”… you reflect a lot about yourself and life. You see things that you didn’t know, ignored or didn’t pay attention to. This is about self-mirror. Seeing yourself in the mirror which made me sad, not because I m a bad person or something. I felt overwhelmed to be confronted with my personal reflection. I saw myself from the other perspective.

She has gone and still going through a lot and is carrying a world on her shoulder. How is she coping with all that and where is she gaining her strength from all these years. She is not perfect while everybody expects her to be, she has to be strong all the time that’s what she thinks, she doesn’t have a choice. She is a hard shell outside buy very soft and sensitive inside.

She needs to let her hair down sometimes and stop being hard on herself. But that who she is.

Personal reflection.

A personal reflection was also good as it enables you to learn the dynamics of people which makes it easy to participate in a group, to know when to speak or be quiet and to know how to engage with others. This helped us when we were working in groups to take care and support each other with and in our strengths and weaknesses. What I also learned is, (Science, 2015) Self-reflection helps to build emotional self-awareness. By taking the time to ask yourself the important questions, you gain a better understanding of your emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. Once you understand the important aspects of the self, you become better able to adapt to changing situations and tough circumstances.

I wonder what are we going to in Facilitation?!

As I was thinking and discuss with a friend which subjects I should choose for my second year because I was overwhelmed how to put my modules together in a way that it makes sense so that I don´t waste too much time. She recommended I should go for facilitation as it is not complicated and it is easy to manage. She kept on talking about this facilitation, that I don´t need to write tests and exams which made it interesting for me and of course I needed the 18 points. I was on and off if I should take it as I wanted to cover 3 modules for this year and thought four would be too much. After consulting with Wits Plus I decided to take it because I needed to attend just 2 Blocks of facilitation.

The first day I was excited to go to class though it was so hard to wake up as Saturday and Sunday are the only 2 days where I get to sleep longer. Of course, I got there a bit late, they had started forming groups and I was added to one group of them. One of the students explained that I didn’t miss much and what had transpired. “What is this course all about and this class is so packed,” I thought to myself and observed what was happening. The white lady Mrs Roslyn Solomon who was soft-spoken and her assistance Telfer.

They first gave us an introduction on what facilitation is all about and what we will be doing. They engaged groups in activities for students to introduce themselves and discuss some question. This was meant to break the ice and for the students to get to know each other. We were given tools to work with when facilitating. Now I got to understand what facilitation is all about and some of the tools. You have to work SMART = S- SPECIFIC, M- MEASURABLE, A- ACHIEVEMENT, R- REALISTIC, and T- TIME BOUND. What I have learned is that facilitation focuses on how people engage in the process of learning something. How they plan and take decisions and work together with others. Facilitation doesn´t focus on what gets achieve only. As a facilitator, you have to make sure you achieve the intended outcome and make sure everyone is integrated and participating and what you are doing accommodates everyone. For a facilitator to achieve all of this and the best outcome, its best to use facilitation tools like Check-in/out, the fishbowl and more.

The Check-in is a way of activating, collect, gathering the focus of your audience to be able to focus on what is intended to be done and achieved. it is a way of getting rid of things that can distract someone on the processes of doing something. This tool helps participants to be present, to know what´s going on within the environtment they find themselves and where they are. Check- out is a way of closing up the process of check in and bringing the conversation to and end. You reflect on the conversation you had, share ideas and check if everyone is on the same

Honouring Differences

Unfortunately, I was not there when we did honour differences. But I find this topic very interesting as it was helpful for group work. As I have heard the group had incorporated different traditional culture in their topic and most of the students thought it was interesting and a good presented. In our class, we have different cultures and races which makes our class diverse with different dynamics. With that being, we have to learn to work with one another and respecting each other’s personal views. This helps us learn to respect other people way of doing a thing without judging and understanding why people behave or do things in a certain way. Honouring differences can be done in different ways. It can be done in honouring people characters, for who they are and how they do things. This was a great help when we worked in groups as we were all conscious about honouring differences. It made it easier to listen to each other and to make sure everyone is included to engage in tasks as well in activity groups.

Building Relationships

Building and maintaining relationships is a lifelong journey, we interact with different people on different levels. From setting to setting, we interact with people differently, what is important is to communicate clearly and effectively.

The group that presented conveyed a message that one of their team members had ceased. It was a rather sombre mood, one that spoke to the fragility of life. Somehow,also the theme of the day. One may be present today-and gone tomorrow. There’s no predicting what could happen. Somehow, we should nurture good, conducive relationships- walk away from those that do not serve us in any form or way.

We had an exercise where we had to stand in four parallel lines, two facing each other. The two people facing one another were familiar and acquainted with one another, we were then asked to switched partners- this time it was with someone that we had possibly never spoken to. The raison d’etre of this was to challenge how we view our comfort zones, and our abilities to open up to strangers. How vulnerable one becomes so to speak. After all was said and done, I came to a realisation that regardless of where one is from and regardless of their background- we all want the same things. This may be expressed in a variety of ways, but the bottom line remains the same. It was rather interesting and revelational.

The second exercise entailed us being divided into three construction companies. Within those three companies we were split up into A, B, C. Each alphabet was tasked with building a portion of a bridge with LEGO blocks. We were handed currency that was to be used to get information and communicate with the other groups. In my respective group we managed to assemble our portion of the bridge.When we linked the three portions of the bridge with the other teams, it became apparent that there was a clear miscommunication. They had not understood what it is that needed to be done. There was a broken telephone effect that had taken place. This demonstrated how no matter how clear one thinks they communicate, ultimately how the next person interpretes communication and comprehends could be in an entirely different way.

With that said, building relationships are not always smooth sailing, it all comes down to it all come down to mutual respect, communication and maintaining an open-mind at all times.

Building relationships

The presentation on building relationships was an area that was very relevant considering the evolvement through changes in our country that filtered down to how families. Our group discussed romantic relationships.  None of us were in a relationship and upon dissecting the reasons, we concluded is that we are all in a different space and time in our lives.  Romantic relations have taken a back seat while we are pursuing other dreams which have taken priority.

facilitating change

In preparing for the presentation our group worked well together overall despite the different personalities which needed a bit of management only because there was so much information and ideas pooled together.  I think why it generally worked was that we gave each member in the team an opportunity bring their ideas, collated it and built on the best ideas and approach.

The topic Change was so broad that we had to make sure we captured what is most relevant.  We had barely touched the surface due to the time limit and also had to keep in mind that it was more important how we relay the information.  The presentation went well and I broke through the some of my personal barriers.  It has been such a breakthrough for me.

Seeing with new eyes

This topic reminds me of the excercise we did with our teams the previous weeks about feesback and how I saw them in my eyes. South Africa has been going through a rough patch the past few days and Xenophobia makes one reflect on how we see other people as threats to our personal space. Our perceptions are different and I’ve learnt to be open minded about my opinions and respect others no matter were they are from. 
Our country needs to be educated, more campaigns about xenophobia need to be done and not only when the country is in chaos. I’m teaching my kids to respect and honor other peoples differences, we all have a role to play. Celebrating our heritage should remind us how blessed we are and learn to see other people with new eyes for learning purposes. 

Personal reflection

“Learn to look at people with positive eyes and see the good in them and give them feedback that will help them grow and be better” This was an emotional session indeed, having to look internally and expressing the positive that I see in others. Having to see myself through their eyes. The aha moment when Ross shared that we or I always watch people to catch them doing something right. 
Dancing from the balcony is one that I need to practice a lot as I’m usually in peoples spaces, I’m always the loud one. I lose some of the nuances in people and then try to enforce my opinions. I should step back so I can gain more and experience more so I can be more effective. My graduates will be coming together soon so I’m going to do things differently. 

Learning from Life

As facilitators we need to understand the differences in people. The lesson that Telfer shared was an eye opener in that using a blanket approach when dealing with people will not be effective. I’ve done that with my own children for most of their life and I’ve working on changing that as I’m seeing them with new eyes and honoring their differences.

Being self aware and making sure that I don’t take on too much and try to balance it all. Like Ross shared, life is like walking a tight rope, the purpose is to find a working middle ground so you can continue walking. Different sides of the brain work differently in all of us at a particular situation in life. What I’ve learnt is to embrace the complexity in others so I’m able to experience them at their best

Building Relations

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.Theodore Roosevelt

Forming relationships is about having an understanding of how things work, and like most personal behaviour pattern, it begins with you. If you cannot have a positive relationship with yourself, you will always struggle to maintain or build positive relations with others.

Building relations takes time, commitment, effort and courage, what I learnt in this class is that, in order to build strong connections with others, you must first know yourself, because when you understand your own strength and weaknesses, you will start developing an understanding on how to link with your surroundings.

  • Have a positive and healthy relationship with yourself.
  • Accept and celebrate the difference in people.
  • Give people time and “be present” when you are with them.
  • Develop and work on your communication skills.
  • Learn to give and take constructive feedback.
  • Trust.
  • Understand people and be compassionate.
  • Treat people as you would like to be treated

Seeing with new eyes

I think seeing with new eyes basically means, looking at things in a different perspective. As people we tend to judge people based on how they look or what they are saying without really trying to understand where they come from. I am one person who is very guilty of that. I remember there was a lady in class that i thought was forward. I felt like she wanted unnecessary attention until i actually set down with her and realized thst she is an amazing woman. It is that thing of the balcony and the dance floor. Try and see things from all angles and it will make sense…

Working in teams

“Working in teams” can be a daunting subject to create a facilitation piece on. However, as we were the team assigned to do it on the day we had to highlight what the advantages and disadvantages were. To be frank, I felt somewhat unsure about how we were going to go about it. What compounded this was the fact that I could not be present for the preparations- alas, my fellow team members assisted me in ensuring that we were on the same page. We managed to pull it off, in an interactive and interesting manner- that in itself put the theoretical into practise. The take-away points were;

  • Working in teams can be beneficial insofar as everyone is abreast with what needs to be dione. Different people with varying skills sets are merged into one unit and are able to tackle the different parts of a coherent sum total. Everyone gets to contribute, in whatever way they can.
  • Teamwork builds co-operation and leads to relationships being built. Sometimes, different people who would not ordinarily meet outside of those circumstances are able to network. They get to learn from one another, depend upon each other and trust each other.
  • With every positive there are negatives, sometimes in teams there will be personalities that are more dominant than others, and thus drowning out the views of those who are less forthcoming.
  • It can be found that making decisions takes time as opposing ideas over how certain things should be done. This inevitably leads to the breakdown in the co-operation in the group. As a result, disharmony takes foot.

As human beings, we are in one form or another always going to find ourselves in teams. Our own socialisation is asuch that we need other people to get ahead, to learn from them, to learn about ourselves, to learn what our strengths are, to learn what our weaknesses are.

Storytelling

Storytelling is one of the most important skill and is common amongst all of us, because it has always been part of human history, since the beginning of time. It also form a critical component of culture. Every day we tell stories or narratives as means of entertainment, business or culture, to make sure that certain knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next.

The group highlighted how telling a story is like painting a picture with words and why that helps with understanding how story brings people together, how stories motivates and help you grow.

There will always be rival perceptions that tell different stories about the same thing and just because you feel strong about your version of the strong doesn’t mean you are correct neither does it mean that you must impose your views on other,

The group, highlighted that storytelling itself requires listening, understanding, collaboration and recognition of the difference.

Seeing With New Eyes

A very powerful phrase, which can be interpreted to give various differing meanings like “having a different perspective” or considering other points of views. It is critical in building values, encouraging behaviour and learning from your surroundings.

Sometimes we hold ourselves back because of the way we chose to see things, we are all born with various set of skills and gifts, curiosity being amongst them and whilst we matured as adults we begin to lose that because we start looking at things through the window of our life experiences, which lead to assumptions based on those particular stereotypes that might have shaped our life experiences. Through this exercise, I learnt why we must remain curios all the time about almost anything, because it facilitates the way we view things and form opinions.  

For the longest time, I think I might have downplayed the shuttering effects of socio-political topics such as Xenophobia and other related matters until I met a guy, who in the light of recent xenophobic outbreak, opened up and took me through his life journey on having grown up in a rebel infested village and how that shaped a terrible reality that defined his childhood.

Though I could never have felt what he might have felt whilst going through that, I did understand why going back home to the Congo might not be a viable option for him and his family. Through, that I started looking at the actions of the privileged differently, because it is easy to tell someone to go back home but, it becomes very difficult for that person to hear you when they have no place to call home. I saw first-hand, how our actions as people will always impact on others and at times, the impacts are more detrimental for everyone than the outcome of what we might have desired, by engaging in such actions.  

Personal reflection

Wow the group did a marvellous job, the venue, tools and techniques used were superb. I hardly look at myself in a mirror but I was offered a chance to do so since we had mirrors placed in our desks.

Ok, what I learnt from this topic was that when facilitating you should accommodate all your audiences, pay attention and look all of them meaning that you shouldn’t face one group all the time. I used to do that mistake in church but now th a I know I stopped doing it. Thanks to the group…

Facilitating change

Change in transformation and it is inevitable through all stages of the life circle, we all adjust to change every day, and even though at times try to resist the change depending on the premeditated assumptions on the outcome of such change.

The presentation on facilitation change highlighted, the importance of change, and why we must always know the effects of change as, that helps you plan accordingly. “Organisational Change combines inner shifts in people’s values, aspirations, and behaviors with outer shifts in processes, strategies, practices and systems.” – peter Senge. When going through the feedback, I feel that, the presentation expanded on that whilst highlight key qualities that change facilitators must have, like communication, measurement skills, strategy and baseline.

WEEK 13- FACILITATING DECISIONS

People are put in situations everyday where they are required to make a decision whether they are aware of it or not; it is understandable how one can make a decision and not even think twice about it seeing how most decisions made almost seem like second nature such as eating or going to sleep. Depending on how complex the decision being made it dictates the length of the decision making process. Some of the more complex choices people are faced with may require more thought than others, and depending on the severity of it the decision made can have long lasting effects whether it be positive or negative!!

Decision making and effectiveness are crucial to the success of a company. In order for an organization to make proper decisions, it is important to recognize what types of decisions exist and what steps must be taken to solve them. All effects of a decision need to be taken into account prior to any choices being made, including the lives of those that will be effected.

Setting goals

Here I learnt about the importance is setting goals, life without goals is like looking forward something you don’t even know because you have no direction. The group talked to the SMART acronym which entails that the goals you set must be Specific Measurable Realistic and Time-bound..

The group was smart since tsince they gave on how to structure our facilitation task.

Honoring Differences

According to the Cambridge Dictionary Honour is a quality that combines respect, being proud and honesty, perhaps common amongst people, and it can also be interpreted in so many difference ways to convey different means including a manner in which you address or refer to people of certain societal standards or achievements. Difference is a conceptual denotation by which individuals are distinguished from one another in the same relation field, in simple language, difference may also mean, “not the same”.

Living in the metropolitan areas of South Africa means understanding various cultures and traditions that transaction at one precise time, in particular within Gauteng where the population is made up of people of various cultural backgrounds. Unlike in the rural or outskirts villages where the populations are largely concentrate and one particular cultural set receive overwhelming dominance to signify authority and claim to legitimacy.

The class presentation on honoring differences was a well-structured teachings on the importance of understanding the honor in being different and why we must always respect people and their specific points of view that might be a result of their cultures. But it doesn’t really end there, there is the gender reality of society which also has its stereotypes and syndicated views that must be respected because gender and diversity does affect the experiences, behaviors and needs of people. The picture of different classmates dressed to represent differences that form a group was an honorable moment.

Working in teams

In our group I realised that each one of us is different, we have different perspectives some are shy, have difficult to communicate, some are dominant since they’re more vocal, we have different languages, cultures and family backgrounds.

My AHA moment was that positive or negative interaction can affect group performance. I also learnt about group dynamics which are as follows:

Forming – it is when a group comes together with goals and rules.

Storming – here leadership is questioned and responsibilities alignraligned.

Norming – the group starts coming together to formulate common goals

Performing – here’s when things are happening, the group working together and collaborating.

Adjourning – dissolution of a group and outcomes outlined.

Week 11 – Building Relationships

This was a very interesting week for me because the group suffered a similar fate in terms of the feedback that they had received from the class, it just goes to tell you that old habits really die hard. It also felt a little out of sorts as Ros was not here and off to London visiting her daughter, truly a well-deserved break. It is ironic that the week that was about Building Relationships was off to a rocky start and speak for myself when I say that I did not enjoy the new facilitator and I just want Ros back!

Building Relationships should be an ongoing pursuit and not just for Facilitation class. As the weeks have gone by I have grown relationships with new people. I can also safely say that some of the friendships that I have formed at Wits over the past two years are ones that will stay with me for life.

Week 10 – Seeing with New Eyes

We live in one of the most diverse countries in the world and our past has always made it difficult to relate to each other on a human level. We are all guilty of reducing each other to various stereotypes based on what the media feeds us. This has not been constructive in the least, however, what I do find comforting is that in the last five years or so, many South Africans are challenging themselves and stepping outside of their comfort zones because we are truly trying to connect and see each other with new eyes.

It has always been my personality to try and get to know everyone that I come across and I have had the privilege of traveling extensively. What I have discovered is that travel also opens your mindset to the actual realities of what people in the rest of the world are going through and not a constant narrative that is driven by the media, because these stereotypical narratives are also dangerous and dehumanize people.

The most important TED Talk I have watched thus far is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie where she talks about The Danger of the Single Story, I highly recommend that everyone go and view it as it really makes you think about the demeaning ways we all look at other groups of people and just place them in one stereotype. If we are to truly learn new ways, we have to commit to educating ourselves and unlearning the often toxic ways we have come to know about each other.

Working in teams

It was a bit challenging with me because honestly I’m one person who likes to work independently because I feel like I’m too controlling but after having attended this class, it helped me change the way I do or see things especially group work. I was able to gain skills, group techniques and also learnt about other people’s cultures, beliefs and values.

The lessons I learnt from facilitation skills are of course amazing and I don’t regret about the decision I took to attend this shorshort course since it made me to be more confident in facing large audience.

Week 9 – Story Telling

Stories are what shape the most quintessential parts of our lives, from time when we first fall in love, to when we give birth to our little ones, these moments weave themselves into our minds like a story book and recounting these moments feels like we are retelling the movie of our lives.

With the world we live in today, there has been a steady rise in what we term “Reality Shows”, this just goes to show the demand that the human spirit has to see themselves and their stories play out. Whether we like to admit it, we are more the same than we are different, regardless of where in the world we come from and our socio-economic backgrounds. So, when we watch one of the Kardashians going through a heart break, or getting married or giving birth, we can all relate as the story of us is the same and it forms part of the human condition.

I am going to make it my personal mission to hone in on my story telling abilities as someone once told me that there is power in my story. This goes for everyone, we all have a compelling narrative and we can share our experiences with the people around us in an effort to connect in a world that seems to be shifting further.

Week 8 – Facilitating Change

Change is the hardest thing we all have to do sometimes. It really is cliché but the most consistent thing in life if change and the sooner we can accept, the more we open ourselves up to new energies and align ourselves for the imminent change. Personally, when I decided to take the step of pursuing my degree, I decided to step out on faith in the hopes of changing my life.

If we are in the same position or we find ourselves in the same situations that no longer serve us, we need to be quicker in realising this and making the necessary changes.

Honouring Differences

We all are from different backgrounds, we talk different languages we have different cultures and cultural expressions. During the class on Honouring Differences what I learned was that it is very crucial to embrace and respect the different people that we are. Just because I do not speak the same language as you, I hold a different view to yours I am differently abled does not mean I am less of a human. Honouring difference showed me that each one can learn so much from the different perspective that the other person holds.

Facilitating Decisions

There  are underlying factors that influence and impact our decision making in life.

  • Political -I had to be clear that I wont take long hours at work and how I will be judged for that.
  • Economic -My finances, I applied for sponsorship at work and I will afford to take care of text books and any resources needed for my studies.
  • Social – I am not available for funerals,celebration and all sorts of activities. Plan and make time for loved ones and set times with my partner for date nights.
  • Technological – How to best use tech at home and work to enhance and be kept in the loop, great tool towards my studies.

With every decision one has to pay attention and plan well before taking a decision.  My Aha! moment was not to be critical and judge my decisions based on outcomes.  That I must learn to separate the two, the decision might have been great and timing incorrect or that particular circumstance not receptive to that decision.

In my own life I have made decisions without interrogating the effects of such a decision.  A great lesson is plan better, I was clear this year that I will plan my life and prioritise what matters to me.

In January I took the following steps:

  • Applied for funds towards my studies, got approval.
  • Applied at Wits.
  • Made changes in my life by cutting unnecessary activities.
  • My Saturday are strictly for school and resting.
  • Work smart no long hours at work, plan better and be upfront about my personal growth.

I am leaving with purpose and I had to make some hard decision in order to live my truth.

I have one short at life and its important to me to live and impactable, worthy life,

Nombeko 🙂

Building Relationships

We are as comfortable as it can be with one another as learners since we have spent 11 weeks together.  What stood out for me is the importance of trust as we build different relationships in different aspects of our lives.

I am always open to learning from different people and today we had a different facilitator who came through to facilitate the class with Telfer. From the construction task we undertook, it may seem life a game yet the are good lessons from that activity.  We needed to build relationships and trust the other groups to complete execute the task. 

There were clashes there and there but the lesson still remains. Focus and be open to learning in every situation, favourable or not remain open to learn.  In reflecting in my relationships in life, what is takes and the importance of taking action to nature the relationships.

Another lesson, in a group identify a suitable person to lead the team. Whether you deliberate on it or the leader automatically rises, support that person and from one person directing us in the task.  I learned valuable lessons of how we were able to move quickly and finish the task at hand.  Even those with good communicating skills automatically rose to the task and each member was able to communicate and add their own touch to the task at hand.

I had a good time of learning

Nombeko 🙂

Seeing with new eyes

Another eye opener lesson, it is imperative to see things in new light in life. South Africa with many different cultures, one is plunged to stereotypes about different cultures.  I felt uneasy at first seeing the sensitive topic they chose to speak about different cultures. 

Lessons for me were to always rely on facts and allow myself to see things with a new set of eyes and a fresh perspective.  I went to Botswana the other week and I have to confess I had my own misinformed stereo types about Batswana.  From that trip I fell  in love with the culture and the people as a whole.  The warm reception and down to earth people of Botswana couldn’t demonstrate the benefits of an open mind and a fresh perspective. 

Keep it fresh all the time. Introspect on such matters as they can be a stumbling block to learning and growing. 

Back with my Setting Goals group, it was a great opportunity to sit together. From the discussion about group dynamics and how we can best resolve these, I learned that it takes effort and patience to be in sync with others.  Playing 30 second together and reflecting how far we have come 10 weeks later.  It is important to create a safe atmosphere, in that way we let our guard down and become self and are therefore able to contribute because we feel safe and respected. 

I am called out to look at life with a fresh perspective, be willing to challenge my perspective and rely on facts.

Nombeko:-)

LEARNING FROM LIFE

Image result for giving feedback
Feedback??

Learning to count and account for my words was a life lesson I took away this week. Simple and self explanatory.

The realisation that a change in a word or phrase could materially alter the manner in which feedback is given and most importantly received was beyond beneficial. It had practical applications that I put to the test immediately within the working groups and best friends alike. “What makes you great…” and “What would make you even greater…” became key phrases in my arsenal and would be something I would teach to others in life.

Image result for giving feedback
Or feedback!!

I remember using this exact phrase when, a couple days later, a friend of

mine who had been going through some personal issues asked me to describe how I see her and what her personality is. After my response, she asked, “Are there any traits you think I should work on?” My WhatsApp response: What would make you even greater in my eyes is…. This simple way of giving feedback really opened up my approach to critique and I find I am much more comfortable with the process especially with loved ones where feedback can be a very sensitive topic. I applied it a week later with my sister, it still was easy and productive, and our conversation was richer because of it. This one is going into my life skills basket.

Facilitating Change

What we avoid most in life is change. We somehow get so comfortable and refuse to change even if our current circumstance calls for it.  I have feared change through out my path that it cost me so much.  Remaining the same, in the same circumstances disables one and stands in the way of discovering our greatest potential. 

The lesson today is known to me, I know that growth and greatness are on the other side of comfort zone yet I cease to take a step.  I have encountered change and will encounter change in the near future with or without me being fully active in steering it.  The great lesson for me is I would better enjoy and allow change in my life when I am fully present and accepting of change. All my achievements in life and inspiring moments happened when I fully remained present and participated in the changes I was facing.

I am fully present in changing my life going forward, being in this class at this very moment is a result of allowing myself to put myself first.  Shaping and growing my career is depended on it.  I can plan in my head and write down my plan but without action there wont be any change favourable to me.

I am taking charge, facing fear of change head-on and taking my power back of directing my path, my life.

Greater things are ahead of me, I feel it, I can almost touch it!

Nombeko 🙂

Week 11 Facilitating Decisions

Factors That Affect Our Decision Making

To Knot Or Not To Knot!

This week opened up with an activity around a tangled rope and whether this would tie a knot or not. This was a test as to how all make decisions whether people are impulsive and quick to make quick decisions or if one waits and analyses what they have based on the facts available and resources that are available.

We learnt about the Pest factors which affect our decision making process,how political,economic,social and technological factors affect the outcome of the final decision.

Whats important is that we will always need to make decisions, however we can take the time to make the best possible decision based on the pest factors which need to be considered.

Week 10 Building Relationships

What an interesting week, I’m sure we all agree that we miss Ross.

The actual activity around building a bridge with three different construction companies each consisting of 3 groups A,B and C was actually fun. Each group was tasked to build a section of the bridge.

The complication was that no bridge would be complete unless each group begins building a relationship with one of the other groups. Groups used the telephone method of calling each other in order to communicate and ensure they do not end up building the same sections, Overtime relationships were built and eventually groups managed to build their bridges.

I must say our construction company had an impressive bridge including the car as an add on.

In our daily lives building lasting and strong relationships affects our ability to influence others or tasks that need to be completed. Knowing how to build relationships and how to appreciate the contribution that each relationship can bring allows one to also grow.

I learnt the importance of relationships and the value that each one brings.

Story Telling

A powerful narrative used through the ages to get a message across and is still relevant today. The diversity within the class brings with it the many stories that need to be told. I had the opportunity to shares stories with a 1st year student in the class and realised that the more experienced students have more to do ito telling their stories and paying it forward. My take away from this experience is a recommendation that the facilitation course be mandatory for all 1st year students. I think that it will make navigating university life so much easier.

Honouring Differences

I was welcomed by a colourful team that represented different cultures that makes this country a beautiful place to leave in. The presentation was beautiful done and we had to recognise the fact that we come from different backgrounds and cultures yet we are all in pursuit of the same thing in life.  How can we honour our differences, how can we embrace and work with one another despite our difference.

This reminded me of a lesson I learned from Bishop TD Jakes were he teaches about how to work with different people.  How limiting it is to want to only work with people like you and how it limits avenues and growth. 

In my space, I can work with anyone.  I am open to learning and I always focus at the task in hand and I don’t even have to like you, but will definitely work with anyone who is committed to working.

From today’s lesson and just the dynamics and different cultures in South Africa I do feel we have a long way to go in embracing our differences especially within cooperate South Africa.  I am going to be deliberate in being conscious of this in my career and overall life.

We are unique and wonderful in different ways.

Nombeko 🙂

Giving Feedback

I had the opportunity to practice the skill of giving constructive feedback in a manner that was not destructive. “What makes you great” and “What will make you even better”. I was amazed by how well the feedback was received and more importantly acted upon, but what amazed me even more was how great I felt giving the feedback. Definitely a win win situation and should be in the toolkit of all leaders.

Week 9 Seeing With New Eyes

Seeing with new eyes was about about opening oneself to understanding stereotypes and how these can be used to view things differently.

The team facilitated an activity based on various cultures and the stereotypes that exist, it was interesting to see how various cultures were perceived and how different our perceptions are from facts. Looking at image an image we make assumptions about where this might be, we select places where we think they would best fit and find out that what see isn’t always factual.

What I learnt is that we need to be open to seeing things from a perspective that includes facts instead of stereotypes and then we will be able to see with new eyes.

Facilitating Change

Change is a constant in our personal and professional lives. Many companies are working relentless to improve efficiencies and save money and this has seen the automation of many processes. 4IR is all the rage. We need to be at the forefront of leading the change to proactively skill the workforce for new jobs of the future. The scarf model was a useful tool to land some of the thinking.

Learning from life

Something new the facilitating group gave us a skit that demonstrated the business and life of a woman who was juggling a lot in her life.  The demands were taking a tall on her life and she seemed disorganised, every activity and everyone in her life wanted a piece from her, husband, children, church,work and balancing it all can be a daunting task.

It linked very well with the previous lesson on personal reflection.  As I reflected in my busy life and looking at demands that life put through.  It got me thinking and challenged personally.  I need to organize my life better, I need to better plan my activities and prioritise.  It reminded of a comment that someone made,the importance of planning your life ahead.  Have a diary and put down things you want to do for that year. Take action, if you don’t plan your time and how you are going to use it other things will come a steal your time. Things you did not plan,things that add no value to you and your growth. 

My other lesson and this reminded of Oprah Winfrey, look out Aha! moments in your life. Don’t live things to chance, plan your life and put in place a system of how you are going to balance it. Life is demanding and if it not organized well, you will find yourself wanting.   

Class activity was great as we looked deep at how unique and different our brains are.  The right brain vs the left brain activity made me reflect and appreciate how different I am and how others are also different.  Find a balance and be conscious how it is not a bad thing, instead of getting frustrated by how different the other person is,find a way of working with them without being judgemental.  That was my Aha! moment don’t be too harsh we all understand and learn things differently. We express each other differently and that does not make the other better than the other.

Loved this class! Awesome time we had!

Nombeko 🙂

 

Week 8 Story Telling

Everyone loves a good story, be it historical, dramatic, romantic or educational, stories carry the lessons from yesterdays, hope for the future, peace during times of sorrow and a rainbow after the rains have passed.

The team this week was great and I loved the manner which they unfolded the theme for this week, from defining what types of stories they are and why people tell stories.

What hit home is that stories can be powerful tools in preserving history but also with an understanding that stories can be told from various points of view based on the storyteller so its also important to understand the context of the story. Stories have the ability to change as they are passed down and therefore nothing is set in stone.

This weeks lessons to me means being an author in my life, if there is a story to told;I will will boldly tell my story in my own words!

Personal Reflection

The team did a great job facilitating this topic. The role play made added humor and made light of a topic that is elusive to many, if not all. Finding the work, life balance is a tough one, but I’ve long taken the stance that there is no balance, perhaps on average we balance out. I’ve taken a more deliberate approach to rather integrate work and family as the 2 play a support role for each other in my experience. I prefer to contract with family and work so that I have better support on both ends.

Week 7 Facilitating Change

Facilitating change session was a well a packaged presentation. With change management being part of our lives as we experience multiple changes in our careers and personal lives.

The group shared important information on how to facilitate change in our lives, I was happy to learn about the Johari Window which touches on a technique which assists in understanding oneself and other better. It focuses on the four quadrants of self which are Open, Blind , Hidden and Unknown.

1. Open – This is information about the person his attitudes, behavior, emotions, feelings, skills and views will be known by the person as well as by others.

2. Blind – Information about yourselves that others know in a group but you will be unaware of it.

3. Hidden – Information that is known to you but will be kept unknown from others.

4. Unknown – The Information which are unaware to yourselves as well as others. This includes the information, feelings, capabilities, talents.

My personal take home is understanding how the techniques in the Johari window can be utilized to facilitate changes in various areas of our lives by understanding where we are in relation to others and thereby affect the manner in which one communicates. These are tools I will use both in a professional and personal settings of my life.

Working in teams

Team work is dream work!!! This is certainly true once the team gels and reaches the performing stage. Team work can be difficult almost like herding cats. Listening to all opinions and getting ideas speaks to diversity and once this is honoured the end result is brilliant. The lesson is to stay the course and respect each other.

Setting Goals

A worthwhile reminder on how to set smart goals and that goals without action and deadlines are just dreams. All of the energy expended in chasing dreams could be better used by setting smart goals. I’ve done exactly that by setting myself a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal) that will see me running the Soweto marathon. This has allowed me to push myself and monitor my progress, now lets hold thumbs for the 3rd Nov 2019.

Week 6 Honouring Difference

Its been great watching other groups facilitate each week and we have learnt so much from being part of those facilitation’s. Its finally our turn and much planning and preparation has gone into putting this together. Dressed in various traditional outfits our team full of vibrant members kicks off the morning by welcoming our colleagues in different languages that we represent. Our topic is Honouring Difference.

We tackled the topic by facilitating it from the perspective of unconscious bias and how these bias form a barrier to being appreciate the differences that we have but also experience how wonderful these differences are.

The topic unfolded through a series of activities that were both fun and interactive, the check in with bingo, finding solutions with surgeons dilemma and and hearing back from the groups on stereotypes .

What I learnt from this session is the value of being able to appreciate peoples differences and how these can contribute meaningfully in various settings. I understood that by exploring the unconscious bias that one has then we able to move beyond stereotypes. Living in a multifaceted country like South Africa means taking the lessons learnt and using them to respect other peoples viewpoints,experiences,history,language and ultimately honour the difference!

Personal Reflection

My personal favourite topic, personal reflection is a key to overall learning. It is like talking to self, taking time to sit in quietness and reflect like looking in the mirror. What happened, what went right,what went wrong, what was my contribution and overall experience.  I believe the next step and growth lies in how well I reflect and introspect before taking another step in any aspect of my life. 

I made it, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to abandon this class and attend to an emergency.  I was given notes and was also referred to a Ted Talk .

Brene Brown – Power vs Vulnerability

Benefits of Self-reflection

Set new goals, self-development, self-review/thoughts and manage yourself.

Nombeko 🙂

PERSONAL REFLECTION

The exploration of self is our conscious attempt to understand more about who we are, why we do what we do and how we want to behave and think in the future” – Graham Ramsay

The two lessons: the “balcony and the dance” and “the principle of detachment” stuck out for me during this week. I really took to this concept, which stems from the way of the teacher that detachment is not necessarily a bad thing and means to care deeply from an objective place. It was liberating! The other significant piece of learning from personal reflection was the TedTalks video by Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire (it was recommended course viewing). He speaks particularly about the golden circle “why versus what”.

the golden circle

What I then did was give myself a break and say good riddance to all those strangers who called me aloof. Good riddance! I am enlightened, HA! The section on personal mastery has been a boon to my side hustle, public speaking. I have built an awareness of myself through personal reflection that has made a naturally well-spoken person masterful and engaging in their delivery. As Susan Cain said, this will be my year of speaking dangerously.

I created this graphic based on Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, for a presentation to students at UNISA. The more often I consider this the more relevant I find it for myself: people do not buy (into) what you do but why you do it. I am using it again to express passion for what I do when I speak at the Aeronautical Society Annual Conference in October.

FACILITATING DECISIONS

POLITICAL

In this class, we learnt about PEST:

Political

Economic

Social

Technology

We did an interesting exercise with a rope that seemed tangled but when pulled was not tangled, the interesting part was how easily people’s minds were changed due to uncertainty.

Our decisions, are influenced by Data and our interpretation of the said Data. How we sense or receive information ultimately has an effects on what we decide to do or say.

The meaning of your communication is the response you get. Your viewpoint is not the only one that matters.

WORKING IN TEAMS

*Groan* I watched a TedTalks video by Susan Cain on the power of introverts. In this, she says there is a bias where our education systems (desks arranged in pods) and work places (open work spaces) are designed for extroverts and for the extroverts need for high stimulation.

The group think. I found her rant against the push for group work was spot on!  I have never been a fan of this type of work and here I was on a course where I lived and died on the success of the group. Again *groan*. So, I immersed myself in Susan’s call to “stop the madness for constant group work. Just stop it.” My most educational experiences were of a personal nature. Despite my aversion to it, the teamwork and close-knit interaction of my family members during the difficult times experienced with my grandmothers passing was the greatest lesson in teamwork possible. Understanding, tolerance and patience being at the forefront of the lessons learnt and actions put into practice. 

I unplugged from all the stimuli from work, social media and friends and worked to separate the idea of working together and the negative association with being over stimulated and I balanced that with my need to work by myself. I suppose the measure of this goal is how many times I feel like fleeing to my house, my sanctuary after a class, workday or flight. To be seen.

Working in Teams

As I walk in class, I was received by cheerful, welcoming atmosphere.  We were put into different groups according to colour.  I am in colour yellow. The ice breaker woke me up immediately as the activity was highly competitive, solving a mathematics problem Saturday morning is no play.  I couldn’t fully participate in the game as it was a bit fast and those who could resolve the problem went ahead and answered with little opportunity to resolve the maths problem as a team.

I took some good lessons from this class as it seemed that a lot of people are not always keen to work as a team.  We looked at advantages of working in team, the fact that putting different strengths and talents may help in reaching set goals quicker with good results.  The fact that individual weaknesses may be strengths of other team members.  As we continued working in teams in this class it was demonstrated how visible those with strong characters can take over and those who are introverted can be left out of the group.  It also demonstrated how essential it is to know each person in the group and how best to ensure that every one is on board with a voice and contributes.

As good as it is to share a load and work in team, there are disadvantages in group work.  You may not get along, conflict and different characters will surface, group dynamics are not easy to deal with.  Not every voice will be heard, It may also deem impossible to cooperate and gel as group. 

Solutions are the team must get well acquainted very quickly. Complement one another by using each strength and share responsibilities accordingly.  Ensure that every one is given an opportunity to talk especially by those that talk too much.  Getting to know each and respecting one another goes a long way.  Look within and be a team player and give your best.

Today was really nice and I have no doubt that this lesson will help me in my overall life in dealing and working in teams with a positive outlook.  The team pulled well together and displayed team work in executing this facilitation . As we soldier on I am looking forward to another Saturday morning.

I am learning.  Nombeko!

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

We had a really interesting assignment in this class where we had to build relationships in order to achieve a goal. We needed to build a bridge but it needed three different teams to to work together and produce a final product. Firstly we had to come together as a team of strangers and work on a our portion of the bridge before linking up with the other two teams to put the three parts together. There was also constant communication between the teams so that there would be symmetry for the bridge to come together at the end.

“Broken telephone” is a reality as people receive information in a manner that suits them. How we receive and digest information is critical in the building of relationships. This particular class reiterated the saying “listening is a skill”, even when clear instructions are given it will have to be repeated as there and those who take longer to understand and make sense on something.

Relationships are built when we respect and honour our differences and start judging others by their intent and judging ourselves by our behaviour.

SETTING GOALS

I’m late for an important date

This lesson reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, specifically the march hare with the watch who was late. What a difference just 15 minutes can make in your semester and academic year. The goal became time management and coming to terms with the realities of the commitment I had made to higher learning. This goal would be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based (SMART). It might sound stupid considering that once you sign up for a course you are expected to show up for said course, but let’s own it; most of us signed up for this course as a credit filler. That means I, like many of you did not think seriously about showing up, never mind showing up on time. After my “hare from Alice in Wonderland” moment my first goal was to show up and be present for the next 12 weeks of this and my other course. I tied this with the theory of the “mark of the leader/the way of the warrior” that Ros spoke about where a truly responsible and disciplined individual would show up and choose to be present. I just have to put in some work!!

Work!!

This goal works well with the SMART concept. Progress toward this goal: barring a death in the family, I have not missed a single class nor have I been late for one since I set this goal. Uninterrupted attendance is within my sights by semester end.

Story Telling

My reflection on the topic is not my cup of tea. I don’t like to tell stories because I speak too quickly. So I prefer to listen to other people tell stories because they tell it very well and they are understood. I remember my grandmother was a good storyteller she will tell us to explain the story very well and I can even visualise yourself in it.

WEEK 6- LEARNING FROM LIFE

Learning from life-today’s presentation was well organized and I loved the Mzansi short story 🙂 Life is an unfolding journey which gives us experiences in our daily lives.

This year I decided to enroll and study. I’m a single parent and I am working a full time job. I attend my classes and some of the days I go to the gym. All of these things really takes up so much of my time regardlessly so I’m able to manage because of self reflection m, self discipline and proper planning.

Decision Making

Decision making is part of our daily lives. We are required to make decisions with each and every action we take, but the most important factor to note is that correct decision will yield positive results. Therefore, facilitating decisions is critical and wrong decisions could be disastrous. Implementing a logical and well thought through decision making process has made me evaluate my options before making a commitment.  

Building relationships

My key take out of the session is that of understanding why it is important to have relationships. Knowing people who specialize in different fields and leveraging from their expertise and strengths. Building relationships is important and the skill and knowledge of building relationship is an important quality that one needs to have and practice continually. This is currently work in progress in my practical life.

STORY TELLING

STORYTELLING

Stories make pictures, we create a visual stories taking things relevant to our experiences. People’s stories tell so much more about who they are we should always try to understand what people are about and what makes them tick. Be aware of the stories you expose yourself to them as their shape who you are. The art of storytelling educates and introduces different ideas from Birth, Initiation, Marriage and Death.

WEEK 9- STORY TELLING

Sadly I missed this presentation. However looking at other people’s blogs it seems like it was a well executed presentation.

Story telling is a translation of realty into learning. Through story telling we learn of other people’s experiences and we are also able to teach from our own experiences. Story telling is innate for us a human beings. It’s something that we do whilst we try to make sense of the world. It is one of the pillars of building a meaningful and purposeful life by how we tell our own life’s story.

There is no one who can tell your story better than you can. One thing I’ve learned in life is that, when I speak about my life’s journey I speak from the heart. That on it own helps me to be in control of how I tell my story.

control how you tell your story

Honouring differences

The team greeted us as we arrived,we were asked to choose our favourite picture,then directed us to seat on a table that had the picture of our choice.

Facilitators were dressed in different outfits that represent different cultures.this made me realise that we are living in a vibrant multicultural country,so its important that you understand other cultures other than your own. It may be very easy to stick to what you know,rather than trying to meet people who are different from you,however actively trying to understand and embrace cultural differences can open you up to a whole world of exciting possibilities and exprience.

FACILITATING CHANGE

Change is one of the most difficult things in life but it is also an inevitable part of it.

Ross summed it up beautifully and she said “change is generally considered good as long as it is happening to someone else.” Change generally places us outside our comfort zone, the fact that we can’t avoid it change means we have to except it or we will fight against it. What I found interesting is the “Cynefin method”, where the known and unknown domains come into play. For change to happen the unconscious has to become conscious

the end

time flies when you are having fun….. the person i was when i started this class and the person i am now is different. i have learned a lot about myself and others which has contributed to my personal growth. you may ask how? before this i struggled with asserting my self and other things but being in this class helped me by giving me tools that i should practically use in my everyday life. life is beautiful, unpredictable and should be enjoyed and appreciated. im starting to do that. it is not easy and its i know even if i make mistakes i will be ok, setting my goals, being grateful, telling my story and keeping that narrative,working with others all this things are important

Building relationships

It was our turn to present. We presented well I was confident when it was my turn to speak. Our group was facilitated well by our teammates. It was organised simple and to the point. My task was what is the acquaintance they choose that one for me because I told them I don’t have friends. I needed to do the research about it. To my surprise, the meaning was a person one knows slightly but who is not your friend. am not a friendly person I don’t like gathering and parties because I don’t like to mingle.

We presented different types of relationships and how to make good relationships

What is a relationship

Relationship referrers to the connection, association, dealings or the bond that exist between two or more people or countries. e.g a relationship between countries, this when they have developed mutual understanding, trust and cooperation through communication, they share resources such as petrol and electricity, oil  e.g South Africa and other neighbouring countries which are Swaziland Mozambique, Zimbabwe and others

A good relationship, Appreciates one another improved communication, embrace changes always find common ground which will allow others to be innovative and be creative.  Eliminates time and energy spent in overcoming problems.  Is mindful and take responsibility for their words and action and avoid negative emotions that will affect others. Welcomes diversity consider others opinion and factor them in decision making

Bad relationships,  Kills self-esteem due to lack of appreciation and ungratefulness •So much insecurities due to lack of trust, honesty and integrity •Anti-progress is experienced because more time is spent resolving conflicts

How do we build relationships

Be friendly and make connection by smiling and making eye contact •Ask people questions –some people like to about themselves and what they think •Tell people about your self – People won’t trust you unless you are willing to trust them •Accept people the way they are, you don’t have to agree with them all the time in order to form a relationship. •Enjoy people –  if you genuinely enjoy people others will be attracted to your  attitude practice appreciation play on your strengths accept your imperfections qBe prepared have good attitude  qTo build confidence – get things done to do the right thing

Why do we need relationships

We need good relationships because they increase our emotional being, create stability and sense of security in our lives. Attachment with a loved one means we are cared for, protected and this will enhance survival and growth. Good relationships provide support and love to our loved ones.

Relationships can be enhanced and strengthened by listening from emotional experience, be prepared to work on the relationship, communicate with kindness and respect, disagree in a healthy manner (don’t bring the past)

Types of relationships Family: the focus is on – parents, siblings and own children friendships acquaintanceship romantic business academic

expressing gratitude

personally this is one of the most important thing to me. being able express my gratitude for the things i have and also don’t have, i believe in a higher power weather you call it God or…. when you live in a space of gratitude you create a space in your life for more to come. i remember i was 16 and depressed and i happen to watch the oprah show and on that dy she was speaking of how she kept a gratitude diary and made it a point to write 5 things that she is grateful for everyday, i started to keep one of my own although i never wrote in it everyday but when i started doing it my perception of my life changed. i started focusing on things that brought me joy and that created more joy and not to say that you wont face hard times but now its easier to deal with the hard times because you know they will pass. and that you will be ok…..

Facilitating Decisions

Everyday in our lives there are situations that require us to make decisions. Decision making is not always easy to make. It depends on the situations.

What we learned from the team is that we make decisions based on our gut feeling, our heart and our mind. This is influenced by previous experiences, perception, beliefs, culture and society we live in.

Most of the time people just take uninformed decisions or bias decisions based on previous experiences. I learned that before I make a decision I should try to learn, research, ask if I am not sure so that I can be able to make right decisions.

Story telling

Wow the day for my group to present on Story Telling finally came and passed by – it was very stressful since we (the group) didn’t know what to cook from the onset but we made it.

We met late afternoon a day before the class to put the stew together, venue set up and agree on tools/techniques to use. All went well on the day although some of us were late due to the hectic Jozi traffic but managed to put everything together hence the facilitation went successful with some areas of improvement noted.