Category Archives: Week 3

Week 3 Working In Teams

Without sounding like a broken telephone, Teamwork makes the Dream-work! But Ive also had my fare share where teamwork was a real nightmare!

This weeks facilitation was on working in teams, a task sometimes all too easy when working in teams where there is mutual respect, participation, collaboration and a willingness to listen to each other.

Teams exist in the workplace, school and in many pf our personal lives, it therefore is important to know how to be a team player and understand that each person in a team has a role to play. When team members understand each others strengths and weaknesses they are able to support each other without having to fall apart.

This session reminds me about Bruce Tuckman’s model on how teams go through many stages of changes before they settle, how they form, storm, norm and finally perform.

This weeks facilitation highlighted the importance of being able to adjust to working in teams and how to be a player. It made me understand that we all have roles in teams and that all contributions matter. And this what I’m taking with me to the workplace,family and church that every team I’m apart of will hear, see and feel my contribution.

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Week 6: Honouring Differences

  • I was amazed by the group that was facilitating on the day. Their topic was well planned as they were able to incorporate the different traditional cultures where I now understand how culture differs. It was pleasing to see the combined effect and teamwork amongst the Honouring Differences team.
  • Another exciting thing is when I see each of them wearing traditional clothes from different cultural groups and try to demonstrate those cultures even though each of them espoused the other culture. It was such a wonderful experience and open-minded practical topic. I was very much happy and excited that all South African recognized culture was well represented and how they also explained the attitude and behavior. Unfortunately, it was bad for South Africa to remains as diverse as a nation hence we are called ourselves the “rainbow nation”. It was a well-researched and presented topic.
  •  I think as responsible parents we need to make sure that our children be allowed to attend government gatherings such as Heritage day in order to learn the different cultures and felt proud of their own history as a nation…and a rich dissimilar culture and heritage we carry.

Week 3: Working in Teams

WORKING IN TEAMS

On that week I was unable to attend the class due to unforeseen circumstances but one of my colleague (Mandy) share the information with me and I appreciate because it was so relevant to the advantage of working with team due to the fact that  I already enjoyed in the first week and it was easy for me to work successfully through teamwork. To work in a team-taught me that every human process is a key factor and it is very important to understand that people formed an organisation to accomplish the task to be performed by an individual and everyone will continue to be a challenge as long as people work together.  It is encouraging that when you are a facilitator, one should always embrace the following when working or facilitating a team:

  • Honour the wisdom of a group.
  • Encouraging trust in the capacity and experience of others.
  • Maintain neutrality during the facilitation process.
  • Practice self-assessment and self-awareness
  • Maintain an objective, non-defensive, non-judgemental stance
  • Act with integrity
  • Trust the process.

WORKING IN TEAMS

AKA FT YANGA – DREAMWORK

TEAMWORK is DREAMWORK as much as a lot of us in the class may despise working in groups or teams , its more efficient working with groups who are there to complete the work or task required. Listening, Participation, and collaboration in group work activities allows the team members to contribute by sharing ideas and solutions which will be an achievement for the respected group . Teams create support and structure for the group, you are able to share each others strengths and weaknesses .

From my experience in the facilitation classes we are place in new groups every week and despite not knowing each other we are able to know we need to complete the relevant tasks set out for us. We are able to work well with each , giving each individual an opportunity to give their own input.

This is definitely something I’ve grabbed for myself and utilised in the workplace . Working with others and put differences aside to complete the relevant task

Working in Teams

Today we ware talking about working in teams and I must say this topic was just confirming things I was not sure about when it comes to myself – some of them I knew them but I just did not want to accept and embrace them. This was just truly a life changing experience. Another thing I was able to get constructive feedback from complete strangers whom I met in this facilitation class and having to do the same in return. I was really in awe. After the presentation, Ros threw 2 questions to us a facilitators.

  1. What makes you great in my eyes?
  2. What would make you even greater in my eyes?

She asked us to discuss in our group and give feedback to one another based on these two questions. O boy! It was mind blowing because for most of us never knew each other before. It was really tricky.

Things got exciting as were giving each other feedback – To me it felt like I am young kid in a candy shop 🙂 I learned a lot about myself and somehow it felt like the universe responding to my questions I have had about myself for a long time and have to learn common things we shared with some people in my group.

This is the feedback from the first question: What makes you great in my eyes, the team responded by saying:

  • I am easy going,
  • I am funny,
  • A joker to bring peace,
  • I am approachable,
  • I am humble,
  • I am a good leader,
  • I am reserved but mere,
  • I am caring,
  • I am friendly
  • I am intimidating if you meet me for the first time,

Feedback to second question: What would make me even greater in their eyes, the team responded by saying:

  • I need to take it serious to work on myself to become a leader
  • I need to work my concentration because I tend to lose focus easily.

I am glad I got this feedback, it will help me a lot in shaping myself.

Settings Goals

What a day of jumping off my sweet bed its cold in Johannesburg struggled to leave the house but yah need to be in class by 8h30 what a mission. Well eventually I managed to get out of the house but when I got to the venue it was 8h45 and guess what class already started and late comes were penalised so we stay outside until the presentation was over and when eventually we were called in we were labelled “late comers” which I didn’t like such words are never part of my vocabulary. Anyway the class progressed me seated on the note corner far from everybody just observing, I was so confused and bothered because I had done Facilitation before and it was nothing compare to what I had done in the past.


Then the class involved and became interactive I learn some ground rules as well got to work with my classmates. The class is huge lots of people in one room but we were group per themes and my group is called “Seeing with new eye” an interesting title and lots of ideas are coming out of it.
Towards the end of the session/class the group meets up for a brief about the topic where we sit and brainstorm and plan for our own presentation. It has been a while since I work in groups at school however I am slowly adjust with the team and the wealth of diversity, talent and skills to leverage from.
I am excited to take up on this journey and looking forward to learn more from the programme and find effective ways to apply in my workplace.

Working in teams

Woke up in the morning and felt a bit bleak to have to go to class and was not in a great mood to be honest. The team that did the presentation had great levels of energy but some of the exercises did not match the topic and i struggled with connection. Some of the groups tasks were not really team related but more individual.

i think because of the mood i was in, i gave the team some harsh feedback in a way that was probably not very constructive… I am typically someone that can give good or bad feedback in a very respectful and calming way but for some reason, i didnt do it that way this time around. It was not fair of me…and to make a worse, one of our class mates actually called me out on it and said you were a bit harsh.

Ross then actually spent a considerable amount of time teaching us how to give feedback… on reflection i realized that no matter how irritable one is, take a step back and think first… even though i am typically quite good at giving feedback, this experience has taught me to be even more mindful when dealing with giving feedback.

Working in Teams

I cannot believe the vibe this team has, its vibrant, looked so organized with the colour coded dress codes and playing music. They portrayed the qualities of good teamwork. They themselves seemed so confident and how the processed flow was really captivating for me. But apart from the great look and the perception they created, I did not really see how the game of Math 24 really brought out any qualities of how you need to work in a team. The game was about giving 4 numbers and when the 4th number was giving you needed to explain how using the 4 numbers you get to the number 24. This you can do by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. What was interesting though is that the first few rounds were easy, me not being a math enthusiast still had to count on my fingers while the others already had the answers, so we did not collaborate as a group together to work out the answers. But the harder it became, the more we started to seek help from one another to try and figure out how we can get to this number 24.

There was this great way how to outline what TEAM represented, Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM). And this was exactly how the exercise was represented.

We further had the topics of what we think the following meant to us:

  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • Lecturing
  • Presenting
  • Gardening

I though to myself, what does gardening have to do with this? But as it was explained, gardening was the sum up of all of them. Just think how you would start off with gardening. Your plant the seed, keep it nice and cozy in the ground, you give it water and nutrients, you give it sunlight but also not so much to avoid total damage. Sometimes you help it along but giving it a stick to grow onto, caring for it, nurturing it and at the end you have helped developed it into this beautiful flower. Or if it was a fruit tree just imagine how proud you must be if started to bear fruit and you enjoy the juicy and fresh taste of it.

I am a picture person, I can visualize how am I being that little seed and with the right help and guidance, I can bear that fruit that could be well, juicy and fresh. You just need to have a little bit of imagination.

Once again, change is inevitable, especially on how we need to start looking at things differently to bring a little perspective… XoXo

Week 3: Gardening

So my biggest take away from the last study-session this past week is that gardening is a beautiful analogy for teaching. We were discussing the difference between facilitating, coaching, mentoring, teaching, lecturing, presenting and gardening in groups. It clicked in our little discussion that gardening is actually a great analogy for the process involved in education people, regardless of the method used. When gardening, you first prepare the soil, then you plant the seeds, then you water them, tend to them, fertilize, make sure they get sunshine, make sure weeds don’t colonize, then you reap the produce of all this work. It’s very much like any form of educational process- the ‘student’ needs to be prepared, a foundation given, developed, nurtured on the path and guided toward the desired outcomes.

Another great takeaway from the lesson was a challenge. the challenge is to keep a journal and to judge others by their intent and judge myself by behaviour- not the other way (which is the default). We judge others by their behaviour and judge ourselves by intent- the aim of the challenge is to afford others the same leniency and kindness we have for ourselves and to hold ourselves to a higher standard of behaviour. I’m excited to see how it goes. I’m reminded of this every time I interact with someone and find myself let down or upset- since the lesson, I now try to be more kind to others and hold myself more accountable. generally, people mean well- generally not always, life just gets in the way sometimes, things get lost in translation- many  things happen to take away from the original intent but I’m hopeful that looking for the best out of people will lead to better experiences 🙂

Working in teams

The topic for the second week was working in teams . The group that presented the topic was excellent and they facilitated the groups very well. They were very organised and well prepared, however I did not enjoy the activity they gave us to in teams. The game was called Maths 24 and were supposed to quickly add, subtract, divide or multiply the numbers given to get 24. The game was not ideal for teams, it could have been better for individuals competing against each other. But the class had fun nonetheless.

The key words that stood out in the presentation and activities were: participation; perseverance ;concentration ;collaboration and listening.   We have learnt that working in teams has advantages and disadvantages though.  The disadvantages are the arguments that comes with difference in opinions and difficulty in reaching an agreement. Some people have strong  personalities that over powers the ones with introverted personality and this results in disharmony within the team. The solutions to working in teams effectively is clear communication, respect, understanding, collaboration and knowing the strength and weaknesses of the team members.

The important lesson  I have learnt  is that we often judge people by behaviour and judge ourselves by intent. We must actually judge other by their intent and judge ourselves by our behaviour. It is true that our brains are wired to take in negative thing over positive things . I took a moment to reflect on my own feelings and thoughts and found instances whereby I take the good for granted and hold on to the negative things and I must change that behaviour.  

Setting Goals

Class activity was very interesting something we ALL want to achieve and we plan some goals end up not achievable due to challenges that we encounter during the time. Setting goals is important each and everyone it teaches us to be committed. According to Locke & Lathan (1990), goal performance is strongest when people are committed, and even more so when said goals achieved it make you smile and assist you to be focus and discipline. And along the way you get challenges that will make you sometimes to give up and of which you must remember why did you set this goal. At the end of the day you must make sure the planned goal must be achieved. My goal this year is to save and I am on the right track, I am committed I make sure I save certain amount weekly goal as planned. And it is important that your plan must be realistic and achievable.

personal reflection

i have thus far attended all the classes and made a conscious decision to be on time so i don’t miss the presentations. this week has been particularly fruitful. the presentation had substance ( a lot to think about and things to self-reflect on) the post- reflection was profound. the individual feedback was eyeopening and humbling, how observant your teammates are. it tapped into our level of consciousness and communication in our relationship with others.

Goal setting

The theory of goal setting was good refresher facilitation, more especially on my personal level. It reminded me of how many activities stakeholder to manage with the aim not to fail any of these items name, studying, working, family and social life. I, therefore, took a decision that I will account for my procrastination issues and also apply the SMART concept to achieve set goals I really enjoyed the goal-setting discussions and activities.

Setting Goals

I arrived late in class, The doors were locked up and I missed out on a lot in class. What a bad experience this is, I missed on seeing what a presentation looks like and how its done. When the group was done presenting, doors were opened and I had to assess the group based on the feedback given by other colleagues. When we were done with assessments, we then moved onto the facilitation session with Rosslyn.

I learned that If other group members and the class as a whole can make it on time for class, then I can also make it on time. They always say that arriving late for any event shows disrespect to other members who arrived early. This is an important lesson I learnt as being late had become a habit and I couldn’t get rid of this habit.

We were then given exercises to learn how to blog and were told to be in groups which were made up of three participants. I met two women and we were later joined by an additional member. Our group was then made up of four members. The fourth member who joined us was Natasha, she taught us how important it was to remember peoples names. This was due to the fact that as a group of four, when addressing each other, we just went spoke to each other without calling a person by their name.

Natasha stressed how important and personal this was to her because in her line of work, all clients felt special and respected when addressed by their names. In short, my two lessons learnt are: 1) Time Management and 2) Learning to address a person by their name.

I’m all smiles…hello journey to learning more each week…

Push…Let’s go

Goal Setting

This year I want to start eating healthy, buy a car, complete my degree, buy a house etc. These are just a few of many New years resolutions set at the beginning of each year. However, we often find that only a few people actually change these from resolutions to a reality. Why is that? Is it because the people setting these goals are not capable of achieving them? That is not the case at all.

Roslyn and Telfer took us through an amazing exercise last week called Gaining value, which fits in perfectly to this weeks topic. This group exercise made me realise that everyone has Goals and in our group, these goals were similar because they were relating to our studies. Due to unforeseen circumstances we were forced to park them temporarily, compromising the path we wish to follow in our careers for the needs of our loved one’s.

The most important highlight for me was that instead of beating myself up about only taking charge now and questioning why not then? I should embrace the opportunity and embark the journey most importantly have a plan ahead of how I intend to stay in this path. The how factor was made clearer to me by my fabulous class mates, sharing with us their knowledge when facilitating this wonderful, insightful topic called Goal Setting and emphasizing that successful Goals need to be;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

What this presentation made me realise is that as people we tend to underestimate the importance of planning and communicating and this we can correct by ensuring that we include our family members in these plans and ask them for their support. Another thing that I tend to overlook is the importance of balancing my social, work and family life because if one of the 3 is compromised it might actually lead to the other one failing. I mean if I do not speak to my husband explaining to him that some days I might not be around for social events and that if I used to cook everyday, explain that we might need to eat left overs on some days. Something this small could potentially lead to me not completing my studies or lead to unnecessary fights in our marriage.

I intend to use this model with every Goal that I set because by so doing I will have a better chance in succeeding and changing my dreams or rather goals into realities!

Potso!

Working in Teams!

Am I working in a team when I talk to myself?

You know how people use the phrase “it gets better with age” or when you get the burning sensation down your throat when you having a scotch. Or when you pour a glass of wine and the smell titillates your taste-buds though a mere smell! THAT is how I am beginning to feel about his class. I am not sure whether it is excitement or just nervousness.

I have been to three lessons and each one has given me a lesson I want to impart on everyone who will listen. Today’s topic was about “Working in Teams”. If you know anything about me, This Is One Of The Hardest things for me. I am a sucker for a book in the corner, in a library on my own. 

Not only did the group give us a Maths test about the number 24, LOKL! They made a competition about it and rewarded the “late comers” group for getting most of the answers right! Really! They should have rewarded me for actually getting five out of the six sums right. I suck at Math. Ask me any questions about the TV series 24 and I am soooooo sure I’ll beat anyone at that! Go Jack Bauer! 

So beside the test and the music and the laughing and the fun, they also imparted some actual knowledge on us. They taught us about participation, perseverance, collaboration, listening and actually putting in the effort. We were taught that how:

Together 
Everyone 
Achieves 
More.

The team that made working in teams, look easy!

We also did a reading exercise which included amazing stories. Some of the stories had me laughing out loud whilst others were so intense I shed a tear or two. I was so moved by the moral of the stories that I couldn’t wait to get home and read up on some of them. 

We were again reminded of the facilitation aspect of the stories, we read, discussed and enjoyed. We discussed the similarities of facilitating, coaching/ mentoring, teaching, lecturing, presenting and gardening. We discovered that: all of the above is the process of transferring or disseminating knowledge or information from one person to another through facilitating, coaching/ mentoring, teaching, lecturing, presenting and gardening. Facilitation is being open-minded about new ideas, to be able to present an idea by giving guidance, being able to draw out people’s personalities, traits and knowledge by giving guidance and direction and not be giving instruction. Facilitation is such a broad topic and I can still not define it. I will, hopefully, be in a position to give you a definition be the end of this course. 

We were given instruction about giving positive and negative feedback. 

1. Give feedback immediately. Don’t wait for a culmination of issues until you explode. If it makes an impact on you, discuss it!

2. When you give positive advice don’t say but… and then give the negative. Do it one at a time. Discuss the positive, give praise and help people accept it before you jump to the negative. If you have ever watched Pretty Woman, I am almost 100% sure you remember this quote:

Vivian:
People put you down enough, you start to believe it.

Edward:
I think you are a very bright, very special woman.

Vivian:
The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?

I think we should take the time in our every day lives and remember the good stuff! The good stuff may be harder take in but it is time that we embrace it. Take it in. Believe it!

After all of that my aha… moment came.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Roz reminded us that Stephen M.R. Covey said: we are all judgmental. We judge other people by their behavior but we judge ourselves by our intent. I am soooooo guilty of that. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about my judgmental attitude. I have decided to make it a point to try and judge people fairly…. on their intent just as I would like to be judged.

Week 3 – Working in teams

I was late for class *hiding*. And yet received a positive feedback regarding what the group presented. Congrats to the presenting team!!

I also leant something profound about how we, as people would normally view or observe people from their behaviour and not intent and yet we view ourselves from the intent point of view and not behaviour.

This was food for thought for me, and quite a highlight especially in the  facilitation aspect, where one is required to be open minded and be open to learning. It also signifies how relations can be made better.

I also learnt a lot on change, as well on how we would always want the other to change and not ourselves. And yet forget the notion that as a person you are responsible for your own actions and not the others and therefore we are the change we want to see in the world. It starts with us.

And from this and in us developing to be future facilitators, may we always remeber to bring our best to the table and inspire those we will be facilitating in the future.

Remember you cant give what you dont have! 🙂

Oby

Balancing life

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/94/c3/00/94c300f44cc68ee2a467300a1efae5d9.jpg

Are we honestly able to cope? i mean with what life demands out of us?

I myself am still learning on how to do it all, and still find peace in my heart and mind! It just isnt an easy task.

Lets look at the link and see how many we can tick off as things we can do, to try and balance our lives out and still keep a smile on our faces even though it not always easy! 🙂

Oby

Working in Teams

I LOVED today’s lesson. I arrived at class ready to tick it off my long to-do list for the day but the welcome (assignment of tables by colour and lollies) brought me back into the moment and I was ‘present’. The check-in also worked in getting me there (to the moment).

The lesson was great, the team showed good teamwork so they put their topic into practice. The activity could have been better but experience is the best teacher I suppose – as inexperienced facilitators, very few, if any of us could have anticipated the game would get out of control. A key take-away is to think around how we will maintain or regain control of the massive group during our facilitation week.

The stories we read helped me gain perspective on leading/mentoring people; specifically the following stories: The Bent Backs of Chang Dong, The Watermelon Eaters and A Story of Vision, Leadership and Commitment. I learned that imparting wisdom or seeking to change the lives of others for the better should not take place through imposition. You will gain the confidence and trust of others much more when you have authentic expression, put yourself in their shoes and seek to understand life from their perspective. This is something I intend to implement with the Learners I am training at work and the girls and ladies in my discipleship group. It is less about what head knowledge (and even experience) I have – if they cannot see my genuine care for them and how what we discuss could help them – it becomes wasted breath.

The “pearls of wisdom” gained from Facilitation this week are too many but a final notable mention will remain an unforgettable lesson, albeit a bitter pill to swallow. We should judge others based on their intentions and ourselves based on our behaviour. A lot has been sacrificed to improve my marks at school, especially in the first semester. I would like to find a better balance between school, work and family so my babies don’t grow to resent the sacrifices I believe I am making in their best interest

Thank you Team #WorkingInTeams and you Ros and Telfer – the heartwork continues…

The 3rd of August Presentation Day #Working in Teams

The week of the 29th of July..

I’m in a team of 11 members. Well, they seems all matured…Whats App group created…we managed to define our roles…there’s clear communication amongst all of us…everybody knows what to do. Impressive!

The entire week we were busy with our preparation, sharing ideas and information. Each and every team member knew what was expected from them. Friday evening was our rehearsal day. To my surprise and unexpectedly so, it went quick and after being there for less than an hour, our rehearsal was done. Wow, some kind of efficient team we have…I wondered if we were ready…Im nervous, hard on myself and anxious.

On Saturday we got to class early for set up and rehearsal. I knew what needs to be done, as nervous as I was, I trusted the process and that we are going to do well.

Drum roll…Agenda…Check in…Intro…Maths 24 activity…Prize giving… …Advantages…Disadvantages…closing (wow, in a blink of an eye it was done.)

Finally… I can breath, it all over and of course again there were lots of lessons to be learned. I took away a lot from our experience as a team, that if the team is on the same page and working towards the same goal, the process becomes seamless and smooth. The level of maturity, experience and roles played enhances the quality of the presentation. I learned that as a facilitator I had to help my group in the mist of confusion and bring them together in ensuring that they work as a team and not in silo when resolving problems. I took the positive and negative feedback given to learn from it and enhance my presentation skills going forward…

From having mixed feelings and emotions at the beginning of the presentation to finally having a feeling of completion with no major glitches. Our presentation really spoke to our topic “working in teams”.

This goes to show and proof that with the right mindset, proper team identity, good communication, creativity, trust, collaboration, engagement, ability to resolve conflict, stability, clear goals, clear roles and responsibilities any team can function efficiently and effectively.

#working in teams – a full on experience as I had the opportunity to work and learn more, in a team that worked!

Loggin in…

hhhmmm! finally is my thought after a few attempts of trying to register…i guess nothing is that easy after all, but managed to do it and here I am.

a new blogger :)…..just resonating with the thought of there is sunshine after the storm! Im excited to be here and on learning about this course!

happy Thursday! 🙂

Week 3: Principles of Engagement

In order to handle any situation, we need to understand it’s conditions. We need to understand the manner in which the participants of the situation are keeping a hold of their ‘side of the story’.

To be engaged means to be ‘a part of…’, to be able to understand and interact with others, to be able to engage in tasks. We as facilitators need to be able to hold a conversation and to be able to guide it to an outcome that will leave the group with wore effective working relationships and a stronger personal relationship. In doing this, the course pack has suggested that we be many things.

  1. Sincere
  2. Mindful
  3. Open-minded
  4. Empathetic
  5. Open-hearted
  6. Grateful
  7. Accepting
  8. Curious

I have been told by many people that I have met and encounter in my life time that I have most (sometimes even all) of these qualities, and it makes me slightly giddy because it means that I could potentially be a great facilitator. Even though I have this amazing feeling inside me, the skepticism has emerged and I am having doubts. I believe that I can be all seven of these qualities, but I know, that it depends on the interaction I would have previously had with this person or these people.

I come from a family with one very unstable and risky drug addict. My uncle has been an addict since he was 17 and so I have only ever known him as a user. He has been in and out of rehabs, had so many treatments, has had so much help from the family. But he stole my grandmothers wedding ring from me (which I was given for my 21st birthday) so that he can sell it for drugs and it was this, that pushed me over the edge from where I had been standing for a long time. When he overdosed a few weeks later, and I was him in a coma in the ICU, I had no empathetic bone in my body, I was not sincere and definitely not accepting. It is so horrible to say, but I was at a point where I thought it would be better for everyone, including himself, for him to just slip away… no longer live… no longer damage the lives of his loved ones. I walked away and out of the hospital and I have never seen him since. My fear is that if I were to facilitate a group that included drug addicts, that I will not be able to practically consider them. I would be full of judgment and anger. I would not be able to keep an open-mind or an open-heart. I will not be able to accept those people for who they are or what they have done to themselves, to their friends and family. I would be the fave of judgment.

Week 3: Building relationships

I missed today’s class which is super unfortunate because I have been discussing this topic with my psychologist. Relationships are important to health, happiness and success. So,something that I am trying to come to terms with is when to build and when to break a relationship.

The most important part of building a relationship is communication. Being able to converse with the other party or parties is essential because it builds a connection. The communication doesn’t necessary mean we need to be verbal. I have an extremely close relationship with my little brother. He is 7 years old and will tell me anything. Secrets that he doesn’t want mom or dad to know. I am his confidant. But sometimes we don’t even need to talk to send a ‘love you signal’. We could be sitting at a restaurant table on the opposite ends of each other and just one small gesture can make an entire conversation. A wink.

When communicating to a new person in our life, and building up that base for a relationship, we focus on being polite, sometimes humorous and empathetic. What I find difficult is that this changes as the relationship builds and we become more comfortable in the presence of the other. The politeness could dissapear and certain things will weaken our empathetic spot. In some cases, the ‘like’ that originally formed whilst building the relationship crashes with the realisation of the character that the person kept so well hidden.

The Emotional Intelligence

I arrived late for class this day. by the time i got to class the syndicate group was already facilitating their theme. what i could pick up from that point to the end of the class session was to embrace different perspectives, that when engaging with a groupie various problem solving scenarios, there are many different perspectives that are held by the people involved, that different stakeholders have different experiences, agendas and approaches to problem solving which most result in misunderstandings, uncertainty and indecisiveness when dealing with complex problems. the Johari window helped me realise all four windows of communication, i learned that every person has a blindspot, a facade and a transparent display to communication styles and behaviours.

what i took in cognisance was that emotional intelligence is key, and that it is due to facilitated exercises like these that one truly discovers their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and weaknesses! i discovered that i am a very blunt communicating person and that people can grow great deal if the are self aware, options aware and willing to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. The scarf Model was the `aha moment too on that day.

Check In

While learning about ‘Personal Mastery’ in class, I learned that an important tool called “Check In”, which is a quality tool that creates an environment for productive and meaningful conversations.  This tool is helpful for many people who have trouble speaking in groups.  One of the rules of check-in is if someone wants to open a conversation or if someone brings up something that needs to be discussed, remind the group that this is a check-in and that we will talk about it after the check-in is completed.

I must say that listening to others was not easy for me in the beginning because every time someone spoke, I had certain questions in my mind that I wanted to interrupt and ask but with the check in rules you can’t interrupt the person speaking.  I realized that this was not a good quality to have and I always say I value input from others but I had not been aware of how to create a safe environment for others to pop and be allowed to without any interruptions from me.

I chair a lot of committee meetings at my place of work which comprise of a lot of different people ranging from Marketing & Events Managers, CEOs of companies and Professional Conference Organisers.  Often I find this to be such a daunting task that I have to pray for days to ensure I’m calm and confident and more than anything, hope I will get good participation and feedback from the attendees of these meetings.  I find it important to have every participant’s voice heard right from the start reduces any anxiety they might feel and can help a person to be comfortable with participating in the conversation.  I experienced how checking in helped me and other people in my group in one of the classes and made a note of it.  At the very next committee meeting I had which was about debriefing after an event we hosted, I used this tool and I really saw the results of check-in.  It’s as if I had created a safe environment for everyone to contribute towards the meeting.  We received a lot of good suggestions for the next event and everyone left feeling important and part of a team.  Check-in will definitely be a tool that I will be using in my committee meetings and also at our church meetings where I have an opportunity of chairing the meeting, or I might have to teach my church family how and why it’s done.

STORYTELLING

Storytelling is such a broad topic so really looked forward to how the   group will be facilitating the topic.My immediate visualisation is storytelling through different art mediums like singing, dancing, acting, exhibitions.The best way I interpret stories is through visual mediums.

The second group started by asking us to close our eyes and the one of the team members starte reading a story which was our visual theatre until some classmates started waling in the class during the reading session thus disturbing the piece so we has to start all over again.

The group facilitated by sharing with us very scientific facts about chicken.It was very interesting facts however I caught myself wondering was the objective for me to remember all the scientific facts?

Today’s highlight was creating a frame work for learning for the rest of the groups that still need to present.

We need to have clear objectives

What do we want people to learn ?

Have intent?

How to raise the quiet voices?

How to command a room

How to listen more?

Regards

Wakhile

 

 

 

We all have a story

Today’s session made me realise that we all do have our own story to tell. I enjoyed listening to people’s stories and it was encouraging to hear the different voices and experiences.
By sharing our stories we open ourselves to learning and understanding from a different perspective. It also provides us with an opportunity to keep an open mind and to allowing ourselves to be flexible in how we relate to one another, not only as individuals but as a society.
Story telling made me realise that by sharing our individual stories and experiences we connect to people we might never have connected to because we have a shared experience and common understanding.
I am hoping that I can use the lesson learnt in class today in my work environment a well as with my friends.I think this will provide me with a deeper understanding of people dynamics, and how different experiences, values, cultures and upbringing contribute to how we interact and react to one another.

Thinking Style

Thinking style preferences was a very interesting way of finding out that I’m more of an investigator.

This assessment would be helpful in many ways from schools to corporate companies.  It could make a huge difference in a child’s life if teachers could use a similar model to assertain the learning abilities for each scholar and to apply teaching methods accordingly. Similarly students can be assessed at undergrad level to assertain whether theotrical or practical projects would be viable to them.

It is my thinking that using this model could eliminate allot if frustration even in the workplace to employ specific people for specific job skill requirements.

Again the resources  and tools handed to us in class, if used correctly and with more experience, will put us at an advantage at work at home and in class.

Communicating via Social media

Having always known that communication is a key factor in our lives,  it had always been unfortunate that my personal inhibitions about communication technology had led me to shying away from engaging  in some of the new social media platforms that people were getting into. With this feeling in my heart i was surprised at how today’s class which shattered my  whole idea of social media and differently unpacked  my thoughts, leaving  me gobsmacked.

For someone born before technology (BBT) as I consider myself to be, anything technology related had always been a big no, for me.  The current forms of communication always scared me.  A big part of me always believed that most of the problems and challenges our society is experiencing had a lot to do with the technology that we currently use as a means of communication.  My perception regarding this notion was about to be changed!  In fact, with time I have lost touch with what is the latest because everyday I am hearing of newer, better and faster technological means of communication being spoken about. This happened at  at work and again at home from my children. This space was indeed a minefield. I really enjoyed what was done today in class in that, much against my expectations, the topic was not introduced in a dreadful manner. The group took their time to steadily introduce the various communication platforms that are available out there; but chose to focus on social media. I was pleasantly introduced to the various social media platforms. I must admit I felt quite okay and not much of a “BBT”; thanks to my children who are forever talking about these things!

At the end of the session I was left thinking that, if one is to move forward in this world, maybe trying a hand with some of the platforms that were mention was in fact not such a bad idea. So, Pinterest, here I come….!

 

HONORING DIFFERENCES

If my memory serves me correctly, i recall the “honouring differences” presentation to be the one with specific focus on black women’s hair. Although peculiar, i deemed this to be a very significant topic to address, especially in South Africa. Our shared history of colonialism and apartheid has severely demolished how black women see themselves. I therefore believe that something as simple as accentuating the variation of our hair texture can lead us to a new confidence that is free of the ideas of inferiority that was historically imposed on us.Very well done to this team.

A Story……My Story

The next facilitation session with Group 2 was all about storytelling – this was about the “chicken”, getting a message across, who are the facilitators? What is the current state versus the desired state? I learnt about what the role of a facilitator is through stories.

We read the stories in the book and we had to think about what it that facilitators do is and what is it that they should NOT be doing. A great lesson that I learnt on week 3, was that as a facilitator, you are not an expert on topics and you must not   try to make yourself one.

An exercise we did was 4 commonalities in culture, meaning the rituals that are common in every culture irrespective of who you are or which race you represent.  The commonalities are as follows:

  • Birth Rituals
  • Marriage Rituals
  • Initiation Rituals
  • Death Rituals

 

My story, Your story – Story telling

The group upped the bar.

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

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

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

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

Story Telling

I was sitting in this presentation when the group was telling about the African attire. I found the history very intriguing. I have learned things that I didn’t know about different African attires and history behind every attire. The team did a great job about presenting this topic. The history was well articulated. You could tell that a proper homework was done on researching the topic.

The way the presented the topic and how they dressed for the topic there was an alignment between presenting and looking part.

Story Telling

The group facilitated very well and enlighten that story telling is one of the best tools or method of communication. Story telling is skill that will stay with us for long time to come. In my view it triggers analytic knowledge of analysis without giving away the details. It is another way of resolving complex confusing, frustration. If you tell or listen to the story relevant to the situation, sometimes answers to such situations can come from the story. Story telling can also help with mind relaxation especially in kids when we try to put them to bed. The African Dress story was also interesting because it showed us that you can change perceptions by action without voicing your intentions.

Story Telling

The group that was presenting today used a poem Invictus to tell a story. It invoked some emotions from the class because they had linked it to what is currently happening in South Africa. 2018 marks the centenary since Nelson Mandela was born, the poem that they were using to tell a story Mandela loved it so much as it was somehow relating to his life story.

I found myself reminiscing about 1995 when South Africa (Sprinboks) won the rugby world cup. Some class mates eventually opened up and started sharing their life stories and the lesson that I took home with from this class is that everybody has a story to tell.

Later on we were broken into groups and read the stories from our course book and the group that I was in was very exciting.

HONORING DIFFERENCES

MY SYNDICATE GROUP WAS PRESENTING ON THIS TOPIC, I WAS SO NERVOUS I WAS SWEATING EVERYWHERE. I MUST ADMIT EVEN THE TOPIC THAT WE CHOSE AS A GROUP WAS TOO RISKY MEANING THE TOPIC DIDN’T HELP. EVEN SO WE HAD TO DO IT, OR RATHER LET ME SAY I HAD TO DO IT, FINALLY THE TIME ARRIVED!!!! WELL I MUST SAY THE NIGHTMARE THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD GO THROUGH WAS NOT MUCH OF A NIGHTMARE. THE CLASS GAVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, BUT IT IS FROM THAT FEEDBACK THAT I HAVE LEARNED THAT IN LIFE YOU DO NEED PEOPLE THAT WILL GIVE YOU NEGATIVE FEEDBACK IN ORDER FOR YOU TO GROW.

Story telling – A powerful facilitation tool

If anyone had asked me to list facilitation tools I might have been able to name a few but story telling would not have been on that list. Never in a million years would I ever have considered the telling of stories as a learning and teaching tool. Yet as children we are taught various things through stories and most of us never forget the lessons learnt through those stories. Family history is carried from generation to generation through telling of stories.

We read a number of stories in class but my absolute favourite has to be “Rafting” by Tony Watkins. I didn’t realise this was a story about leadership until we discussed it as a group. It’s easy to assume that a good leader is one that takes charge and gives instructions to his team. A better leader however is one that allows his team to lead and only guides where necessary. Not only does this empower the team but it also gives other the opportunity to lead which can only lead to growth.

I have to make a conscious decision to allow my team to take turns in leading by letting them come up with solutions to problems that they might otherwise look to me to solve. This will not only empower them but also give them the confidence to know that they too have the answers which can only lead to personal and professional growth.

4 August – Story telling

It was my second time attending the class.  The group that was facilitating’s topic was STORY TELLING.  This was the group that really opened my eyes and demonstrated what facilitation was all about.  The group did not present – I repeat, the group did not share a presentation with us, but the facilitated.

They had a “main” person who was in charge.   The guy in charge was the one “controlling” what the story was going, controlling the time, he was in charge.  He is the one that kept the audience glued and wanted to here “whats next, or tell me more”.

In class as well the atmosphere was different than previously.  We listened, we participated when we were given an exercise to do.  I enjoyed the story telling.  I have taken what I have learnt and I have identified what I wouldn’t want to do when it was time for me and my group to facilitate.

 

Hey, We Are Telling Stories.

Yeay! Or, maybe nay.

Telling stories and storytelling aren’t the same. One is often riddled with fabrication  while the other is derived from observation. Both are expression. Both can and have to do with experience, lived or observed is unimportant. The point: we are surrounded by stories. we are influenced by stories. we are products of the stories told  us and told of us, those stories we tell of ourselves, to ourselves and about others and the world. we are the story.

How does one come to terms with their story?

Envictus! The danger of the single story. Triggers. Unconscious bias. Assumptions. This was the unfolding of the group’s facilitation. It dawned on me that we chanel that which we want to hear, someone called it confirmation bias, hearing only that which we want. It was interesting what the stories unpacked. The African Dress had the small group I was in in a heated conversation.

The exercise of identifying the facilitator in each story played a major role in tapping into one consciousness unconsciously. The process of being clear on the current situation, the desired state, the qualities of the facilitator and how they created change had me leave class and actively seek out such.

This in turn brought a level of awakeness in one’s daily living and engagement with the world. We tend to be lost in our devices and inside our heads. I am guilty of that. But this exercise made me want to see the stories unfold. To be awake and involved in the unfolding of my day, myself and my world.

Great many stories are riddled with trauma of some sort. A conditioning derived from one’s nurture and environment.  To reckon with one’s story is to come to peace with self. When a classmate broke open in class about an experience that ached them, I was once again reminded of my own humanity. And of healing: allowing our stories to change us, not own us.

Today’s lesson: mind your story. own your truth. allow others to do the same. For everything else, breathe through the cracks.

what story are you telling?                                                                                              who controls the narrative?

—Rethabile

The Dance

This was a favourite hobby of mine, engaging in the dance. Frustrating myself and others and not seeing any other way for a full seven years. I was scared of failure and not confirming to social norms, so I engaged in the dance telling myself that I was working on it and going to resolve all the issues by constant engagement.

Seven years later when God’s grace put me on the balcony I realized that it was not up to me. I had to accept that it was over and no amount of dancing would remedy the relationship. It was an out of body experience that made me realize that the dance was changing me to the core and not for the better. I had to let go of the relationship I had valuable, and start a new one with myself….finding myself again….and again.

This class is now helping me to re-enter the dance over and over again with new positive thinking and understanding that my way is not always right, and accepting others perspectives. From time to time I stand on the balcony and then re-enter the dance with new insights.

Story telling – 4 August 2018

Be the difference you want to see

It is amazing how we learn by getting involved and discussing topics that we would not necessary get involved in. an excellent facilitator creates an experience for learners, asks questions instead of being expects in every topic, provokes the information we already know which results in lasting learnings because learners look for the answers.

 

The Facilitator needs to create a learning environment that:

  1. Encourages listening mindfully to others
  2. Listening to connect
  3. Listening without judgement
  4. Encourage smaller groups to allow everyone to have a voice in group discussions

 

One of the best learnings from story telling that I have come across is Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg who talks about her journey as a woman in corporate and facing her challenges but taking the stunts to make the change that she wants instead of waiting for others to do it. This is proof that challenges that women face; need to be addressed by women. Therefore, women need to be in positions of influence that will influence the changes they want to see.

 

Do I still want to be a teacher? Is that going to address the issues I have or not?

 

Week 3 – Story Telling

I was a bit taken aback by this session of “Story Telling”.  We had a variety of stories to read through and I found myself reflecting on my own life experiences.

In this session, I realized that people are more inclined to respond favourably to stories, rather than facts.  They are more engaged.

The story “The Bent Backs of Chang Dong” made me realize that people, in general, are usually very resistant to change.  It is important to consider the right strategy for the right audience if you wish to change people’s perspective of something.  It even becomes more difficult when something is considered to be a life-long tradition.  I learnt that sometimes it is better to influence via actions rather than ‘telling’.

The story of “The African Dress” was one that hit very close to home.  With our history in South Africa, it is important to reflect on how far we’ve come and what people have done and gone through in order for us to have the freedom we now enjoy.  This story highlights the importance of engaging in dialogue in order to bring people of different cultures together.

I learnt the following lessons about good facilitation;

-Create an environment that is conducive for learning

-Provoke thoughts

-Enable people

-Know your audience

My “aha! moment” was when our facilitator made me realize that, more often than not, African stories are about “Mother nature” or the woman as a creator.  However in Western stories, the man is the creator (incl. the Bible).  I hadn’t thought about this before, but for some reason it really fascinated me.

We also spoke about the different rituals within our respective cultures and I got an opportunity to understand a bit more about other cultures.  And in this process, I realized that we are not as different as we think we are.  In fact, we are more the same.

Story telling!!

Another day, another presentation. I couldn’t wait to get into the class, sit down and listen to the group who will be presenting. The reason why I was so nervous and anxious, is because our group was next to the following week present and the previous group set such a high standard.

Today’s topic is “Storytelling”.

Image result for images of story telling pictures

This group has done such an excellent job (presenting). Firstly they reminded me of the good old days when we use to sit around the wood fire and granny would tell us stories until very late at night. Some of her stories were so scary such to an extent that some of us would battle to sleep thinking that the Kgolomodumo (big ugly dangerous animal) that eat kids who do not want to listen, refuse to send and disrespect the elders.

Yes, I agree with this team, storytelling is the best tool/method of communication especially for kids.

I have learned so much from this group. Another high standard set and more fear in me especially taking into consideration that our team only met once and battling to meet again due to the distance apart.

Thumps up for this second group for breaking the ice for me!

Related image

Week 3 – Story Telling

The day had finally come. It was our turn to present or rather facilitate our topic, which was Story telling. We met 3 times during this week, last night we met to put the finishing touches on each of our parts in the facilitation and also to arrange seating for our audience tomorrow. We also arrived at 7:30 today just for final rehearsals.

At 8:00 am people came in and we were ready to start. In the beginning we had a few disruptions as people who were late were coming in, so we decided to lock the door, so that people don’t disrupt. The facilitation went on and it was absolutely brilliant!

Nervous as we all were (besides Tshika, he is kind of like our anchor) we all pulled through beautifully. I am so proud of each and every one of us, we did well. What was supposed to happen was exactly what happened, the audience was engaging and threw challenging questions at us and we did our best to answer them. We also all had the opportunity to talk.

What we took away from this experience is that when facilitating you don’t have to know everything, that a facilitator is not an expect and that it is okay to throw questions asked by the audience back to the audience to discuss, that way everyone is engaged. We also had to make ensure that people at lease took away something from this facilitation, but this was a lesson learned.

The highlight of this day was when Roslyn said that people are more likely to remember a story more than they would data or information, I found this to be so true and yet I had never realized it over the years. Story telling plays a huge role in how we learn.

WEEK 3

STORY TELLING

This week I have learned about story telling and story. We were given six stories to read and in each story we had to identify a facilitator. What I learned from the six stories is that in each story there is a facilitator. And those facilitators each had a good qualities,  good  encouragement  to people,they lead by example, they were good teachers, patient and were willing to listen .

We had to read much interesting , amazing and quite educational stories. Like Rafting, The African Dress, Leadership And Commitment and more, but there  are stories that stood out for me were; The Prince And The Magician, The Watermelon Eaters and The Bent Backs Of Chang Dong.

What I Learned Is :
> When you are happy and content you will achieve your goal.
> Everybody is the expect of something,
> Engaging different people, learning two way street
> Illustrating and understanding your audience
> Expecting and understanding sensitive viewers
> Looking forward for what is to come
> Be more professionalism, approachable, more patient and more confident
> Feeling of being happy and accomplishment

Week 3 – Story Telling

Today’s class was all about storytelling. Storytelling is such an age-old human tradition and stories are an intrinsic part of our societies and culture. Today’s group told us the story of Joe, the Chicken and it made us all more aware of not only what we were putting into our bodies, but also the extreme measures needed to feed the entire human population (for instance pumping baby chicks full of hormones).

After the group finished their facilitation we were split into groups and had to discuss the stories we had to read for homework. My personal favourite was definitely The Bent Backs of Chang Dong, where a woman shows people another pay of thinking / doing without forcing them to do it. She leads by example and hopes that others will follow suit. My other favourite was The African Dress. As an Afrikaans person, this one really touched me. I feel ashamed for what the Afrikaners did to non-white races during the Apartheid Era, but this story made me feel grateful for the sacrifices that people like Zanele Mbeki made for the country and I loved how she reclaimed the right for all SA women to define the meaning of the term ‘African Dress’.

Another very interesting topic we discussed was the four common rituals in every culture (Birth, Coming of Age, Marriage, Death). We had to form groups of 4 and each had to discuss the rituals their culture had in terms of these 4 phases in life. It was then that I discovered how little I knew of my own culture. Some of the other members of my group were telling me about the Afrikaans tradition of the Trusue Chest, which doesn’t really exist anymore. This made me curious to discover how I came to be. After doing some research, it seems as if my ancestors came to South Africa in 1820.

No one can tell it better than me …My story!

Once upon a time I didn’t know I’ll be sitting next to a stranger my peer that I only see once a week for our facilitation class and sharing my story, that I have never told anyone but only my psychologist and the one above. I thought I had it tough but believe you me people share their good, bad and horrific stories, then said to myself thank you Lord for my story. It sometimes becomes so emotional and heating so hard that my eyes are full of tears, which I cannot hold but just let go. I have learned that we are Humans and as humans, we become emotional creatures, and storytelling is important because we learn from each other and also teaches us how as people we can easily remember and at helping people we can relate our stories to one another. Storytelling connects information with our emotions, it also allows us to digest information more easily.

It was interesting when the group facilitated their storytelling on chickens, that chickens get injected to grow faster in order to hatch eggs within a week. It was very interesting cause in older days chickens where grown at the backyard and being given right food, but due to high demand of chickens this days, its obvious that famers have now gone the route of injecting chickens in order to grown them quickly. They even talk about avian influenza and poultry diseases it was interesting to know that this bird flu can be symptoms in humans; it was an interesting story to tell.

On the very facilitation lesson, we need to connect the dots, by doing book exercise not forgetting to sit in groups and share our beautiful stories. What excites me about being a facilitator is the fact that I will able to apply this knowledge at the office even at home. Learning about the importance of being an effective facilitator is to create opportunity for individual by listening to each other’s stories, and in all those stories  we need to be patient and guide each other, we don’t need to instruct or force change but we need to give each other a chance to listen and relate to our stories!!!!!!

 

 

The stories that Opened my eyes and mind

on the week of the story telling yes I enjoyed the group presentation but like a few the whole emphases on Madiba by the group, put me off a bit but I told myself to look beyond that.  The message that the group portrayed is not just about Madiba but about the impact of stories on our lives, how they shape us, our opinions and view of society.

I learned that we are privileged as a country to have such a varied cultures and traditions, that we pride ourselves in. the story of Zanele Mbeki and the two women touched a nerve with me in that as a nation in celebration of our history and tradition we sort of demonized a part of us. Yes we all admit that Afrikaans we associate with apartheid and tragedy, however there is always two sides to a story. Imagen having to disregard your culture and trading due to shame.  I found myself asking question like what if any good do I know about the Afrikaner culture? is there really such little information about the culture or do we choose to ignore it and focus more on the bad?

I finally settled on that, just like other culture  and traditions Afrikaner culture is marginalized and misrepresented. only one narrative is relayed about it.

Week 3_Story telling

Wow, what an experience this was today!

The vivid poem of Invictus, Willian Ernest Henly, you’re the MAN!

I went home and did some further research on the history of this poem. Victorius indeed! Isn’t it to have ones own future cradled in the palm of one’s own hands.

So it turns out that Mr W H Henley wrote this poem upon becoming infected with TB and needing his foot amputated, I can only imagine the distraught, the dismay, the despair and dire desperation this

Henley’s poem however, a great example of allowing ones’ famine to become one’s favour, turning the bad into good or the negative into positive. He gained much greatness for writing this poem, for penning his anguish at a discomforting incident to paper. This, I found very encouraging, interesting and heartfelt.

Not only is this an awesome story but also a great facilitation on how one can turn the negativity that one faces in life into positive, thought provoking and encouraging stories perhaps.

My balcony moment, was reminiscing on hardships that we as humans are faced with and the importance of needing to grow from these, we cannot stagnate and bury ourselves in one particular negative situation. It is important for us as a human race to evolve, develop and forge forward in spite of where we find ourselves.

 

WEEK 3: Story Telling

This has been interesting indeed! I have had an opportunity to reminisce about the different stories told by different people from different “worlds”. after this class. Acknowledging the fact that each of us has a story of life to tell and the difference in our stories is what actually makes life worth living.

If we did not have stories to tell, I was convinced in this class, that we would not strive for that which brings us to the source in which we believe lies our ultimate salvation. We would easily forget that each of us is important and love for one another would be the order of the day. The stories that I read about, especially of Mama Mbeki’s inspiration of a different perspective in people of a different culture, have made me understand deeply that each story has influence in other people.

This is what makes our ways of telling our stories very important!

Story Telling

We all have a story to tell, some are happy , some are sad but behind each and everyone of us there is a story and we all tell our stories in different ways, we journal, we blog, we post on social media, we write books but there is always a story to tell. How you tell your story is what makes you stick out, sometimes our stories impacts on someone, you find that your words resonates with that person or persons.

What I took from this class is that we should never judge people by the cover as we don’t know their stories, where they come from and why they find themselves in either happy or unhappy situations. Our struggles are different and we all deal with them in different ways , our stories is ours tell and no else duty to tell it.

Week 3: Storytelling

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

Story Telling

The 3rd week was really breath taking.

I actually attended the afternoon class even though I belong to the morning one.

We had to read a couple of stories on facilitation before the class, few of them were not so interesting but the rest were absolutely amazing, and quite educational.

Roslyn grouped us differently this week and gave us the task to identify the facilitator from the stories. This exercise gave me further clarity of what is expected of me as a facilitator, The stories that stood out for me were: Rafting by Tony Watkins, The Bent Backs of Chang Dong, and The Watermelon Eaters by Kopp Sheldon.

Lessons learned from Story Telling :

  • What I see as the most important attribution of an inspiring facilitator is to allow others to have the experience of being “in charge”.
  • What excites me about being a facilitator is to learn from others and see things from others’ perspective.
  • What concerns me about facilitation is not knowing how to deal with people who prefer to be micro managed.
  • Values that I think are more important to being an effective facilitator are:
    • Communicating my expectations and knowing what is expected of me.
    • Knowing that every feed back is important(good/bad)
    • Everyone has a story and their story is their truth
    • Everyone is right
    • The right things happen at the right time and I shouldn’t assume.
  • Being open minded is one of the important aspects of a facilitator.
  • There’s a lot to work on for my own growth, and to mention few:
    • Not feeling the need to control everything.
    • Not assuming / thinking for others and being able to take negative feedback.
  • My definition of success is achieving my ultimate goal.
  • I will know that I am winning when I achieve the short goals that I created in line with my ultimate goal. Also, by enjoying the journey, especially by sharing my experiences and learning from others along the way.

 

 

Week 3 – Stories on Facilitation

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

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

Story Telling

Story Telling, what a great way to convey a message; the audience to be immersed in the story physically; emotionally and to anticipate the outcome of it. The facilitation group encouraging us to be cautious of what we consume *Joe, the chicken*.

The interesting topic of the common four rituals within every culture. This leaves me with a great personal revelation about how little I know of my culture, because my parents decided way before I was born that they are not going to live according to their tradition and chose to live by the principles of Christianity. Not that I blame them or what, I am grateful for the role the religion has played in my life, but I wish they could have rather stick to practising the one that does not interfere with their religion.

The stories that we were tasked to read about, the importance of learning through experience. Learning of the values of the facilitator; being innovative; not following common trends. Facilitator as a person who brings change to people and drives them towards their success.

story telling

there is a facilitator in every story you just have to open yourself up to learning and receiving what is given to you and that’s what we do in facilitation we teach we get taught as a result we leave with more information and insight that we did before class started .this week the facilitation was focused on story telling the group that was presenting their topic was about injecting chickens with hormones ,again i learned something i didn’t  expect i to learn about .

we were given 5 stories to read and  in each  story we had to identify a facilitator ,what i got from the five stories is that in each story there is a facilitator and  those  facilitators each had qualities to build a person  they had courage,they lead by example, they were teachers and were willing to listen , they were patient and didn’t impose their ideas our believes on the people they were facilitating now taking that an practicing it my daily life i learned that  i have to  listen more and judge less that way like  the facilitators in the stories i can be a facilitator  in the lives of  people around me and and if i open my self up to learning ,other people can be facilitators in my life thus  bringing  positive change in the world .because as people we never stop learning from each other  cause each of us has a story to tell if we listen and keep a positive mind we will get something out of every story you hear.i rally enjoyed this class and that thought that i could bring change to someone else in a positive way without giving judgement  was emancipating.

Better late than never! Week 4

Week 4 was my first week in class due to an admin glitch after the class the first week I was told the class was not interesting. Well I decided to change subjects, but when they checked on the subject I changed to my name wasn’t on the register and the admin person who was supposed to have done it was on leave. Anyway I joined the facilitation class, oh wow I would’ve missed out on such an awesome course . Funny on the day they ladies that were facilitating had such an interesting topic about black womens hair ,which almost turned into a debate. After the course I had so much to take home, much that I could actually incorporate in my personal life as well ..

Don’t be chicken!

Sometimes, as we navigate life’s twists and turns, we forget that we are living memoirs with a powerful story to tell.

The group presenting Storytelling took us down the winding road of pro-vegetarianism with a story about an overgrown chicken named Joe. As the story goes, Joe was born along with his siblings and quickly began to outgrow them, weighing close to double their size at six months. Linda, Joe’s keeper, decides it might be time to put him  down after noticing his tremendous pain and  inability to walk as a result of his rapid weight gain.

While I was imagining this story through the rose-tinting shades of a Hollywood blockbuster in the style of Fly Away Home, a story about a little girl who helps a gaggle of motherless geese fly South for the winter, it wasn’t long until my Happily Ever After bubble burst.  It turns out that in Joe’s story, Linda was nothing like our goose-loving girl dedicating herself to raising chicks. It wasn’t concern she felt when she looked at Joe… it was hunger.

Now I’m not condoning Linda’s behaviour here, this kind of behaviour is deplorable, but meat is meat and (wo)man must eat. Plus everybody knows you’ve got to eat organic! I will admit though, I have been eating less chicken of late!

Hearing someone else’s story can help to cause changes in behaviour and inspire people to be their best selves. Go ahead, tell your story. Don’t be chicken!

 

 

Story telling

Today was our turn to facilitate as group 3. I was feeling nervous but I managed to control my nerves and anxiety. I think our delivery on story telling went well because we worked as a team and we followed our demonstration plan; but most importantly, it was because we had the most welcoming and interactive audience. Thank you guys. The feedback was critical and honest, which is something we can all take and learn from going forward.

The lesson for the day was on story telling and the characteristics of a facilitator in a story. When we started to discuss the stories in my group, I found out that each of us had their own understanding of who the facilitator was in the stories. It took us a while to discover that the facilitator was the person who brought change in the stories. In essence a good facilitator should strive to brings knowledge and change to his/her audience’s lives.

I have realized that we all have stories to tell. The fact that one’s fingerprints are unique and can’t be matched with someone else’s print; tells me that we might look the same but individually we are unique and carry unique stories.

Tell your story to the world!!!!!

 

 

Story telling

I was quite intrigued by the chicken(Joe) story, I enjoyed the groups communication flow when they executed their piece.

I’ve learned that story telling is one of the best facilitation tool. I’m also glad that I discovered that a facilitator is not an expert but someone who learns from the audience,  because I thought that a facilitator should be an expery.

We also had an opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures pertaining the 4 types of rituals in groups. That exercise was genuinely mind opening.

Story telling

 

Sanders_KFC_YS

At 65 years of age, Colonel Sanders  had retired and was broke, owned a small house and a very old car. He had a chicken recipe that everyone loved and the fact that this was the only idea he had, he decided to act upon it.

He started his travels to different US states to sell his idea. He got 1009 rejections before a business man invested in his idea. He acquired a service station in Kentucky and began serving to travellers. The location became known for its good food, and Sanders eventually got rid of the service station’s gas pump and converted the location to a full-fledged restaurant today known as KFC.

Now you are very likely to never forget the story of how KFC started, or at least, much less likely to do so than if it had been presented in bullet points.

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie or simply something one of our friends is explaining to us that they’ve experienced. But why do we feel so much more engaged when we hear a story? A simplified answer is: When we hear a story we get to experience what is being narrated, our brains and emotions are activated and present.

Story telling is for children only! Story telling is for everyone!

Story telling is a form of facilitation; a form of learning. And learning is for everyone. Some of the brightest and most creative minds found value in learning at any age. Albert Einstein said:

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

During the facilitation class, I was reminded of my late grandmother, who was probably the best story teller I know. My grandmother enjoyed telling stories, she was theatrical in her voice and actions; she left you utterly fascinated. Looking back at her stories, I have realized they all had a lesson to be learned. My favourite of her many stories was of the Jackal and the Hare, to summarize the story: The Hare would enter through a small hole in the Jackals fence, but the Jackal could never catch the Hare. So one day the Jackal left some food for the Hare and the Hare ate, it continued to eat even when it was full, it ate until it felt it was about to burst. And when it saw the Jackal it tried to escape through the small hole but it was too big to fit through the hole.

Hmmfffffff! Now obviously I didn’t tell that story as well as my grandmother would have. But the lesson to be learned there is that greed is bad!

So you may ask, what is there to learn from the KFC story? I personally learned that success can be achieved at any age, Colonel Sanders opened his first KFC in his late 60’s. I also learned that you should never give up, Colonel Sanders received over 1000 rejections, but look at KFC today!

Storytelling is indeed an effective learning tool. Stories are the emotional glue that connects the audience to the message. May we learn to tell stories and may we continue to learn from stories.

 

Story Telling – Week 3

Story telling reminded me of the time when I was growing up in KZN, and my grandmother  used to tell me bedtime stories about bears  . Although this one was about a chicken.  My main interest in the story was  to see how much airtime will each get between the chicken and story telling.  And lastly who owned the space.

   

 

 What I learnt  is that when you tell a story telling as a facilitator  you  need  to write down key words of your story so that you don’t have to read up everything on the piece of paper. Be flexible with your and it’s  okay  to leave people wondering. What I realised  is  that distractions are a big problem. Because when a facilitator is telling a story and there are walk ins, people tend to lose focus  and start looking at whoever is walking in class.

 

 

We also had a couple of stories to read so that we can understand the different types of facilitators.  The difference   between  an instructor and a facilitator and their attributes. How a facilitator shows you how it’s done as opposed to telling you what to do. I got to understand that their main aim is to educate and teach different techniques. My favourite story out of them all was the rafting story between Buzz and Kiwi . I mean they both had different styles of teaching but  Buzz was instructing the team on what to do, while Kiwi was showing them which means he was facilitating. What I took from the rafting story is that  some of the skills for a good facilitator are listening, communicating, motivating, being a team play etc.

 

A great lesson  that I learnt on week 3, was that as a facilitator you’re not an expert on topics and you musn’t   try to make yourself one.  Another exercise we did was 4 commonalities in culture , meaning the rituals that are common  in every culture irrespective of who you are or which race you represent. It was actually amazing to see how different we are yet  our beliefs  are similar. Those commonality are as follows :

  • Birth Rituals
  • Marriage Rituals
  • Initiation Rituals
  • Death Rituals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilitation Skills – BLOG 3

WOW…Storytelling…never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that Storytelling would be so profound, loved the idea of us being instructed to close our eyes during the storytelling by one of the group members facilitating, was a good feeling.

No matter whom we are, where we come from, what we do, we all have a STORY..

I actually have a story and my STORY is SPECIAL and PRECIOUS 🙂

What is my Eureka Moment for 04 August 2018

Having watched the presentation team this morning, I have just learned that working together as a team does reward. I have also learned the importance of engaging audience.

Image result for photo that shows people working together as group

The group activity that I participated on, taught me a lot. I thought I know all cultures only to prove myself wrong. Today I have learned that there is a culture (Xhosa) which still believe in and performing rituals when a new baby is born in the family. Whether the child is a boy or girl, the little finger (pinky finger) gets cut off as a sign of welcome.

Image result for Picture of a hand with little finger cut off

This Facilitation course is now becoming more interesting by-day!!

Week 3: My Story …

Of course I was excited about this class after last weeks eye opener. As I sat down I I thought of the Balcony and the Dance from last week, I thought about stepping out and looking down at what is happening to get a new perspective… then I remembered to bring myself back to the room for Group 2’s facilitation session (I was often in trouble at school for day dreaming too) LOL!

Once again, I found myself reflecting and looking within after the session with Group 2, it was all about story telling, getting a message across,  who are the facilitators? What is the current state versus the desired state? I learnt about what the role of a facilitator is through stories (I was naughty and only read one of the stories, thankfully Dear Roslyn gave us time to read the rest of the stories and catch up).  After reading the stories we had to think about what is is that facilitators do and what is it that they should NOT be doing.

My biggest learning today was understanding how a story can help people remember things.  I was reminded again of allowing people to learn from each other, a facilitator is not an expert. I learnt to acknowledge everyone in the room, address the groups that are quiet by directing questions to them… A great facilitator get everyone in the room talking and learning.  They do not need everyone to remember everything, but rather take away a few things that will help them be even better at what they do.

And while I was enjoying getting to know my new friends in class, I just remembered that we have 2 more weeks to our group facilitation session … EEEEK!!!!

Until next week folks,

Nolan

Tell ’em

WE ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL, and our stories deserve to be told without fear of shame or embarrassment. It is exactly what it is: our story. I grew up believing that God can use our story for His glory. And I still believe that.

It is often through sharing our stories that we realise how similar we are, and through the sharing of stories that we find companionship.

What do you see as the most important attributes of an aspiring facilitator?

The ability to listen, to take a step back, to engage devoid of one’s own bias and to obtain a holistic overview of what is under discussion are in my mind the most important attributes of an aspiring facilitator.

What excites you about being a facilitator?

I am excited about the journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, and the prospects of impacting and imparting to others, thereby creating an enabling environment for change one session at a time.

What concerns you about facilitation?

I am concerned about the inherent tendency to want to defend a certain view as superior to that of others. Yet, views are meant to be challenged when necessary, unless they are rooted in principle issues.

Which values do you think are the most important to being an effective facilitator?

Respect, integrity, honesty (especially when necessary to acknowledge you don’t know the answer).

What behaviours do you think are most important for facilitation?

Caring, challenging, considerate, excitable, respectful, thoughtful.

What areas of your own growth will you work on during the programme?

Patience to accept that grouping people together bring with it different dynamics, an open mind to learn as much as I possibly can so that I can master myself.

What is your definition of success?

I have a somewhat philosophical view on success, which is informed by having suffered tremendous loss. I view success as the ability to play a good game with a bad set of cards.

How will you know that you are winning (measures of success)?

Despite my very philosophical view on success, I do believe that we each need to devise a bigger picture for our lives. That way we will know whether we are moving in the right direction. Sometimes life will deal us low blows that may cause some detours, but it is in finding our way back to our end goal that will ultimately cause us to succeed.

My name has changed to NICOLE *hehe* WEEK 3 Story telling

Joe the chicken Poor lil fatty ( he may make a great addition to the Nandos menu though 😉

Loved loved loved the way the story was told ( could you come read to me at night before sleepy time ? ) Hated the fact that I had to critique someones work, i mean i am no expert, who am i to judge? I reluctantly did my part and gave them a mark …we have to do this every week ?? Grrrrrr

I really dont want to “hurt” anyone’s feelings by grading them. This is another comfort zone that I am in.

Check in ( is that what its called ? ) Anyway my check in, first week i was so over it already, by now i am actually really enjoying this course, started as i just need the 18 credits to this is  awesome im going to learn something that will benefit me at work as well YAY!!!!

My favourite part of the lesson was getting into groups to discuss rituals, wow what an eye opener. Loved it 🙂

My low light of the day is the fact that I am still not comfortable and probably wont get used to the fact that the class isn’t structured that well.

I can take this into my everyday life by trying to get used to the fact that not every situation that I go into will make me comfortable.

The stories that we did were really interesting and showed how stories are a great way to get a message across without spelling it our to people. Its a subtle way of trying to get a point across.

Nicola over and out Oh wait I mean Nicole

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Week 3 – Blog 3 : “Story Telling”

Oh yes… this was a bad day for me… just being late for 3 minutes clocked me off for this facilitation group and was only allowed to be in class after their have presented. I have learnt once again to make sure that i am on speculated required time.

Although i could not participate  effectively on the debate regarding the story telling, i found it very interesting when the class was giving different reactions or comments toward the story telling that was presented by colleagues. Madam Solomon was asking how the group thought they could have presented the subject differently or better than the way they have presented.Fascinating , the facilitators of the day were proposing the way it should have been facilitated, this simply means you learn new things when you are on the dance floor and you can not just implement the new.

After given the scores and comments from the audience, the Lecturer emphasized on few points such as : * When you are facilitating kindly ensure that you look at all angles of the hall otherwise the audience on the other part of the hall may feel like you are not paying attention to their activities.                                    * Facilitator are not expert like lecturer, professor and teachers and ensure that every voice is heard during the facilitation and must show leadership.                                                                                                      * Facilitators must ensure that  they take their time and do not be in hurry just make sure you plan well your timing.                                                                                                                                                                        * Facilitators are :Enablers, strategists,flexible and bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answers.

We embraced another topic about the class story telling. Last week the lecturer asked us to prepare and read at least 5 or more stories that are in the book from pg 40 to pg 54. Some colleagues read and some did not read and this was used as a strategy to split the group into the categories of different groups according to the number of stories one has read. I found it very interesting because it was going according to the numbers of stories you had read. An opportunity was given to every one who did not read and every one was busy reading, once you done reading you join a group for discussion, about the  stories that you have read , but it was also so embarrassing to stand in the queue of those who did not ready all stories or even one or two. I hope from now on when instructions are given it will be carried out as expected as i  believe that no one wants to find himself or herself embarrassed just like last week.

It was a very good exercise as we realized that we can read the same story but with different minds and different interpretations. she has emphasized that in fact we can learn more from story telling and can associate it to real life and see how easy the message can be convoyed through telling stories better than just talking.

And the last exercise was linked to us grouping in 4 and giving each other a chance to speak about the 4 common things that are found during our cultures: Birth, Marriage,Initiation and Death.While talking to each other about these things ,we have realized that there are actually more things to talk about our cultures than the way we always anticipated that there is nothing to talk about.The stories were  very fascinating about each others’s culture but it was a learning curve to know much about each other’s culture.

 

Thank you.

Storytelling

Today is week 3 and as I navigate through this facilitation course the more I am impressed at the important underlying life skills which are being taught through this program. Today’s lesson was based on Storytelling as a facilitation tool. What an amazing way to encourage learning through Storytelling. There is a huge difference in being fed facts as part of a learning experience versus the very same facts being revealed in the form of a story. There’s something about storytelling that captures interest and lets you feels like you are being taken on a scenic journey of discovery.   It invokes emotion and carries resonance.

I read an article by Mary Alice Arthur a renowned story activist. She unpacks story telling as a learning practice by saying: “The human mind is organised around stories. We capture our experiences and make sense of the world through the stories that form our lens on reality. Since our knowledge is captured in story form, it makes sense to use stories as medium of learning.”  In today’s class exercise we had  number of different stories to analyse within our smaller groups. This was such a great way to encourage discussions within our groups and allowed each individual to present their view points. This was just a fun great way of learning.  It also prompted each of us to think of our own personal stories and how powerful they are. Our stories are the tapestry of who we are so in telling them we stand in our truth.

We completed a second exercise which encouraged each of us to tell a little of our story within our smaller groups. This was very enlightening as we learnt how different each of our stories were in some ways yet so very similar in other ways. Most important was the lesson that others can learn so much from our stories and we too have the ability to improve and change our stories.  I am totally sold on Mary’s thought that “we live in a story, which means we can change it. “

My story does not begin here, but it was given its voice today.

Week 3 – Mandela Schmandela

Walking into my second instalment of the Facilitation Skills class I was greeted by the sound of a beating drum. I thought to myself, “well, this is a tad dramatic” until I got reason behind why this was so. The group doing their Facilitation was creating an ambiance for their topic – Storytelling. This was the first group facilitation I experienced.

They started off well, then lost me at Mandela. “Not another Mandela anecdote”, I thought.  The world at large is being force-fed Mandela’s legacy and I for one, am quite over it. My mind drifted, my WhatsApp got my attention, that was it, I was gone. The group did not make it hard for me to not focus as the beginning of their facilitation, a discussion amongst themselves, left me even more lost. I later caught on at the point where we split into smaller groups to engage on the topic. I then saw the purpose of the facilitation and realized it was not necessarily about Mandela.

I enjoyed the feedback session. It was interesting to hear the various thoughts and opinions that came from the class. And also with seeing how the group of facilitators handled themselves and controlled the facilitation.

 Overall, a great learning experience. I am starting to see direction in the chaos of this class.

-Wandile Mashiloane

 

 

04 August 2018 Facilitation Team 2 (Stories of facilitation)

I have now settled in my third week into the Facilitation skills class. Prior to the 3rd week class we received an email mail and SMS from Roslyn instructing us to read short stories from page 40 until page 54 to prepare us before hand.

Third week came and I headed to class starting at 08:00 A.m on my birthday. The setting was different to last weekends setting and this time the setting was a rectangular in three rows of chairs. Group two was ready to facilitate about story telling. The story we were told about was about a 🐔 that had gained weight and the name of the chicken was called Joe. We were taught about none fiction and fiction, fun facts such as 🐔 don’t have a vision at night hence they sleep very early. We had to give feedback to the team however there wasn’t much questions asked but few comments were given to the team two. Roslyn also gave feedback to the whole group and the the team that had facilitated. Once that was done we were then placed in groups according to which stories one had read, we had to discuss and investigate each stories in our groups.
Telfar had sent links during the course of the week and he had to give us guidance and process of blogging. He gave us heads up on the following
*The blogs should be interesting
*what was new you had learnt in class
*ideas we had picked up
*techniques we learnt
*what will we take back home and work place

Roslyn then told us a story about Angelina Adrien about a story of 4 common rituals we practice within our cultures
1. Birth
2. Marriage
3. Death
4. Initiation
And in our groups we had to discuss how does each one of practice the for rituals within our cultures which was interesting to learn about other cultures.

Thank you

Week 3 – Storytelling

Today was the day for my group’s turn to facilitator of storytelling. Of course not everything went exactly as we thought it would but overall I think we did pretty well. What I learned from the facilitator this morning from the feedback she gave us was that the facilitator does not always have to answer the questions they’re asked. Instead, they can pose the very same questions to the class to try and get their opinion or knowledge about what’s asked.
I also learned that facilitators , unlike teachers and lecturers, are not experts. They bring about change that’s not forceful, they have management skills and lead by example and present to their audience that there is no right or wrong.

Towards the end of class I got into a small group with 3 ladies and learned about their traditional rituals concerning birth, marriage, initiation and death. I explained how my traditional rituals go about and so did they and I found it quite interesting how people from different cultural backgrounds do their traditions. Although we do our rituals differently, the meaning and values behind them are the same.

Group 3 Story Telling

On this day, Third Group was facilitating on ” Story Telling “. It was exciting to watch other people facilitating as our group was done. The group was well prepared, even though I was a bit worried when they started talking to themselves not engaging the audience. But thank God they turned to audience later. 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. I enjoyed the chocolates and I had fun

Story telling

The second group did their presentation today, which was on Story telling. What stood out was when they asked us to close our eyes and pay attention to the introduction of the story. It enabled listening without any distraction, and it made grasping the content much better. There were lively, and engaged well with the audience, using their chicken pictures, and answering questions.However, i did not like the use of the talking stick as it held back people’s engagement. Overall, they presented well. People can relate to stories better than facts. We then went into groups, to discuss the readings that we were asked to read during the week, it encouraged participation from the group members as we tried to dissect the stories according to who was the facilitator and what qualities they carried. we also discussed rituals in groups, and we found that we may be different but, there are common rituals in all cultures, these are death, birth, initiation and marriage. They may be observed differently, but they are practiced. It was interesting to listen, and learn other people’s way of doing things.

Everyone Story is Interesting

The class did not start well for me, I was late and missed the first part of the group facilitation. I won’t be late again. I finally got into and enjoyed the facilitation, it was very interesting, especially with Dr Nelson Mandela being the central figure of the story. What i quickly learned is that we learn and interpret different things from the same experience. This is what makes life worth living as we learn from each other and a reminder that every one’s story/contribution is worth an audience. What was interesting we read was how everyone interpreted them differently, especially in identifying Facilitators in these stories. I was impressed however that we were able to identify the methods utilized by different Facilitators to create change, such as Kiwi in the “Rafting” story, when he allowed his learners to experience the river for themselves and showed that competition is always not necessary. Also equally important is lessons about what not to do when facilitating, such as Gernia in “The African Dress” when she made assumptions about Mrs Mbeki which turned out to be untrue. The important lesson here is that Facilitation and Storytelling should be about learning and not imposition of one’s views or perpetuating stereotypes.

This week I learned the importance of Checking In as this allows everyone to participate and feel that their voice is important. A definite method I will be adopting at my workplace to improve relations and team spirit. I like the popcorn style of checking in as people speak when comfortable unlike the round robin where everyone has to say something, in this instance, genuine feelings or experiences might be withheld. I also learned that it is important when listening to someone to actually listen with intent, show respect and suspend own judgement or prejudices. This helps to create a safe environment for people and promotes connections.

I am currently in 3rd year studies pursuing to be a Psychologist and this is what brought me to Wits to realise this dream. I love helping people and want to help change people’s lives and the social discourse in our country which is plagued with a painful past. The skills learned in this week are vital for my new career/professional choice as the importance of respecting everyone and their story without judgement were highlighted. I hope I continue to learning more skills and building my character.

The learning continues…

We all have a story to tell – Week 3

Today had been very profound for me in that I have learnt a great lesson – we all have a story to tell! My aha! moment cm very early when I realised its not what story we tell but , how we tell that story that will allow us to show up on purpose. Our daily lives, our ongoing learning, and leadership roles in society are what will allow us the opportunity to tell our stories and either switch people on or switch them off, draw them towards us or push them away. Although we are all socialized differently it’s through our own personal journey’s and stories that we work towards enhancing the quality of lives of all around us and our own in return. It’s this conscious journey that allows us to tell our stories with confidence and be unapologetic about them.

Our team had so much fun as we facilitated our piece on “storytelling”. On reflection on the outcomes of the day, I realised that even though the delta feedback we were able to learn. For me this was invaluable given how generous the rest of the group had been with their feedback. I was able to stand back and reflect ….” we didn’t look at it that way….. perhaps we should have considered that” I guess this taught me a valuable lesson sometimes in life we are to quick to respond to feedback, sometimes as a result of our own fears and insecurities.  Reminder to self……..” pause and listen …….you’ll be surprised at what you can learn”

I had today learned the value about appreciating the value of participating openly,  letting go of my inhibitions and appreciate the opportunity that allowing yourself to be vulnerable and participating openly offers. Effecting change is always difficult – and at the best of times almost seems impossible – however embracing each opportunity as it presents itself has for me been invaluable in this journey. I have learned today through other people’s stories that we should enjoy life and the journey of life…… and as Alan Watts a philosopher reminds us…..” learning and life doesn’t have a destination”

 

Aluta Continua – the struggle continues

Remember: Your story matters

 

Till next time Peeps

Overcoming the fear

Can I do it? Will I see it through? I asked myself these questions the entire time on the morning of the group facilitation.  Will I flake or will I rise to the occasion.  I wished for an opportunity where the class could have prepared before anyone arrived, that way it wouldn’t have me worried about peoples eyes.  How do I overcome this.  How do I remain composed.  More questions on my mind…it eventually tired me mentally and energy levels sunk.

Fortunately the group I’m part of have assertive characters and that helps bring out a braver side in me.  When we started with our piece the fear of standing in front of the group became less as I shared the floor with 4 other group members.  The attention of the class would be divided among us (I hoped).

I have discovered I am inhibited because criticism scares me.  But after the feedback we received from the lecturer, I surprised myself at how well I received her “Delta”.   I was receptive and eager to know what else could’ve been done better.

I guess it’s true – the feedback you provide says a great deal about yourself than it does about the performance.  Emotional Intelligence I would imagine, take what builds you and discard what destroys you.  A phrase I developed while speaking to a friend is; not to correct anyone is public, you gain an enemy and lose respect; the true test comes from knowing when and how to assist in steering someone in the right direction, if that.   Humiliation is crippling at worst.  I bear that in mind each time the urge hits to correct a person.

Finding enjoyment in what you do is one sure way of doing away with fear of self and knowing what to let go of and what to capitalise on.

Week 3: Maybe it’s not so bad…

4 minutes late for class and the door is locked :-0

I wasn’t alone so that calmed me a bit. I used the time to re-read the last of the homework stories because I was half asleep at midnight trying to read it. Look at Thuli seeing the bright side of life 🙂

So apparently Group 2’s topic was Story Telling and their subtopic “Chickens”. I missed it, no use lying. But I still managed to understand the feedback. Basically, facilitators don’t have to be experts. They can draw on the audience’s knowledge by reverting questions and saying “That’s an interesting question, does anyone know the answer” Clever neh?

Anyways, facilitators are looking more and more like amazing people. I mean, they inspire change by adjusting their facilitation techniques to the audience, not forcing their opinions or facts on the audience, leading by example and allowing the audience to engage and think critically.  I learned this in our discussions about the stories we’d read.

Did you notice something? In these 3 weeks I went from hating this and wanting to run, to enjoying certain parts of the class and even finding things to laugh at. I liked the discussion on the 4 common rituals in all cultures: Birth, Marriage, Initiation and Death. We sat in groups again, but this time I wasn’t as anxious, hallelujah! It was wonderful to hear about the rituals in other people’s cultures and even more fun because we were a group of 4 ladies – Portuguese, Zulu, Xhosa and Pedi and we were finding each others stories so interesting. What that taught us is that we all have an interesting, unique and phenomenal story to tell but we often don’t believe our stories are valuable. Stories teach, they speak to our emotional brain much more than facts and they stick on our minds. Profound right?

I left class with a smile 🙂

story telling

we are all unique and have our own stories, and all of them are interesting and have a learning in them….

I have learned that we all have stories and that it the way we tell our stories. this class now looks like, it wants me to keep on referring back to my life. I believe when I am done with it I will be a complete changed person.

life lesson is that I learn to be a better person, as I always wanted to ask questions and I loved always going back to ask people about their stories but I have learned that I must not carry anyone’s story and let them tell their own story in the way they want. No questioning.

interesting….. listen, don’t judge, respect….

Facilitation Blog #3

This week was our third facilitation session. We started off with the group facilitation demonstration on Story Telling. A moment that stood out for me was when we were asked to close our eyes and listen to the introduction. This helped with absorbing what was being said without visual distraction.

The same theme continued into our actual facilitation session as well. A new concept that was introduced was, instead of using facts to facilitate another technique can be used namely story telling. In this instance the story becomes the facilitator as well as a tool for facilitation. It lodges in the emotional brain and heart and therefore stimulates thinking.

People relate to stories and therefore stories carry more weight than facts. We then moved to groups to discuss the various readings that we had been given and this once again encouraged high participation and communication from all group members (which seem to be getting a little easier for me with each passing week).

Toward the end of the session one of our last exercises was to discuss rituals which are common to all cultures namely, birth, death, initiation and marriage. Even though most of us has an idea regarding these rituals it was truly fascinating and interesting listening to the diverse traditions around these rituals of other group members. These stories doesn’t just broaden our knowledge but it’s truly fun way to learn.

My a-ha moment!

Sitting in facilitation class on Saturday 05 August, my a-ha moment occurred when we did the “The cycles of life” exercise.

The cycles of life explained to us as:
Birth;
Initiation;
Marriage; and
Death.

As I sat there listening to the experiences shared by the group, their personal and cultural experiences, it dawned on me that everyone’s story is precious to them.  Everyone’s story is unique.

I began to understand why storytelling is such a useful tool for facilitation.  Storytelling is an emotional experience for most people.  And as such, hearing, receiving and sharing a story is a personal journey.  And the reason why hearing or telling a story carries more weight.

 

I am sure that I will now remember the marriage traditions of the Pedi people, long after I have forgotten fun facts about chickens.

 

 

Story Telling

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 values. Story telling has been a part of humanity since ancient times. Grandparents used to tell tales to their grandchildren. We must never stop telling our stories but we must do so in our own terms

”left brain”

Truly enjoy lecture today, Module 3 was very insightful and as much as I have learned about the left and right brain in psychology but today the exercise was different and insightful. I’ve learned new thing about myself today and also answers to some of the things I was wondering about for a long time. What was causing me to do things in a certain way. I am a left brain, detailed person, able to juggle many things at once, I’m detail oriented, internal motivational style. My sensory preference is auditory and my learning style is initiator.

practice time

been in group 4 meant that our presentation would take place in the 4th week, which meant it was time to get serious and practice, as a group for our presentation.

before we could do this we obviously had to complete the lecture prepared for that day. one thing throughout the lecture that caught my attention was the Johari window. why you may ask? well the window has 4 main sections, as does a convetional window found in a house. the transparent area – known to both the self and others, the blind spot-self is unaware but known to others, the hidden area which is known by the self but not by others and lastly the dark area which is unkown to self an others.

i realised that this would become a very important element of my part of my presentation as i could link it to our overall topic. how – well you will have to find out.

the practicing part after class was very interesting as a group of complete strangers came together to achieve a goal and trust in one another. it amazed me how we got stuck in and handed out responsibilities with out getting a greater knowledge of the members in our group, it was like a blanket of trust just covered us so that we could come together and achieve a common goal.

learning about Learning Facilitating Channge

Oh what an experience I had when my group and I had to facilitate the class. We met only twice and decided what to. It was fun and engaging at all times. The women that I had to work alongside were very strict and forced me to toe the line and that helped to pull myself together.

 

We were very quick to decide on our individual roles as well as expected outcomes for the group and presentation. I am very happy that my suggestions were mostly taken to heart.

Change is the only constant in life is the motto by which I live my life. If there is no change then something is wrong or stagnant. I have experienced many changes in my life and as a child losing my aunt was the biggest change I experienced. My aunt was our caregiver and looked after my siblings and I. We always had a hot meal after school and she made sure that our school uniforms were clean. It was only years later after she died that I realised that her death had a direct impact on my life and this changed my perspective on life.

When I left high school to home study this was a big change that I experienced and this taught me to do my own thing and depend on myself.

After passing matric I came to Johannesburg to study journalism. This was the biggest change I had ever had to make and it took me close to four years to adjust. I continue to adjust with the move I made eight years ago.

I wanted our presentation to reflect what the true meaning of change was and I was happy that the group decied on the reflection exercise during our facilitation.I was more happy when the class received our presentation well and some classmates shared their stories about change in their life.

 

Seems Complex yet so close

I have been so distracted the last couple of weeks because of a lot of upsetting situations surrounding my work-life. I have missed a lot of important lessons, some whilst psychically in class, but mentally upsent. Now that I am making my way back to reality, I am going back to every lesson that was covered during this dark period of mine and I have realized how much I have missed. Most lessons seemed to be complex at the time because mental I was not attentive but now I am seeing how clear and informative they are.

Module three focused a lot on the Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle. David A. Kolb developed this work in 1984 as the source of learning and development. It is called a “Learning Theory” because of its emphases on the central role that experience plays in the process of learning. The overall intention of his work is to expose the fact that individuals could learn through discovery and experience. This is clearly shared through his four stage learning cycle namely; Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualisation and Active Experimentation.

Upon doing some further reading from other sources, I encountered that for each of these stages there are various teaching activities that could be applied to each stage in order to enhance and create an effective learning experience. For Concrete Experience one could use, readings, fieldwork, simulations/ games, problem sets etc. In the Reflective observation one could incorporate logs, journals, discussions, brainstorming etc. In the Abstract conceptualisation it would be useful for one to use projects, analogies, model building etc; and lastly in Active experimentation one could infuse, case study, simulations, homework, laboratory etc.

Kolb’s work here is very consistent with what we have come to know about the way we naturally learn, grow and develop.

I’m Yet To Learn More

Facilitating the change. This is what was introduced to me today. I could not stop but to reflect to my challenging spiritual gift which I was told one cannot further her tertiary studies as she wishes.

I was told after my initiation I would have reached the education my ancestors had expected from me and encourage to focus only on the spiritual teachings. I have challenged each and every rule told in this spiritual process. Equally so, my belief has been challenged and tested in so many ways but at the end I believe that time evolves. The ancient practices performed then cannot be applied in this time and age. Our living style has changed, people have changed, government systems have changed, monetary value has change. So the word is changing.
So why are our spiritual beings expected not to change and how does one facilitate that change to something that has the so called rigid rules.

I am yet to learn more!

Learning is growing

In my custom there is a saying that going around is learning, indeed this is the case, however with this course, attending to every module as prescribed is tantamount to learning. In a normal scenario one would not think in depth about what learning means, do we have left or right brains, what is the sequence of our thinking and how does it formulate to normal ways of living.

In this module I have learned that I am a right brainer who inherently see the whole picture and form an in front approach when I read given my creative imagination. This is often considered an informal and non-academic issue given that I have never even studied psychology however this for me has revealed itself as an aha moment.

One’s appreciation of music and art forms part of an academic related approach toward the brain, think about it, all my days of listening to Eminem and enjoying the versatility of R Kelly is an academic related issue. I am very happy and I think I have grown to appreciate the skills I have and those that i apply in real life. Knowledge is indeed everything and we learn every day.

 

Am i a leftie…

Am sooooo loving these lectures and always look forward to the new things i will learn every saturday. Today we go deeper into knowing self and how these make one a better facilitator. So am a left brainer? What does that even mean to the next person,how do i interact and live harmoniously with a right brainer and not be pushed up the wall all the time. As a leftie i have my own way of thinking and doing things that might not really jell well with a right brained person. As a facilitator, i am encouraged to be mindful of others, create an enviroment where all can express themselves and learn without feeling belittled. Drawing energy from the outside world also keeps me going….
Am slowly applying these lessons in my life. Todays’ lesson though was very mind opening. Let me get home and apply it with my family, am sure we will have less arguments because now i know that its okay to be different and the world would in fact be a boring place if we were all leftie….so to my right brain fellows, bigs ups to you, you bring balance to some of our lives…

Learning about me.

I forgot to mention that on the first Saturday of joining the Facilitation class, that I had a very brief, yet powerful encounter with a gentleman by the name of Ernest. During a break, Ernest made me aware that there was artwork in the foyer along the ground floor, FNB building. I found Ernest gazing upon it, and when I somehow started chatting to him, that was the time when I consciously became aware of the various art forms and the artwork.

The art was displayed all along the walls and above of me. It was always there… Yet, only when I was present in the moment, did I experience the beauty of the artwork. My eyes opened up to it. My mind opened up to interpret the artwork. How beautiful. Thank you, Ernest. I would otherwise have missed out on experiencing and engaging with the paintings and the sculptures.

This reality check for me was similar to the affirmation and the validation experienced, when I was completing the exercises around my thinking style, and my preferred learning style. There were elements about the results which I immediately resonated with, and certainly new discoveries made about me, which I found very interesting. I now aim to maximise the input about my learning style in order to leverage my learning capabilities throughout my journey of life-long learning.

As I reflect, I am recognising that I need to be more open to new experiences. I am learning to challenge myself to see things differently. The beauty or the artwork may be right in front of me, and I will only see it once I choose to see it.  I need to be patient with myself so as to recognise that there may still be scales on my eyes in certain situations. Once these scales are removed, we may come to realise that life, people, and our surroundings are indeed fulfilling and very interesting.

 

Joharis Window

19 August

Joharis window….sounds very familiar

oh yes! i learnt about this concept many moons ago while i was still in high school. kept the principals of it but the name faded away a bit. so here’s my understanding of what Joharis window is.

there are many many things that you know about yourself. good and bad. whether you admit to them or not but fact remains you KNOW!

then there are things you don’t take note of about yourself but the public sees and knows of you. so this being mostly in your behavior. when you’re told about them it’s almost like a mystery that you’re being alerted about your behavior towards public.

then there are things that you choose knowingly to keep a secret meaning self knows but self chooses to hide certain things…secrets.

then there are things lying in the subconscious but your not aware of. those things have a tendency to rise when provoked by something uncomfortable or unsettling.

this as i reflect on today’s class is how i had learnt about Joharis window so long ago and it’s been in my system for a very long time. iv been living with it but weren’t taking note. this to me made me realise the power in hearing and understanding something that can have an effect on your life forever. love love love Lurrrrv it!

as usual teams put in hard work regarding their facilitation pieces and that’s putting a lot of pressure on the rest of us who are at the end LOL . todays facilitation group 3 facilitated on HONORING DIFFERENCES. itheyr narrowed their facilitation on the topic of RELIGION and i absolutely liked how they decided to keep the peace  with such a controversial topic  and yet instead of stirring chaos it actually made people see different. love it would have appreciated them discussing it more  and hearing more of views and conflict arises then see how they would handle it because not all conflict is bad or is meant to be resolved but hey it was a good piece none the less

my highlights for today’s lesson 🙂

 

Getting to know me better

The lesson on 12th August 2017 was more than interesting and proved to be useful in my everyday life.
Growing up and in most of my adult life, I’ve had people tell me how complicated I am and how difficult it is to exceed my expectations. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I finally understand why and its all thanks to the Reflective exercise we did on thinking style profiles. So, it turns out, I am complicated! I am so complicated that I confuse myself too.

So, it has basically come to my attention that I am a left brain. It could be the reason why I tend to overthink everything. Why I sometimes over plan for daily activities like what I am going to do when I get up on a weekend or even during working hours. The next time someone says I am complicated, I am just going to tell them that my scores were as follows;
Information Sorting – Detail
Motivation Preferences – External
Sensory Preferences – Kinesthetic
Learning Styles – Theorist

I am glad I enrolled for the facilitation skills module because I am getting to know me better each day.

Acknowledging and understanding the different learning styles


Being an accredited facilitator I have always been mindful of the different learning styles but i have never used or rather acknowledge that even my friend or family have different brain patterns than me.
A simple point to me may be a very difficult thing for the next person which can be frustrating!
What this lecture has taught me is that by being aware and instilling this knowledge in every aspect or in all my relationships can assist me in avoiding a lot of misunderstandings and arguments

I always record myself when reading my notes so i can listen to myself while driving to and from work, Module 3 helped me understand that this is because i am both a visual and auditory person!

Are we all that different?

Another week of facilitation is over. I said last week that I had changed my mind about facilitation but did I really… I walked into class thinking what can I expect today? Will I be engaged or will I get bored and switch off? The answer didn’t come quickly.

The group facilitation theme was ‘Honouring difference’. When I saw people dressed in traditional clothes bordering on religion my brain when up in red lights. “OH NO! Please don’t be talking about religion” I said to myself. If there are topics to avoid in groups like this, religion is one of them. The group began their facilitation and I was surprised. I began to realise that maybe there are ways to border such sensitive topics in such a way that it doesn’t create tension. That was before the feedback session. Once people were asked for Delta my thought about ‘topic to avoid’ was confirmed. Some people missed the plot, others seemed insulted and others were just confused about the whole thing.

As the class continued, tensions seemed to subside and I got the feeling that people began to relax again. The theory that we covered really had me engaged. Like I said the answer about how engaged I would be only came much later in the session. It weird to know that you know something but didn’t realise their was a name or actual concept behind those things you know. I found that the case for the Three Domains of Disclosure and the Johari Window. I mean as we were going through these theories/concepts, I was saying “But I know that”. What I didn’t know was that people had actually studied these things and given them names.

When we analysed the case study I found myself looking at how I could use these theories at work with my team. I started thinking about situations where something similar has happened and in what arena I had played in. I loved the experience. I’m finding reflection so useful for my day to day interactions. What really blew me away was the portio about how we respond to events and behaviours. Listening to Ros explain the Iceberg, and being a psychology student knowing that such iceberg as a product of Freud’s theory about the unconscious mind, a light went on in my head. I knew exactly how to use this to facilitate an upcoming workshop at work with a team struggling to communicate.

So, did the changing of my mind last… I’ll reserve my conclusion for later in the semester.

 

Change is change

Being in the second group we were given the topic of Facilitating Change which I found a challenge because we had to represent the topic for everyone to understand and recognize the change in their lives.

I was really impressed by the way my group and I dealt with problems that were thrown at us. We all had to make consensus for each other and when my class mates sister passed away were all saddened by her loss but we knew that we had to forge on.

 

I enjoyed the presentation and no one knew that we never actually had a full group practice or even contact session. We relied on Whatsapp to discuss critical issues and three group members met the day before to run through the class and make sure that our time would be structured.

I was glad when we got good feedback from the class. I had also been worried that the visualization technique that I would be facilitating may freak some class members out but fortunately they were all game and everybody understood the context of change in their lives. This session inspired me to accept change and I must always be ready for it. I learned how to work with people who were different from me and also to easily forgive.

Identified my own learning styles

Guess who’s back?

It has been a rough couple of weeks but we are surviving and thriving:-)

Module 3 was very insightful and I’ve learned something new about myself, I am a left brainer, detailed person, my motivational style is internal, my sensory preference is kinaesthetic and my learning style is investigative. This was my Aha moment in the session.

I have discovered that we as human beings are not all the same in the way we learn and communicate with each other. Some are operators, some are investigators like myself, some are theorist and others are initiators.   With Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, it is clear that no matter what style we each fall under, we will best perform in our personal, work and study life if we acquire all four learning modes.

I do often listen attentively but need to brush up on my listening skills, I need to ask more questions, I need to add more ideas & my knowledge and lastly I need to start exploring with new ideas and the outcomes.

All of the above will improve me as a person.

Signing out

 

 

LEARNING ABOUT LEARNING, A LEFT BRAINER CAN REWIRE THEIR BRAIN TO FACILITATE CHANGE

In this week’s workshop, I learnt how imperfectly perfect left and right brainers can work together in their differences.

The activities during class where according to the test results, we were grouped, were amazing. Learning that accepting and embracing your “YOU-NESS” is okay. For years I was told through various stages of my life that I was a left brainer and I was in denial, especially since the people who told me that about me, made it sound like I was stuck up.

When we were to name things that we hated about the right brainers, I suddenly realised that I am not the only “stuck up” person and I am not weird. I also got to understand the right brainers, whom at some point, irritated me as they came across as irresponsible and didn’t apply their minds into doing things.

There was a category of the tests where my Thinking Style was unpacked and there’s a lot of truth there.  During the activities, I also learnt that learning and appreciating others’ thinking styles, helps with knowing the right approach when dealing with them so that you can achieve the desired outcome of your engagement.

I am a Left Brain dominant individual who applies a detailed information sorting style. My motivational style is mostly external and I am both visual and kinaesthetic in sensory preference. My learning and communication style is an Initiator. My friend, Refilwe, is a Right Brain, Bigger Picture, Internal, Visual and an Operator.

What’s my point? My point is that Refilwe and I are so different and after the activities, we both understood what being on the other side of the fence meant and how to deal with our differences towards working together without too many hurdles.

Group 2’s facilitation piece, FACILITATING CHANGE was just too close to home. Change does change who we are, it’s up to us whether the route we take is positive or negative. I loved how the audience flowed with the group during their facilitation, myself included. I am not one to talk during people, but that day, I spoke and was audible enough and my story touched a few people. I think that because their message related to everyday life, it made it easy for me to choose to be present in that facilitation, I paid attention, I told the truth without fear of being judged.

The more I learn stuff in these workshops, the more I look forward to the next workshop. I cannot wait for Group 3: HONOURING DIFFERENCE and how it will be executed next week.

P.S. Remember, when change happens, trust can be broken.  Am I handling change in a way that can change my life and those around me to be better? Are you?

All religions are equal

“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams-they all have different names, but they all contain water. just as religions do- they all contain truths” Muhammad Ali.   I have learnt that religion is a broader spiritual sphere and needs people to be open-minded.  As much as I expect other people to accept my religion i should do the same. The Holy Bible says: do to others what you expect them to do you.

We are living in a society which is divided when it comes to religion, everybody feels that his or her religion is more superior than the other peoples’ religion without any tangible evidence to substantiate such findings. This past Saturday’s presentation taught me a lot about different religions, and the significance of respecting other religions.

Karl Marx argues that, religion didn’t make us but we made religion. It is very important to understand the different ways of doing things by others. It is not right to make a judgement based on limited knowledge we have. At the end of the day, as people we connect somewhere somehow to the universe. Any religion is very fundamental in building our society, at the end we are all human beings and we belong somewhere.

My level of connection with others is dependent on how fluent I am in “HUMAN”

I wish someone had shared these thinking styles with me sooner and saved me a lot of awkward moments, but then again as Owen Harrison. (1991) said, “Whenever it starts is the right time”. It seems that understanding the compatibility of thinking styles could have helped me avoid stepping on a lot of “corns”.

I realise that I wasted too much time trying to “fix” others, trying to manage their personalities instead of taking control of ME (facilitation skills 101). The holy grain of fluency in “HUMAN” is dependent on how well we connect; I believe that we connect intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The masters of this skill seem to understand the art of connecting with all different thinking styles at a much deeper level than the rest of us common folks.  Then there’s the issue of soul alignment (this is a topic for another day) but in a nutshell, if our souls are not aligned I’ll  send you some love and light then keep it moving.

As a #GirlBoss, this made me realise that my authority isn’t the same as my competencies therefore it is best to not interfere in the areas of my partner’s competencies as this often results in conflict and poor productivity. I believe that understanding how different thinking styles operate will help me work better with others and help me communicate more effectively, it will also help me to become more receptive to their ideas.

For now though I’m on operation Fastina Lente so that I can try to create a more inclusive environment and hopefully become more fluent in “HUMAN”.

Mbali

 

 

 

To the left, to the left!

So, I did the prep work this time and enjoyed the activities in class, YAY!
I became independent at an early age as I had to leave home and stay with relatives. Not that this was a bad experience, however, I had to quickly adjust to doing stuff for and on my own instead on relying on someone else to do it for me. This made me very rigid, typical of the Virgo that I am.
I remember at my first job, someone commented that I was left brained. It was Greek to me at the time, so I never paid much attention to the comment. As time went on and growing in my professional life, I soon learned what the person meant so it got stuck in my mind that I was truly that as I also began to realise how I would want things done a certain way and would be frustrated if they didn’t go my way.
Doing the reflection exercise then plotting the results on the graphs revealed a new person that I wasn’t aware I had become. Talk about embracing change. I am still a left brain but a light one 😊. I must admit that being a wife and a parent has had a lot to do with the adjustment. Some have happened in the workplace but mostly at home.
The activity that we had to do in class to challenge the right brained group was a lesson to me that none of the two is better that than the other, it just means that one can use both sides of the brain except one is more dominant. I should not look at someone differently because of how they do and/or see things

The inner me

I remember that morning I did not want to go to class because I felt that it is actually just too much for me. I hate what am becoming every Saturday as I am forced to talk and discuss some issues of which I do not want but hey…. I AM FORCED TO DO IT. What I did not know is that the inner me is actually competitive especially when I am in a platform of a debate or a dialogue. We were put in a circle having a dialogue of why are we at Wits and I found myself opening up to all those students and without fear. I never knew I would actually speak in front of lot of students and pouring out like that. My inner me competed with all of them. I had a gut that says you are not going to be left out therefore its your turn… “speak up” And I did, that was really a surprise and I was proud of myself and I told myself to loosen up from that moment onwards. Next time I will the first to go and hey baby steps “asomblif”

Wow… Another surprise was the fact that I did not know that I am a right brain. I was like wow!!! It made me understand my behaviour and how are see thing. what I forgot to ask is that you can use both right and left brain or not? But I have realised that I am learning a lot of things in that class. I now got used to the settings and I have realised it is a good idea to be in such setting. The group was on another level am telling you. I sometimes ask myself if I cant outplay all the group presented already because I only see energetic and charismatic individuals doing their best they can but the question is can I really do the same? I have to as I do not have a choice, soft spoken and introverts as I am, I have to. At the end of the day I personally grow as an student and will definitely explore it to other parts of my life. What an experience!!!!!

Breaking down cultural barriers.

 

This week class once more started off with a presentation, topic of choice was Honouring Difference.

The group held a “talk show” type of presentation with a silent demonstration of different religions and cultures, even though there was hardly a lot of talking the overall effect was refreshing and different from what I expected. Once more opening myself up to new experiences is always so energetic!

We then got into group sto discuss the four elements of life that are shared universally – Birth, initiation , marriage and death.

It so interesting that even though we are so different all our cultures and beliefs are so alike. At the end of our session I felt we are all connected to each other, which was a great feeling.

My two aha moments for this class were as follows:

Three domains of disclosure; basically we all have a public, private and unconscious domain. Am definitely going to start observing my work colleagues more on these fronts!

And the Resistance Barometer which I think is a fabulous tool to start marking any relationship against and gain a better insight before things lead to a “strike” or “war”.

Starting to enjoy my Saturday morning and very much looking forward to this coming week, so much more to learn and explore….

 

Lesson number three and counting!

The brain is an amazing organ, It’s interesting how we process information, rewards and assessments. After taking the assessment on Saturday I couldn’t help but notice how it seemed as though  no one was aware of their thought process until they took the assessment. Or the possibility that many knew, but needed affirmation (myself included).  I could be wrong, but I noticed how a lot of people in the room became confident and engaged in the session once this was brought to light.

My aha moment was when I realised that I need to start appreciating my team at work.  There are times when I think that I can just do everything myself, left-brain style.  But in reality the two coexist – you need a mix of creativity to keep things interesting.  Just as well, you need the logic to bring that big picture to life.

My experience…

…Creativity, imagination, and intuition with a mix of reasoning,  analytical and logical thinking is a good combination. We need a bit both.

 

At long last……Facilitation skills in 3!!!!!….

Oh oh facilitation skills what is it though? I read the cover page of the Course pack and it interests me to know that it can be related to my everyday life a work and also on a social meetings. But dah!!! There is more to it than what I preferred of it in the first place…the idea was to score point lol. Facilitation is not just standing in front of people with a paper or laptop or projector and start telling people of what you have experts on…..
First day in class all seems to be confusing but there comes the most amazing scenario a course with three lectures, how cool is that? Oh i thought they were also students but their knowledge was beyond my expectations about the course but only to learn later that they are on the lecture panel. Then i went home wondering if i was at the right class or not.
Week two come and pass because i couldn’t attend the class due to family commitment but my mind never stopped from asking what a facilitation skill up until week three started is.
There we are in week three and they speaking about change and people became emotional about the subject but at least am catching up to understand my first day question about the course I took myself in to. I am an introvert and am wondering still that how will it be of help from this course if am with people who can speak and laugh without thinking much. As I am still wondering about that. Ros asked which type of brainer are we? There i am left brainer haha haha and it is said you are a logical thinker and too conscious to say…………….
That got me thinking again about my partner. Oh thanks God now i know myself so i might have to be careful when am dealing with other people for there might be left or right brainers.
Oh my word this class is so interesting i can’t wait for the upcoming Saturday there is so much to learn here……… now my day one question is finding its answers day by day. They said if you are confused in your studies then you are learning surely and surely I am that leaving testimony………

Preparation for the Presentation

Presentation Week 19 August 2017

The moment of truth has arrived! It is my groups’ turn to present this week. Two groups have already presented their pieces. Being the first to do anything has always been a very scary experience because you don’t have anything or anybody to measure against. You actually have to set the trend. Well that is as far as disadvantages go. The up side is that you do it, you get over and done with and if you are lucky no one can match you. Being a trend setter has huge advantages in that people tend to use your trend as a yardstick! While you, by virtue of being the first, you use your creativity and make your own rules.
This is where I and my group find ourselves, question after question, no solution. One moment we think we have it, the next it seems daft. We have deliberated at length, still we find ourselves here:

Working under pressure is my worst, yesterday I literary got a mental block, you know when you have gone into google trying to find the answer and you still come out empty! I mean google is supposed to answer all questions and when it does not you get the feeling that you are on your own.
I decided to call it a night and I jumped into the shower before bed. Voila! The ideas came tumbling down as the shower spray came down. I jumped out of the shower still dripping with water scrambling to find pen and paper to jot down these most welcome ideas filling my head. Needless to say I had the most peaceful night since Monday as it was already Wednesday.

Module 3

My Saturday mornings have taken a new dynamic, I am an avid runner and waking up early is not a challenge for me at all. Initially when I started this Facilitation class on a Saturday morning I could sense my body was protesting. Ideally I would be out on my morning run, but I realise there are wants and needs and Facilitation now takes priority as far as my academic career is concerned. I am a very structured person and change does not come easily in my world; routine is the order of the day.

CHANGE! ideal presentation as portrayed by Group 2, the group perfectly executed their facilitation peace leaving me having a few personal conversations. Amidst the fact that we go through change on a daily basis equally change at times present challenges or discomfort. I will make a concerted effort and embrace change on a personal level instead of being rigid in my ways and how I do things. Perhaps throwing caution to the wind is not such a bad idea, perhaps even engage in more fun and random moments oppose to my planned and structured manner in how I do things.

Unfortunately I had to leave class early as I had to attend a wedding but overall the class was on par and I enjoyed the learnings.

I look forward to more learnings and development

Gigi

Right brainer much???

As I reflect on last week’s facilitation class, it got me thinking… “T, you are not alone and you are not crazy, you are just surrounded by people with different characteristics and a different way of thinking”.

While doing the reflection exercise (thinking style profile), I had no idea how the exercise was going to change the way I see myself and other people. It turns out I am Right-Brain Dominant.

I am generally impatient and find it hard to explain myself when I perceive something to be ‘obvious’. The issue with this type of thinking is that I find myself so frustrated with others, to a point where I just become indifferent. To me, nothing is more annoying than someone who does not “just get to the point”.

I know for certain that we all get to a point where we feel we are too different or that nobody understands us or how we think. Surely even those people who like explaining (also known as left drainers) something so simple in long-winded ‘essays’ feel frustrated when right brainers lose interest mid their elaborative conversation. And yes we do start to wonder and think about other things when you go on and on…

I went and did a little research, yes, right brainers do research too. I wanted to find out if being a right brainer really correlates with my personality, so it turns out I am a right brainer more than the right brain. Also, I have learned that most left-handed people are often right brained– so I guess my story checks out. I got a little naughty as well; I tricked my family members to answer the questions from the exercise, well of course in the name of “doing research”. Turns out we have both left and right brainers in the family. And boy, did this make sense of who have been slowing us down. I started to make sense of how I have related to each one of them in the past, especially when we had to organize family functions.

Anyway, it was really eye opening to learn about the right and left brain dominance and how our way of doing things could be as a result of which side of our brain is more dominant. This exercises was also helpful in that, moving forward, I will do my best to be more patient and understanding of those who start a conversation with “once upon a time”…

It was great to know I was in a company of other impulsive, creative/artistic, intuitiveness and most of all, awesome individuals.

…Oh, and to our logical left brainers… it is not that deep!!!

 

and the two shall become one

When we hear this phrase – we immediately think of marriage, but what would happen if we applied this in our work situations – like marriage its the coming together of two different people, some times from different countries, cultures, ethnic groups and religion to name just a few, all with a common purpose, to create an adventure together.

Working together requires patience, understanding, empathy it requires us to forget that we are an island and that we co-exist with other people that are totally different to us, as we’ve seen people learn differently to each other making even the most patient person a little bit unnerved.

Imagine a world where only black and white existed, what a boring world that would be – lefties need the righties and vice versa – and when black and white mix we have a beautiful grey area – and sometimes we need a little more white to make it light grey and sometimes we need a lot more black to make it dark grey, when the two become one, something magical that did not exist before, is created and that is the beauty of it all

 

For the love of Brain

“Mastering other is strength; mastering yourself is true power”

I open the page and there it is – an assessment on your brain dominance and learning preferences.  I am in love I think to myself, with a little grin.  Let’s do this.  Results are in… contradiction at a major level.  What is this?  I re-evaluate.  Yip, definitely correct… well this is interesting.

Anxious to know what my results mean, the group presentation is about to begin.  The thought of what topic is up for discussion didn’t even cross my mind.  Change, change and some more change… What an interesting presentation, I enjoyed it so much and all of the sudden they were finished.  But I wanted more!  More information.

After the break we have to divide into to groups, those with left brain dominance to the left and those with right brain dominance to the right.  Well… this is awkward. I am smack bang in the middle. Roslyn explains to myself and Claudia that this is how it is meant to be.  We should use both parts instead of allowing the one to be too dominant.  Victory dance!

I learnt a great deal about myself Saturday and through doing the assessment.  Paying more attention to people and there ways can truly tell you a lot about them and how to approach them.  This will allow for excellent communication in all aspects of your life.

 

If nothing goes right Go Left

Well done to group 2, they were well prepared and it was refreshing and it felt relevant. They used real life examples which the audience could relate to. The personal stories from the audience made a huge impact.

Our class activity on right and left brain was very interesting. I have learned a lot about myself furthermore I have learned to be more aware of how other people think and how to deal with it. The debate we had was eye opening, and tools where shared how  to communicate in the person’s mode. The exercise thought me where I need to grow in parts where I was not strong in. The assessment allowed me to see where I and others fit in the bigger picture. Thus far I could quickly assess and see where my co-workers fit in and I now  have a sort of contingency plan in place to use certain techniques when I need to get work done 🙂

 

Different  flowers make a beautiful bouquet!

Different flowers make a beautiful bouquet!

Now that was my Saturday morning well spent, I thought to myself as I zoned out from the blaring music in the car on my way home – to reflect on the experience and lesson for the day.

Apart from the really cool facilitation that the ladies had put together, I was so inspired and taken with some of the personal experiences that people shared regarding embracing change. It was so real, so raw –and a lot of times, we tend to think that we’re the only ones feeling a certain way….that no one else understands.

I found their honesty refreshing! It really is amazing how we can find inspiration, strength and courage in the most unexpected places if we just open ourselves up to it.

Ah, then came the second session – which was undoubtedly the highlight for me! (Even though I felt like a bad apple for not having completed my reflection exercise beforehand – Sorry Ros! So much for being a “left-brainer”).

I found myself completely intrigued by Thinking Style Preferences and must admit that I even learned a thing or two about myself. Also about how other people think, learn and communicate….I’m throwing myself wholeheartedly in this one, cos although it may be difficult to adapt at first – I’m a firm believer in “Practice makes perfect”. I just love how useful it is in all arrears of one’s life, home, work and play – so much so that I couldn’t wait to share it with my family! (Needless to say, the “right-brainers” couldn’t wait for me to get to the point lol)

It is said that our similarities bring us to common ground, while our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other. I completely agree! Challenging as it may be, let’s see our differences as strengths and capitalize on them. After all, a bouquet is made from a variety of flowers… some thorny, others prickly….but beautiful non-the-less.

Knowing me and knowing you…

Week 3 of facilitation skills started on a high note as expected. Group 2 tackled the topic of change with earnestness and authenticity. It was note worthy to discover that the theme of change and its universality touched and affected the majority of class, yet the depth and dimensions of each individual’s story was distinct and sacred. Some deeply touching stories were shared as the group was reflecting on the content that was disseminated and the methods used by group 2 to facilitate change dialogues. Pity the presentation went so quickly. 🙂

Discovering the virtues and bedevilments of being right brain dominant nearly sent me into a mild depressive state. I was deeply struck by how emotional and internally focused I am. Does this mean I am a ranting raving emotional being? Is that made worse by the fact that I am a woman? What does this say about my prospects as a leader? Can I remain rational and impartial? Do my emotions drive my agenda and motivation? So much to learn…so much to consider. The road ahead is rosy yet I cannot take my foot off the pedals of personal mastery. The employment and empowerment of my right brain capacity needs to maintain top of mind for me. A skillful facilitator remains impartial and rational at all times.

I have been experimenting with the new knowledge I discovered in respect of the way I solve problems and learn. Sitting at a desk or in a library does not enhance my ability to learn, I need to keep moving baby!

Moments of delta reflection always impact supremely on my moments of personal reflection. The process of positive or constructive criticism is managed carefully and with utmost delicacy by Rosslyn. A good leader makes an effort to articulate moments of delta (difference/improvement) with care and kindness. A good leader builds and cultivates the best in others.

Things are starting to heat up – Week 3

After reading most of the blogs from Saturdays class I am regretting not be able to attend class. But what do you do when family rings the emergency red bell.

The left brain and right brain has always fascinated and intrigued me! I most definitely use both sides of my Brain, BUT clearly more right Brain.

I honestly wish I used more of my left brain in my current career. It is hard been a Banker in Digital Innovation. If you don’t know that is strange combination.

Been more of a right brainer sends most of the analytical banking thingy over my head and you Right Brainers will understand that. While you Left Brainers are busy rationalising what I just said.

I just realised why I am always late to class, I lack more of left brain control with a sense of time. Now I don’t feel as guilty…I wish they don’t lock be out next week for coming late.

WEEK 3 – MODULE 3

What an enjoyable module. starting from the presentation to the module facilitation, debate and the Plus Delta and the Delta.

Team 2 presented very well. I liked it when they made us fold our arms the way you normally fold and vise versa, the lesson was that little change made most of us soo uncomfortable and the presentation also made us realise that every second we come across change and most of the time we turn to turn a blind eye to ignore it until it’s the biggest change that you really have to deal with. There is good change and bad change but the most important thing is how you handle the change!!!

The left brain and the right brain facilitation was sooooo interesting. I learned that I a right brain and I really like to leave things to the last minutes and when I am under pressure I just do what I am supposed to do and reach my deadline, that always surprises me… Take risk, I am a free spirit and I really like to take short cuts…

We all need the both parts of the brains to work equally to do the best in what ever we do.

 

Week3 # change # facilitation # where do you fit in?

 

I was stressing about getting to class on time as I did not want to be in the “locked out zone” , I guess I should mention that I am most definitely not a morning person and getting out of bed is a daily mission.. however I just about made it on time and am sure glad I did as I really enjoyed the second group presentation – topic of discussion: Change.

The ladies had a really calming effect and I enjoyed the way they presented and challenged each of us with the mind games. The most striking for me was the most simple, crossing your arms in a different direction, I never realized something so small could make me so uncomfortable, this just goes to show how set we all are in our own routine. The point that stuck with me the most was been vulnerable to change we need to start trusting and accepting the “change” so that we can use it in a positive way.

 

Most of this week lesson was centred around different learning styles, patterns of learning, left and right handed brain sides, overall very interesting. I think my aha moment came with the statement of a good facilitator is one that can grasp the audience and be able to switch learning techniques and style to match the group so that everyone can benefit. Phew.. heavy statement and I guess one that would come from practice and lots of interaction, but definitely can be attained, challenge to myself: start training the right brain more.

This entire course is starting to open up new thoughts and questions for myself and it is a good feeling to ponder so many ideas all at once J

 

Am finally starting to relax in class and hopefully can benefit from all those around me as there are so many ideas and stories to share, looking forward to this coming Saturday! Minus the dreaded waking up part lol…

Have a super week ahead all, chat again soon.

ushintsho feels like an ->

on one’s system.

In time for class and doing last weeks homework. Interesting.

Group 2 presented on the definition of being uncomfortable – Jip! “Change” – “ushintsho”.

It is attacking in all dimensions of learning about learning.

Reflection exercise – done on learning about learning: Today’s topic. However, the weeks before we have learned tools that are used to build a container such as to Check in and Check out; identify a strong framework for facilitation; understand how people learn and communicate.

Our class activity today used the Reflection exercise regarding the right or left brain, internal and detailed person etc. However, I always shift between brain dominance patterns, information sorting preferences, motivational styles and sensory preferences, but I should really work on my learning styles: Eish!!!! Theorist is on a score 1. The brain activity revealed that we all spontaneously move across from left to right and visa versa, from internal to external and in whichever way we need to sort and absorb information. As humans we are dynamic and we constantly find ourselves in different environments that prompt us to use our brains in different ways. So Lefties and Righties – Stop fighting!!!! you use and need each other and many times you are married to one another – interesting?! Opposites do attract.

MY REFLECTION ON SELF: Information

Information sorting preferences –

I learn better through visual and this impacts on my communication and interactive style.

A shout out to Group 2 – Topic on Change – well prepared, Ice Breaker, content and reflective exercises was really done well. As for Plus Delta – my personal view is there were more plusses than minuses.

Purple head lady – Most enjoyed Module 3, and she is looking forward to next week.

Learning About Learning – Facilitating Change

With today’s group, the general idea was made clear from the start. i do feel however that the two exercises that were done with the audience caused some confusion among the participants, and could have been organised slightly better.  that being said, the engagement with the audience was good. i feel that maybe the presenters could’ve moved around a bit more and use the space of the facility a bit better, rather then all of them just standing all bunched up in the front of the venue.  Over all, the facilitation tools used along with their techniques and methods, made the overall experience exiting and got the message through which was to facilitate change in life.