Category Archives: Week 9

Week 9: Seeing with new eyes

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

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

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

Building relationships

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

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

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

Oby

Week 9 Seeing With New Eyes

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

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

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

Story Telling

 My group presented story telling and I was very overwhelmed with the preparations for the topic and took in a lot of responsibilities to ensure the success of the presentation. It is not very easy to work in a group especially when you are a perfectionist. I had to pause and breath when things were not coming together and when people were not responsive on whatSapp. It was only in the last week of the presentation that I started seeing the light.        

 It was very interesting to research on the topic.I was not aware of the impact of storytelling and how it carries emotions. We tend not look at what people do but we listen to their stories and they stay longer in our hearts and mind. The most interesting thing that we did in class that I enjoyed during the lesson was about the 4 rituals that makes cultures the same and that was birth , initiation, marriage and death. I enjoyed hearing other people’s stories about how they handle the four rituals.

Week 9 : Seeing with different eyes

  • The topic of the day was interesting and was about different things that everybody can see either with the naked eyes. The interesting part of it was that each group was given the opportunity to raise their opinion and mindset that they generally have towards that thing. The group presented very well even though they were unable to give direction to the audience but the topic was well-researched and the tool they have used was also wonderful. My worry was about challenges that occur in blended families but the truth is everything in life has its own challenges
  • I am always engaged with my friends especially from the church about the challenges they have encountered on a daily basis and always give me a positive result the always seeing things positive. On the day, the class was fun and I personally enjoy it.

Story Telling

This was one of the most enjoyable days in this class. I absolutely loved the entire presentation given today. They started off with broken telephone and low and behold the story changed so badly by the time it got to the end! I cannot believe how easily a story can be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Each group had to arrange pictures on a board and tell a story about it. I got to see first hand how everyone has a different perception about a picture. How different people’s minds work. It is wonderful. After the presentation, we spoke about how we should paint pictures with words and that that painting pictures with words convey the emotions of the story. The main thing that I took away from this class today was the fact that everyone sees everything from their point of view. That is why … everyone sees a story differently. Stories are also fluid and change all the time.

Story Telling

I learnt that storytelling is very important in describing 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.

Storytelling can be used as a method to teach ethics, values and cultural norms and differences. Learning is most effective when it takes place in social environments that provide authentic social cues about how knowledge is to be applied. Stories function as a tool to pass on knowledge in a social context.

This week I learnt that by crafting a story that I am passionate to tell it serves a real purpose, my stories will have bigger impact on the world.

story telling

The activity on story telling is profound because it relates to every aspects of live. I regard story telling as capturing and sharing of information that allows one to learn and grow from previous experiences. It helps people to appreciate differences in terms of culture and race. Personally,narrating my live experiences to my children makes it easier for them to understand my family history and why we practice specific cultural values and norm. It also helps my children to understand life challenges and the need to persevere. In working environment, sharing company history with newly appointed employees, assist me in promoting commonality. meaning we share common company values in order to reach common goal and that employee feel that they can identify with the objectives of the company.

Seeing with new eyes

The main reason of this presentation was to make people realize that we may have certain perception about certain things but it in not always the case that what we think about others is right. As much we are all South African living in this beautiful country but must acknowledge that we are different with race, culture, politically etc but we must embrace our diversity.

Upon preparing about this topic, my group and I had to come up with lot of ideas and I must say it was a challenging task. After we were done presenting we wanted people to see that if one changes his/her perception about certain thing or people the cloth that has been covering their eyes gets removed and they are able to see with new eyes. In order for us to embrace each other is that we have to change our perception towards other people. And that is the only way to go… We were engaging with our individual groups we learned new things about certain racial groups and we learned of things which were not true about certain cultures.

Story Telling

Stories are genuine way of expressing human experiences. Its amazing how before the picture is formed in our mind we don’t understand what we hear, what a better way of communication. There are several psychological reasons why stories are so powerful.
“Stories are how we are wired. Stories take place in the imagination. To the human brain, imagined experiences are processed the same as real experiences. Stories create genuine emotions, presence (the sense of being somewhere), and behavioral responses.”
This is the most amazing part of the storytelling that stood out for me, because as human beings we tell stories everyday whether good or bad, structured or unstructured. I love the dynamics of bring peoples together because it actually capture the human essence. Stories Telling promotes dialogue and collaboration and I just realized that in the context of facilitation if you want to keep it up and relevant one needs to bring in stories as part of the facilitation to capture the audience as well as leave the audience with something to take home.
In conclusion I have learned that people learn easily when are told a store which in a way brings the connection with the learning.

Seeing with new eyes

I was so sorry to miss this class, I believe it would have been a very interesting topic. From what I gathered from other classmates what they spoke about was the different cultured groups within South Africa. They spoke about the different beliefs, religion and lifestyles and how different the thinking was in general.

South Africa has so many dynamics that are interesting to learn. Even in my work, I try to greet in different languages that I have learned, like Sotho, Zulu and Venda. And it’s funny how we make the assumptions that all Africans can speak Zulu, because to me growing up in KZN and Mpumalanga, that was the language that we got to grow up to. The topic can be quite sensitive to certain individuals, but I believe they have finished it off very well. Perspective right? Gotta love the people. XoXo…

Story Telling

Believe it or not Story Telling is still in fashion, what is different is the manner in which the message of this is being delivered.

Culturally story telling was done in a form of gathering together and listening to the elderly telling those tales. The modern way of story telling is through Music, Movies and Television. This is a true remarkable transformation.

  • What the team facilitating also highlighted the importance of understanding or rather ensuring that the following questions are thought through before telinng a story.
  • What?
  • Why?
  • To Whom?
  • When?
  • How?
  • Where?

This topic encouraged me to go and buy my 3 year old son a book and introduce him to another method of story telling at home like they do in Nursery School. This decision has helped me find another way of bonding with my son not only that but I also help him learn. That for me is trully amaizing.

Potso!

Seeing with new eyes

It is Saturday morning, the day after my move to our new home. It took me 15 minutes to get to class and I was on time.

I felt that the group presentation went well. The theme for the topic was about different cultures, each group had the opportunity to express their views about the truth, opinion and mindset that people generally have towards these cultures. Some people from other groups were not sensitive enough to understand that it is a sensitive issue and can be offensive to others because we all see things differently.

In most cases, people are caught up in their own things and refuse to see things differently. I’ve already mentioned that I moved into a new house and this move was significant and put things into perspective. At first, I was nervous and really thought it will be difficult sharing space with the love of my life, simply because its a new experience, it comes with more change and it means our relationship has evolved. I was worried about challenges that occurs in blended families but the truth is every thing in life has its own challenges. It is just how you handle and tackle them. I spoke to the people close to me about it and everyone told me to be positive. Another scenario that stood out for me is when one person in my syndicate group asked me how I felt about it after our last chat. I responded and his advise to me was to go into it with a positive mindset. That right there changed how I saw everything around it. I went home, looked around my home. Seeing the level of effort that my life partner put into making the home comfortable for me and seeing our beautiful and handsome kids reminded me that I always have to look at things from a different angle. I remembered what I learned in class…” to look over the balcony”. That is engraved in my mind to an extend that I now look at everything with an open mind. I don’t overreact but I find my joy and visit this place quite often. I am no longer anxious and fearful but instead I am loving this major change, happy to be where I am in life and looking forward to sharing this beautiful space with my loved ones, giving them the best of me at all times. At the end of it all… its a mindset switch then boom, the light shines again… the only difference is, it shines even brighter than before. I have learnt that for me to see things differently, I have to look and think differently but most importantly self-reflect, step outside my situation and see it with new eyes.

The class was fun and interesting, the 30 seconds game was absolutely the best. I love it because it is one of our favourite “family game” to play. My team and I had another chance to get back into our syndicate group and that made me feel at home because it is a team that is easy to get along with, lively and fun. In my opinion, our team seemed to be having the most fun in the class during the game..LOL. Telfer did an amazing job with the class and most of us saw him with new eyes. Well done Telfer!

STORY TELLING

#We all have a story to tell! I have learned and reminded that story telling evoke emotions, arouse interest and also paints a picture. 

I enjoyed the activity that was given to class where each and every group to tell a story about the pictures in their table. In my table we had a picture of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s pictures, where we come about the story that he was a caring human being, very focused, educated, resilient (picture in Robben Ireland) and had unconditional love for his country.

It is very interesting that with just a picture you can be so creative in bringing motions, interest and a live movie to a person who is listening. We need to tell more of our personal stories.

Story Telling

Week 9, Saturday 21 September 2019

Saturday morning, we started off with a broken phone exercise/ice breaker it was creative and well thought off. The experience was enjoyable and reminded me of the dangers we facet as the society: the original or authenticity of the story will never be same, we tend to interpret stories to our own understanding and end up losing the whole meaning of the story. Usually it will be different and somewhat not making sense.

Next off we had pictures allocated as per group, we had to make up a story line and segment the story to class. Our topic was Social Relation and we focused on the recent Xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, violence is sought not to solve issues but jerks’ abhorrence. The conditions brought the country into distraction and it interfered with classes and work, tautness was in the midst.

Story telling it is enjoyable; stories is evident to our existence as human beings. I remember the time when my mother and I would share stories of respect, love and humility. This tradition will passed-on to my son. Stories implants culture.

Ms. Solomon, touched on how our HISTORY has been re-written; it is His Story. The History we are reading today is not the same as the one read 10 -15 years ago. Cultures may be different but how we do practises, and rituals can be the same. For example, most cultures celebrate birth and they mourn during death. We are the same only the colour of our skin sets us apart.

I have now realised that any person cannot be defined by their single story. Personal stories change with time.

Video: The danger of a single story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (http://youtu.be/D9lhs241zeg)

Expressing gratitude

I was almost late for this class, glad I made it in time. At times we think that we have to be extravagant with the way that we show gratitude because the world has become so materialistic.

The team that facilitated did a great job remind us that a simple thank you and acknowledgement was enough.

A grateful heart is a treasure found

Years ago I smiled when I heard the singing of the birds outside my room. My family couldn’t understand the big deal. What was new to me had become mundane and almost unnoticeable and forgotten to them. 

I had just received a hearing aid. I stopped several times because I could hear my own footsteps, and even the clanging sounds on my laptop keyboard took some getting used to. 

I call September my marmalade month because it is a month of extreme highs and extreme lows:

5 September – my daughter was born

8 September – my brother died

9 September – my sister and I share a birthday

12 September – my mom died, on her eldest granddaughter’s birthday

13 September – my dad would have had a birthday

15 September – my niece (my brother who died’s daughter) has a birthday

19 September – my nephew has a birthday 

25 September – my brother who died would have had a birthday 

27 September – my niece has a birthday

So it is a rather bittersweet month.

Yet I have learned to find a reason to smile. To give thanks not for all things, but in all things. My giving thanks is that despite the two significant deaths (which CS Lewis likens to amputations) I choose to be grateful because of the births I celebrate, but also because they could have died on my birthday. 

And so too do I give thanks for the gift of learning, and for having been honoured to be part of this course.

 

 

Learning from Life – 22 September 2018

Some topics makes sense and you come in class with a certain perspective, belief and some expectations. It is always refreshing to come out of class having learnt something new.

However, s***t happens in facilitation (disclaimer: I am referencing Roslyn).

The team facilitating on this day was energetic and I enjoyed that aspect as a person who draws energy from others. Aha, this is why I disappear when negative people are around!

There was a lot of suspense around the candles that we were supposed to bring and I was keen on finding out what candles had to do with the topic. The team struggled with time keeping so they could not finish their facilitation. As a result, one of the team members did not get her chance to facilitate which was a shame.

I learnt that teams should focus some of their energies to collaboration, communication and check-in for proper planning and aligning. Every voice needs to be heard because we all have something to learn from each other.

As a facilitator, it is important to remain neutral, allow conflict o happen, create a safe environment for everyone in order for them to feel safe enough to share their ideas, thoughts, frustrations, etc. We also need to be careful as facilitators not to allow attacks on other people while emotions are being expressed. This took me back to a lesson we did around removing yourself from the conflict in other to find a solution “move to the balcony to see a different point of view”.

The big learning for me in the learning from life facilitation was how Roslyn handled conflict. In the process of doing well and being competitive, we should be careful of the unintended harm that may be caused. A good facilitator needs to be aware of their surrounds.

Building Shared Understanding

I was late for this class and missed the group facilitation. However from the feedback provided by other classmates the group did quite a interesting presentation.
What was interesting for me from this weeks class though was the Johari window! The more I think about the Johari window the more I understand that when communicating with people we have to be aware of ourselves and what we reveal or do not reveal to others.
However what we reveal or do not reveal does tie in with trust, if we feel that we are in a trusting climate we will share our feelings and thoughts.
Trust though has to be developed over time – I feel that this is an area I need to work on especially in my current work environment!

RESOLVING CONFLICT & BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Conflict is undesirable and uncomfortable yet every once in a while each person will conflict with someone or something and it is best to have the tools to know how to resolve the conflict. Conflict arises from not understanding each other perspective and not giving value to the person or their point of view. To avoid conflict one needs to listen with an open mind and try see things from the other person’s point of view. the problem with conflict is when the issues are not resolved and a person character is attacked . We need to engage more to better understand each other and hopefully get along better.

Building relationships take time as trust, communication openness has to exist .Communication is the biggest factor and caring goes a long way to building relationships.

 

Regards

Wakhile

Building shared understanding

The group that was facilitating presented on the holidays that we have in our country and whether is it really necessary to have all of them. In the process fairness about the religious holidays was questioned seeing that we are a diverse country with various religious denominations. It was interesting to hear the different views from the people.

We then started with our lesson for a day where we were asked to write down the dates from the time one was born the highs and lows that took place along the way to date. We were grouped in pairs and had to share with your partner as to how you dealt with the challenges that you came across in life. It just took me to the places that I didn’t want to go to at that moment but I guess life has a way of forcing you to go to the places that you thought that you won’t go back to.

Reflecting

Writing the reflective essay has really put into perspective what this Facilitation Course is actually about. It is a study of personal mastery and success. It teaches you to navigate personal and professional relationships by monitoring your internal climate and really investigating your thoughts and belief systems.

The ways in which this course has enriched my life, and offered practical tools of personal development, are innumerable. I doubt there has been a single class where I have left feeling as though the content was irrelevant; I have identified a useful trick to improve my life, in real time,  every time. From lessons on how to coordinate meetings and popcorn check-ins, to stepping on the balcony and leading by example, this course has been a gold mine of insight into how to live an extraordinary life whilst finding fulfillment in the ordinary. It has been remarkable.

I have learnt, through an experience where my involvement led to someone else’s accidental exclusion, that you can still hurt others when trying to be helpful. Be helpful anyway.

I have learnt that I am a large personality, and thus need to make a conscious effort to give the quieter voices room to speak; this one has served me greatly.

I have learnt to step out of my comfort zone, to be bold and to be open to new experiences because sometimes, as is the case with Facilitation Skills, there is method in the madness.

Learning from Life

Due to some challenges at home; I unfortunately could not stay for the full duration of this session.  A number of very key aspects were discussed that were things that I took with me.  Just to mention a few of the ones that stuck in my mind; it was the fact that one’s context is based on one’s experiences.  As human beings we tend to attach different meanings to situations depending on what we’ve been exposed to.  In our bag of experiences; there are different backgrounds that we come from; and different standpoints that tend to influence how we view things.  This then drives how we respond to situations.    I am not quite sure how reading came into the fold; but be that as it may; I  learnt on this day that how we receive data  differs from one person to the next.  What I  hear may not necessarily be the fact.  Given that we select how we receive data; it therefore goes without saying that witnesses to a case or event would not tell the same story despite both having been there at the same time.  Each individual ‘s assumptions are I informed by how they receive data! This for me was very profound.  According to Ros Solomon; the data that we receive is reinforced by our belief systems.  Following this session; I  found I could understand better when dealing with people who have a different opinion from mine.  For me this was a big learning curve!

Defining Moments

A defining moment is a point in your life when you’re urged to make a  decision, or when you experience something that fundamentally changes you. Not only do these moments define us, but they have a transformative effect on our perceptions and behaviours.

One of the memorable moments in my life was in 2010,when the world cup came to South Africa for the first time, the experience was enjoyable and exciting.

Seeing different supporters form all over the world coming to Africa some of them might have been for the first time and others might be for the last time. When South Africa was playing tickets where given for free so that we can go and support Bafana Bafana. That once in a lifetime experience and was also a defining moment for me and for South Africa as a whole. We all have the ability to define our defining moments.

Week 9 Building shared understanding

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

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

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

Week 9: BUILDING SHARED UNDERSTANDING

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

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

Shared Understanding

Today’s facilitation was based on SA’s public holidays. Although most of us do not even remember or value the meaning behind the special days, we do make the most of having some time off.

As a Muslim I do enjoy having a break during these times but can also appreciate the fact that allowances are made for us to celebrate our own holy days.

This is indicative of the diversity of the South African culture to embrace every culture and creed.

Telfer came up with a remarkable activity where we had to indicate the changes in our lives marking the highs and lows from birth.

While my chart looked like an Ecg report I can embrace change easily as it’s been a constant for me.

I also like what Telfer said about people who are depressed lives in the past, people who lives with anxiety lives in the future whereas we should just live in the present.

Building shared understanding

We all see life and things from a different perspective and this affect how we do life and relate to others.

What we say, how we say it and why say it; might differ to what other hear and understand and double checking if you are understood is very vital.

Patience is a skill that might be learned here.

Lessons learned from the group that facilitated are:

  • Establishing leadership skills (take responsibility)
  • Establish a relationship with each team member (Being considerate)
  • Build a relationship with your team members (Being interested)
  • Foster team work (work together)
  • Set ground rules for the team (Making sure that you all working towards the same goals).

Week9 – Building Shared Understanding

Today we had Fiona and Telfa as our facilitators. I am thinking that went very well with people who enjoy structure; today’s class was exactly that. I fall under the unstructured category, nevertheless I enjoyed the class.

Today’s topic was ”Building shared understanding” the syndicate group executed an exceptional presentation. We all got to understand that what my idea of success, wealth, understanding and other things, might not be the same as another person’s idea of what i have just mentioned; and that we all need to respect each other’s choices.

My AH-HAA moment has to be when we summed up everything we have learned in class; we also made notes. This gave me the opportunity to revise on what i have learned when I got home.

Building shared understanding

Building shared understanding with others boils down to a good communication skills.

We all see life and things from a different perspective and this affect how we do life and relate to others.

What we say, how we say it and why say it; might differ to what other hear and understand and double checking if you are understood is very vital.

Patience is a skill that might be learned here.

Lessons learned from the group that facilitated are:

  • Establishing leadership skills (take responsibility)
  • Establish a relationship with each team member (Being considerate)
  • Build a relationship with your team members (Being interested)
  • Foster team work (work together)
  • Set ground rules for the team (Making sure that you all working towards the same goals).

Expressing gratitude

Expressing gratitude

Two simple words – yet too frequently over looked and when done.  How sincere are we really in our expression.

We have been brought up in a Society, where to express gratitude is a form of having “manners”.  One of the lessons taught to us as early as we can walk and talk is

“Always ! Say please and thank you”.

Although I had to miss the class as a result of a severe back injury (and No! There is no funny story behind it, as some of the girls have asked, with a naughty grin on their faces), I was really touched by the bloggs posted.  The true expression of gratitude, done in your own personal space, or written in a gratitude journal, is the lesson to learn and implement in our own lives.  We take for granted so many things in our life.  We moan that our house is to hot in the summer, when many others would be grateful for such a problem.  We moan that we are to fat, when many many South Africans go hungry everyday and would be grateful for the problem.

To really express what you are truly grateful for, is a very therapeutic and spiritual exercise.

I am grateful

I just want to give gratitude, I know we gave gratitude in class last Saturday but today on second to last day, I just want to give my gratitude to everyone I met on this class,  from all the facilitators, you guys were all amazing, you have changed my life for the best.

my class mates, it was so amazing to learn from each and everyone of you, even if I never got a chance to speak to you believe me I did learn from you, as  we were giving feed back to the groups, as well as group interactions, I have learned a lot and I am grateful that it began this semester so that I can meet amazing people.

to my group members, oh what can I say, Tony, Musibudi, Mahesi, Mfundo, John, Florence (FLO) and Sikholiwe. thank you very much for your support, love and caring we each received in group 11. I love you guys.

I hope all the learning and group we got from facilitation will never end.

Week 9

Creating a safe space is vital because it allows you to feel like the people around you and your voice matters. It creates a safe environment that is not too heavy and doesn’t feel squashed.
Something new I’ve learnt today was NNI Dialogue. NNI Dialogue is when you’re in a set up where a topic is raised and people share their opinions about it and it can go on for hours. Through this method you able to play around and try different roles. You fully take up one voice at a time and it’s the law of 2 feet. This is an area where you ask for permission to facilitate and share respect and compassion for yourself and others but most importantly not forgetting to take care of yourself.

Week 9 – Draft Assignment

We came back after a two week break and our draft assignments were due. I thought Roz was going to mark the drafts and I was looking forward to the feedback. When I heard we had to pass the assignments around and mark it amongst ourselves, it didn’t make sense to me. How could a fellow student who was not clear on the requirements, just like me,  give constructive feedback? It definitely was a different way of doing things or perhaps it was different to my expectations, but I think, it got the job done. I walked away having more clarity on what was expected of us for the final draft.

Building Shared Understanding

The case study which was analysed related to an executive team that were met with the appointment a  new CEO. He was renowned as an amazing leader who was driven toward vision and creativity, quiet the contrast to the companies previous leader who allowed free reign of the companies operation to his executive team.  The new CEO had great lofty ideals of the changes that need to be enforced to ensure that “his” vision be met.  He set out with “instructions” for change  which caused disharmony and dissatisfaction among his executive team.   Why???? because he failed to build shared understanding. He did not consult his team to for buy-in, he made no attempt to understand the who’s, who or what was happening in the business. There was no collaborative effort  in building the vision for the company, the same company that had essentially been run by this executive team for so long. When trying to build shared understanding especially in groups it is important to understand who the stakeholders are  and what each of their perspectives are.

The concept of the Johari Window has left me with many unanswered questions about myself. It is a quadrant communication framework which explores how we give and receive information about ourselves and others.

  • Transparent Self – known to ourselves and others ( the part of us we openly share)
  • The Blind Spot – known to others but not ourselves
  • Hidden Self – known to self but not  to others ( masking a thought or feeling)
  • Unknown Self  – unknown to self and others ( areas of developing)

This Johari Window has me questioning the following:

  • How much  is too much info?
  • Why do others often see me so differently to the way i see myself?
  • How do i influence others’ view of me?
  • How do I encourage myself to remove my mask?
  • How do I tap into my unknown self for discovery?
  • Do I have control over what is revealed from the unknown and can it be changed?

 

 

 

its time for Reflections: Reflective essay due date

I used to think it a myth that a person could go to school to learn one thing and come out even more.

when we were made to mark  our colleagues Essays unexpected as it was to some it was pointless and some people felt like why because we will not learn anything. boy were they wrong. I learn that the journey that this course has been to each and everyone of us has been different but impactful. the essays that we marked although we narrate the story differently but it is the same. we all went on a an unexpected but welcomed journey of self discovery and betterment. to some of us the strength’s which we prided ourselves in at some point if not often are our weakness we learnt. some of the things we deemed as shame because of this course we got shame them and realized that we are empowering and inspiring others.

I highly recommend this course to anyone today and in future!!

Building Shared Understanding

When people engage in problem solving scenarios, there are many different perspectives that are held by the people involved. People have different experiences, and approaches in how they solve problems. Because of the differences that people have it leads to misunderstanding and uncertainty when solving problems.  A shared understanding could involve 2 or more people agreeing on ideas or appropriate actions. Mutual understanding does not mean that group members share one perspective, but rather people are able to communicate, embrace each other’s perspectives, and are able to make their words and feelings visible to others.

What stood out for me this week was when we had to write/draw a TIMELINE OF OUR LIVES, marking our HIGHS and LOWS within the timeline, and the JOHARI WINDOW which focuses on COMMUNICATION.  The timeline made me realize how much I have changed from when I had my second year birthday, to losing my dad, to matriculating, to graduating, to being an unemployed graduate, to eventually getting employed and to currently doing my second qualification. This made me realize that change is inevitable, change is the only constant and sometimes we don’t embrace the change, because we are scared of the unknown.  We grow and learn things we never thought we would know through our journey. From the Facilitation class, I’ve changed a lot, I’ve had to accept change, embrace change from a structured way of learning to a more engaging, group collaboration type of learning.

The Johari Window helps us to have self awareness and to improve communication. What stood out for me was the HIDDEN AREA area because it involves what I know about myself but hide it from others. Being introverted I don’t share much with others about myself and this has improved throughout the Facilitation course because firstly here I am typing this blog and sharing things about myself , my insecurities and secondly I was also able to share with my group members how uncomfortable I get working in groups or talking in front of people so this increased my open area and decreased my hidden area. It made me realize the importance of self-disclosure in order to build trust and better interpersonal relationships. But also self-disclosure has its own disadvantages, a person can gain power over you because of the information they possess, rejection or negative impression over you.

We Never Stop Learning!!

Building Shared Understanding

This weeks facilitation piece was about building a shared understanding.

They gave us the following steps used in building shared understanding:

1. Establishing leadership

2. Establishing a relationship with team leader

3. Building relationships within the team

4. Foster teamwork (working together)

5. Set ground rules for the team.

We did an exercise where we had to draw a timeline of our lives and were told to draw a graph of the highs (happy times) and lows (sad times) of our lives so far. After this activity, we spoke to those around us and discussed our highs and lows.

Another topic we touched on was the Johari Window which discusses how much of yourself you showcase to others. In doing this I realized that I am very drawn to the Hidden Self quadrant. I am quiet, withdrawn and I don’t like sharing intimate details of my life with most people.

Building Shared Understanding

Today’s facilitation session made us realize the value of the following;

-Communication

-Listening attentively

 

People hear and perceive things differently, and this does not make some of us wrong.  It is because we look at things from our own perspectives.

Individually we may see and understand it differently (you may think you have the big picture by grasping a part of something) as described in the blind men and elephant story.

The group gave us an exercise to do on success.  Success is one word but is perceived differently by different people.

The team also gave us tips to help us build shared understanding in our own lives;

  1. Establishing leadership skills (take responsibility)
  2. Establish a relationship with each team member
  3. Build a relationship with your team members
  4. Foster team work (work together)
  5. Set ground rules for the team

Facilitation Change in Me

Today Fiona went in deeper on the topic we presented on last week. I had read these pages a few times in preparation for our presentation which we did last week. But my eyes were opened more this week, but like Ros said what happened is the only thing that happened because it happened….I fully understood this statement today in your absence.
Telfer made me go to those corners in my being I don’t often visit, by making us draw our life line and the ups and downs that go with each of us. You made me deal with some demons today and I realize that I am now equipped with tools to shine on the lows and take lessons from there. I am now fully in the present and learning from my past depressions.
Really enjoyed today’s lessons my consciousness was touched.

Building shared understanding

AND FINALLY IT WAS OUR TURN TO FACILITATE: BUILDING A SHARED UNDERSTANDING!

To be quite honest, it took a very long time for us to come up with something tangible to present on. But one thing I commend the team on is our ability to be united and work effectively to ensure we deliver a good “presentation”. Everyone came on board, there was no conflict whatsoever (I’m still surprised by that, given we had quite a difficult topic), everyone played their part. On the day of our facilitation, we were three members short, but because we all knew each other’s roles, we managed to fill in for our absent team members, and to our delight, it all went well.

Our facilitation highlighted 5 ways in which teams could build a shared understanding, namely:

1. Establishing leadership

2. Establishing relationship with team leader

3. Building relationships within the team

4. Foster team work (working together)

5. Set ground rules for  the team .

We did an exercise where we had to draw up our life timeline and mark out the highs (happy times) and lows (sad times) within the timeline. This reflection made me realize how incredibly strong I am, and that everyone has an interesting story to tell about their lives.

 

Week 9

This weeks facilitation was titled “Building shared understanding”.
I particularly enjoyed the story about the blind men and the elephant, illustrating how different views, when isolated can portray one thing, however when collaborated can produce a bigger picture and better understanding.

In Roslyn’s absence, we were facilitated by Fiona, who in continuation to the groups facilitation took us through the a case study illustrated on pages 98-100.
In this case study it was clearly shown how vital clear communication is, and how easily it could be misconstrued if not interpreted or clarified correctly, to ensure the objectives are properly understood, within a particular task and also how much could be established if one just took the time to listen to others views and ideas.

We continued onto pages 103-104 where the “Johari window” is explained and the elements hereof.
This too was interesting, as one does not always consider the information whilst sharing and whether or not you are aware of how much you are sharing and how much you are not. I suppose it would also depend on the audience or individual you are communicating with. How much is revealed is dependent on the relevance of the information especially in the sense of sharing personal information.

Understanding the various interpretations of communication is vital.
Facts or views brought together could produce a common or bigger picture.

Building Shared Understanding

Today is Saturday 29th of September 2018. It is a beautiful morning and I arrived just in time for the class. Roslyn is not here and she is substituted by Fiona. Telfer is also here.

The presenting group started presenting and their theme/topic is Building Shared Understanding. The group mentioned several important things but most importantly, they educated us that a better Facilitator should;

  • Establish leadership.
  • Establish relationship within his/her group.
  • Instill foster teamwork and
  • Ensure that ground rules are set from the beginning.

One team member told us about the story of people touching an elephant and thinking they understand the bigger picture. This exercise made me think that often I would think I know meanwhile I do not. The team continued and share with us the meaning of;

  • C – courage                                                V – volatile
  • H – humble                                                 U – uncertainty
  • I – interdependent                                  C – complex
  • V – vulnerable                                           A – ambiguous
  • E – excellent

The team also mentioned the value of communication and gave the class an interpretation of success and many examples thereof.

We really had a wonderful and very informative class today. The presentation team gave us an outstanding performance! Thumps up to them!

 

expressing gragtitude

this was the last class for  the year before submitting our final essays  .my group was facilitating and the topic was expressing gratitude we were well prepared and ready to bring it.the diasavantages of facilitating last is that people are tired and many dont attend class anymore ,so we had to present to half a class which was about  30 people,i know it was thirty coz we had 30 gifts to give to the class and everyone  got a gift.

although we were well prepared nothing could have prepared us for the lack of participation we got from the audiance.they just didnt want to engage.we had planned a gratitude tree exercise  were they had to write what they are gratefull for and discuss the excersice proved to be ineffective becouse people did not want to engage.

although we were  feeling a bit  discaraged from a lack of participation  we held on to the  very  end.the lesson i learned from facilitating  is that a facilitator always finds a way to get people to engage  no metter the audiance .and one must always be prepared  for the unexpected and always remain calm no matter the situation .so on that note i would like to express my sincerest  gratitude to Ros for a wonderful semester , fellow classmates and fellow co facilitators   thank you guys so much for the experience i have learned a lot from all of you.until we meet again ….

Facilitation skills – Blog 9

This week facilitation group presented on Building Shared Understanding. They started with an exercise similar to the broken telephone, basically, something is said at the beginning which is carried down the chain, the last person that gets the message normally receives a totally different message, with what was initially said.

We all come from different backgrounds and that is how we are defined, we need to understand the different people in the difference by having a shared understanding

The value of communication is to listen; we need to understand what is said and the only way we understand is by asking questions. The Johari (communication) Window.

How many of us are unknown to ourselves and unknown to others, how do other people perceive us, are we transparent in the areas that we want to be, how much of transparency do we give away, is it good or bad if we are an open book to people that do not respect us?

We then had to read a case study from our workbooks, what I got from this exercise is that we all resist change, we are afraid of the unknown and we prefer being in our comfort zone.

Expressing gratitude

Today was our last class attendance in facilitation skills course. lt’s been a worthwhile journey for me, personally. lt started with a group presentation on expressing gratitude. Their facilitation session was clear and, detailed.Well covered. I could easily identify with their theme because I am one person who likes relaying my appreciation, even for a tiniest gesture. It is within me to always offer acknowledgement to another person,for showing their regard of me. We then had a lesson on intentionality, particularly, on our syndicate group presentations, we had open discussions, regarding the reasons for our presentations, what were our intentions with them. Different intentions were explored, with an overall understanding that it’s to convey a clear message with no ambiguity, a message that communicates the reason behind that particular presentation, with the hope that the message is well delivered.

What a better way to build a share understanding!

Well I thought I was minutes late, when I was rushing to class only to find my peers still waiting outside for a class to be opened. It was exactly 8:20 when Tefler manage to get security with keys to open for us and the group that was facilitating needed five to seven minutes to prepare the classroom. Nevertheless, the group was well prepared from start to finish, including exercises that we were doing. The elephant story that was shared, It drew so much attention from ice breaking exercise to conclusion. They were five types that can help in building a share understanding:

  • Establishing leadership by making sure that one takes responsibility
  • Establishing relationship with each team member
  • Building relationship between your team and members
  • Foster team work being able to work together as a team
  • Set ground rules for the team

In conclusion from the elephant story and class exercises about building a share understanding, we learnt about the value of communication, different meaning and learning from other people. We should learn to communicate attentively and message is better coming from the original source.

What is facilitation without group exercises and discussion.  We read the case study what I took from the case study is that people resist change and tools to improve self-awareness, understanding between individuals in a group and tool to assess group’s relationship with other groups. Learning from The Johari window with four block that is Transparent Arena, Blind spot, Hidden Arena and the Unknown to self, we also touched on elements of the Johari Window, Dealing with brain stress including the SCARF model. There were books that was recommended for us like Switch on brain by Caroline leaf including Cu-tube by Brene brown.

We concluded with the tree of life, where I needed to express myself by drawing a tree to reflect on how I have been shaped by my life. After drawing the tree we needed to analyse my tree with a partner next to me, to answer some questions and it help me realize the meaning of what I have drawn. From Mindpower-Explore your inner self I only quoted “Very few of our thoughts and feelings are visible and apparent to everyone and the result is that we can only respond to what is visible to us”.

Building shared understanding

The group that was facilitating  highlighted on some very important pointers in terms of building shared understanding. I was intrigued by the elephant story, I learnt that we sometimes see things differently as people, and if a person sees things differently from you it doesn’t mean the person is wrong coz we all interpret things in our own way.

In groups of four we discussed a case study on page 98 about embracing different perspectives. The case study proved that peoples leadership styles and perceptions are different but with communication, coordination and teamwork relationships can be built.

Week 9: Building a Shared Understanding

It was finally our group’s turn to facilitate. Our topic was building a shared understanding. We were bright and early at 6:45am, dressed in blue jeans and white tops prepared to do this thing. Unfortunately, our early start was stifled. Facilities seemed to have forgotten to open the class and it was a scramble after 8:30am to set up the class when they finally opened for us. We were also 3 members down but the show had to go on. Fortunately for us we all knew each other’s parts and were able to carry on. It went well in my opinion and Fiona’s feedback was really reassuring. The class was so accommodating and they interacted with us when we needed them to. We were so happy to finally be done.  Our team had managed to build a shared understanding among ourselves that allowed us to put a facilitation together that taught not only the class, but our group members as well. We realised at that point how much Roslyn had taught us since July.

We then did an exercise where you drew a timeline of your life’s highs and lows and then share these with your class mate and explain how you dealt with them. It was really interesting to hear about my classmate’s highlights and low-lights. They were completely different to mine and taught me a few things about dealing with difficult situations.

The story we read about the company appointing a new CEO to bring about change showed me that in a group or team you can’t just expect people to automatically agree with you. Consultation and collaboration are key if your team is to work together to achieve a common goal.

The Uneasiness of Change

Change is an interesting phenomenon in life. It is difficult to effect and accept. Most of the time as human beings, we know that change should occur but when it does, we resist it because it interferes with our comfortable spots. Change occurs in different forms in our lives, from beginning new relationships, new jobs, buying cars or houses, etc. Like the saying goes “change is the only constant in life”, therefore, whether we like it or not, change will only within and around us. This means we need to equip ourselves with skills to embrace this change.

One thing the Facilitation is that I am capable of embracing change. I can remember after the first class when I considered of quitting the module and registering for another course. The delivery of the class interfered with my perception of a Wits lecturer. Thereafter the group assignment left me anxious as my experience so far at Wits with group assignments has been unpleasant. I had brain stress, as I was perceiving the experience from the class as social threats to my usual  ways.  I struggled with disclosing my feelings; there was a struggle between what I disclosed public and private to myself. However over the weeks, I have tapped into my unconscious arena whereby I discovered that I can work well in a group and embrace differences and I can enjoy an unstructured class.

The change that occurred in the above process was unplanned but one I chose to confront and embrace. It showed me that perception can change and with openness and communication, better results can be achieved and growth occurs. I have seen the change in myself throughout my stay at Wits and I am also aware of my capabilities. I constantly challenge my limits to make me a better person who considers others feelings, perceptions and experiences.

The learning and discovery continues….

29 September 2018 Building Shared Understanding

First facilitation without Roslyn and honestly it wasn’t the same without her after so many weeks with her but none the less, the day went by.

We waited and waited only for class to start at 8:30 due to class being locked and the setting wasn’t done for facilitating. Finally after waiting for long the group started.

The topic was about building shared understanding. We stayed off with a broken telephone which really quite work out because the communication was broken from the beginning and it was cut off so majority of the class didn’t get to participate.

The game of the broken telephone was to show the value of communication, understanding, purpose of own understanding and to ask for understanding.

The Facilitation had a story telling about elephants and the purpose behind the story was we all see differently, including the blind men from the story and that it’s important to learn from one another. We see things differently and we are all right in our own way.

We were given papers to draw a picture for the word success and I couldn’t draw the picture because I am not an artist but in my heart I had an answer and it was to help others and make a difference in the world that I live in.

There were 5 steps for shared understanding which they stood out for me because this took part in my syndicate group from day one of facilitation class and progressed as time went by

1. Establish leadership skills
2. Establish relationships with each member’s
3.Build a relationship with team members
4. Forster team work and work together
5. Set ground rules for the team

The group did well and delivered it exceptionally.

We also did an interesting excercise which was about our time life and during that moment we had to reflect on what life changes took place in our lives. Facilitation skills is supposed to help us deal with change in our lives.

Discussed
Communication theory Self awareness
Benny Brown model
Courage
Humble
Inter dependent
Vulnerability
Excellent

Some our group could of followed after our facilitation

Building Shared Understanding

This weeks facilitation had few aha moments. The team presented and collaborated the presentation so well. We had to stories presented to us. The story about an elephant stipulating how different can people interpret each idea different to the other irrespective of ones background or culture.

There was also the story Johari that speaks about different quadrants in life. It was one of those facilitations that make you think out of the box as well as teaching one to stop generalizing and thinking your interpretation is the only one available and the best of them all.

Building a shared understanding

This weeks syndicate groups facilitation was great, it was well thought out, interactive and concise. The broken telephone exercise and the parable of the blind men and the elephant showed that everyone has a different understanding of the same thing but that does not mean that all of those versions aren’t right. So often when trying to resolving conflict we are more focused on proving we are right as opposed to finding a solution. In this group’s demonstration of building a shared understanding, it became clear that sometimes the best solution lies in putting together everyone’s views, coming together and looking at the bigger picture.

The other key take away from today was that communication is key. The Johari Window was interesting in that it made me curious about what the areas are that are hidden to others and myself… hmm this calls for more introspection.

Finally, the SCARF model is quite useful for managing expectations within a larger group and providing a framework for interventions one could use when observing certain behaviours amongst groups that perceived social threats.

Today was so informative and I am shocked that we are so close to the end of the course. My group is up to facilitate next weeks  lecture- Fingers crossed.

#AsToldByTiff

 

Building Shared Understanding – Week 9

This week was for me the most fascinating and thought-provoking with such a poignant  topic of discussion – building shared value . As a person, it became abundantly clear that if I want to establish a leadership position I will need to establish some basic fundamentals in order to establish relationships and in the process build trust. Today was about building relationships in teams as well as fostering a teamwork culture whilst setting clear ground rules.

I found most profound the timelines that each of the colleagues including myself had to draw whilst reflecting on the highs and lows within our lives. This was probably the most difficult task especially as I had to delve deep into history and allow myself to be vulnerable. Whilst this course has allowed this vulnerability to be exposed in a safe space…. it did not make it easier

We looked at the Johari Windo, developed by Joseph Loft and Harry Ingam looking at how we give and receive information. This was mindblowing especially as I reminded myself that sometimes it easier to give feedback than to receive it.

Aluta Continua – the struggle continues

 

 

Building shared understanding

In a network, building Shared Understanding is essential because each member or organization in the network enters with their own belief of what is wrong, and consequently a unique, focused vision for how to make it right. Given that collective action networks are most effective when members agree on a shared set of goals and metrics, they must first hold a “shared display” of the issues to minimize the impact and distraction of various biases, filters, and incomplete information. Otherwise, the network members will resemble the parable of the blind men and the elephant – each with their hand on one part of the issue, but none with the complete picture.

Week 9 – Blog 9:”Time Management- Wheel of life”

Week 9 – Blog 9:”Time Management- Wheel of life”

Saturday the 15th we had two biggest part of activities for the day. Being an audience foe our colleagues facilitation and the draft essay submissions. The facilitation was so great hence the group was explaining time management which is so crucial for me as a parent student. It is about my understanding of  more important for me and how well I have to balance time across all my activities and in different life areas. The wheel of life exercise was the perfect starting point for goal setting the most crucial is to maintain and consult the wheel of life. I can now set my career path, studies and my social life around this wheel of life. Time management is very important and we all need to use time accordingly. The four quadrant is a very good tool for me to use time effectively.The urgent important deadlines,  not urgent important planning, urgent not important and not urgent not important is a tool that one can use to manage time optimally and this was a very important part for me and i was not aware of such ways of selecting what is really needed not what i want.

Draft Essay submissions:

After the presentation and the usually criticism of the facilitation in our respective group, the draft essay submission was the most dominated topic as we were just whispering around the draft essay.             Then comes the time to submit the essay. I had so high expectation regarding the Draft essay, thinking that the lecture will mark them then tell us where we did not do well. Eish! only to found out that the draft essays were to be given to each other, and a comrades who is also here for learning to mark and that was a bit of disappointment to my expectation.

No wonder madam Solomon always says you should not set your expectation to high, because you will lose the opportunity to learn when things are not going according to your expectation.  I was quite disappointed to discover that all the essays were redistributed to the rest of the class randomly, for students mark each other’s work. After class our group needed to meet to discuss about our facilitation that is coming on the 29th of September just to put some of the aspect in order for that biggest day.

Was a great day!

RESOLVING CONFLICT WITH MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS

So, the day started on yet a different angle that was taken by Group 8. In delivering their message from their topic, they used a miming technique to demonstrate a type of conflict and they focused on sexual harassment. I remember I was laughing through the demonstration as I was awed by how much it made sense even without them uttering a single word. It was presented in a simple yet powerful manner.

I could relate with the victim of the harassment since I also went through a similar experience at my previous place of work and realized that more people have had this experience and chose to keep quiet about it because they feared to lose their jobs or people judging them and blaming them for the incidents. We tend to blame ourselves for the conflicts in our lives and it just becomes unresolved.  The facilitators also brought to the audience’s attention, two different types of conflict. Intra-Group and personal conflict. We have a choice of how we react to situations in our daily lives, we are either part of the solution or we are the problem.

As the day’s workshop progressed, I learned about communication barriers and how it can break a conversation. Ros gave a left-hand column exercise where we had to write a dialogue on the right-hand side about a time when we had to deal with conflict. Later, we had to go back to the left column and write on how in our heads how the conversation continued and our feelings at that moment. The stuff that I wrote on the right-hand side made me realize just how angry I was with my daughter and how unresolved issues with her dad contributed to how I communicated with her.

Dialogue is important in our everyday lives because it is where we think together and build shared understanding and use different perspectives to strengthen our collective wisdom. To generate meaningful conversation, I need to start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. I know it’s going to be hard practicing that, but I am willing to try.

The class ended and a meeting with Ros was called to address the conflict we had within our group. What a coincidence, we are the next group facilitating after the topic of conflict resolution and we have our own conflict to resolve. I won’t say much about the issue, but I will just scream JUSTICE!  He was the center of this conflict and responsible for all these emotions flying high. Instead of rehearsing for our facilitation, we spent over an hour addressing our in-house conflict. I learned that assumptions don’t bear any fruit and that communication is key. A lot can be avoided by just applying meaningful conversation so that we learn about the other truth.

As much as most of us in the group were  furious in the beginning, Ros helped so much by slowing the conversation down and killing the fire to a point where we were all calmer and could listen to his story and learn about the other truth. I personally couldn’t help but want to give him a chance after the situation was calmer and he stated his story even after almost all the group members wanted him out.

I guess that most relationships were built from conflict? Well, let’s wait and see how next week pans out with our new member on board and if he’s going to have a part to play in this workshop or is he going to get half the marks as agreed at the end of the meeting…

Let’s resolve conflict by building relationships…

I can’t wait for my group and I to deliver and we hope you take something out of next week’s lesson.

Meaningful Conversation Resolving Conflict

Oh wow this course takes on a journey of self discovery. Hearing how conflict should be manged and that its goes back to our frame of reference, core beliefs and values and opinion showed me that I react to quickly in a conflict situation.

 

Resolving conflict comes down to how we respond to a situation and also how that other person takes in the messages. A few weeks ago my friend got into an argument and as were arguing he started walking towards me and I immediately started walking towards him in a confrontational manner but I stopped myself as I was about to turn my body and remembered what we spoke about in class. I calmed myself down and changed my tone which made my friend also change his tone. In my mind I was like wow this stuff works! I enjoyed the example that the group presented and the dynamics of how to better handle conflict situations. When we wrote down an argument that we had had in the past I used an example that always sat in my mind about an incident that happened at work and realised that sometimes I am too passive in  a situation where I should be firm. Listening is also a big part about resolving conflict and hearing what the other person is actually saying is a big part.

 

I am a much calmer person since this lesson I thank Rosslyn for creating this course the lesson learnt will stay with me for a long time to come.

Justice for all

 

Justice for all

 

After yet another crazy morning, I make it to class all flustered. I know it’s that time of year when we all wanna dial out and take a break, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see the class relatively full.

As we all engage and enjoy the facilitation session, for the first time, things take a different turn. We all sat and observed as session with Ross and the group about their experience of working with a MIA team member, namely, Justice – “the prodigal son” as they so nicely termed it.

This dude was apparently MIA for weeks and then rocks up with brilliant ideas just before the group must facilitate. His story and the reactions of his team members were not unique to them. In fact, I think it’s in our nature to react the way they did, from anger, to frustration, to forgiveness.

It was interesting to note how Ross, who took up the role of mediator, calmed the situation. One tends to think that these situations don’t really occur in controlled environments like these.

I found most fruitful the teaching on listening with intent during the second session. It’s not easy to shut don’t the noise in one’s head, but it’s amazing that once you do, you truly hear what is being said, without being preoccupied. It goes without saying that this doesn’t come naturally, at least not for me. It will require continuous practice and one has to consciously do it, which is just another way of growing beyond our self imposed limitations.

meaningful conversations

communication is very important in our everyday lives because we use it to get messages and to pass them around. learning how to communicate effectively reduces a lot of tension and conflict because meanings cannot be misintepreted. the excercise we did in class taught me that it is important to be patient in communication. while others are telling their stories you must wait for that person to get to the end and not jump to conclusion or finish their story for them. this is difficult especially when you know the end of the story.

Brain exercise

After my group facilitation the weekend before, I was looking forward to being an observer again. Moreso, I was looking forward to contributing. Yes… me the one who has been resistant to participating for the greater part of this course.

The group facilitating “building relationships” kicked off with an activity that rattled my brain to the core. We were made to say actions and follow through with the action but then say the actions and follow through with the opposite action, i.e. say “jump to the left” but physically jump to the right. Mind blown… most of us were unable to get our heads around it.

After that activity the facilitation took an unexpected turn. The individuals in the group began sharing personal stories that had me feeling emotional. I was particularly touch ed by the lady who shared her story about befriending an individual with a disability and learned a life lesson through her.

We learned as a class that this particular group had experienced some hardship among themselves. Ros took us through how she mediated the process and then the group was given the opportunity to provide feedback. While listening, I heard people say things that made me realise just how quick we are to judge.

I believe there is hope for human mankind though… we are being who love to learn.

Communication Barriers

Ticking the table on what irritates me when another person does AB and C then ticking another one where I have to admit that I also do certain things was looking at myself in the mirror. My aha moment here was that when I communicate I need to remember that when something irritates me it’s possible that it is the very same that I also do to other people so I either have to change my ways or adopt a way of being a more tolerating, depending on what the issue may be, of what other people do as well. I’m not really crazy about looking at myself in the mirror but I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

POETIC JUSTICE

What has worked for me in understanding and learning in the Facilitation Skills class, has been consistent attendance since unlike the other courses I do, this one doesn’t have a reference manual to reach the end result. I have realised that we don’t all share the same sentiments, what works for one might not necessarily work for the other.
I guess because we were split into groups and were expected to meet weekly as part of preparations for the big day, it became obvious that one had to be in class most times. Fast forward to week 9, one of us had not kept to the expected attendance of group discussions that we’d had every Saturday after class. This person appears a week before we must facilitate, co-incidentally, the topic for that day’s group was ‘Resolving Conflict’. Is the universe is playing games with us here?
I had not met this member of our group, up to that point, all I knew was that the very first and last time he was introduced, he seemed impatient about the group discussions. He’d come up in our discussions, however, nothing to decide on whether we should keep or chuck him out. The assumption might have been, he’d dropped out of the course. For him to show up when he did, left us puzzled and conflicted as to how the situation would be handled.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that day. Obviously, conflict was looming within the members and someone needed to intervene and mediate the situation.
What are meaningful conversations? My literal take, a conversation that have meaning. Never would I have associated conflict resolution with meaningful conversations. How is that possible when emotions are so high?
Ros stepped in to mediate the discussion. The technique that she used worked well in bringing us all back into our senses, without her it could have gone south. It built shared understanding amongst the group members on the way forward, about where to place this ‘prodigal member’ in the team.

RESOLVING CONFLICT….or not

to resolve the conflict or not to resolve the conflict…which one is it???

i think i sometime  find myself on the fence with this one at times. simply because i’m one of those people who always evaluate if the fight is mine or not,,,is it worthy enough for me to get myself worked  up about or is it even worth my time and energy  and whatever answer i instinctively get i act on it but in most cases i hardly waste my time and energy fighting. id rather say what i have to say and move on from there. how you choose to receive what i have said it no longer  is my concern.

but…..my thinking changed after today’s lessons on the above mentality and feelings.

this is what struck me the most today CHANGE THINKING TO CHANGE BEHAVIOR. like how deep is this? huh how craze and yet so simple and straightforward is this. this touched me personally in a very sacred way because for the longest time in my relationship i always believed i could change my partner. change him into something and someone better i thought. change him into what i thought was my ideal partner because i saw him to be fitting for that change and when things didn’t workout anymore i always thoughts within me and yet i believed its because he was just unwilling to allow change in his life. but sitting here writing this it sparked some emotions and thoughts within me that say perhaps it i who needed to change my thinking in order for my behavior to change. once my thinking changes and behaviour changes too maybe that will be the beginning of self truths and self actualisation and the end of the blame game.

perhaps we are always too quick to judge without checking with self first. perhaps we are programmed by society that we are better human beings when we defend ourselves because WE ARE ADDICTED TO BEING RIGHT! and when we withdraw we hurt. and when we hurt its better reason to blame someone else but ourselves.

i relate so much to this in so many ways. its funny how as human beings we grow up with so many habits such that they become our second nature and such a normality that we don’t recognise them anymore. this teaches me that perhaps all i ought to do in many cases is to first listen without intent. listen and be mindful. because we all see the world in our own ways through our own filters, this makes it difficult for people to understand one another’s places and positions. how we communicate is very crucial because the meaning of our my communication is in my response. what the other person filters is my response. and that means even in conflicts i am just as responsible as the other person. no conflict takes place with one individual only. this teaches me that in every conflict we cant get to a resolution without listening with a clear mind. this reminds me of all the times i had conflicts with my partner and felt i was right and helt he was always right too. because none of us didn’t want to listen with understanding to the other hence we never were able to resolve any oh them. i learned that having a neutral mediator who knows how to calm the waters helps a great deal because they restore peace before anything can be resolved.

most importantly i learnt how we always have choices in any conflicts. we can choose to either FIGHT, FLIGHT or FLEE

not all conflicts deserve your attention. not all conflicts will be resolved and not all conflicts should be left hanging because they have a way of always coming up again when provoked.

touchy lesson with so much info and such little time. i could have stayed in class till 4 LOL but only because i couldn’t even see that time had gone by all because i enjoyed the lesson thus much. its true how when your being taught about something that relates to you you enjoy it better cos you understand it more.

Week 9_ Resolving Conflict

When engaging in a conflicting situation I am always silent “not silent before a storm” but silent so that I can listen.

Why is it  that people get so agro in  a conflicting situation, everyone wants to be right. everyone wants to  win!

What do you gain in return respect from bulling someone to a corner?

People are too busy playing the blame game that no one wants to accept defeat.

If you are not part of the solution you are the problem!.

If you have noticed that you are called into a conflicting face to face situation quite often. Then maybe YOU have triggered a reaction!

A dedication to Group 8 – who evolved to become Group GREAT!

(Resolving Conflict)

On the 29th July, a diverse group of students were introduced to the course outline for:

Self-Mastery Through Mindful Facilitation Skills.

As previously expressed, I was initially uncomfortable with the flow of Day 1 which seemed to me to be uncoordinated chaos (my Mental Model).

During this session, we were invited to choose a number for a group that we would join for our practical facilitation activity. When I moved along to the Group 8 assembly point, there was a bit of awkwardness as the team members readily practiced a recently acquired technique on each other, the Check-In. In retrospect, these elements related to our team dynamics which were unfolding into the Forming stage, (of the Team Cohesion process). By the end of this class, and at the end of our group 8 discussion I was even more confused than when I had started.

As the day progressed, our team started brain storming ideas for our facilitation topic. We also experienced transformation as we had to give up a member (Paul who moved to Group 1) and later, to our benefit we gained another member, Thando. One of our team members, Zodidi, would also be away on maternity leave for a few weeks, and she later reconnected with the team in preparation for our big day.

As we observed the range of exciting and interesting facilitation offerings from Groups 1 – 7 (except when I was locked out for Group 5’ presentation)…the pressure started mounting, for us to be original, and to ensure that our facilitation module, presented both form and substance. We all worked very hard to deliver accordingly.

During the coordination of the logistics for setting up the room, I shared with my team members how excluded I had felt one Saturday, when I was locked out of the room. I was very annoyed with Group 5, as I had entered the FNB building around 8:34. My delay was not due to tardiness, but due to a need for collecting documents at my workplace in Bryanston before coming to class. I suggested to our group, that we keep the door open throughout our facilitation piece and remove any barriers from the window. Claudia suggested that we set up the room in such a manner that the audience would face the windows with their backs to the door, so that while we are facilitating, there would be even less distraction when latecomers filtered in to class.

Thank you Group 8 for the manner in which we leveraged the talents of each individual member. There were so many laughs, takes and re-takes as we practiced the Mime and later as we refined our production.

The remainder of the Theory session which Ros had facilitated added an extra dimension to a very special experience.

Whilst Conflict may be perceived as a serious topic, I believe that we were empowered to recognise and manage conflict in a sensitive manner through Meaningful Conversation.

Thank you Team Great for a wonderful journey of learning, self -enrichment and team work: Kgabi, Neo, Claudia, Fulu, Thando, Zainab, Zodidi & Jolene!

If You are In You are at It (Resolving Conflicts)

People that  are so dear to my heart turn to be the people that we fight more often. It’s so unbelievable that I always fight with my wife over small things. She always say to me I don’t listen, and I’m convinced that i’m a good listener so how come she says that? I realised that she is right, according to her someone who doesn’t do what she says doesn’t listen. Imagine she would say to me I’m going to church please when I come back all the dishes must be clean. When she comes back the zinc is more fuller than it was, this will cause a conflict. To me dishes are just dishes and i don’t make a big deal out of it.

As Roslyn says if you are in you are part of it. In every conflict that I encountered in my life I realised I was part of it either directly or indirectly. The key thing is how you resolve conflicts, in most instances I used to ignore them( conflicts). I would withdraw myself or walk away without saying anything. It is very important that you find a better way of resolving a conflict.

Conflict could be internal or external, but in most cases I find myself encountered with external conflicts of which at some stage become physical. I always fight with my son for not wanting to prepare his bed, I find it very annoying and totally unacceptable, but my son doesn’t see any reason to prepare his bed. Why would he waste his energy knowing very well at night he is going to sleep to the same bed and nobody enters his room .

I most cases conflicts arise from small things that we tend to ignore or not take them seriously. Can you imagine my wife and I fighting over what must go into the trolley when buying groceries. She always says to me I must not say anything since she is the one cooking and she knows what’s best for the family. One day she said to me ever since we have been married for more than a decade not even a single day I didn’t eat her food. It’s evident that she knows what’s best for the family hence I still believe some of the things she buys aren’t necessary.

Conflicts will always be there, it could be at our homes, workplace school but the most important thing is how you resolve them.

Listening is a Skill – Justice has been served!

Facilitation class has become a highlight each week, from dreading Saturday mornings to anxiously looking forward to Saturday morning classes . The facilitation pieces has improved dramatically over the last weeks, which is evident of the awesome learnings and development.

Module 10 “Building Relationships” resonates on so many levels…….I’ve always been of the believe that no man is an island, as humans we were not born to exist in isolation. We were born to co-exist, therefore building relationships whether negative or positive are equally important to our being and existence. Congratulations and big up on a job well done Group 9!!!!! for a stellar facilitation session, the interaction and calibre of group dynamic was perfect and on point.

A lesson well learned “Silence is Golden” and very powerful for indeed listening forms a big part of dialogue which equates to many truths. My truth is mine and not the next persons, I now view my listening abilities through fresh eyes and approach situations from an informed angle.

In all relationships communication is key and no longer will I make assumptions. To Justice the prodigal son, it takes a man to apologies and acknowledge where he falls short,  group 9 really left me thinking and for that I say thank you.

Learning for the day advocacy, listening and inquiry (story, head, heart & will). Listening is a cycle and listening with intent “EMARGO”.

Looking forward to the next facilitation session ………….

Conflict Resolution

Wow!!! Excellent facilitation by group 8. Enjoyed it thoroughly

I thought I understood the concept of conflict resolution, but I had my eyes opened to other possibilities and gained new tools on how to handle conflict. This session was the most efficacious of the term.

The facilitating group were very clear in their objectives and that they were focused on the four types of conflict; Interpersonal, intrapersonal, intergroup and intragroup. The “silent-show” that illustrated sexual harassment in the workplace had me question my views on sexual harassment in general.

I am guilty of viewing women as sexual objects. My first thoughts are always sexual whenever I’m around the fairer-sex.  I have been schooled and taught how to behave therefore I’ve never acted on these devious sexual thoughts. I have also been able to hold my tongue from pronouncing my wicked thoughts. Ohh but believe me the thoughts are there and they are perverted, to say the least.  This is a classic example of intrapersonal conflict which I was unaware. I am in constant conflict with myself. My mind, body and spirit are not in harmony.

 

“What am I doing to contribute to the problem?” this is the question that raised my curiosity. Ross was quick to explain that this was not the “blame game”, where one is a victim and points fingers. I am part of the problem, “If you are not part of the solution you are the problem.” As you can imagine my internal conflict of objectifying women sexually was getting deep. Bottom line is that I need to rid my mind of these carnal thoughts. I need to find a resolution to the internal conflict.

Society will never change their views on sexual harassment. I need to change my thinking. It is the thinking that is causing the conflict. I need to get Judeth E. Glaser’s book, Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right” I need to figure out a way to resolving the conflict. I’ve been successful in first identifying that there is internal conflict, secondly that I need to change. Next step will be to change.

 

I want to highlight another 3 concepts that were also discussed. These lessons were deep and require a more in-depth exploration.  I have not done them any justice by just mentioning them, they need to be unpacked further;
1. Kraybill Ron model of based on what happened in South Africa’s reconciliation efforts. https://www.colorado.edu/conflict/transform/kraybill.htm

  1. Iceberg model – We do not come clear of history when in conflict.
    Image result for Iceberg model believes and values
  2. Dancing with Conflict instead of resisting or avoiding conflict. What are we fighting for? Decide what we are fighting for.  There are multiple truths, how about you tell me your truth.

 

Meaningful Conversation Pt.1 – Resolving Conflict

Hi Guys,

So yesterday we handled part 1 of meaningful conflict. Now before we start, i think its important to note that communication is one of the biggest if not the biggest part of human nature. It is basically part of the humans basic needs to communicate. A very well known professor did a study once where he sent a mute woman to a remote island. The woman had to raise two children from infancy. When the time came for the test subjects to return to civilization, the two children were found to have only developed minimal communication skills. and could not talk at all. Rather they made odd sounds and mainly used their bodies to communicate. Would you be able to live on a remote island for a month without communicating?

The lecture that we had made me think about some habits that people, including myself, have when it comes to communicating. It made me reflect on my own way of communicating, and it was easy for me to identify some key communication barriers that I have encountered in the past and still do today.

Some of the barriers that were discussed include thinks like: Interrupting, Preaching, and Diverting.

With regards to the group and the presentation that they did, I think that it was a good presentation. To the point, and easy to follow.

Well done guys!

 

 

Have I reached my climax?

of all my posts since we started this course, this is by far the most exciting. What an amazing class we had this saturday! Rosslyn was on point, engaging, informative and challenging as always. This time she really hit the spot. The session was therapeutic, it was soulful and powerfully effective.

The zooming-in on conflict couldn’t have been so informative. Learning about conflict revealed to me that, I react to conflicts not necessarily because of what is happening now and what is and is being said now, but my reaction in a conflict is informed by a historical view of the person involved and the point of conflict than what has just happened. I react this way because I feel this person has been having it for me for the longest time and I have now reached the boiling point. At this particular instance it might be very little said or done towards me but nonetheless because these sentiments have been there for the longest while I will react this way.

The story I tell myself about the person I am in a conflict with will totally influence my reaction more than what they have said to me. It is the story that we all need to evaluate, it is the story that causes us to fuel the anger into the situation.

The Relationship Merry Go Round relieved to me that conflict could go on for ages unless we break the circle. I think the person feels a certain way about me and the situation thus I react a certain way and the person also thinks I think a certain way about them or the situation thus react in a particular way. I will continue to draw conclusion on that reaction because of what I think they feel about me. Again this could go on and on until someone breaks the circle.

CONFLICT…

Team 8 well done, what a good job. Group 8 presentation was about conflict. I could relate to the message that was send through as we deal with conflict most of the time. I enjoyed the acting part, ice brake  and the personal stories which I believe lead the team to facilitate their presentation.

Conflict is the clash of needs. The teams presented the intra – group conflict and the personal conflict. Every body participated   when the team asked questions.  Feed back was educational.

I have learned that listening is the tool when dealing with conflict. When the brain feels attacked the thinking brain closes the Limping brains takes charge and it releases the triple F’s which are  Freeze, Fight or Flee, because that part of the brain is about survival.

Having a relationship is a risk and hurt challenge, because in a relationship you will always have conflict and be hurt. When I  have a conflict with someone, normally I turn to withdraw. This weeks lesson taught me that  withdrawing is when I heal myself as I feel attacked and I want to regain my self-esteem, because I am hurt I have to reclaim my identity once my identity is reclaimed I will then try to fix the relationship again my believes and attitudes determine my feelings.  During conflict you cant walk away because walking away is an aggressive move.

I have learned that their a Level of confusions which are sense, select, behaviour, decision, waterline, my story, feelings, believes, life experience and needs. Those are the stages that go through a person when they are confused.

We see the world around filters. Most of the times when we are involved in a conflict we turn to be confused and resulting on blaming ourselves instead of taking responsibility because we were there and being there makes you part of the conflict and being part of the conflict you take responsibility not because you coursed the conflict, take responsibility by try to find a solution. If you not part of the conflict you cant be part of the solution. We are responsible for how people act??? I think so because we might have triggered their reaction

This weeks class was so interesting, I am looking forward to next weeks class.