Category Archives: Week 10

Week 10 Building Relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seeing with new eyes

Seeing with new eyes was presented with a very touchy but interesting activity about stereotypes of different cultures like the Zulus, Pedi, Tsongas, Tswanas, and Afrikaners etc. Our group was discussing Afrikaners and I was chosen to represent the group for feedback to the entire class about Afrikaners stereotypes and was very uncomfortable doing so. Black South Africans have a very bitter history with the Afrikaners and the group was made up of coloureds and blacks and found it difficult to mention positive stereotypes about Afrikaners. It is less tense if same races criticise each other than across different race. There can be some humour when a Zulu man criticises a Swati man than an English or Afrikaner man to criticise a Zulu man.

Week 10: Building Relationship

  • What I like in life is to build a relationship with anyone who believes in working together. I am constantly building relationships with my family especially my lovely daughter Lerato. With maturity, I have learned to build solid valuable relationships. I managed to filter out bad relationships and retain only good ones. I have learned the art of elimination and prefer quality relations over quantity.

Seeing with new eyes

Today we had an odd class. Everyone seemed to be worn out, tired and unmotivated.

The presentation today was predicated on cultural differences – it is a very had and complicated topic but the team successfully executed their tasks.

I learned a lot about Tsonga people. How they came to South Africa, their beliefs, language, skin colour how they love bright colours. I learned truths and opinions about so many other South African Cultures and how people’s perceptions of other cultures and people are just baseless and wrong. We were taught that motivation, expectation, culture, attitude and our beliefs all encourage our perceptions and how we see people.

People, however, are so offensive and oppressive! I think when it comes to changing perceptions we should take a hard and thorough look at ourselves. How can we live together in a country, love and get along with each other, when we can’t even respect the people sitting next to us?

On the other hand, we played a game of 30 seconds with our syndicate groups. I have the absolute best group. We are all in sync with each other and though a mutual respect for each other, we always have the best time. We are all different, we all have different upbringings, loves, lives and we are all in different fields of employment. We just gel.

Seeing with new eyes

When I see with new eyes, I am linking it to the lesson learnt in week 10 ‘Seeing with new eyes’, I managed to figure out that there is no one else in the world who is configured to behave with my distinct characters in everything that I do, which is why there is something amazing about me from all that I have learnt. However, it is not easy to stand out in society while doing things the same way I used to do them last year (for a lack of a better phrase), being unique demands me to know who I am and what values do I stand for whilst demonstrating my unique outlook in life.

Over and above this, we have to embrace our diverse backgrounds and respect that we are unique as individuals in this society. We have to be polite constantly and acknowledge that diversity contributes to achieving results we all desire.

I would say that in order to excel, you must differentiate yourself, be identifiable and memorable. Differentiating yourself and your company will save you money, time, aggravation and missed opportunities. As previously stated above, every person has unique abilities coded within them and these help to offer a combination of skills, talents and clear outlook in life. It is critical that you discover what these unique abilities are.

By honouring yourself and others you move closer to who you truly are, your truth knows your greatness.

seeing with new eyes

what an interesting and challenging activity for my group. our group was about the Afrikaner people. This provoked very challenging ” stereotype” we had about these people. the fact that our country is experiencing racial tension on social media and even in lived experienced hindered us from finding more positive fact about the this nation. it invoked emotions that still existed after 25 years of the rainbow nation. What I’ve learnt though is that i must allow myself to find good in other people even in the midst of negativity.

Building Relationships

Thank you for the sweeties… The team did well. Relationships are so important to have and it doesn’t need to be emotional or physical, even in your work life you build relationships in order to succeed as a team. You need to collaborate with your closest resources. This brings me to the exercise that we did with the legos. Can I tell you, you don’t want them laying around, they can be very eina if you step on it. Keeping them on the table, good idea. Just my experience with having 2 boys. Fun, but painful. None the less, the activity was about communication with your relevant factories in order to build a complete bridge. This was so much fun. Three factories where each had to build a third of the bridge. I liked the thinking behind our group’s planning. But even with that, you need to build a trustworthy relationship with the team members in order for the team to succeed. Life is not a one-man game. And that is the example this team has shown at the end, by honouring their fellow teammate who unfortunately has passed away. XoXo…

FACILITATING DECISIONS

I must say the team that was facilitating was well prepared. They talk about decision making, that we make decisions based on EMOTIONS, GUT FEELING, HOPE AND POSSIBILITIES, BASED ON INTUITION, EXPERIENCE and based on DATA

The team adopted the PEST Analysis as a tool to use when making a decision. For me this is very important tool to use especially in the business and corporate world. example in the banking industry:

Banks need to adhere to the government/Political banking rules. Bank in their decisions  they need to ensure they continue to make profit, social still show goodwill and give to the community e.g. offer bursaries, financial literacy etc; And in terms of technology,  the bank need to stay innovative  and competitive therefore they need to move with times of 4IR.

hen making decisions, disclosure is pivotal,. Be clear, the meaning of your communication.

I also enjoyed Ros learning about Dealing with the point of view that is different from yours: Relationship- Risk- Hurt- Withdrawal- Reclaim identity- Risking again by willing to build relationship which may lead to- Relationship/hurt

Seeing with new eyes


Oh wow…powerful facilitator strong team and very interesting topic about different cultures in South Africa and the team did justice to it, very sensitive topic though that could easily get out of hand because of but the team handled very well by drawing parameter which didn’t allow any spill over.
The audience was very engaging there was signage among the team as the topic was about different cultures in the context of South Africa, where discussion were around the perception of culture in different themes.
The activities were well aligned and the audience seems to have so much fun and most importantly learn from it.The closing was a bang because it tied up everything together so beautifully and everyone was able to take a thing or two has learning.
After facilitation the group got very good feedback and few pointers to work on but most rated 90% which is really good.
Tie to the subject or topic of the day we did 50sec which was awesome to winding out and brought other dynamic such as ability to think fast we also learned about team dynamics and how important is to know team members and leverage in their strength for a common goals to be achieved.
Lastly we spoke about disruption in teamwork and how their can sometimes help in distressing teams under pressure to deliver desirable goals.

Building Relationships

First time late. Hopefully the last. I experienced “personal mastery fatigue” today. Did not look forward to class, was late, but learned the importance of being on time – I was lost during the final activities of this syndicate group… What I learned out of the short time I participated in the lesson was the importance of self management… MC was domineering! I need to be self-aware and allow others to shine in all group efforts. The feedback was positive, however, so I clearly caught the tail-end of the session.

We went on to participate in a group activity on precisely this – building relationships. We were broken up into 3 companies with 3 plants each. The companies were each tasked with building a bridge with each plant being responsible for a section of the bridge. Fun exercise. We learned the importance of communication, relationship building, the balcony and the dance analogy, team work…. This simple excercise brought all those elements together…

It’s was a good day…

Week 10: Seeing with new Eyes

The group presented well on different cultures and research was done well. We were discussing about baSotho. I learned about changing perception. We discussed the Truths ,Opinions and mindset. Topic was interesting especially on the opinion side about Basotho . My aha moment when the group gave feedback on what they have researched about different cultures e.g Venda people are educated and there are certain things and believe that that they must practice or make sure they happen.

ldest

Seeing with new eyes

Perception can be based on what one has heard or seen. It is also influenced by our senses touching, seeing, hearing.

My team was presenting this week, what was unfortunate was that I could not join them on that saturday as a result of being in hospitalised a few days before our presentaion. Deep down I was with my team as they presented. The angle we chose was a sensitive, this was not intentional however to be honest we do not have control over what other people think of ua or how they view us based on the fact that this is their own view of us and it ends there. But to a certain degree we as people have control over changing some people’s peception of us which is what we also wanted to bring to the classes attention and that we call seeing with new eyes which our main topic.

What I learnt is that there will always be disagreements in a team however in our case we have one object which was to succeed which together which we managed to do very well. The biggest lesson for me was the importance of being cautious in everything that has to do with people because what I might find exciting the next person might find offensive again but then again I can never please everyone.

South Africa has beautiful rainbow nation cultures which are diverse and should be embrased. In addition those these all these cultures are uniquely equal in rights. We wanted to leace our fellow class mates with that feeling.

After spending so much time preparing with our team I am more cognisant of my judgmental thoughts. When my thinking starts drifting in the one direction I immediately bring it back to reality and away from my mental reality because what we see is not always a teue reflection of what is.

I am trully humbled to have had the opportunity of being shed with some light and that means learning to unlearn what the society is feeding us with. This is a process and what I chose to do is to see with new eyes, I chose to see people for who they trully are.

Potso!

Building Relationship

“You are so lively, vibrant, ambitious, warm-hearted, compassionate with excellent interpersonal skills therefore you should be a “Sales Executive” these are words that came out of my ex-boss’s mouth. Little did he know that sales was definitely not my strength however building, maintaining and retaining business relationships was my expertise.

One thing I am proud of is my capability in building strong meaningful relationships. In my previous jobs and business I managed to form solid bonds with my clients, some who later became friends. I remember working for a broker house as an Accounts Executive, my responsibility was to look after my client and offer them unforgettable, excellent and value -add customer service. I did this so well that I ended up having a desk permanently in their building because they wanted me close. I started of doing sales then as months passed I approached my boss and negotiated that I preferred to focus on Customer Relation Management. I was brilliant in this role and this had a major positive impact on their staff member’s well-being.

We build relationships constantly in our lives, some consciously and some not. With maturity, I have learnt to build solid valuable relationships. I managed to sieve out bad relationships and retain only good ones. I have learned the art of elimination and prefer quality relations over quantity.

As mentioned during class, there are different types of relationships such as family, business, romantic, acquaintanceship and friendship. I grew up in a big family environment with five siblings, to paint a picture, our breakfast was like a big event. Each person would prepare his or her own food i.e last night left overs, some a full meal and with others just a peanut butter and jam sandwich therefore soul food has always brought us together as a family. It would be a chaotic yet rewarding morning but I loved every minute of it and those memories live on. This tradition transpired into a norm that I will sustain and value always. Whoever is invited to my home must feel comfortable, eat good food and enjoy time spend with me. To this day, I sit, at the dinner table with my family, have breakfast, lunch and dinner and use this time to connect and check in with my loved ones.

On the other hand, I am one of those people who only allow certain people in my space. I am guarded and do not let people in easily. It is a matter of people having to proof themselves to me before I open up to them. Hence, I only keep quality friendships and not quantity friendships. It is hard for me to meet someone in a short period of time and call them “my friend” and I notice that lately there is a trend that people just follow by calling each other “chomi” or “my friend”… nonetheless the facilitation class has given me a set of skills to open up to others especially to people that I never thought I would be vulnerable with.

After class, I took my learning and put it into practice, again it was something that I did unconsciously but when I reflected on it. I realised that I am not easily approachable but once I let someone in, they enjoy the best of me. My family and I (by now it should be obvious that I am crazy about my family…family is of fundamental importance to me), went to my son’s school for a family “nite fever” event. Most parents were there but again, I am very choosy about who I keep as friends. I met a lady who at first from a distance never seemed like someone I can relate to but once we engaged we hit it off and had a lot in common. She had a lot I can draw from and I enjoyed our deep conversation. I let her in a little and she couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful I am and guess what? I said the same to her as well.

Relationships are formed often than we can ever think of but I believe the foundation must be solid and the purpose must be clear. It takes hard work to build meaningful relationships and if all parties have the same objective and equally put effort into the relationship, it will blossom, become fruitful and bring good rewards, endless support and loyalty.

Is it necessary to form relationships? Yes, it is because we need each other.

Like Brenda Fassie’s song… “Umuntu ngumuntu nga bantu” A person is a person through or because of others. You are who you are because of how you relate to others around you.

Seeing with new eyes

Week 10 28 September 2019

Another Saturday morning at Wits, the topic this week is seeing in eyes. I was irritated before the start of class where the facilitation members moved me in between the desks which I found unnecessary and it did not matter where I sat. The topic was unpacked with the basic theme of Heritage month. We discussed various cultures focusing mainly on the truths, opinions and Mindsets. To be honest nothing stood out for me. My highlight the diverse cultures and interesting and my low-light is I missed the integration of the topic and the activity.  Insensitivity of other cultures. For example, apartheid irrelevant and calling another race as “not people”. I do understand we need to be honest, but we need to bear in mind we are dealing with people and sometimes when touching on culture you need to be aware of your surroundings and how you say it – anticipate feedback.

Sepedi Culture

Telfer introduced how we deal with group dynamics: inclusive, clarity & distraction. In my group we tend to jell well, and we have a strong support of individuals. We don’t overpower each’s personalities or enforce options on the other.

What I take away from class is to stop judging others by culture or background you need to experience what they go through to make judgment only if required. An example made in class was someone who was assigned to journey into a homeless kid’s challenges they face daily. Our country is judgemental I myself I am and ashamed of it.

Changing Perception

Going forward I need to stop judging others either by their ethnic group or as simple as the tone of their skin, I need to realize the same judgment I passed on to others it will passed onto me and start seeing people in my new eyes. Every thought that carries judgement, I will let it pass or filter it from my thoughts. I need to be self-aware of my thoughts or actions and the person I might become. Which might manifest into hate of the others. Mother Teresa once said, ” be the change you want to see in the world.”  don’t let others bad or good experience influence how we see others. Give people a change and get to know them.

Quote from the Bible “Judge not or will be Judged”

Facilitating Change

I was very nervous on this day! it was a day my syndicate group was to showcase our facilitation experience, learning and ability. we were very well prepared, well researched, and well organised to say the least. we had been to the venue the evening before, plucked our A1 colour posters on the wall and put all the resources for the audience in their desk, we had changed the class setup into a boardroom sitting setup because our topic was facilitating change and we took the time management aspect to facilitate, now because the class is a mixture of full-time students and workers we thought a boardroom setup would be more conducive. we wore formal wear and had flower head and neck band to represent spring and worklife themes since we had just gotten back from the spring break.

fast forward to 8H05 AM that morning, the anxiety was taking its toll on all of us even though we had been practicing and preparing for this day several times. during this exercise i learned that change is inevitable, that one experience change in every aspect of life and sometimes everyday. personally, that day felt like a trial for my best ability, it was a day that made me realise that i have got this and that fear can only limit oneself to reaching their full potential. we facilitated the audience through the wheel of life that explained how ones life balance or lack of may impact their productivity and reaching their goals, the class participation was on a suprisingly high level, we further facilitated the four quadrants, and also how to learn to manage the time in details.

the audience feedback was very positive, sharing how they now see things differently and how they will start exercise proper time management! what i took in cognisant this day was that the wheel of life differs from one person to another and that managing time does not necessarily mean that one should cut out leisure and family time but rather use the time productively! one of my syndicate members advised an audience member that complained about being on the road driving and the impact that it has on his time, she said ” the 2hours on the road can be used productively too if you can download audio books and articles, listen to those while driving and that will be two hours of reading gained” that was an AHA moment for me right there as i spent at least 4hrs daily travelling between Johannesburg and Mpumalanga.

a balanced life is equivalent to an achieving and productive person.

dav

GRATITUDE

What a touching day for me.
The facilitation class is showing me flames lol.  I am learning about myself and my feeling in the Facilitation Class … who would have thought.

Gratitude is a simple word, with such a huge weight.  Just to say THANK YOU and to APPRECIATE goes a long way.  The feeling that I get when someone is saying to me “I appreciate you”,  is a nice one and uplifting one.

I am grateful for this class, I am grateful to our facilitator and her team.  From the bottom of my heart, I am saying Thank you to them.

 

Building shared understanding – 29 September 2018

What a fantastic facilitation done through story telling! I was hocked!

We can read, hear or experience the same thing but our perspectives are sometimes limited to our exposure, our biases, culture, preferences, etc. therefore listen to what others have to say.

The reading about the new CEO, David Scott of Electrical and Lightning was enlightening on how change can intimidating, unwelcomed and how team members can sabotage each other if they feel threatened.

The big lesson is to discover meaning and interpretation of what is said. Ask for feedback to determine mutual understanding and how your team members or audience receive, understand and perceive what you want to achieve. The Johari Window developed by Joseph Loft and Harry Ingam is popularly known as the communication window outlines the four arenas that we need to be aware of when communicating and collaborating in teams. The four arenas are called; transparent, blind, hidden and unknown.

 

 

Expressing gratitude

Finally it was our group to present this interesting topic, we decided not to make the topic about ourselves only, but involve everyone in the class about the facilitation skills course. We each highlighted the topics that stood out for us in the past presentations. We related our own experiences and expressed our gratitude.

After the presentation it became clear that this topic has really touched everyone’s heart in a way. Karen engaged the class and asked if we want to continue with the topic or let her do what she planned for the day. The class opted to continue with the topic. People continued to express their gratitude and share their experiences about the course and the impact it had struck on them.

After the break it was a bit emotional when we continued, I related my experience from the week before when we were sharing our highs and lows. I am grateful for that session because it has actually allowed me to go to the archives and confront the issues that I didn’t want to deal with, I got the courage to acknowledge them as experience and acknowledge them without judgement and for that I am grateful for this course.

Thank you Roslyn, Telfa, Fiona and Karen.

Expressing Gratitude

This weeks class was about expressing gratitude, the group facilitating did their best to get the group to participate although the class was  not having it at all. But we should all be grateful for what we have on a daily basis and satisfied with it.

Its been a good journey, I have meet many different people and have buildt new friendships and with all i say. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Ngiyathokoza Ke a leboha Ke a leboga Siyabonga Ndo livhuwa Enkosi Ngiyabonga Dankie

Week 10: Expressing gratitude

I remember thinking this is the last day of our facilitation class. I cannot  afford to miss it. I had missed the last class because of a family engagement. I actually arrived late for some reason or the other, funny enough I remember thinking I will ensure that I do not get locked out of class once I take up this course. I must be honest I was very relaxed on this day, I didn’t think there was still a group to present. Only to get there, doors locked. I then saw these posters on the walls. Thank you posters, I thought to myself, are these always here? I later realized there was a group presenting on Gratitude. I thought they used the facilitation tools well as I didn’t need to ask what they were presenting on.

Karen was taking us on this day. We spoke about what goes into a good facilitation session. Ones intention needs to be very clear. This is ensure that the purpose on the session is met, the team is also aligned to the facilitator. We also touched on creating a safe space, we talked about what made our sessions safe spaces where everyone felt comfortable to raise their thoughts. One thing I will always use is listed to the quieter voices, the thinkers. I liked what was highlighted that you don’t have to like those you are working with but every expression must be loved. Listening is one of the key factors to ensure a facilitation session.Sometimes an environment is not safe when  ground rules are not set up front.

In the later part of the day we then discussed NNI which is No Name Initiative which involves deep democracy, forces you to listen to the voice and not what the person is saying. I loved this technique as it forces you to put facts on the table. it can get very heated but the trick here is to remember to address the voice rather than a person. I definitely think its one tool I am keen on learning more about. It

On closing went around the class addressing why one was thankful, which fit in well with the topic of the day. Gratitude. It has been a great time especially when you come with preconceived ideas only to find that you are totally wrong, instead you learn a whole lot about self and how you are with others. Where you would like to improve, how you mind plays tricks on you by exaggerating somethings and when you actually get to do them, it is not that bad.

Ros, Telfer, Fiona, Kate thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with us! I learned a great deal. I had fun.

 

Expressing Gratitude

We have finally reached the end of the road with the Facilitation class.What a fruitful journey it has been!

My group facilated on the topic expressing gratitude. A topic that evokes positive feelings and somehow ignites an ubuntu fire within. It taught me the value of gratefulness,appreciation and thankfulness whether on the receiving or giving end. Gratitude is a daily experience,each day when God affords me an opportunity to see yet another day I am filled with gratitude for I know its not my will or wisdom that I am still on this earth.I am greatful for who I am,what I have and what I am able to do, rather than being unhappy about what I dont have.

We had a one day facilitator who brought a different style/approach to the class.She brought forth a topic on legalizing marijuana and an open debate ensued thereafter.It was interesting to hear differing views on this subject and the emotions that were placed on it; with others saying its a health risk and others giving it a thumbs up of being a health benefit.As much as it is a sensitive issue that got emotions running high, the seating arrangememt created a safe environment and people respected differences.

In closing we formed a circle and each individual stated what they benefitted from the course…I am personally walking away with overflowing knowledge and a modified character.

One lesson I carry forth on this last day is that, as a facilitator you maintain a neutral position during a debate and respect each persons voice  even if you feel strongly about a certain point of view.

Gratitude

Ros you were right. Whoever is in class are supposed to be there at that given time just like how whatever happens is supposed to happen.  I feel that each person in this class is special in their own unique way.

We have learned to engage with each other in a way that we would never have outside of this class. The thoughtfulness of the group that presented this day is a reflection of the outstanding way your team has run this course.

On a more personal note, I have learned a ton about myself. Some good and some not so good. My draft essay is a mess with more bullet points than actual AHA moments. It was difficult to just bare one’s soul even while getting to know those in class.  It was  an even scarier experience to discover  the good, bad and ugly  of oneself and to have it uncovered in class.

At the very end its just amazing how our afternoon group came together and really opened up.

 

 

 

Building Shared understanding

Today’ session was on “Shared Understanding”. I must admit it took a while for me to understand, or see the link between what was presented and the actual topic for the session. The group had printed out a list of all public holidays and the discussion centred around the existence and our individual understanding of the significance of these holidays.

My initial concern was around the fact that almost all the holidays that were on the list were leaning more on the Christian calendar as well as holidays of political significance. I felt the research they had done around this subject matter was rather limited. It excluded people of other faith(s), such as Muslim and Jewish people. This was however challenged during the group discussion. After much deliberation, the group conceded that they had somewhat limited the holidays that they had on their list.

At the end of this session, I was however left to reflect on whether the holidays that we always look forward to; do they really carry the significance and the reasons that they were made for? To be honest, that seems to have been lost over time. Except for a few, such as June 16 and women’s day; most of the holidays have been commercialised and thus lost their meaning. Most of us only look forward to having a break from our daily work routine; sufficing to say that unless forced, we make very little effort to celebrate these holidays.

EXPRESSING GRATITUDE!!

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.  We are so often caught up in our destination that we even forget to express gratitude especially on the goodness of the people we meet on the way of our journey. Appreciation is a great feeling.

Today, I’m thankful for facilitation experience, which made me to focus more on real practical issued. I’m grateful to discover my flaws, weakness, strength and that self-awareness starts with me. I’m so thankful for meeting awesome people and learning from them.

We also learned about “NNI” No-Name-Initiative, it’s all about the voice dialogue. It was very interesting to understand the agreements tips in NNI Dialogue:

  • Deep democracy
  • Personal=global
  • Fully take up one voice at the time
  • Law of two feet
  • Words/sound/movements
  • Play with and try out different roles/voices
  • Whatever you experience has meaning for the whole system
  • Respect two compassion for self and others- whenever possible
  • Take care of yourself and
  • Permission to facilitate

Above it all the dialogue shouldn’t be too emotional when different voice engages because it can heat up, but it also depends on the subject. As a facilitator when you facilitate the voice on a certain topic u need to be neutral and love every voice equally. In closing we formed a circle and express our gratitude. “It’s not that life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as expected. I just choose to be Happy and Grateful no matter how it all turns out”.

That’s all folks!

The final lecture marks the end of a tumultuous semester and a rewarding experience in the facilitation skills course.  This course has consistently been insightful, interesting and forced me out of my comfort zone.

This lecture was also my syndicate group and I’s chance to facilitate. The experience was slightly nerve wrecking – public speaking is not my forte. However, it prepared me for the next time I have to do something similar.

Note to self:

  • Practice makes perfect
  • Breath, relax – no need for nerves
  • Have sufficient content
  • Be prepared  and have a plan B in case you’re dealing with an audience that does not want to engage

Through researching for our facilitation on the topic I realized that all too often I forget to reflect and take note of all that I have to be grateful for. I have started a gratitude journal which I think will be useful, especially with exams approaching. It would a great way to stay mindful of all the good and use that positive energy to push through the challenging times.

#AsToldByTiff

 

Do not let the child in you Die

Adults are scared to take risk be cause we have fear. Children grow and learn every day because they do not have the fear that every adult has of the unknown.

As I was getting ready to submit my essay, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine who is getting ready to start her new post. The story that she told me, was so profound and truly motivational.

When she was growing up, her grandmother would give her the off cuts from the vegetables to feed the chickens, and she would first decorate the off cutes and make it pretty then offer to the chickens. She would be so happy as a  child, seeing her creations even  though the chickens would tire apart her beautiful creations.

Her grandmother would tell her to stop and just throw the off cuts to the chickens, but she just smiled and carried on. She never stopped decorating the off cutes for the chicken, because she did what made her happy, despite having her grandmother disapproval. She stayed true to herself, little did she know that her soul was at piece.

When ever she comes across a situation where she is afraid of what she wants the most, she always remember the chicken. She always  makes sure that her soul is at peace, always keeping true to herself.

I now take  will always remember the story of the chicken when ever I want to something and afraid to go get it. Afraid of what I am capable off.

Ntombi Dhlamini

Week10 – Expressing Gratitude

Unfortunately I could not attend this class for personal reasons. From what i heard, like the rest of the classes i have attended this one was also a great one. The syndicate group for that week apparently also did very well; they even brought flowers for the facilitator.

The topic was about expressing gratitude. Thinking about this, I am very grateful that i was afforded the opportunity to be in the facilitation class, I have gained a wealth of knowledge from attending this class. My attitude and the manner in which i approach situations have completely changed and it is all thanks to this class

Week 10 – Change – Building a shared understanding.

The topic was change and it was apt that there were so many changes. Roz  was not there so Telfa and Fiona was standing in for her. The way the class was setup was different, specifically the seating. It was different but interesting. We were working through timelines and allowed us to make some connections with fellow students. Obviously based on what we made puplic and what was kept private. We also did the Johari Window and what was interesting to me was the link or the integration of the story and the theory of the Johari window. What was more interesting was because of the timeline exercise the memories of my past was still fresh in my mind and it was so  easy to see how it applied in my life. The story, the Johari window and how it applied to my life, all linked.

Emotional Check-Out and Goodbye

The last class was bridled with emotions and honest accounts from various people about the course. I don’t think anyone could have planned for this beautiful ending to the Facilitation journey.  The class was a fitting capture of the moments and experiences shared from week one. Personally I have learned and realised that I am capable of change. I started with the “whatever” approach as I reckoned I just need 18 points towards my degree in this course. The first lecturer left me with a bad taste, I pondered on my decision to register for the course.

I envisioned disorganisation for the rest of the semester. When we were given a group exercise, I nearly lost my mind as my experience so far at Wits about group assignments has been unpleasant. To my surprise all these negative feelings and perceptions were gradually changed week-in-week-out. We produced an excellent presentation with my group and in the process formed new friendships. At times I felt like I was sitting in a psychological counselling session as I began to embark on a journey of self-discovery. From dispelling my notions of what facilitation really means, to learning about the importance effective communication and power of silence. The material contained in the course pack and themes that were presented weekly challenged me to self-introspect and opened my eyes, sometimes to topics I thought I knew better. What I take away from them is the importance of embracing difference.

I am leaving this course as a better person who now continually assesses own actions and words, now I better understand how they can impact on other people. I am aware that these actions and words directly influence their responses and behaviour towards me. In the workplace, I have begun to implement strategies such as check-in, design thinking, the Johari Window and SCARF models. I am beginning to witness a change in relations and communication. I have adopted these lessons as well in my personal life and I am already experiencing change.

I am deeply grateful for the lessons and patience of Roslyn, through her teachings, change has occurred in and around me. In closing it is interesting to ponder on this question “what if what unites us is more than we realise…and what divides us is less than we fear?”. I have realised that united we can achieve more and overcome our fears.

The learning continues…

 

EXPERIENCING GRATITUDE

Last Saturday was the last day of our facilitation skills class….talk about experiencing bitter- sweet moments! 

I quite  enjoyed the two last facilitators (friends of Ross: Fiona & Karen) and seeing Telfer take on a different role in our classes. I found myself really missing Ross and feeling so nostalgic…I really hope our paths will cross again one day!

Expressing Gratitude…What a great way to end this amazing journey…thank you to the group that did the last facilitation!

I’m so grateful for the time I’ve spent in that class with all the amazing people I met…definitely feeling much wealthier than the first day I stepped in the class!

I remember I was 15 minutes late and it was quite a daunting task to walk in while Ross was trying to give instructions.Feeling so overwhelmed by the many faces that were staring right in front (while I was passing ,trying to find a vacant seat…)

Little did I know it was the beginning of an unforgettable journey that would change my life, my thoughts and how I do things…

God is great…I’m glad for the plans that He has for my life!

Hope this year will end on a good note for all of us!

Expressing gratitude

Today we were reminded to be grateful and that if we focus on what we have we will never have enough. With the depressing state of the world today we often forget that there is much to be grateful for, being asked to put this on paper served as a reminder of this.

Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved (Lacewing, 2016)

Then we were asked the question “how much attention do you pay to intention?” I didn’t know how to respond to this at first then i realised it was about the desired outcome a facilitator would have for a group. I was reminded of a previous class when we were taught that a good facilitator is open to outcome and not attached to it.  I’m still trying to figure out the link between the two. As much as the concept of intention in this instance is related to the facilitation process I couldn’t help but wonder about how much attention we pay to intention in our lives in general, in the choices we make on a daily basis and in our interactions with others.

Expressing Gratitide

Last class of the facilitation skill course, what an incredible journey it has been and the topic covered was the best to end things.

Gratitude is a basic principle that is or should be taught from a very young age.

Before I go far in this blog, I want to express my gratitude to Ros and her team for availing themselves to facilitate this course, for unselfishly sharing the knowledge, past experiences and lessons. Looking back, I feel like this was created to teach us how to live better and I am grateful for it.

Being intentional about seeing good plays a big role here.  I am I am glad the facilitating group elaborated further on this one.

Week 10- Expressing gratitude

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.

The group that was facilitating raised some vital points about expressing gratitude. they went to detail on how expressing gratitude bring harmony and peace amongst your circle of friends, family colleagues or anyone for that matter. I’ve learned that saying thank you to someone is not only the right thing to do but it shows respect and increases a persons self esteem.

The team highlighted on 3 aspects of how if feels to receive gratitude.

1. gratitude reduces negativity
2. increases mental stress
3. increases self- esteem

We went on to discuss intention with Karen. She mentioned that intention is very crucial when facilitating, you need to know: what is the purpose? Why are we here?. I was intrigued about the discussion of creating a safe container in groups, I came into realization that there are similarities in our responses about what our safe containers entailed regarding the facilitation class.

We went on to discuss about one of the hottest topic about our feelings towards the legalization of cannabis. This topic brought a lot of discomfort and animosity to the class, voices were raised and people were offended other peoples opinions to the point that Karen discarded the debate.

What a day!!!

Week 10: The end …

I was at the last class and realised that I had missed one class. I wondered what I missed at that class and again, thought about the learning that has brought me to the last class. It was bitter sweet, I had my Saturday’s back but I was sad that this had come to an end.  I am going to miss the AMAZING people that I had met and become friends with.  I was going to enjoy the endless laughs and the many light bulb moments. This course had opened my eyes to a new world. Writing the blogs was easy, writing the essay was easy, and it was easy because I have so much to tell and so much to share.

On this last day we were able to learn and experience Karen and share her knowledge. Speaking in voices was an important lesson in removing emotion and listening to a voice rather than a person. Definitely something I would use as a tool in my future facilitation sessions.  Listening to the big take aways from the course was wonderful. Each person had taken something special and valuable from the last few weeks. My take away was most importantly the deep introspection that resulted from every week.  I found myself looking within and applying the learnings to me and to my career and life. This has been wonderful, its been like a weekly visit to the shrink. It has opened a door in learning that can never be closed again, an endless journey of self discovery that will continue to grow, like a seed into a tree, bearing fruit that will sustain me to the end of my days…..

Express Gratitude

Let me firstly thank the facilitators that have taken their time to take us through this life changing course. It has been a great eye opener for my work life and personal life. I have learned a lot from this course and my approach to facilitation and life at large has changed. So many skills that I needed I have achieved them through this course. The course has equipped me with skills that I previously didn’t have.

Secondly thank you so much to my group for their efforts in every project that we had to undertake most especially on the week that we were presenting. You guys have taught me that through working together and understanding everyone challenges and accommodating those challenges we can overcome anything. I am grateful to have been part of your syndicate group. I wouldn’t have chosen to be any other group than our group. It has  been a great journey that we have travelled together. Thank you so much for being there for me all times. I wish you all the best in every journey that you take.

Lastly let me thank Wits creating degrees that can accommodate the working class like me without any inconvenience. Big up to you Wits Plus. I am proud to be associated with you.

Expressing Gratitude

Sadly I missed the last day because I was not feeling well. The presentation was about Expressing Gratitude!! What a journey it has been. “Feeling gratitude and expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it” William Arthur.

WHAT AM I GRATEFUL FOR?  I’m grateful that I decided to take on the facilitation course, it has been a great journey, from wanting to de-register on the second week, to coming out of my comfort zone. I’m grateful for all the things I learned throughout this semester, for all the tools I have acquired. I now see /approach things differently, I now see things with a new set of eyes. I’m grateful for everyone in the Facilitation course, I’ve learned so much from everyone, I’m grateful for the meaningful conversations/communication, for the reflections and sharing of experiences throughout the course and for the group engagements.  I’m grateful for Roslyn and the other facilitators for enabling us to improve ourselves, for broadening our perspectives, and for allowing us to think outside the box, to get out of our comfort zones.

I’m grateful for my family/friends, for health and my job among other many things. Gratitude means thanks and appreciation. It is important to cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good things that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.

Thank you to each and everyone :)!!!!!!

 

Expressing Gratitude

“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Let me start by saying how incredibly life changing this course has been for me. It was the rather unexpected yet much needed evaluation of ones   for growth. Although still a work in progress, my confidence and self awareness have grown tremendously. When I started facilitation it truly was a means to an end for gaining credits however 2 weeks into the course and my perception had completely  changed.  Thank you to Roslyn for persevering with our overwhelmingly  not so  enthused,  questioning attitudes on Day 1.  For being patient in your method of facilitating  personal change with each of us, somehow silently knowing that we would soon each have our “aha moments”.  Thank you to your colleagues for stepping in and taking over the reigns in your absence.  You all did an incredible job in creating a safe environment for learning through participation and sharing. Lastly thank you to my fellow students especially my syndicate group for sharing your stories and making his an engaging experience. I will forever treasure being able to learn from each of you.

Expressing Gratitude

Last week facilitation on the topic expressing gratitude has been quite a great facilitation given the topic. The group have actually summed the whole journey with their approach on life experiences. One has really learned to reflect and express gratitude on whatever situation. I have really learned that one should appreciate even the little things. Good work to the team that facilitated and taking a posture of appreciation, humility and gratitude. As I express my own gratitude, I would like to say THANK YOU for the afternoon class and the lectures for meeting you and affording me the opportunity to learn from you.

Expressing Gratitude

I suppose it was fitting to have this facilitation as our very last session.  I think it is meant to make us reflect on how far we’ve come and how different we have become since our very first Facilitation Skills session.

The team facilitating today made us feel appreciated by handing us a token of nicely wrapped sweets as we entered the room.  This was a nice touch.

Expressing gratitude is about being thankful for the little and big things in life.  Understanding that people do not HAVE to treat you with kindness, but when they do it is important to show your appreciation.   We need to be more aware of what people around us do for us and we need to reciprocate that with gratitude.

We all have something to be grateful for and if we focus our energy on that, instead of what we do not have, we would be much happier individuals because then, we will know we have more than enough.

06 October 2018 Expressing Gratitude

After 10 weeks of attending facilitation skills class every Saturday, the last day had come. It was a bitter moment because it was finally the last Saturday of attending so it meant I have my weekends however bitter because the class that I gained so much about others and myself had come to an end. It was also not the same with Roslyn and it felt incomplete.
However we had a wonderful facilitator by the name of Karen to seal the end of our semester class to our journey and she did a beautiful job indeed. As I entered the class I was given a beautiful wrapped white box that had printed “thank you” and there were sweets in the box. As we seated down the last group facilitation class was about expressing gratitude. The group did well for and engaged with the audience.

The “ahaaa” moment for me was when the last syndicate group topic was about expressing gratitude which made me realize how grateful I was for the class that I attended because I had gained so much knowledge about the world, people and myself. If I could re-live those classes again I would because it was worthwhile.
With Karen we touched on “intentions’ and how important it is when facilitating. We also touched on purpose of it and why the audience and how can we create a safe environment.
We then got into groups and discussed how much attention did we pay to the intention of our facilitation class and we paid attention to our intention because our aim was to show that every pain we have come across we passed through it and made it, so pain must stop you from living your life.
We went more into details about safety that we need to make it a safe environment for our group and make each group member invited and also make it fun.
We the discussed about the NNI which stands for no name initiative. We had to choose a topic and there were three topics chosen. 1. Fuel price kike, 2. Legalization of dagga 3. Leadership in the African continent. We then had to vote and the legislation of dagga won the votes.
The discussion in a dialogue which was very interesting the large group was divided into four groups 1. Get away drug 2. Health 3. Age regulated and 4. Close gateway. The whole purpose of the dialogue was to see people’s thoughts and to see movement and a feeling around it.

In the end we were asked what we had learnt from facilitation skills and I spoke because I learnt not to look at things at face value but to analyses a situation. Think deeper and let me mind run free. To be aware of my perceptions, assumptions and unconscious bias. I also learnt how very different we humans see things and we need to listen and reply with understanding. We also sat in a huge circle and Karen asked what were we grateful for and many of us said the facilitation skills class and meeting new people.

Thank you Ros, Karen, Fiona, Telfer and classmates

Last Day

Today was very emotional. The presentation was very good, so great that Karen decided to go with the mood of the class instead of what she had planned for us.
The ladies did a great job putting us in touch with our feelings of gratitude. The end of the presentation where they handed a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to Telfer and Karen had me teary, and I was sad that Roslyn missed this very precious moment.
I am truly grateful to have journeyed with the afternoon class, you all are great human beings. I have no words for Ross and Telfer, your are superhuman and very generous to the core. How I wish I could have experienced mot of your Karen and Fiona made me go to those dark places I was not sure I was ready to revisit.
I will miss this class and wish every one all the best in life, I am glad we have one last time to meet and share and we have all these Saturdays.

Week 10 – Expressing Gratitude

Its the last day of the facilitation course and oh man what a journey this has been. I must say that in the beginning of this course i was not sure on what the outcomes would be, but hey, i am happy and grateful for this course.

Waking up early on saturdays to attend an 8am class was not easy, especially because it was a huge change to my routine but i got used to it. The learnings from this class changed my perspective on a lot of things. The course has changed the way i interact with people. It has helped me to see world for what it is and not what i think it is. It has also helped me to look at situations from the balcony.

I am grateful to Ross for all the teachings it has surely changed my life for the better. I am also gratefull to my fellow class mates for the life changing discussions that we had in all our classes.

I am definitely a better person than i was before.

Thank You.

Image result for a grateful heart

 

Expressing gratitude

 

The topic for the group facilitation was “expressing gratitude’, and what a befitting topic as I was filled with so much gratitude for all that I had learnt throughout the semester. The facilitating team gave us “thank you” gestures before the start of their presentation, which made the facilitation a little more special.

During an exercise in class we used the tree of life to draw on all the things that we were grateful for, a lot of people in the class had similar things that they were grateful for, such as life, health, work/salary, family etc. I learned that even though we don’t express the gratitude we are thankful for most things that are unmaterialistic.

I am truly grateful to Roslyn and all she has taught us in this course, I believe I have learnt valuable tools that I can take forth in my personal and work life. I can’t believe how much I have grown from this class, so many aha moments and moments of reflection.

I am truly not the same person I was when I walked into the class on the very first day.

 

AND IT’S A WRAP!

Week 10 – Expressing Gratitude

The day has arrived! Our final facilitation class & our groups turn to facilitate.
I must admit the response and class interaction was not as expected, I however consoled myself in saying that most people are tired and it is just that time of the year.

Personally, I thought our facilitation came together quite well, and the conclusion done by group member Sindi, was spectacular and just brought everything together.

The facilitation session was taken by Karen, once again in Roslyn’s absence.
Again, it was a slow start, which confirmed my earlier suspicion that people were just tired.
The session however ended in a great dialogue introduced as the ‘NNI dialogue process’, which is seen as an alternative manner of communicating.
The dialogue assists in de-personalizing it, in the speaker speaking from an illustration referred to as the ‘voice’. Dependent on the view you have, would depend on the voice you speak from and to which voice you would respond. It is however encouraged that you move around and make use of alternative voices, however due to time constraints we were not able to experience an in-depth illustration of the dialogue.
The dialogue topic was around ‘legalisation of cannabis’. It was rather interesting to witness the amount of people whom were for the ruling, which also just shows how one should not draw conclusions about individuals without getting to know them or at least something about them.
This type of facilitation, although interesting would need to be somewhat controlled depending on the topic. Which I would assume the matter of not personalising it plays such a vital role, as you would be seen speaking from the voice point of view and not personal.
Respect and consideration for the voices are very important, being aware of the people around you and within the various voices.

That brings me to the end of my blogging days….
Thanking all my fellow classmates for their interaction and participation, as this influenced the aura of the class on any given day.
Thanking Roslyn as the main facilitator and her co-facilitators, Telfa, Karen and Fiona for the time taken to facilitate the class and teach us all new things.

Wishing you all the very best with your continued studies.

Expressing Gratitude

The days lesson is a very touchy topic, because somehow it seems difficult for people to show gratitude to others. The team did a very good job at their facilitation. They started off by giving gratitude to the facilitators on the  great work since the beginning of class. I think it was well planned to have this topic presented last, because it became inline with the whole learning adventure we embarked on with the course.

I learned the importance to acknowledge others influences and generosity; and to give gratitude where it is due. A simple THANK YOU goes a long way.

I also learned that gratitude mean a lot to the receiver. An important lesson is to show appreciation to people’s good deeds no matter how small or big the impact on one’s life.

EXPRESSING GRATITUDE

It was the last day of our facilitation skills and I real enjoyed myself but before going feather into details, I would like to salute my lecture and our special lecture that we had on the day,it really has been a great and enjoyable journey.

It was also my first time doing dialog and I enjoyed the discussion we had and most of all I learnt a lot from the statements and comments made by me and my fellow classmates.

Expressing Gratitude

Today is Saturday 06 October. We have Fiona, Karen, and Telfer in the helm. The class started on time. We have the last presenting team. The team’s theme/topic is Expressing Gratitude. One member from the presenting team started by applauding us for attending the class. She mentioned that she was worried as she had noticed the previous week that the class is getting smaller and smaller.

The presenting group asked the class how do they feel when they receive gratitude? I mentioned that I feel grateful and appreciated. The group started handing out nicely-packed packages with candies inside. Every package carried a message such as:

  • You are wonderful.
  • You are awesome.
  • You are beautiful.

All these messages made the receiver (us) feel grateful. I have learned that gratitude:

  • Reduces negativity in me.
  • Increases mental stress.
  • Increases self-esteem and bring home and joy in my life.

Towards the end of the class, as Fiona was Facilitating, she mentioned something very important. She said that when  Facilitating, there should be a commitment to confidentiality. This is new as I never thought facilitating has anything to do with confidentiality.

Karen concluded the day by sharing with the class that the theme “creating a safe container”. She told us that when facilitating, people should feel invited and they should also feel that their voice matters. Inclosure Karen mentioned two very important/powerful statements, she said when Facilitation;

  • You don’t have to like every person you facilitating to but you still have to love their voices.
  • If there is a conflict, the facilitator should approach it cautiously and rather apply the mediator kind of facilitator.

What a wonderful class we had! Thanks to the team, Fiona, Karen, and Telfer!

 

 

Showing Gratitude -Week 10

Today was a very nostalgic moment for me as I reflect on where this course started. The topic of today couldn’t have been more apt. I reflect back on the first day turning the first page of the facilitation course pack and reading:

What If what unites us is more than we realise…… and what divides us is less then we fear? 

Today I stand amongst my fellow colleagues and in my heart, I salute each and every one of them. Today I am grateful for the mark that each and everyone has made on my heart. For the impression that each person has made and for allowing themselves to be vulnerable and for sharing openly. Today I am grateful for the ability to see my own flaws and my own imperfections and most importantly, I am grateful for the demons that I have managed to identify within myself. Today I am gratefull for being able to identify that I too am weak ……..

Aluta Continua…………. may my journey of gratitude take flight and soar

 

 

Week 10: Expressing Gratitude

This was the last class of the semester for facilitation skills and what a journey it has been. Often when we look at learning in the school context we think of it as something that will help our careers exclusively, but Roslyn has done much more with this course. She has impacted our lives and the way we approach many different situations in our lives, careers and studies.  I never thought of facilitation as something that would help me grow so much as an individual and learn new ways of interacting with all the different types of people I meet throughout my life. The topic was well positioned after all our other learning and experiences in this course because I am truly grateful to Ros and her colleagues for the lessons and I know they will last for a lifetime in my mind and heart. The person that walked into that chaos filled class in July and was extremely overwhelmed is not the same person that I am now and I am grateful for that. Next week we submit our final essays and hope it makes for some good reading for Ros 🙂

 

Expressing Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is something that is extremely important because it lets people know that you appreciate them or what they have done for you. When expressing gratitude it is important to do so with a smile on your face and a sincere tone of voice. Forgive someone who has hurt you. Forgiveness might not sound directly connected to gratitude, but when you forgive someone who has hurt you (with or without an apology), what you’re essentially doing is expressing gratitude for the experience and for the opportunity to experience compassion for someone else.

Forgiveness, mind you, does not condone the wrongdoing. It merely offers you a chance to free yourself from resentment and anger, which is a way to love yourself.

Week 10- Blog 10:” Learning from Life.”

Week 10- Blog 10:” Learning from Life.”

Saturday the 22nd ‘s class was so emotional, for me  it was like  attending a memorial service. The topic was so emotional , the setup was so memorial, lighting candles , facilitators were wearing in black colors and it just brought back so many memories around my minds.
The presenting group was a bit confused between minutes and seconds, nevertheless it was more of the presentation than a facilitation session. After the facilitation there were few  very interesting games. Game of two using a ropes and the game pf dice,throwing of dice and collecting chips the team with more chips wins the game.Indeed very nice game thought and for me the games were like the after tears because we really enjoyed the games and all the sad memories I went through during facilitation class were fading away while playing games.
During the Game it was important to Learning from Life including, especially learning from each other by: seeking help, changing strategy, communicating, these are still the keys of all activities, collaborations, rules of engagement and conflict resolution also mentioned as  important to observe. We cannot forget about being patient, compromising listening and giving other’s chances to explore and express themselves.
At the end of the class when Madam Solomon was telling us that she is leaving and this was her last class with us for this semester, I felt so bad like  another sad memory to register but i have to adjust as the topic of the day was learning from life and I have to accept without conditions some of the things that life presents to me.
After class we went to practice again as our facilitating day is approaching.

 

Thank you

Building relationships

After the gruelling weeks of preparation, the day finally came. It came with such a sense of relief to close off this process, well because it took a lot from me. Attending a Saturday class has not come without challenges, so staying an hour later afterwards made it a bit harder to manage.
Juggling work, home and school during weekdays is no child’s play, adding a Saturday didn’t make it any easier as one misses out on a lot of family time and activities, as a result, I became unpopular with some members.

Finally, I experienced what if felt like for the previous group members to stand in front of the class and present, not easy at all. It is easy to judge and criticise from the audience.

Managing our time was critical in keeping all the activities within the allocated 45 minutes and still keep the audience engaged. I think we did better than we had anticipated though it would have been nice to get feedback from the class about what we had done right and what could have been done differently.

Great team spirit and effort to all the members of Group 9

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION

The day has come and it’s my team’s turn to facilitate the day’s workshop. Well, first of all, we came to class on Friday night to rehearse on our piece. We were meant to get to class on the day of the facilitation as early as 7 am to have a final run of the rehearsal before delivery in class. As the universe can dish you anything at any time, the class was locked and we struggled to locate the security guard and as a result, the class was opened a little later and we never got to rehearse. The nerves were just killing me as I really wanted to do that final run before class started because I have a serious fear of speaking in front of people and as the one introducing the group, I wanted to give a banging intro without stuttering. Yeah, I stutter… especially when nervous. LOL!

So, we started and surprisingly everything just fell into place, everyone did their part well and it was amazing that even though we did not have the final run of rehearsals, the delivery was better than what we did the previous night. It was like someone had a magic wand and we all had an out of body experience in the delivery.

Ours was different , we still had 15 minutes left out of 45 that is given per workshop and Ros shared our group’s conflict resolution story and made us sit in the middle of the class and gave each one of us a chance to tell the class about our emotions and everything that happened leading to that day and how Justice also came to the party and hugely contributed to the workshop in that short space of time and how we all had a change of heart after the conflict and building a relationship with him and accepting him as one of us. It’s amazing how giving another person a chance to tell their story and accept them in your space can change your perception about them.

Moving right along…  The lessons Ros gave for the day was about the three skills that were essential in meaningful conversation.  Advocacy, listening and inquiry. The ability to explain our views, where they come from and building understanding about what we are thinking. The exercise on listening to head, heart and will was my Aha moment. It’s amazing how we always think we know what a person is thinking, feeling or willing to do when in a situation. We do not repeat what the person is saying to us, instead we say what we interpret without asking for clarity if you heard correctly, we do not listen with intent and miss that which the speaker wants us to hear.

I learned that when conflict is managed with slowing down a conversation, communication can be meaningful and we can learn the other truth and find ways to move forward together, therefore building relationships. This is a tool that I am going to apply since it has proven to work and I am going to try listening to people with intent to enable others to find their voice and speak their truth and not mine.

Justice has done Justice to our group facilitation by willing to do whatever it took to be part of Group 9. Don’t get me wrong, everyone worked hard at putting the workshop programme together, his dramatic return put a twist on the whole thing and it was a perfect personal story to tell about building relationships.

Building relationships from conflict resolution can help in facilitating team decisions. What a long 9 weeks wait it was, I can now sleep at night knowing that we have done the facilitation and no more meeting every Saturday after class all that’s left for me to do is to catch up on my blogs and polish my final essay submission.

Let’s meet again next Saturday when we continue with meaningful conversation and facilitate team decisions with Group 10.

Playful and fun fun fun

It’s the second last class for Facilitation Skills. Believe it or not I am feeling sad. Sad that the interactions with these interesting people will possibly end but happy that I can get to sleep late on Saturdays again. (Lover of sleep)

The facilitation piece was interesting… the group presented on “Facilitating team decisions” They were lively and entertaining, starting off with a nice icebreaker that involved learning classmates names while throwing a ball around. I must admit I still didn’t memorize the names but I thought it was a really fun way to introduce people and wondered how it might be useful for new teams at work. The next activity was even more entertaining, we were asked to get into groups and use materials in a box to design an item of clothing for a model to wear. What a fun time our group had. We used different colour plastics and the tap that was available. When the judging took place, our garment was the winner and we were actually so surprised because we had focused more on having fun than making something that could win.

The course content of the day was as insightful as the previous week. Ros took us through “Inquiry and Advocacy”. It was so interesting to see my organisations communication problems explained through this model. I was fascinated by the ways to build shared understanding and immediately knew I needed to listen so I could use it at work. “Articulate, suspend judgement and reflect” Back to Inquiry and advocacy, Ros explained the concept of organisational change through “Unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence,  conscious competence and unconscious competence”. The time between conscious competence and unconscious competence that an organisation needs to reinforce practice of habits because during conscious competence, the implementation of change management is taking place. Once an organisation reaches unconscious competence, then they have attained their new culture.

This whole portion was an “aha” moment for me because not only could I relate from my previous employer but I could see the lack thereof in my current employer. I am so grateful to have been present in these sessions and to have forced myself to attend regardless of all the negative feelings I had initially.

Meaningful Conversations Building Relationships

I had the most fun in class with this topic. It was very interesting to work in a team and not be able to talk. No one was bossy, no one tried to outdo the other and most of all it was actually peaceful.

This demonstrated that words are not needed when communicating and sometimes words ruin the moment.

we shared ideas without being intrusive, we were all part of the group even though we were strangers to each other.

we dealt with problems much quicker and it was an experience that I enjoyed. well done to the group for opening up my eyes about effective communication especially in a group dynamic. I always hated group work because mostly I always ended up doing most of the work but through this class I have learned to delegate task and speak up and at the right time in the right way. Sometimes I don’t have to use words to let the other group members know what I am thinking.

Effective Meetings

The end of lecture 10 came with a wonderful surprise that I have been able to use and implement almost instantaneously in my life. Lessons on how to conduct more effective meetings. I have been chairing meetings that are attended by multiple stakeholders within our organisation. It was daunting at the beginning,  but it has gotten better over time, however Roslyn’s teachings were absolutely invaluable.

First and foremost showing up, being present and prepared for any meeting sets you up for a successful and  productive engagement. Setting out the objectives and expectations of the meeting is the second most important thing.  Active listening and participation is critical.  There is nothing wrong with facilitating an interactive and engaging meeting, meetings are formal but don’t have to be boring. I have learnt through my own experiences that fun meetings have better attendance and participants show up and participate with honesty and integrity. Body language is also an indicator of people’s temperaments in the meeting. The most valuable points for me was the adoption of a delta plus/minus style of reviewing the meeting such that participants can give feedback on how to make the meeting better and more effective.

I guess that was my last big lesson from the facilitations cause. It was an incredible blast, I will miss everybody and all the fun we had together.

 

Building Relations

Group 10’s presentation was extraordinarily fun and unexpected. The topic of Building Relationships was delivered in a fresh and totally  captivating manner. The creation and presentation of a garment through team collaboration was put to the test with 3 of the groups having to communicate without speaking.   Two groups were allowed to communicate by speaking and interesting enough it was one of the groups that had to use non verbal forms of communication that won the challenge. Indeed effective communication is critical in the completion of group tasks and activities. The Bruce Tuckman model of team cohesion was discussed as well as its 5 phases in the life cycle of a team. It was interesting for me go reflect on our groups dynamics and interactions with the Bruce Tuckman theory in mind. I must say that the forming and storming stages of our team were very challenging, they were also affected by the fact that there was a group member in particular who tried to affirm herself as the group leader and that created tensions and disinterest in some team members. The normalizing stage came to our rescue and the performing stage was the pinnacle of our team dynamic experience. There was reforming on the night of our final presentation rehearsal and on the morning of the presentation it was fireworks, unity,  integration and  ultimately an effective group presentation.

The topic of time was very pertinent to group 10’s presentation as Roslyn so clearly reminded the class that respecting and honoring time is critical. Over stepping time boundaries could have serious consequences in the context of a workshop facilitation where the impact of an entire workshop could loose its impact as a result of anxieties brought about due to over stepped time boundaries.

Building Relationship

the build up to this day has been very long and daunting. long because we are used to the pattern of everyone presenting their group topics. long because you feel like you have great ideas and find some groups that implement the same or almost the same ideas. but with those feelings also comes the anticipation. as they say SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST and i feel that as group 9 we have the best topic ever…we probably have a topic that applies to everyone in many ways than one. it’s got that personal association in many spheres. so yes….we are team 9 and we are BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

bright and early we are wide awake and the nerves are kicking in real hard. didn’t get much time to resight what i have to say for my part. but hey we soldier on and make the best of it all. we have come too far to give up now.

i did my best in researching all i could related to our topic. from how it scientifically resonates and how we can explain it biologically. and this i have to say has been a great fulfilling experience because i learnt so much from information gathered. i could relate all that i have gathered to what’s in the course pack and what we have already.

this made me realise that as human beings we depend so much on each other one way or another. co-existence is in our nature and its embedded so deep in us such that its beyond us. and through the hormone of oxytocin its impossible to find a man who is an island isolated from other human beings. so as building relationships we are the glue to everyone else.

we had some conflicts as a team but with the help of Ros being our mediator i thought she was superb in assisting with one of fellow members in ensuring that we deal with things in a matured and professional way. lets just say its as if there was never any conflict and were all more tighter than before. listening is a skill that we all need to acquire and adopt. when we listen with a mindful mind we listen and understand clearly and respond accordingly. we are also responsible with how people respond to us because we for as long as we part of the conversation and part of the conflict its in our responsibility to ensure that we communicate the way we want to be responded by.

all in all it was a great day and it was a job well done.

Meaning Conversations PRT 1 – Resolving Conflict

I was unable to experience the group presentation from the beginning, but the personal stories shared were so real and actually touched me and made me realised that it could have been one of us and still can be. I admire the lady who reported her CEO, apologies for forgetting her name. The manner she handled the issue and sharing such a personal story empowers me of how i should view myself within my workspace. I enjoyed the presentation immensely and the exercise we were given. Though I’ve been in conflict situation and have stood my ground I learned a lot from this class in terms of how to go about resolving conflict. The writing exercise was challenging, as much as this should come naturally, I think, it wasn’t. I found myself impatient when I had to write because this required me to write in the first person so my patience was tested here and I had to remain calm and was curious to see how far and where this was going to end and guess what *laughing* I was able to do the exercises till the end of the lecture. So, something meaningful was achieved, so yay, to me.

A meaningful Conversation – Is Possibly the most QUIET oNe of them ALL.

Bouncing Emoticon BallsICE-BREAKER

Image result for emojis

Group 10 – Started off with  Bounce – you had to throw the balls to people and call out your own name – Ah well, so I got to know two more people today, Tshapiso and Cindy.

4 Groups of colours were divided, it was well set up and the activity was about us as the group dressing our models (the facilitators) in either plastic or newspaper, however, one group could verbally communicate to one another while the other had to communicate non-verbally,  I must add that the non-verbal group in my experience worked out pretty well and our model was the best dressed… We concluded in our feedback as a group we believe it would have been chaotic if we spoke. Even the quietest person in the class took place in our non-verbal activity: she handed over to me her own ribbon shoelace she created – I looked up to her and took it and replaced mine with hers. There was the most meaningful Conversation I ever had with someone without words.

 

Thank you GROUP 10 for this experience.

It can be broken but sometimes it can be fixed or not

Yeah! our group facilitated and the nerves are over. Well done team:-)

Building relationships as we all might have experienced it, is not always easy. Having constructive conflict is the best medicine to building stronger relationships. Some conflict matters will always need a mediator and some can be worked out on it’s own. No person on this earth  will survive without any form of relationship, whether it is with people, with animals as pets, etc. You will just not survive alone.

For the first time someone sat next to me and listened with intent while I was doing all the talking for a few minutes or so. She did not interrupt me and did not finish my sentences, she was just listening to me, me, me. I also got a chance to listen to her afterwards and it made more sense now. It is best to listen to someone speaking and just spilling all their thoughts without interruptions. I could hear more detail and understood the story better. This was my aha moment

Week 10_ Team 9_ Building Relationships

Through past experience of been burnt numerous times, I have learnt to differentiate from the good relationships and the energy draining relationship which I need to stay away from.

I must say I am quite uncomfortable with the way Team 9 handled their team mate Justice.

Everyone is different and we should respect that. We have unforeseen problems that prevent us from doing things. A team member is a team member, no one gets left behind!

Whether his/her role is to stand and look pretty. You just do the best you can do!!!

 

Acknowledging other should have probably been in the first lesson. We all are different. #selfish

Group 9 – Module 10 Building Relationships

 What an interesting morning.

Group 9 started us off with a fun and intriguing ice breaker – which included some mental gymnastics and some physical activity. We were required to jump about in a specific sequence based on the verbal instruction that was given, or to jump in contradiction to what the verbal instruction indicated. 

I was touched by one of the personal stories shared by a Facilitator, where the Team member displayed the impact of how building a relationship had benefited and empowered her to sew a beautifully designed traditional garment. What I took away from this personal story was that the intention of the Facilitator was to support and assist a student who was struggling with academic challenges, as well as with the ridicule and harsh words from fellow learners. What encouraged me was that through an act of compassion and being willing to listen to another person’s story, as well as to empathise with someone else, could turn out to be even more therapeutic for you.

The team had another revelation to share with us, which took bravery to expose a sensitive dynamic which had unfolded over the past weeks, including the day of their facilitation. Through the revelation made by the “Prodigal Son – Justice” we were introduced to the real life conflict situation which had developed and unfolded within this team. Through the maturity of the team to come to grips with the conflict situation and to share their honest feelings with each other, these contributions provided the environment for the restoration of relationships.

Behind the scenes, we were advised that Ros had facilitated a critical mediator role. The power of experiential learning was demonstrated to us when Ros continued to lead this group into a dialogue in order for all members to address the conflict and to eliminate any lingering negative feelings toward each other.

This session was very powerful in the authentic and respectful manner by which the conflict was resolved.

The professional experience and beautiful pearls of wisdom as shared by Roslyn Solomon, certainly compliments all of our facilitation sessions.  I have come to appreciate that these modules are so relevant, thought provoking and life changing.

Thank you Group 9 for being comfortable to expose the warts ‘n all to the rest of the class. Through the roller coaster of emotions which was experienced by this team, Justice continues to refer to his classmates, not as a team, but as his family.

 

Building Relationships

Building relationships… a concept that seem to make me feel a bit sick.   Yes… cause building relationships are great (she says in a sarcastic tone).

A year ago, this is what you would hear me say.   Today, I might just get a little excited.  Growing up in a broken home (and please no sympathy needed, haha) ,relationships seemed to me like this big magical myth.  I also believed that I will say as it is, I will not try and spare your feelings and if you don’t like it, I don’t care.  But throughout the past 4 years of my studies, I have discovered something…

You need to get to know each and every person you want to build a relationship with and deal with them according to how they function.  This makes for such better communication and relations.

In class we discussed listening,  Which I agree is so very important.  Regardless of what people say, sometimes you have to listen deeper, the tone, the way they speak, what are they actually trying to say.

I have had to learn this skill, because my boyfriend is in IT and I often find myself listening to encrypted messages.  I am telling you it is some special kind of coded language.  However, I have learnt that if I had to listen a little deeper, I might just get what he is trying to say to me.

I will let you know if I was able to crack the IT language code with the new material I learnt in class…

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Building Relationships is part of our everyday life experiences. I believe that every person you meet there is a reason to meet them and how we treat them will depend on the kind or type of a relationship you want to have with them. either you value them or they just one of the people you meet without gain. Forgetting that everything is not about you, you might be in there life’s to help them without knowing or vise versa.

I am one person who don’t undermine people or take people for granted because I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me.

One of the lady who presented told a personal story about a child who was a slow learner(needed special care) in the rural areas in the olden days those kids didn’t have special care they would be called stupid (sdom) and she  will fail toot pit kom .  The lady said she turned to love this child that everyone neglected and made fun of. she would sit with her and make her copy her home work and even when they where writing exams. Till the parents found out that the child is good with hand works and they changed her school and took her to the right school for her. she learned sawing. The lady enjoyed sawing and she ended up opening a boutique and with the friendship they build in school, that sdom child remembered that one child who treated her differently from the whole school and offered her to teach her sawing free of charge.

We learned Dialogue technique, conversation without end. Cant use in business. Silence is golden when it comes to this technique. Ros quoted a book called  Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.Dialogue embarrasses many trues.Talk till you don’t want to talk anymore. Never interrupt a person talking. Hold silence till talking starts natural conversations take place. there is no once turn when conflict is big enough you must get a neutral person to intervene.

Well done to team 9. they did a great job.

 

Subliminal Messages… Can you decipher them?

Thank you to group 9 for their efforts. To me, this group had lots of subliminal messages, from the prodigal son to building towers with spaghetti and marshmallows. I saw what they were doing there… build a tower whilst building relationships…

Every time I hear people referring to the “prodigal son” I feel that they missed the allegory of the story and only focus on the literal story. There were many sons in the story but the story focused on two sons. The one that stayed and the one that received what was due to him before time. I believe that the story is about relationships. The eldest son ‘seemed’ to be diligent and did what was expected. The ‘prodigal’ was an eager young man who wanted what he didn’t earn way before he was ready for it. There is also the father who treats the sons differently. We could have wonderful debates about the many truths in this story.  How was the relationship between all these characters? Should there have been a mediator when the initial conflict began? Should they have used the Quakers dialogue technic to resolve their differences? All the participants did not listen to HEAD, HEART & WILL. No one bothered to slow down the conversation in the conflict. It should make for interesting debate to find out the correct solution to the prodigal son tale.

As for Justice the prodigal son of group 10’s conflict and what they went through, I supposed it was great that we did conflict resolution the week before. I am glad I was part of the first team that facilitated Social Media before the team dynamics came into the picture. I struggle to deal with conflict, it drains my energies, takes away my bubbly personality and leaves me sordid state. I would need to go to therapy just to deal with the aftermath.

My favourite therapy session was also discussed to help with deep listening, although I prefer to call it ACTIVE LISTENING. The imago therapy. I think the class would have benefited if Ross spent some time to explain the background behind the theory and went through the whole exercise.  We just did the mirroring exercise without the validation and empathy. The empathy part of having to explain how you would feel being in another person’s world changes the way think. I implore all to click on the above link and familiarize yourselves with the Imago Relationship Therapy, especially if you and your partner are struggling to understand each other’s worlds.

This was another session that was therapeutic. Ross was intentional with naming the course “Self Mastery Through Mindful” facilitation skillsThere is another subliminal message right before our eyes.

 

Meaningful Conversations Pt.2 – Building Relationships

The second part of Meaningful Conversations , took an in depth look at building relationships, and also how communication can be used to build relationships. Some of the key factors that were covered, were the three skills. These skills are vital to build relationships through communication. The three skills are: advocacy, listening, and inquiry.

People are all different from one another, and unique. Thus it is important to realize that to be able to build a relationship through communicating, you have to think about, and interpret, the feelings and thoughts of the individual that you are communicating with. As social beings, we’ve learned to adapt to one another. sometimes however, it is harder that it seems. That is why communications is so vital to build relationships, and that is why communication can be very useful when it is a skill that one mastered.

Justice on Justice

I have come to realize that the group presentations that we start with every Saturday morning set the tone for the rest of the class. To a large extent they actually create a theme for the whole lesson if not the whole day.

Last week we had a wonderful group presentation that inspired the whole class and as a result the whole class experience was fantastic to the point that we could really tell that even Rosslyn was stimulated by it.

The group presentation today did the same, it created the theme for the day through the groups presentation on their experience with one of their members, Justice. The “prodigal son” they call him, Justice went awol for many weeks leading up for the groups presentation this week. The group was hurt, felt taken for granted and most of the members wanted him out. However through an intervention from Rosslyn at the group’s request, they allowed him to continue being part of the group without penalizing him for his delinquencies.

The point of it all for me was him being forced to take responsibility and put effort in correcting his wrongs. But also for the group they had to be allowed to express how they felt and still be made to consider his situation from an angle that serves all involved in the situation. As I write this now soon after class, I feel I have been forced to introspect on how I would have reacted. Would I have been forging? Would I have been determined to punish him?

As the lesson went on, which was about listening and learning techniques to listen effectively without judging and steering the direction of what is being said through your own understanding. I realized that I would have forgiven after having listened to his reasoning and based on whether I had lost something that I would not have otherwise recovered out of his absence. This outcome would be born out of how I would have listened to his situation and point of view.

Group presentation

 After a long night of hard, the moment we have all been waiting for has arrived, the presentation on building relationships. Firstly, I want to thank God for this course, but secondly thank my group as this group became family to me, we elevated our relations from group mates to siblings.

I was away for some time and the week before the presentation we managed to resolve our problem, mainly caused by me, and now it was time to work. When my group welcomed me back, I jumped right into work and managed to participate meaningfully into the project, the power of meaningful conversation really assists.

I shared my story with the class as part of the presentation because it was mainly about building relationship, we mainly focused on building solid relationships and this group has built one that is mega solid and for this I love them to bits.