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Siyavula Conference KZN 4,5 September 2009

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Siyavula Weekend Conference KZN 4,5 September

Siyavula Weekend Conference KZN 4,5 September

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  • As human beings we’re not isolated. We’re interacting with others all the time, exchanging information, sending and receiving messages – we’re communicating. As teachers, you all know a lot about communication, but it’s very easy to forget the most basic skills, when one gets anxious or excited. So this session will serve as a quick reminder of things you all know. We are looking at groups here and at what happens in groups. We can share information in groups. Develop new thoughts, approaches, material together, through the contributions of different group members. Often problems occur in groups as the direct result of people communicating ineffectively. In workgroups, in families, between friends – anywhere! Someone sends a message and the next person receives something completely different from what was intended… or misses the message because they were preoccupied with other things, e.g. their own thoughts. This leads to confusion, frustration and conflict, and can cause a good plan to fail.
  • Now you’ve got the chance to try this out a bit…
  • What happened? Did something like this happen in the groups? A fried egg, sunny side up becomes a broken egg becomes an egg…? Or the other way around. Sometimes information gets lost, then again information gets added. Exercise shows that communication is not just about speaking clearly, but also about listening well. Most of the time what we hear is influenced by our own experiences, preferences, our own view of the world. Someone telling about the naughty child may remind the listener of the naughty child that they know… We tend to filter the information we are given. That’s human. Listening is a very important part of communication, which is often not recognised, because it is so silent. When we speak, we find out very little. Through listening, we may learn something new and at the same time bestow the gift of our attention to others. Listening has real consequences. Through the way we listen or don’t listen, we can assist or hinder people’s development, the development of a group, the development of work done together…
  • Listening is a complex art, which requires lots of practice on the way to becoming a “master listener”. There are various stages – steps to climb over and beyond on this way. The first of those steps is not listening – the absence of listening. It‘s ignoring! You ignore communication by rejecting it. This could be shown by interrupting someone mid-sentence, playing around with pen, computer or mobile phone, or suppressing the words of the speaker with your own mental chatter. You may appear to be listening, but you’re not. The second step we need to get over is controlling & projecting. Sometimes the way we look at someone, our body language, sounds we make or just our hierarchical position controls the way others communicate with us. Consciously or subconsciously we suppress what they would actually like to express. Also at times, we hear what others say through a filter of previous judgements and decision. Whatever is communicated reinforces these judgements (this may be someone’s guilt or innocence, intelligence or lack thereof, sanity or insanity…). We need to be very aware when this is happening, in order to consciously put aside those judgements or control and invite whatever the other has to say to our open ears. Once we can put a stop to control and projection, it’s time to include empathy in our listening. Empathy requires observing the world from the speaker’s point of view. You don’t just hear what the speaker is communicating, but WHY they are communicating this. Once you can do this, communication will be much more powerful and of more value to the speaker (and yourself). There is an additional step to “mastery of listening”. That is being able to “listen” to the way your words are taken while you speak. This is something great communicators do. They hear themselves with the ears of others, and thus, are able to adapt their communication to the requirements of their audience. It sounds so easy when you’re told to “just listen”, but it really does require constant practice.
  • In thinking about groups that drive themselves, it is important to remember that each member of a group is not just leading or being led by the others. The kind of groups that will form to develop teaching material together will not necessarily sit together all the time. Just like many software development teams, you may become virtual groups that communicate online a lot of the time. This makes it difficult for any individual leader to ensure that the group is functioning effectively. Leadership is actually shared. It is especially important in such groups to have a clear overall goal that everyone identifies with, to have clear task-related processes and to have regular face-to-face meetings to build trust and establish common ground. But everyone needs to be self-sufficient in managing their work. And each group member is there voluntarily, for their own reasons, leading themselves. “ There is a person with whom you spend more time that with any other, a person who has more influence over you, and more ability to interfere with or to support your growth that anyone else. This ever-present companion is your own self.” (Pamela Butler, Clinical Psychologist) Self-leadership has been more broadly defined as "the process" of influencing oneself to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform. This means getting oneself from passive mode to active mode; going on a purposeful journey!
  • This does not mean that you are completely isolated from others!

Transcript

  • 1. Workgroup Sessions Teachers’ Workshop Kwazulu Natal 4 th / 5 th September, 2009
  • 2.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 3. Participant introductions
    • Introduce yourself to someone you do not know or do not know well every time the music stops.
    • Tell them what your interest in this weekend is.
    • Tell them what your hopes and expectations are.
  • 4.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 5. E D G E REASONS for not crossing the edge in the form of real or perceived internal and external messages cause the anxiety Increased ANXIETY as the individual approaches or is pushed towards or over and edge. SUPPORT AND CONTAINMENT helps the individual over the edge EDGE SYMPTOMS in the form of anxiety and defense mechanisms appear. The “EDGE” is something that is hard to do, to say, to feel, to think, or to look at. Mindell’s concept of the edge
  • 6. Edge symptoms DEFENSE MECHANISMS Denial Withdrawal Aggression Humour ANXIETY SYMPTOMS Dry mouth Racing heart Going blank Sore stomach GENERAL SYMPTOMS Odd or unusual behaviour Cycling Mixed messages / incongruities
  • 7. Edge discussion In groups of four: Discuss what some of your edges may be for this weekend.
  • 8.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 9. Communication
  • 10. Communication Exercise Source of photograph: www.sifatipp.de
  • 11. Communication Exercise - Debrief Source of photograph: www.stille-post.de
  • 12. Listening Ignoring
    • You ignore communication by rejecting it (e.g. interrupting someone mid-sentence, playing around with pen and paper or computer, writing text messages, suppressing the words of the speaker with own mental chatter…
    • Ignoring someone is a way of exercising power over them.
    Controlling & Projecting
    • Sometimes the way we look at someone, our body language, sounds we make or hierarchical position controls the way others communicate with us.
    • Sometimes we hear what others tell us through a filter of previous judgements and decision. Whatever is communicated reinforces these judgements.
    Empathising
    • Empathy requires observing the world from the speaker’s point of view.
    • You don’t just hear the open content of communication, but also the intent on which this communication is based. (WHY?)
    • Great communicators stand out by their ability to listen to the way their words are “taken” while they speak.
    • They hear themselves with the ears of others.
    Mastery
  • 13.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 14. Communities of practice or “workgroups” Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together and by what they have learned through their mutual engagement in these activities. A community of practice is different from a community of interest or a geographical community, neither of which implies a shared practice. A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions: It is a joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members There is mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity It produces a shared collection of communal resources that members have developed over time. © Etienne Wenger, 1998 We will refer to communities of practice as workgroups
  • 15. Communities of practice or “workgroups” Move into groups of 5 and consider the following question: In what way would it be useful for you to work in a group of teachers to develop curriculum material? Note your answers on cards, one per card.
  • 16. Debrief, feedback and questions Good morning!!!
  • 17. Missing Photos
    • Dumisani Sibaya
    • Hemraj Ramnarain
    • Maneebal Naidoo
  • 18.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 19. Why / benefit of being in workgroups tag cloud
  • 20. Self-organising principles Self-organising principles are governed by “attractors” at their centre. These are central values, beliefs or other psychological forces which determine the self-organising principles that emerge around them. Attractors evoke the same behaviour in different people.
  • 21. Self-organising principles continued An individual’s identity is closely linked to the self-organising principles that guide their behaviour. Individuals identify with values and activities that are similar to their own internal drivers and once they identify with them, their passion is evoked.
  • 22. Self-organising principles continued If you think about everything you have seen so far about the Siyavula project and the Connexions website, what is the one thing that would make you want to start or join a Connexions workgroup?
  • 23. Self-organising principles continued Tag cloud
  • 24. Presentation available on http://www.slideshare.net/siyavula
  • 25.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 26. Group dynamics – Mindell’s concept of rank E D G E E D G E Will eventually resort to sabotage Will comply temporarily Passive aggressive behaviour This group makes decisions Will seek support Individuals or groups with less or no rank Individuals or groups with more rank Feedback blocked by the edge
  • 27.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 28. Group dynamics – surface and depth processes Idea Goal Surface process Depth processes
  • 29. Group dynamics – surface and depth processes Surface processes are those that we all know about and talk about. They are often the goals we all agree on. However, there are often people dynamics under the surface that distract a group from its goal. These are called depth processes. They are hard to talk about, but can stop a group from reaching it s goal. They have to either be avoided or picked up early and talked about in order to stop them from hijacking the process.
  • 30. Group dynamics – surface and depth processes SURFACE PROCESS That which is uppermost in our awareness DEPTH PROCESS That which is hard to speak about Information pathways E D G E
  • 31. Group dynamics – depth processes in groups
    • Depth processes in groups – what goes wrong
    • Anxiety prevents honest communication
    • Groups get caught in people dynamics
    • Competition for roles
    • Stereotyping/ labelling
    • Insider and outsider issues
    • Scapegoating
    • Role conflict
    • Rank problems
  • 32. Group dynamics – Addressing depth processes Increase in anxiety Increase in defense mechanisms Real thoughts and feelings surface i.e. what the individual thinks, feels, wants and needs, but are buried by defense mechanisms 1. 2. 3. 4. Malan’s triangle But, CONTAINMENT is a technique reverses this process
  • 33. Group dynamics – Containment EXTERNAL (“HARD”) CONTAINMENT INTERNAL (“SOFT”) CONTAINMENT Honesty Perspective Consistency Support Empathy Openness Reassurance Trustworthiness Non-judgemental communication Goals Direction Expectations Limits Consequences Structure Systems Policies Procedures Rules Information
  • 34. Group dynamics – Containment
  • 35. Group dynamics – roles in workgroups The context and the task of the group will determine the roles required by the group. There are four different types of roles: Functional: Co-ordinator Political: Leader, follower Psychological: Critic, supporter Emotional: Excitement, anticipation, irritation Critic Leader Peacemaker Clown Excitement Envy Mother Disturber Saboteur Teacher Expert Victim
  • 36. Group dynamics – roles in workgroups
    • Guidelines for managing roles effectively:
    • Roles should be explicitly allocated and discussed, and it is useful if the roles are consciously held
    • Roles should be shared and rotated
    • Remember that the person is not the role, and the role is not the person
    • Remember that each role plays an important function in the group
    • Roles should be described in terms of their usefulness to the group, rather than evaluated as right or wrong.
  • 37.
    • Introduction and getting to know each other
    • The edge concept
    • The importance of listening
    • Communities of practice or “workgroups”
    • Self-organising principles
    • Introduction to group dynamics
    • Group dynamics continued
    • Establishing and maintaining workgroups
  • 38. The membership of workgroups Membership is voluntary. Members stay involved if the central organising principle of the workgroup is clear, all contributions are invited and supported, and group dynamics are not allowed to take precedence over the organising principle.
  • 39. The leadership of workgroups Leadership of emerging voluntary groups must have intrinsic legitimacy – in other words they must be lead from the inside, rather than be controlled from the outside. Most importantly, leadership should be shared.
  • 40. Self-Leadership Self-leadership can be defined as the process of influencing oneself to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform. This means getting oneself from passive mode to active mode, going on a purposeful journey.
  • 41. Stages of development of workgroups © Etienne Wenger, 1998
  • 42. Successful Connexions Workgroup Manifestos In your workgroups, prepare a draft workgroup manifesto that captures the key principles and good group practices that would ensure the creation and sustainability of your Connexions Workgroup.
  • 43. Any questions and feedback
  • 44. Siyavula is more than a website. It aims to support educators to work in new and different ways that harness and share the full passion, intelligence and creativity of all educators so that our learners have a better future. Our vision
  • 45. What next? If you would like our support for a new or existing workgroup, we would love to hear from you. Contact: Neels at [email_address] 082 334 3259 Quinton Davis at quinton.davis@edunova.org or If you want to give more feedback or ask questions: Contact: Mark Horner at [email_address] Helene Smit at [email_address] Layo Seriki at [email_address]
  • 46. Self-Leadership is NOT Isolation Effective self-leadership is not founded on egoistic or “blindly” independent behaviours with total disregard to the work group or organisation.
    • Self-leadership does not require entirely autonomous behaviour without regards to the team or organisation.
    • Self-leadership does not require that the identity and values of each individual group member be put aside in favour of the work group.
    • An effective self-leadership perspective encourages individuals to find their own personal identity and mode of contribution as part of establishment of a group that produces synergistic performance.
    • It is important to maintain the balance between the self-leadership of an individual and the self-leadership of the work group as a collective.
    Source: Charles C. Manz and Christopher Neck (2006): “Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence”