Our ‘Class of 2021’ programme was launched on the 26th of January 2021. As you walked into Constantia’s canteen area, one was struck by the palpable energy exuded by the individuals on the programme. Youthful energy, as the individuals were age between 25 and 37, with an extremely high mix of ladies. Most importantly, this was an energy that belonged to our insurance industry, and they were about to embark on a journey that would teach the tools to how to shape and transform this energy, into actions and productivity that would benefit our industry.
Each individual was holding a balloon coloured either gold, blue, black or white, we later found out that these balloons marked the groups they would belong to. They were split into two groups who attended their first sessions on the 16th and 18th of March.
Module or Day 1 is focused on personal branding and turning what is effectively a group of strangers into a tribe. The groups chose their tribe names; with Group 1 choosing to call their tribe, Ad Astra coming from a popular Latin phrase “per Aspera ad Astra” meaning “through hardships to the stars”. Group 2 chose to be called Saiyans, this comes from a popular Anime series Dragon Ball, where the protagonist from a human-like alien species called the Saiyan race continues to break his limits through hard work and training. The newly formed tribes also formed their exco’s chose individuals to represent different aspects of how they will manage their tasks moving forward.
The second half of the day was kicked off with a presentation from last year to the Class of graduate, Boitumelo Moate, who spoke to the tribes about how the programme had impacted her and helped her refine her personal brand. The balance of the time, the tribes spent learning the ins and out of personal branding and what the benefits it has in both the personal and business arena.
We have some feedback from some of the tribe members below:
Ad Astra: “to the stars”
- “In summary, we learned about knowing ourselves. (Find out how you feel, what you need, and what you believe in so that you can communicate). Committing to creating connections especially in the business environment we are in. Avoiding reactivity (When faced with strong emotions and intense reactions, take a minute to figure yourself out. Clear your mind and strive to create a constructive way to communicate). Be reliable. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Integrity cultivates mutual trust. Learn to negotiate. Create win/win situations so it is best for all involved. Let go of the need to be right, in control, or on top. Having authority doesn’t mean we need to be controlling or righteous. Interpersonal connection and the exchange of understanding are so much more fulfilling and yield better results. Being reliable. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Integrity cultivates mutual trust. Show appreciation. Do whatever you can to validate your partners. Use listening and mirroring skills to show respect and consideration, at the same time, you can still maintain your beliefs. One has nothing to do with the other. I would also say we also tapped into the self-esteem aspect that differs per individual on how to deal with our self-expression issues when it comes to communication. The most important was personality profiles how to classify ourselves and how does one interact with the different personalities and how they relate to each other in the business world and life in general.” – Thato Phunkuntsi
- “Day 1 was about how to deal with different leadership types and different personality styles, how to interact with them, be a brand people will need. How to conduct yourself professionally, the way you dress, write and speak.” – Mpho Hlatywayo
- “Day 1 for me helped me think of ways to reinvent my personal identity to the one I want it to be, how I must present myself out there. It taught me to understand the different kind of leadership style in the corporate world, to identify which leadership style is good in any Business and it gave an idea of how I see myself grow into this leadership role and which characters one should embrace to become that great leader that stands out. It was interesting to see how others in the group engage with each other while embracing our different personalities.” – Ntekane Moeng
Saiyans: “Warriors of change”
- “It was extremely interesting especially learning about personal branding and how we can send a message out to people without even saying anything. I’ve been thinking a lot ever since and it has empowered me to apply what I learned in real-life situations this past week. I’m honestly excited for what is to come because I know I’ll be a different person by the end of this year.” – Simone Blomeyer
- “What stood out was how your personality aligns with how you tackle either business relations or within your personal capacity deal with people. I took out steps from the training and have also been collecting feedback on how I do things as this also assists in knowing if you’re moving in the right direction or not. The branding part was also interesting to know how you align yourself with it and be able to make other people recognise you without having to really explain your brand.” – Tandiswa Baliwe
This article was written by Vuyo Rankoe
The Class of 2021 Programme is proudly sponsored by: