What started as a gloomy day turned out to be the best day to learn and evolve, we all left Constantia Insurance with renewed minds and had a lot of self-reflection to do. This time the team did not come empty handed , we were required to come up with creative designs for our file covers which we would present in front of the class. The best cover was picked and awesome prizes were up for grabs.
‘Has anyone here never experienced changed” that was one of the first questions we were all asked in our second session with Linda (from Linda Coetzee & Associates) and as expected the room was silent because that was somewhat a rhetorical question. Change is just one of those things in life that are inevitable. It can be good or bad but either way growth is certain.
We went through the cycle of grief , which basically shows the different stages that we all go through when change happens. Denial, Anger, Disorganization, Reorganization and acceptance, that is what makes up the cycle. We learned that in the disorganization phase we can lean on the five F’s i.e. Family, friends , fun , faith and lastly forgiveness.
In our organizations we can also suggest changes, in culture, structure , in behaviors and also interpersonal styles. This is what Lewis change management model suggests anyway.
We also got to dive deep into emotional intelligence, what it means to each of us and the benefits of being emotionally intelligent. We went through the impact of low EQ and different ways we can improve by going through the components of EQ which include self-awareness , empathy and assertiveness just to name a few.
Emotions welled up at this point as we went deep into our personal lives and because this was a safe space , we all were able to just share what we were all tired of and areas of our lives where we needed to exercise assertiveness.
Speaking of assertiveness, have you ever found yourself saying yes but deep down you know you want to say no? It is a difficult position to be in right? Why can’t we say no and not feel guilty? Is it because we are low key people pleasers. Jenna (from Linda Coetzee &Associates) gave us the tools we never knew we needed. She taught us that sometimes it really isn’t what we say but how we say it because saying no can sometimes be received negatively. Do you want to have an uncomfortable conversation with your boss? Well, there’s ways to express your views/grievance without shooting yourself in the foot. One of those ways is the “I- message” approach. It means “ a way to tell the other person about the problem you’re having with that persons behavior without blaming them, it is an assertive step towards stating your legitimate rights” . So having said that , the next time you have to assert yourself, start by saying “when you (state the issue) I (state your feelings) because (state the reason). This way your message will be communicated without judgement and may be received with less defense.
Article written by: Sinovuyo Magamase Sidumo and Mxolisi Mahlangu