Living an Emotionally Intelligent Life
The College of Health Sciences, through its “Grow our People”, strategy recently held a number of training workshops for staff on emotional intelligence. The five introspective sessions which included all professional services staff in the College as well as the Director and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, were aimed at ensuring that staff are capacitated to manage their emotions, especially in challenging situations.
Facilitated by counselling psychologist Ms Lucinda Johns, the interactive workshops included team building approaches, developing listening skills, introspection exercises, recognising one’s physical reactions to emotions, identifying one’s fears and appreciating diversity in teams.
Through a customer feedback survey conducted by the College’s Public Relation’s Office, Ms Ngezwi Barbara Sikosana from the Discipline of Family Medicine commented: ‘It was an eye-opening experience for me. One of the exercises we performed, where we exchanged our fears anonymously, left me feeling transformed. I am not the same after the workshop and would recommend more of these going forward. I was personally feeling heavily laden, but after all the fun we had, I feel less burdened and it has improved my level of productivity.’
Feedback indicated that the majority of participants were struck by the fact that team members had similar personal fears. One said, ‘I appreciated the honesty and boldness to speak out about our personal fears and it was eye opening to know that there’s someone else going through a similar path.’
Another staff member commented, ‘This workshop brought awareness to me regarding how I should deal with my emotions in different situations. I am now able to assess and evaluate my responses before I react to challenging and conflicting issues. I learnt how to deal with drama queens and people who throw tantrums.’
Each workshop ended with a fun filled karaoke session and all staff were encouraged to sing their favourite songs. The participants got to know one another on a more personal level outside of the office space. Friendships were formed with staff that one does not usually interact with.
Professor Fanie Botha, Director of Professional Services said, ‘Self introspection is always the key to recognising how one reacts in difficult situations. This workshop helped us to identify our own weaknesses and strengths, ensuring that we show authenticity at all times. It was a fun, enlightening day.’
Words: MaryAnn Francis