UKZN Hosts Relationship Awareness Webinar
The Human Resources Division in partnership with the Independent Counselling and Advisory Services (ICAS) hosted a webinar on Relationship Awareness - the last of this year’s Topic Talks on employee wellness.
Presented by the Client Relationship Manager at ICAS Ms Zodidi Bizana, the talk offered nuggets of wisdom on developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
Citing characteristics and situations that made good relationships possible, Bizana listed the following: trust, mutual respect, mindfulness, being present, welcoming diversity and open communication.
She noted how healthy relationships brought about happiness and good health and highlighted the importance of setting appropriate boundaries as well as asking questions rather than assuming.
Discussing the reality that relationships were a central part of everyday life, she touched on how a relationship with self was the foundation and asked participants what they had done for themselves throughout the year to practise self-care.
Bizana said because individuals spent half their lifetime at work, it was important to develop good workplace relationships. She noted the ability to engage with colleagues and handle conflict, sharing some key values to practise such as developing people skills, maintaining professionalism, emotional intelligence, being positive, being authentic, showing you care, listening actively and being honest.
Explaining how personal relationships had been impacted by COVID-19 due to job losses and working from home, she focused on how establishing good support structures, work-life balance, sharing tasks with one’s children and or partner, time management and being flexible were all priorities.
She also addressed the high levels of divorce/separation and suicide, urging webinar participants to be present and make time to engage with their partners and children.
Bizana observed how seeking professional help through counselling or therapy could assist parties by helping to define their issues, recognise their contributions and create a safe space for discussions.
She encouraged UKZN employees to seek support for personal and workplace relationships as well as relationships with self by downloading the ICAS On-the-Go App or the 24-hour toll free line: 0800 254 255 - UKZN code UKZ001.
Director: UKZN Human Resources Development Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu said relationships were a two-way street and expressed the hope that the webinar had provided individuals with key tools to deal with difficult individuals and build better relationships with one another.
Ramabodu urged those dealing with relationship issues in the workplace to seek assistance through ICAS or the Alternate Dispute Resolution Programme offered by the UKZN’s Human Resources Division.
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela