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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

FTS Interpersonal Skills and Team Building Seminar

Interpersonal Skills and Teambuilding Seminar – this kind of activity is what we had last July 21, 2014 which was held at University of Southeastern Philippines’ Social Hall. Interpersonal skills seminar is part of the requirements in our Field Trip and Seminars subject in our curriculum. The whole day activity should start at 7am and we all should be there before 7am. But, because of some reasons, we started late.

In that interpersonal skills and teambuilding seminar, we had the theme “Journey to Inner Space: Key to effective Interpersonal Skills”. That event was the first teambuilding seminar that I have attended. With the theme, we already have an idea or a hint of what will be scope of all the activities that day. Of course that is an interpersonal skills seminar so the theme should also fit with the purpose of the event. After the things had been set-up for the seminar, we are all asked to sit down so we could start. First, it all started with of course, a prayer, followed by singing of the national anthem and an introductory short speech by two of our FTS’ Class’ officers. Next thing we do is that, we are asked that each of us will count from 1 to 5, I mean one number per person, and this is to divide us by group. After we have known our group mates, we separated ways with our seat mates to seat with our group. I don’t know the names of two of my group mates but I have already known them by their faces since we are in the same department. We do not need to introduce our self to the group since we already have our name tags. After all the groups have settled, our speaker, Mrs. Emily Madrona, the University’s Guidance Counselor started the activities for that day. She first asked each group to choose a leader. At first, we do not know who will be our leader, we all pointed fingers to each other for who will become the leader. Eventually, one of us accepted and sort of voluntarily let herself to become our leader. Next thing we do is that, we are instructed by our speaker to discuss within the group what our expectations in our interpersonal skills and teambuilding seminar are and what are those contributions that we could contribute in order to achieve those expectations. We started our first activity by sharing our own thoughts and ideas in the group, one by one. At first, I am a bit shy since I am not used to sharing among group most especially when not all the members in our group is not my classmates. After the sharing, we are provided with a manila paper and a marker for us to write down all our expectation and contributions. While our leader is writing, we are told to name our group and we named our group as the “Travelers” since the theme has something to do with traveling, traveling within ourselves. In our expectations, we listed the following: getting to know each other, to have fun, deeper bond, build new friendships, and to learn new things about ourselves. While in our contributions, we listed participation, our experiences, efforts, knowledge and skills, love and happiness. After all the groups wrote their expectations and contributions, each group needs a representative to present their work in front. Most of the works of the groups have some similar contents. As the presentation in front goes on, we all listened to the presenter. All of the presenters explained well the things that are written in their manila paper. It is nice to have that interpersonal skills and team building seminar because despite of all our projects, all the school stuffs that are bothering in our minds; we still have a free day where we can get along with our friends and new friends. A day where we can enjoy doing stuffs like games or experiences sharing together with our FTS’ subject classmates.

After our first activity for our interpersonal skills and team building seminar, we immediately proceeded to the second activity which was called as the “paperclip story”. Each of us were given the chance to pick any color of paper clip and then after all of us got their own paper clip, we are asked to form any shape that will symbolize us. The color of the paper clip that we chose will also reflect us, or something that will describe us. At first, I am doubting or having second thoughts on what color of paper clip should I pick since I love color blue, but yellow could symbolize many things and white is one of my most favorite colors also. Because of pressure, I picked the white colored paper clip. As to why I picked this color of paper clip? Well, first things first, this is my favorite color. All colors can be paired to this color, white. White symbolizes purity; it also symbolizes silence for me. For the task of forming the paper clip into a symbol which will symbolize or represent myself, I formed it into a circle. I want to form it to a camera or something that is related to photography since that is part of my interests in life, but I cannot form it to a camera because the length of the paper clip is not enough to form it like that. I want to form it with a plane, but as usual, same reason, I cannot form it into a plane since the length of the paper clip is not enough. That is why I eventually chose circle shape, simply because it was the simplest shape that I could form from that one paper clip. But, that is not simply a circle shape; that shape is referring to a wheel. I chose wheel as a thing that could symbolize me or reflects me because I am the type of person who loves to travel. I want to explore other places especially the new ones. I formed my paper clip into a circle because I know I cannot form it to a wheel because a wheel’s symbol is too complicated to form with just one paper clip. A wheel could symbolize many things; we could interpret many things by a wheel, its shape, capabilities and functions. With its shape, capabilities and functions, like a wheel, life has ups and downs. As what the common saying says, “ang buhay ay parang gulong, minsan nasa taas, minsan nasa ibaba”. For me, life is balance. We cannot just have many good times always, we could also encounter bad happenings which we don’t like. But same with a wheel, we should also move on. With what had happened to us, we should learn to keep moving same with a wheel. To connect the shape that I had formed and with the color that I chose, a white wheel/circle, in keep moving in my life, I want it to be peaceful. I want my journey to remain calm, and at peace. With all these ideas in my mind as to why I chose a white wheel/circle to represent myself, I have not explained well into the group because I cannot elaborate my explanation or I cannot express my thoughts well because of that shyness inside me. I want to explain it well, but it’s just, I can’t. I just explained it like, “because I am the type of person who loves to travel, and I want my travel or journey to be peaceful”.

By the sharing of own experiences in life by that paperclip story activity, we are able to listen to our classmates about their own stories. We are able to learn more about them or something new to them which we have not discovered yet. After the sharing, we are tasked to form something by combining all the formed paperclips that we have. In our group, the Travelers’ group, we are able to form our formed paperclips into a bicycle with a mountains, sun and clouds as a background. Out of it, one of members of our group was able to form a story and present it in front when each of the group was asked to pick a representative and present our works again. One of the members of our group shared his own story of our work and was able to present it well with a lesson at the end of his story. For the other groups, I was amazed on how they were able to explain well the things in their work too. Some explained as to why they formed like that and share some explanations as to why their members formed this or that kind of shape.

After the sharing moments that had happened in that whole day seminar, I was able to hear some stories about some of my classmates that I have never heard before. They have shared about their families, their experiences in life, some shared their childhood memories together with their parents or they have shared something about their past. Upon listening, I am very much interested to hear more stories from the other classmates of mine but since the time is limited, we are not able to do it so sharing of stories was also limited.
In that day, we also had games. The officers of the FTS class prepared, as to what I can recall, three kinds of games. The first game was that game using a tie box where each of us should let the tie box passes through inside our clothes but in an opposite way from one person to another. In our group, it seems fast since all the girls where the first to do the activity but when the tie reaches a boy member of our group, the progress of the game in our group was also stuck. The next game was the paper fish game. I don’t know if that is what really they called it. The aim of this game is to make our paper fish to reach the finish line which is located in the camp or side of our opponent. There is an offense and defense team, where the defense team will obviously make a way to stop the paper fish of our opponent reach their goal. In our game with our opponent, no one win since most of the members blocked the way of the paper fish that is why the fishes cannot pass through. It’s the funniest and most enjoyable game in that day. I was able to laugh hard or so much where I was like I am going to have asthma attack due to over laughing. But I was able to control my breath so it goes fine. The last game we had is that finding our group mates but we are blindfolded and scattered. The only way that we can find our members is by way of making the assigned sound to us which is moo (a cow’s sound). In that game, we are able to find our members faster because of a strategy. In that game, we are one of winners.

I really had fun that day. We are not just able to meet new people or let’s just say, know more about them but, we also had fun. It is such an experience wherein we cannot forget. That seminar really helped us for our incoming major field trip, wherein we can reach our other classmates not just focusing on our own friends. After that seminar, I think we can enjoy more our incoming minor and major field trips together as one class. After that, we are able to know or understand a little bit deeply about our classmates. In that day, our speaker really did a great job by sharing her own experiences in life where we can or some of us can/should also apply. She was able to explain well the things about seeing others, that we cannot judge them because we do not know what they have been through. We may know them for months, or years but we cannot really judge them because we did not experienced all the things that they have experienced. She also said that we cannot say to someone, “If I were you”, because of the same reason which I find correct since we are not permitted or we do not have the right to judge them. Most or all of us did not even know yet our true selves, how much more knowing other people, for me it would take so many years or a lifetime. No one is constant because people are evolving. What had happened that day was such a great experience. That teambuilding and interpersonal skills seminar is indeed a success. 

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