PJ Schoeman was a hunter as a farm boy in Natal, but became an academic and writer as a grown up. In the 1945 book about “TRADOS; Die swerwer boesman” Schoeman tells how he lived with the Koi-San for a long period of time. During these adventures he asked Trados one evening alongside a fire deep into the heart of the Kalahari, what he knows about “woman”. Trados replied;
“ ‘n VROU se hart is soos ‘n tier se vel…die son kan nooit op al die kolletjies gelyk skyn nie”
But there is more to this wisdom out of Africa. Trados also described our hearts as the tunnels and rooms of an ant heap. Some rooms are open, you may visit rooms where you might see the ashes of fires that belongs to you and some rooms host other guest. The important part of this wisdom literacy confirms that some of the rooms are closed. It is the rooms that we are too scared to open up ourselves!
“What lies beneath the behavior that makes us successful and or unhappy?
South Africa still has a culture of silence around mental health problems at home and in the workplace. Employers and employees are unwilling to talk openly about conditions such as anxiety and depression for fear of association with weakness and failure. However, healthy employees are productive employees. Investing in a mentally healthy workforce makes perfect sense. It can curb medical costs, increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and prevent and decrease disability costs. Investing in mental health also improves employee motivation, staff retention and competitiveness. Experts like Prof Piet Naudé, Director, USB are lined up for the USB Corporate Mental Health Awareness Day:
The ethical responsibility of leadership to enable multi-dimensional staff wellness.
Dr Renata Schoeman, Private Psychiatrist; Part-time Senior Lecturer: Leadership, USB discuss the topic;
Clinical aspects of common mental health problems such as burnout and the importance of self-care.
Maybe it’s just me experiencing this thing about health and behavior, but as I’m writing these sentences, South Africa is shuddering under the weight of bad leadership and the inability to understand the implications of mental health and our immediate environment on our future. These realities definitely have an influence on individual dreams and goals, but unfortunately it emergences within the corporate environment on a much bigger scale. The answer to what will dictate your future, lies within your ability in understanding yourself within the environment and context you find yourself in. This is a fundamental question about personal health.
It is an important skill and responsibility to understand your own emotions…the REAL ones!
Emotions are assets, they drive people, and people drive performance. To apply the skills of emotional intelligence, is to understand that emotional intelligence is not the skill to suppress negative emotions or encourage positive ones. The model we follow at iALA is to manage emotions and this can be described as a TREE with BRANCHES.
The FIRST BRANCH; Perceived emotions (Identify them)
SECOND BRANCH; Using emotions (Embrace your emotions)
THIRD BRANCH; Understanding emotions
FOURTH BRANCH; Managing emotions
(Peter Salovey, Yale University)
Every event, every destination and every member of the iALA crew, work towards the goal of “Making a Difference” … to be part of a world where we are the change we want to see in this world! Developing emotional intelligence is part of this journey. It is part of the journey to open up the doors of our heart of self-discovery!
This why we motivate our students to get involved in voluntary work, develop a good and solid CV and thoroughly prepare for those interviews later in life. Make it impossible for employers to say “no” to you and prepare yourself with a healthy state of mind! We, at iALA, will turn the tide for a new and upcoming young adult.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”.
These words of Annie Dillard echo what we stand for in Adventure and Outdoor Leadership training @ iALA. To turn the tide is the challenge of combining competence and character in complex situations, and to be clear on when we should listen en when we should be bold enough to act.
Stilbaai, May 2017