BY STEPHEN GROOTES (Article in MAVERIC - The Big Bang Business Magazine)
……………………… Yolanda Burgell heads The Social Skills Academy of S.A. (yes, there is such a thing and, yes, there are plenty of people I can think of who she could help). When I first ask her about the best way to deal with this situation, without ruining the whole night, she stops to think for a while. "It's a tough one actually," she says, "it's one of the hardest social situations to deal with. If you attack someone directly, you cause a huge argument; but you don't want to ignore it either."After some serious thought, Burgell comes up with what she calls a "sensitive non-confrontational" solution. If someone starts on one of those racially biased blasts at government, try responding with "I assume you mean" and then fill in the dots. So a diatribe about the racial nature of government ministers becomes a discussion about the people in cabinet. Or, more crudely, when someone says "those Ks", your response is "I assume you mean the Energy Minister". It is non-confrontational and someone would have to be a real idiot to not get your meaning. …………………….
"I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for an exceptional course.
You truly have a talent to inspire people without them realizing at first. When one takes time to think about what was learned and experienced, it's mind blowing and awesome"
Danica Nell - Prime Broking, Cadiz Securities
"The facilitator is very experienced in this field and is very thorough. She knows the subject matter extensively. I recommend this course to all employees. It deals with training of esteemed behavior in interaction within the Corporate world"
Andiswa Ntshinka - Mercedes Benz South Africa
I am now a self motivated person who can work alone or in group and accept responsibility. I take pride in my work and try to make sure that my performance is a cut above average. Thank you for developing me from communications clerk to Communications Ambassador. We hope to have more sessions with you. You are such an inspiration professionally, personally and emotionally.
Princess Sithole - BAKWENA
"Thank you for the wonderful workshop. I really got so much out of it and left feeling inspired, light and with a sense of deeper connection and understanding on many areas in my life"
Sam - Craniosacral Therapist, Behavioural Specialist and Inspirational Speaker
Thank you so much for the workshop. It felt so good to speak to someone who will not judge, but will encourage positively. Personally I have been rejuvenated at all levels of my life. We thank our company for organizing this workshop. It is my wish that similar training will be offered for other groups in our organization. They too deserve to feel positive and rejuvenated by the experience. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Johanna Mokotong - Pt Operational Services (Pty) Ltd
I first met Yolanda Burgell some 6 years ago. I was privileged to work with her for 4 years as a co-counsellor at Headway (The National Head Injuries Assn.) Yolanda was our senior telephone counsellor and this involved rendering support for brain injured people and their families. Over and above this she was very instrumental in the development of a support group that meets every second week. The work that Yolanda did required great empathy, skill, compassion and deep understanding and she has wonderful skill. Yolanda was extremely dedicated and was instrumental in creating friendships between our 'broken winged' people. Yolanda's gentle, yet assertive manner was of immeasurable importance to us all. It saddened us greatly when Yolanda decided to move on and we miss her deeply. Yolanda is a wonderful teacher and puts her heart and soul into all she does.
Headway senior counsellor
We build relationships which build morale which build organizations!
Below is an extract from the Oprah Magazine of December 2010