Over the next few days I will write about some of my favourite tips for leading a discussion, combining my two passions for both communication & community. These are hopefully personal practical lessons – learned over the last 25 years or so.
INVOLVEMENT – this is probably the number one tip for any small group discussion leader. Don’t monopolise the conversation or try to provide all the answers, even when group silence seems to lure you in doing that.
A good leader draws people out of their ‘corner’ and brings them into the conversation. You must remember that for the average person, speaking in a group would be a pretty daring and uncomfortable experience. The more people contribute – the richer the group experience will be.
There are naturally quiet people who are authentic introverts who simply enjoy listening. Don’t pressurise them – as that will drive them away. With sensitivity discern what would build people up and strengthen your group.
If you want to do your homework and want to be better prepared to involve others – here are some helpful questions:
How do I create an atmosphere of warmth in the group?
Do I own the questions (understanding/knowing them)?
Am I talking too much?
Do I know the people – who are the introverts & extroverts?
NEXT TIME – Introductions