Just the name \"lightning round\" suggests energy. When the time comes for the transition, make sure this shift is communicated clearly to the group. Your group probably has a fixed day and time to meet but the location might change. In the next article of this series, we’ll learn how to manage challenging personalities within your group. Techniques for Leading Group Discussions, Chapter 16. Set clear objectives. Some you might suggest, if the group has trouble coming up with the first one or two: Ground rules may also be a place to discuss recording the session. Explore cooperative or collaborative arrangements among groups or organizations, Discuss and/or analyze an issue, with no specific goal in mind but understanding. The words you choose and the non-verbal communication you exude are infectious, whether positive or negative. All too often, conflict – whether conflicting opinions, conflicting world views, or conflicting personalities – is so frightening to people that they do their best to ignore it or gloss it over. Sometimes people will be afraid to go against what the leader says and may just agree with what you say. Part of your job here is to protect “minority rights,” i.e., unpopular or unusual ideas. Even where that’s not the case, facing the conflict reasonably, and looking at the roots of the ideas on each side, can help to focus on the issue at hand and provide solutions far better than if one side or the other simply operated alone. A group leader or facilitator might be directive or non-directive; that is, she might try to control what goes on to a large extent; or she might assume that the group should be in control, and that her job is to facilitate the process. Let’s look at these, as well as some do’s and don’t’s for discussion group leaders. Donate now. Then we’ll examine what it takes to make an effective discussion leader or facilitator, regardless of external circumstances. Remember to take breaks at regular intervals; exhausted participants will tend to lose focus and become quiet. Group discussions are common in our society, and have a variety of purposes, from planning an intervention or initiative to mutual support to problem-solving to addressing an issue of local concern. Your ground rules – the issue of respecting everyone – should address this issue, and it probably won’t come up…but there are no guarantees. Usually, that means comfortable furniture that can be moved around (so that, for instance, the group can form a circle, allowing everyone to see and hear everyone else easily). Not only does this strategy carry the risk of missing a good idea, but it makes participants tentative, fearing embarrassment for offering an idea that may be immediately eliminated. Find the common ground which binds together diverse opinions and share these connections. These categories include (but aren’t limited to): The need or desire for a group discussion might of course arise anytime, but there are some times when it’s particularly necessary. Discussion groups are an important part of an effective youth ministry program, camp or retreat. The Community Tool Box is a service of the. There may be situations where it makes sense for someone else to lead the discussion for a certain topic within your overall session. If there are new members, make sure they are introduced. In one unit, small and in-formal discussion groups may … They see, hear and communicate with each other orally by paying attention to each other. There may actually be no need for one, in that the goal may simply be to discuss an issue or idea. (Occasionally, you may kick start a discussion with a few slides to set context, but don’t overuse them. Having said that, keep it on course by being well-organized. Slides feel permanent, and give the impression that there’s nothing left to discuss. Preparing to Lead a Group Discussion 1. 1. Every discussion is different, and being a successful leader requires you to adapt to your individual situation. Rather, bringing a group discussion to life requires a subtle framework, the right pace, smooth guidance, and an interested host. A focus group is a small-group discussion guided by a leader or moderator. Try to enter the GD after a participant has … The Tool Box needs your help ), “Your role as a discussion leader is complex and requires great mental dexterity and tact.”. A community health educator facilitates a smoking cessation support group. Are you a directive or non-directive leader? Exhibit genuine positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, curiosity, optimism, surprise, and thoughtfulness. Instead, consider starting your session by brainstorming and letting the ideas flow without analysis and judgement. all day), enforcing the schedule early sends a message to all participants that the schedule is “real” and not “just a guideline”. If left unchecked, the atmosphere may begin to feel combative. This is one of many public speaking articles featured on Six Minutes. It may help to complete the … Sometimes, you need to be flexible and consciously reschedule on the fly. Odd ideas often turn out to be correct, and shouldn’t be stifled. This will help you to lead the discussion and nail the group discussion. Identify a way to enter a Group Discussion, as every GD has its highs and lows. You might choose to lead a group discussion, or you might find yourself drafted for the task. The first article in this series explained how to plan a group discussion. Create a new situation – form a coalition, start an initiative, etc. Ask God for wisdom about how to lead, what the goal of your group is, how to spend your time together and what to study. The point is made that many good group or meeting leaders are, in fact, facilitators, whose main concern is supporting and maintaining the process of the group’s work. One of the key functions of leadership is the ability to effectively lead group discussions. You have some choices about how you do that, however. If it was the beginning, however, or part of an ongoing discussion, you may have a lot to do before the next session, including contacting people to make sure they’ve done what they promised, and preparing the newsprint notes to be posted at the next session so everyone can remember the discussion. When you do give input try to summarize, recap, or clarify what others are saying. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Most of the time, however, it is wiser to stick to the schedule. 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