Group Leader Playbook | Establishing Conversation
Win: Leader extracts great conversation from all members & facilitates spiritual growth
Ask: Don’t Tell – The reason you were decided to lead a TFH Group is probably because someone deemed you gifted in this area. So, naturally, it would seem that your responsibility is to teach the group, right? Actually, wrong. This is the video’s job. We are not saying that we don’t trust you to teach. It’s simply not the best use of everyone’s (including your) time. Instead, use discussion time as an opportunity to ask the group questions about the video, offering them an opportunity to process and retain the material.
Ask the Second Question – When you ask the group a question it may seem fair to include everyone in the response; however, doing so would actually exclude everyone. Consider this from the group’s perspective. If the facilitator asked you a question and you gave what you thought to be an insightful response, but then the facilitator proceeded to ask another person the same question, how would you feel? Would you feel heard? Probably not. You would probably want him or her to first respond to what you said. So, we suggest that instead of moving on to the next person, you follow up each response with a second question. The aim of this second question could be to clarify the first response, or to dig deeper. What’s important is that you ask.
Be the Best Listener In The Room – Let’s face it. Not all of us are good listeners. Few are. But all of us do feel loved and heard in the presence of a good listener. So, look at facilitating as an opportunity for you to be a good listener for the group. Rather than letting your thoughts be consumed by what to ask next, pay close attention to what people are currently sharing. You might discover in the combination of everyone’s contributions that there is a hidden truth worth pointing out.
Create Healthy Conflict – Creating conflict is wrong, right? Not exactly. Conflict is what drives conversation. Would you enjoy being part of a group that only pretends to agree with each other? When there is a problem to be solved, a difficult question to be answered, or a disagreement to be worked through, the entire group will feel engaged.
Earn Application Moments – Why are we doing this? It is not just to talk about loving God, loving people, and changing the world. We want to do those things too, so it is tempting to skip straight to questions directly related to these goals. The fact of the matter is, your group might not be convinced yet that the teaching is worth applying. You have to earn the right to ask those questions by digging deep into the tougher question: Is the teaching really worth applying to our lives?