22 Feb 7 Easy Ways To Become An Engaging Facilitator Of Small Groups
#1: Remember The Participants’ NAMES
Use their names during and after the class. Someone’s name is the most beautiful sound they love to hear.
#2: Encourage CONVERSATION
Let participants speak about their personal experiences, stories, lessons and ideas. Dialogue ignites creativity to solve problems and sharpen each other. Also, remember to share lessons from your personal experiences as a facilitator.
#3: Be A Great LISTENER
Don’t be in a hurry to complete the class. As the meeting starts, let each participant talk about how they’re doing – what they’re thankful for or what’s stressing them. Be careful not to interrupt when a participant is speaking. Appreciate them when they share their views too.
#4: ASK Good Questions
Questions make the participants active, challenged to think and build their appetite to learn more. The more personal and open-ended questions you ask, the better. And have them answer in the “I” not ‘you’ or ‘they’. Consider coming up with real-life case studies, quizzes and true or false statements to spice up the sessions.
#5: Have a SMALL Group
If you want to have all participants active and engaged, the smaller the group the better. You can have as few as 2 and not more than 15. Have them sit in a circle so everyone can see everyone. Also, it’s easier to follow up on a smaller group.
#6: PREPARE For The Meeting
Know your material thoroughly and set objectives for each session. Schedule what will be covered and for how long. This kind of preparation builds your confidence because it gives you a clear mental picture of what to do and say during the session.
#7: Have BREAKS
Have physical stretching and other fun group activities if the meeting is going to be for many hours.
The best and most memorable learning in my life has happened in small groups. I’ve discussed the Bible, read books and attended training in such groups.
As a facilitator, you have a great opportunity to impart knowledge, challenge minds and empower lives every time you lead a small group. Make the most of it.
Hirwa G. Israel is a child of God, married to Damalie and blessed with two girls. His life assignment is to teach and disciple Christians to maturity, and to equip and coach leaders to accomplish God’s purpose in their generation. He serves as the CEO of The Hud Group Uganda and COO of YAW PERBI Executive Education.