MY STUDENTS ALWAYS TALK, JUST NOT IN SMALL GROUPS…
We’ve all been there. You sit down with your Small Group and ask a question. No dice. You rephrase it. No dice. You ask another question. Nothing. You ask if they’re awake. One student nods his head. It gets frustrating fast. If you seem to find yourself in this situation over and over, here are a few thoughts to help…
WORK ON RELATIONSHIP
If your entire group refuses to engage in quality conversations, that may be an indication that they are uncomfortable. They may be uncomfortable talking with each other, or maybe with you…possibly both. If your group isn’t talking, maybe give up on the questions for a while and work on developing quality relationships. As they open up and have fun together, see if you can ease them back into more serious questions. Always remember developing relationships and influence is FAR more important than hitting discussion questions.
TO ASK GREAT QUESTIONS, BE A GREAT LISTENER
Listen to God. Start by being close to the Source. When you’re listening to God, you’re better able to communicate care
through body language, facial expressions, eye contact, etc. Students respond to the messages that we send non-verbally. Do you want to be there? Can they see it in your eyes? Do you show you care? Listen to students. It’s the best way to communicate that you care. Listen for their needs, read their non-verbal communication…what does their body language tell you? Are they dejected? Excited? Forced to be there? Begin the process of identifying their needs before even asking a question.
HOW ARE YOU STRUCTURING YOUR GROUP?
Are you standing in front of your group lecture style? That’s not going to easily
facilitate open discussion. Make it more relaxed. Sit in a circle, at a table, on sofa’s, or something more “chill”
ASK QUESTIONS WITHOUT A QUESTION MARK
For example, instead of asking, “Did you have a good day today?” Ask, “Tell me what you did today.” Leave it open ended to foster conversation.