Group discussions can sometimes be great and other times not so much. We’re going to look at a great pattern of interaction in groups that will help make your group discussions much more dynamic. Hey. friends. I’m Alex Lyon and Communication Coach is here to help you increase your impact so you can lead your teams to higher levels of excellence. If you’re a leader of any stort, you’re probably going to be leading a group discussion at some point. Group discussions can generally take on two overall patterns. The first one is what I call the zip line and this is the one you want to avoid. I’m the group leader. I say something. Somebody reacts and then I’m the very next person to respond. So it becomes a series of one-on-one conversations along a zipline. This is usually the way things go if you’re not careful about it. Because as a leader, by the way this is natural. As the leader, you have thoughts, you have a reaction. It’s very hard not to feel like you need to approve of or comment on every single thing that has been said. I want to give the tip to resist this urge and instead to adopt the pattern of a web. So you as the leader might begin a discussion by asking a good question and then you let people in the group react to it among themselves without you stepping in. So, what I do at the beginning of every new group project or the beginning of every group experiences I literally bring a ball. And I learned this tip from a guy named Nicky Gumble who leads the Alpha group. You may have heard of him. He runs a lot of groups and does a lot of group training. And he literally brings a ball and he says this is the kind of discussion we want. And he tosses out the ball to somebody and then they toss it to somebody else and they toss it all around the group and eventually it comes back to the leader. Now that’s the kind of discussion you want to do. I literally will bring a ball in new situations. Sometimes, however, though I forget the ball and I just tell them to visualize that’s the kind of discussion we want. And once you set that tone in the beginning, you tell people look I’m not here to approve or disapprove your comments. I want you talking to each other. then you really get people setting expectations for themselves that it’s up to them to jump into the discussion and it leads to an entirely different kind of discussion. It also something for you to refer back to. So let’s say you do this kind of ball thing in the beginning the first night or the first day of the new project then later in them in the course of the project, the course of the group you’re in, you can say, now remember we want to respond to each other. And then the key for you as the leader is to hold back and not jump in. Because you’re going to be tempted to do so. I think the biggest disadvantage that you can bring to the group is by commenting and feeling like you need to say something every time. I’ve seen group leaders stall out many discussions that way. So it’s either a zip line or it’s more like a web and you can use a ball as actual visual aid to physically demonstrate how you want the discussion to go. Question of the day. How do you generate great dynamic discussions in groups? I would love to hear your comments in that section below. I’m really good at responding to almost every single comment. Certainly, post your tips there for everybody else to read as well. So, thanks. God bless. And I hope you get to use the tips in this video at your very next team meeting.