Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them. Check out other Women’s Ministry Questions here.
Today’s question is: How should a leader deal with a well-meaning, but dominant participant in a small group study? She jumps right in to share and the quiet ones don’t have a chance.
This is so common in almost every small group, isn’t it? Someone always wants to answer every time a question is asked. Several things you could do:
1. Set guidelines up ahead of time about allowing EVERYONE to share, perhaps even mention is you have already responded, wait till the others do before responding a second time.
2. Sit her beside, not in front of you. Eye contact encourages a response. Sitting beside you doesn’t give her easy eye contact with you as the leader.
3. Respond when she has answered with: does anyone else have something to share? Or, who hasn’t had a chance to give input today? That eliminates her from answering at that point.
4. Meet with her privately and talk about the “quiet” ones in the group. Ask her
how can ‘we’ help them open up?” Get her on your side in figuring out why they don’t participate and how together you can remedy that.
5. Check out the Small Group Leadership Skills chapter in the leadership book, Transformed Lives for more help on leading small groups effectively.
How do you deal with a dominant small group member? Make sure to share with us in the comments below.
Watch for future Q/A posts!