How to lead a discussion?

The use of tools like charts and tables

We all know the saying that a picture speaks 1000 words, and this is why it can be beneficial to make use of charts, tables, and any other useful tools which can help everyone present to understand the material which is being discussed. It is also important to be constantly aware of the feelings of people as well as their actions, and the competent leader will always know how to act appropriately. It is also a good idea to provide participants with feedback after the discussion.

A competent leader will also make effective use of body language as well as the correct tone of voice, and they will use appropriate words, which will put participants at ease and will inspire them to take part in that discussion. If you desire certain attitudes and behaviors from the people in your discussion group, then set a personal example that can be followed by participants.

Listen and react

You need to be a soundboard for people in your meeting. This means you have to listen to every opinion which is shared carefully and then show at least some response such as a hand gesture, facial expression, or nod your head. It is very important to constantly ensure that every group member is actively involved in your discussion. From time to time, it can be beneficial to remind once again the group of exactly what the purpose of that group is.

A good leader is someone who knows how to listen attentively. A good leader is not uncomfortable when there are periods of silence. Still, they acknowledge the silence as necessary to allow people to mull over the information which has been shed. A good leader is someone who never makes the mistake of dominating the meeting. Instead, a competent leader always provides participants in their discussion group with every opportunity to share their opinions on the matter.

Show appropriate reaction

A leader is not just someone present to ensure that the group is complete. Even though it is essential for the leader not to take over the entire discussion, there are still many ways in which leaders can show encouragement for opinions that have been raised. All it requires are small bodily gestures when a valid point has been raised. The atmosphere of the meeting is also important, and people should feel that they are respected and also that they are in a safe environment. This is genuinely very important when you want to encourage participants to take part in the discussion.

From the outset, specific ground rules need to be laid down, such as that everyone has to have respect for the other people in the discussion group. Having students who are being made to feel unworthy because of their opinions is not conducive to the purpose of your discussion group.

Making use of arguments

Even though the discussion is peaceful and seeks to benefit all participants nevertheless, having the group working on compelling arguments can have tremendous benefits.

People should be encouraged to not only share their opinions or feelings but to provide reasons for why they believe the things they do. They should always substantiate how they have come to their current opinion on the matter. This could help every participant to get a new perspective as far as the information which is shared is concerned.

It can be useful to use the pros and cons model to illustrate further the validity of a point that has been made.

Widen their horizons

A mind which has once been opened can never be closed again. It is important to move beyond what is currently known continuously and to continue to investigate the things which are not yet known. If the discussion constantly revolves around things that are known, then the knowledge of the people in that group will never increase.

Even with the topics which are already known, there is always something about it that is not understood correctly or which might have a hidden fact that can only be uncovered when properly investigated.

Personality management

Everyone in your discussion group will be different from some, which will barely speak while others cannot wait to get an opportunity. It will be the responsibility of the leader to see that everyone receives an equal opportunity.

Sometimes doing so will not be easy, but still, be a leader should always try to be fair to everyone in that group. Every single person in the discussion group has a basic right to share their opinion and to provide reasons why they believe the things they do.