Cures For Discussion Leader Headaches

When a point is being discussed too long

  •  Summarize; or
  •  Suggest tabling the question for a later time.

 When two members get into a heated discussion

  •  Summarize points made by each and turn discussion back to the group; or
  •  Invite the two to stay after the meeting when the three of you can talk it over.

 When coping with the “one man” show

  •  Interrupt with a statement giving speaker credit for his contribution but politely asking him that he hold his other points until later; or
  • Interrupt with “you have brought up many points that will keep us busy for a long time, would anyone like to take up one of these points?”

When a speaker drifts from the subject

  • Interrupt, give them credit for their idea but explain that they are departing from the main point; or
  • Put up to the group the question of whether it wants to stray from the outline or follow it; or
  • Bring the discussion back to the topic by using the related idea as the transition.

 When a member has difficulty in expressing themselves

  • Build up their confidence by expressing appreciation for what they has said and then rephrase their material with a reface such as “is this what you mean, Mr/Ms….?”