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….?”