How to Improve Small Group Conversations

Fri, Mar 26, 2021 2-minute read

How to Improve Small Group Conversations?

Encouraging conversations and collaboration in small groups is difficult.

People may not respond. People may not feel safe participating. People may veer off on tangents. People may be insensitive. All of these are topics in their own right, with different skills to handle.

Generally, facilitating small group conversations requires managing different levels of knowledge and involvement among the group to promote mutual understanding. While facilitating small groups we want to build liking and understanding between, but we won’t always be able to build either.

We can give our small group a better chance at liking and understanding by using the RED method.

RED stands for:
Rephrase where we restate or mirror the idea of the last speaker allowing them to add clarity, refine their thoughts, and for the group to hear the thought again.

Extend is where we verbally build a connection between the rephrased contribution to the overall goal or other ideas.

Direct is pulling in others into the contribution for their ideas to suggestions and options.

Using the RED method helps build a conversation space where people are free to participate and contribute; RED method is active listening for small groups. It helps people feel heard and involved in the group, while giving group members space for creating the best path toward the group’s goal.

Next time you’re small group is struggling to collaborate and have open conversations, try using the RED method to engage group members.