The secret of success is to understand what goes on below the surface of groups.
Participants don’t just sit there waiting to answer your questions. They are trying to work out what you really want, if they like each other, who they might want to impress/ disagree with/ learn from…. and all of this emerges in what they say and how they say it. So you need to
- Manage the contributions,
- Set up useful patterns of interaction
- Be aware of their emotions and needs at different stages of the group, so you work with them and not against them.
Recognise roles and manage contributions
- Praise the group
- Manage disruptive people
- Politely curtail those who talk too much and bring in the quieter ones
- Manage conflicts constructively
Understand the moderator needs to do different things at different stages of the group
- Forming – bond individuals together
- Storming (if any) -value equally
- Norming- set useful norms
- Performing- the group works by itself
- Mourning- let the group go