Prepping a Discussion

Here are some ideas for small group leaders to consider when preparing discussion questions. (courtesy of LifeHack)

Questions That Control Communication

Starter Question (via Liz Strauss). Try these question if you’re unsure of where to begin:

  • What do you do when you’re not doing this?
  • What is important to you?

Direct Questions. These are questions you ask based on some knowledge of the person. You use these to steer the conversation in the direction that you want. Some examples:

  • How is it that you are so passionate about this topic?
  • How could I accomplish what you have accomplished?
  • Where did you get such a lovely jacket?

Follow Up Questions. These questions are the ones you use to dig deeper into the conversation.

  • Do you remember how you felt when that happened?
  • Can you elaborate a little bit on this topic?
  • Do you remember what was going on in your mind at that time?

Some Tips

  • Appeal To All Senses. When interacting with someone, ask question that appeal to all their senses. This will make you more interesting and most importantly memorable.
  • Be Sincere, Be Interested. If you’re going to ask questions, it would help if you had a sincere interest in the person. Not being sincere and faking interest could very well be taken as an insult.
  • Pay Attention. If you’re interested in crafting brilliant follow up questions then this is a crucial step. Use what the person says, to steer the conversation deeper into whatever direction you like.
  • Ask Open Ended Questions. If you’re goal is to keep the person talking and open up to you, then ask questions that require more than just a yes or no answer.