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    You Had to Go There
  • Path to Expertise
    Designing Programs
  • Learning Objective Show
    Demonstrate techniques for keeping discussions focused when conversations wander.
 

Learning Objectives

Demonstrate techniques for keeping discussions focused when conversations wander.

Must-Learn

It can be difficult for facilitators to keep discussions focused, on topic and on track. Even if the agenda is clear and everyone seems to be headed in the same direction, conversation may still wander. At that point, it can feel like “six degrees of separation” as things drift further and further from the main topic.


Learn-On-Need

To deal with wandering conversations, consider a two step approach: 

First, before you make your response, acknowledge what the previous speaker has just said in a (mostly) neutral way.

·         You seem to have a lot of passion around this topic

·         This appears to be something you’re really interested in

From there, create a transition to your comment or response.

·         This is something we are actually going to talk about later.  Now, getting back to our original topic…

·         We seem to have drifted a bit – let’s table this conversation until later.  (Return to your topic)



Learn-On-Need

To deal with wandering conversations, consider a two step approach: 

First, before you make your response, acknowledge what the previous speaker has just said in a (mostly) neutral way.

·         You seem to have a lot of passion around this topic

·         This appears to be something you’re really interested in

From there, create a transition to your comment or response.

·         This is something we are actually going to talk about later.  Now, getting back to our original topic…

·         We seem to have drifted a bit – let’s table this conversation until later.  (Return to your topic)


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