Saturday, December 8, 2012

1:04 AM

How to Lead an Effective Discussion
There are many elements to leading an effective conversation. As we know it is not always the easiest task to have others see things from your point of view. Emotions may elevate, opinions differ and anger can run rampant resulting in a less favorable outcome. There are ways around stepping on anyone’s toes and getting results that satisfies both yourself and your listener. What exactly is a conversation? As it is defined, it is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people. So, it does not mean that you talk and everyone listens but requires participation. The ability to listen, digest, respect, share and compromise are key factors in making it effective. Take into consideration what you want the end result to be and know that having a pool of ideas as opposed to only yours can reap greater rewards. By taking the lead and creating a safe environment shows others that their opinion(s) are valuable. Giving participants the opportunity to say what’s on their minds without being judged ultimately gives you the power to get honest and unadulterated feedback.

The 3 Golden Rules and 3 Main Factors:

To ensure that your conversation takes shape the way you want it to requires some preparation. You have to know what you are getting into and how to navigate it for positive results. 

  1. Know Your Audience: Ask yourself, who am I talking to? And come up with the best approach and tone to start and maintain the conversation.
  2. Know Your Motivation: Do you want to build trust? Persuade? Inform or Instruct?
  3. Modes of Communication: Some conversations are best to handle in person, others over the phone or Internet. Choose what avenue would be best to get your point across
  4. Environment: Choose a location that will create the atmosphere that you are looking for.


Show your audience that you are open to suggestions and ideas and that what they have to say is of value. Allow them to openly state their feelings without disruption and be genuinely interested. This gives you time to soak it all in and then decide if you agree or disagree. By cutting in to someone else’s statement tells that person that what they had to say was not worth listening to. As the old saying goes “you have to give respect to get it.” The key to getting the essence of what an individual is saying to listen and observe. Respect comes in many forms but starts by giving the person your undivided attention.


Are you really listening? Don’t let what others are saying go in one ear and float through the other. Get a true understanding of what they are talking about so that you know their views thoroughly. Digesting someone’s aspect takes a bit of work especially when you don’t agree. The positive spin on it is that you can interpret it to enhance your own point. It can also help you in seeing the positives and negatives to the discussion more lucidly.


Being flexible is a great way to make sure a conversation is closed on the right note. Do not force your views onto another and be open to change. 

About Author: 

Independent writer Cassie works for Her area of expertise lies in call center solutions including areas such as virtual receptionists and order taking services.