When You Want the Group Knowledge

As a clinician and researcher, I am often in group situations where an individual is seeking advice or feedback on a scenario. And I've noticed a few key elements that are worth mentioning and working to improve upon. Here are some key tips and tricks:


After your headline, stay quiet --> If you keep talking, people aren't certain you actually want their thoughts. You don't have to share every single detail - let people ask you questions if they need to. This is especially true in the virtual world where interjecting is difficult.


Stay humble, try not to appear too confident --> People may hold back if it seems that you have your mind made up. Also, they may not engage with you if you aren't indicating and showing evidence of engaging and incorporating their feedback.


Come prepared --> People may assume you aren't going to value their thoughts if it doesn't seem that you were ready to tackle the issue.


Here are some common responses and how to frame them in a positive light:


1. Someone asks you a question you already answered

- This means they at least care enough to ask questions and offer their help

- They might just have been distracted or missed the answer when you were

presenting, give them grace


2. Someone states a contradictory opinion to yours

- Open your view, there may be more sides to the coin

- Don't shut it down even if you feel a bit defensive - instead, ask more questions

- Avoid starting your question with "Why...?" It often creates defensiveness


3. They give you the thumbs up right away

- Before you anchor too quickly into proceeding - ask them more questions - make sure

you are both on the same page of understanding the situation


Regardless of the outcome, it is always best form to end with thanking those you engaged with. While you may not have gotten the advice you wanted or needed in the moment, you now have a better vision of the situation by talking it over.


What other key tips do you have when engaging a group for advice?



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