The objective is to get every member of the board, committee, or ministry team contributing. So often in committees only a small proportion of the members regularly provide input. We consequently receive only a few perspectives which could skew understanding of the best course to follow. We work with the ideas presented by only these members which could limit our options and hamper creativity.
If we truly believe in God’s design for everybody to have a part (Eph. 4:16) … Body Life … then we must build structures or means into the way committees, boards, or ministry teams function to help ensure the greatest level of participation. We must seek out and welcome diversity.
Vary the approach in how you pursue people’s contributions. Be creative.
- Have them write down an idea and put it in a container to be read by the leader anonymously.
- Break into smaller groups with each group discussing an aspect of an issue and then come back together with a spokesperson sharing their conclusions to pull it all together.
- Do a circle response wherein you go around the room and have each person give a suggestion before any additional input can be given. Limit it to either one word, a phrase, or sentence.
- When brainstorming have a stated rule that after a person contributes they must wait a turn (or two) before they share again to give others opportunity.
Some groups will have minimal problems with people contributing but others need to seriously work at it. These are groups with people who tend to monopolize or those who are withdrawn.
Understand how group dynamic affects people contributing.
Group dynamic can be affected by:
(Clicking on the above links will take you to posts on the TrainBibleTeachers.com blog. Though written with teaching in mind, you might nonetheless increase your understanding about group dynamic that also affects committees, boards, and ministry teams.)
The more we understand our differences, the better we are able to accept one another, accommodate one another, learn from one another, challenge one another, and celebrate one another.
Pull on people’s strengths.
The TEAMS Thinking Style Profile from PeopleKeys can be used to identify an individual’s five key roles in team performance:
The intent is to increase team members’ understanding and appreciation for each other’s talents, preferences, communication styles, leadership qualities, and challenge areas.
When group members understand each other better, they are more likely to seek out one another’s input in ways that count.