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4 Ways to Respond to Alpha Guests’ Questions
4 Ways to Respond to Alpha Guests’ Questions

discussion, small group, conversation, 7 best

Updated over a week ago

When an Alpha guest asks a question during small group time, we want to ensure that other guests have an opportunity to share their perspectives and viewpoints first.

If Alpha leaders give their opinion first, this can be viewed as “the final answer" and it might end the conversation. Here are some ideas to keep the discussion rolling:

🎯 Please watch the Team Training video on Small Groups for more info (role of hosts & helpers, 3 goals, 6 tips for great discussion etc).

Listen First

How? Attend to the person:

• Establish contact by looking at the person when they talk.

• Maintain a natural relaxed posture that indicates your interest.

• Use natural gestures that communicate your intended message.

• Be mindful of your facial expressions that might come across as judgmental.

• Ask the Holy Spirit to help you truly hear what someone is saying.

Then Respond

1. Clarification Questions

• Are you wondering if... (clarify, rephrase)

• Can you explain a bit more, or give an example?

• It sounds like you're saying that right?
- used when there is confusion or uncertainty about what was said
- used to make sure you understand what was said
- used to “reflect back” to the speaker what you heard

2. Open-Ended Questions

• Yes, good question! Do you have any initial thoughts about that?

• Great question! What do the rest of you think?
- used to invite further comments from the speaker or group

- offers encouragement and invitation to say more

- directed to the speaker or to the entire group

3. Redirecting Questions

• Good question; does anyone have any thoughts on this?

• Let's all brainstorm some possible reasons for that.

- used to “redirect” the discussion to include more of the group

- used to move the focus of discussion away from just one person

- used to “refocus” the discussion back to the main point

4. Reflective / Feeling Questions or Statements

• Has anyone else felt that way too?

• That must be really difficult. What was that like for you?

- used with emotional responses, questions, or statements

- used to convey concern, acceptance, empathy, interest

- used to affirm the person who shared (different from agreeing)

And Always Affirm!

• Thank you for sharing that.

• That must be really difficult.

• I appreciate your honesty. Tell us more.

• It’s ok to take a minute and think about it. That’s what we’re here for. No rush.

• It’s ok to have different opinions and disagree. We love hearing other viewpoints.

• I’m so glad you’re here!

• I’m sorry you're going through that.

• Very interesting!

Top Tip 💡 We want Alpha guests to feel honoured, valued, seen, and heard. We do this by reserving judgment and by listening (don't give advice!). If you feel like guests need assistance outside of Alpha, wait until you're 1:1 and then ask them first if/how they would like to be supported.

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