Handling excessive talkers in the group. There will be some people who tend to overtalk in the group or who may wish to show off their knowledge. Some may believe they have more knowledge than the facilitator (and they may); others may like the attention. There are certain communication skills that can be used to correct this situation. Questions and answers can be directed to individuals by name. Sitting next to the overtalker may help since the facilitator receives less eye contact than the other group members. This will cause the person to be away from the focus of attention and be less likely to respond.
The facilitators should analyze themselves to see if they are communicating clearly. If the group leaders are offensive, it is possible that the overtalker may see the need to take charge. It may be necessary to care-front the person privately. The overtalker may have leadership potential but needs to learn to be a better listener.
Handling nonparticipants. Some people are very timid or feel they do not have anything to contribute to the group. There are those who may also have reading difficulties. Group participants should be cared for with sensitivity (working within their comfort level). There are certain communication skills that can help increase their comfort level. In all group sessions, the facilitators should remind participants that no one is expected to disclose if he or she does not want to talk. No one is forced to talk-everyone has the freedom to pass. Offering encouragement by gently directing to the shy persons questions that can be answered with ease and comfort will help them become active in the group discussion. These people should receive special attention before and after each group session. Group leaders may need to offer encouragement in private. Every answer they provide should be affirmed.
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