How to Facilitate Group Discussions During a Training Session?

22nd March 2021

Group work and group discussions are an integral part of almost every corporate training session. Not just training, but group discussions have been prioritised in the field of education and development for numerous years now because of its prominent benefits. These benefits range from the exchange of innovative ideas to including all the learners in the learning process. Specially, for corporate trainers working or aspiring to work in bustling cities, programs such as a professional diploma in train the trainer program in Mumbai and other cities can enable them to learn more about group learning and how to make the most out of them. Whilst the benefits of group discussions during training sessions are plenty, the group discussions need to be correctly facilitated in order for them to observe the benefits.

Here are some of the measures that can be pursued in order to effectually facilitate group discussions during a training session.

  • Understand the role of a facilitator

    A common mistake that trainers often make is that they get excessively involved in the discussions and essentially become a part of it. However, it is worth noting that the purpose of a group discussion is to let the trainees interact. Therefore, the trainer must take a step back and only talk when necessary. Likewise, they should take a neutral stand and also ensure that everyone in the group is contributing their views. This is important because the introverted learners often shy away from talking and get overshadowed by the more outgoing learners.
  • Offer a structure

    While group discussions are very useful, they can become fairly confusing if the trainer just introduces a topic and leaves it there. Doing so can lead to off-topic discussions and ultimately not serve the learning objectives. Thus, the trainers must provide a structure that must be followed by the trainees during the discussion. For example, a structure for first discussing the history, then the pros and cons, and then the impacts of a particular topic can be outlined on the screen or board for the learners to stick to.
  • Provide guidance

    Coupled with setting a structure, it is also important for the trainer to monitor and guide the discussion if it goes off-track. Besides, at the start of a discussion, the learners may not begin the discussion in the required manner. In such cases, the trainer must set the stage and guide the discussion accordingly so that the learning objectives can be met. Moreover, the trainer can sometimes plug in a few important questions and have the learners respond when the flow of ideas is relatively restricted.
  • Summarise the results

    After the group discussion has ended and the trainer has ensured that everyone has had the opportunity to share their respective views, the trainer then needs to summarise the ideas discussed. This can be either done verbally, or it can be jotted down on the board. Summarising the facts is important so that the learners can note them down and go through them later. Otherwise they may forget some of the interesting and important ideas that came up during the group discussion.

Usually, there can be a range of other useful measures that can be taken by trainers in order to effectively facilitate group discussions and make the best out of them. These measures are likely to be dependent upon the group dynamics, the topic of discussion, and even the nature of the learners in the group. Programs such as a professional diploma in train the trainer program in Mumbai can help existing and aspiring trainers procure more useful insights regarding group discussions and how to host them effectually.

Written By : Shivangi Chakraborty


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