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Anyone who works within a team setting understands the importance of the follow up process. It is essential to get “real time” feedback in order to grow personally and professionally. There are times within church work that feedback within the follow up process is extra difficult. As a small group point person, you have encountered these moments of difficulty or you will soon. The added layer of volunteerism gives way to added sensitivity or desire to not “rock the boat.” It is my belief that because individuals and families volunteer their time they are even more so entitled to feedback in order to be their best selves. This belief does not make difficult conversations easier, but the follow are 5 ways to best follow up with small group leaders.
Remember Everyone Is Different
Each person receives positive and negative feedback differently. It is important to realize this and understand what makes each leader tick a little better. It is up to each point person to determine if conversations are needed in person, via video conferencing, or if a simple text message may do. Use personality traits to also determine how you should land a conversation. Should a conversation be straight to the point or will it require some finessing before landing the plane? No matter the route, it is important to present your message clearly.
Consistency is Key
When you lead your team of volunteer group leaders, let them settle into a rhythmic consistency of communication. Feedback is received much more freely when it is expected and even desired. Remember we all want to be better, but not everyone enjoys surprises. Establish an internal calendar for times of reflection, feedback, and even give space for input from group leaders on how to better the ministry as a whole. Consistently celebrate and consistently construct.
There are many studies that show the psychological importance of birthday parties and singing “Happy Birthday” to young children. This celebration doesn’t need to end. When you see group leaders succeeding in great or small situations, celebrate them in a grand fashion. Social media posts, sermon drop ins, and other public forums are always important to the leader, as well as, other leaders seeing what is celebrated.
Check out my article on how to Celebrate Leaders.
In an equal fashion, one must do everything in order to not have difficult or “constructive” conversations for the masses. I would also add in an age of digital dependence, that difficult conversations should always be held in person or at least in a way for both parties to hear vocal inflections. Don’t let a screen dictate tone and context. People appreciate honesty, even when it is not easy to receive.
Be Solution Oriented
It is easy to find faults in others. The Bible is clear about this, but it is important to also find the good. When you are providing feedback to another, if there is an area of growth provide a solution for them succeed. If a solution is not clear, be honest and converse over how the “team” can reach a place of success together. In all difficult moments, it is our role as a group point person to provide hope to win.
As you lead your group leaders, remember they want to be their best for you, the church, and the greater kingdom of God. Help each leader grow and in turn watch their groups be strengthened as well.
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