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Monday, January 4, 2010

Spirituality: Guidelines for Small Group Sharing

1. Respect privacy and confidentiality. Refrain from repeating to others what another person shares.
2. Listen carefully. Allow the person to complete his or her sentence or thought. Be patient with another.
3. Remember that some people process thoughts and ideas interiorly; some also process as they speak. Accommodate both types of people.
4. Shy away from commenting directly on what another says.
5. Withhold your advice. If you feel inclined to give advice, ask the person’s permission to talk about the situation or ask if he or she wants to receive advice.
6. Refrain from criticizing or judging what another person says.
7. Embrace the silence. People need time to process ideas and form their thoughts.
8. Give others a chance to speak. Everyone who wants to share ought to have sufficient time to do so. Limit your own time. Speak pithily. Use brevity.
9. Respect another’s desire for privacy. No on has an obligation to share.
10. Use “I” statements rather than “we” statements. I can speak for myself. You can represent yourself.
11. When you feel yourself beginning to say, “You should….” or “What you need to do is…,” stop yourself. Just stop.
12. Use connecting words like “yes…and” instead of phrases like “but” or “not.”

Notes for Facilitators for Faith-Sharing Groups

1. Allow everyone to have a chance to speak.
2. Ask someone to be the time-keeper.
3. Ensure confidentiality.
4. Help them stay focused on the reflection questions. Feel free to choose whatever is conducive to the group’s sharing.
5. Use the “Faith Sharing” guidelines as your guide.

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