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TN49 What's going on under the water

First published on this website in August 2009 and last updated in July 2023

Words: 1600
Size: 145 kB
Categories: Communication , Management


Any group has some form of 'agenda'. But what about the 'sub-agenda' that is actually going on? Here is advice for group leaders (whether of a whole congregation or just three people) on how to spot what might be happening.

Think water. The agenda is what is floating on the surface - it is visible. But under the surface lies a fascinating world. These notes help you keep your eyes and ears open under the water.

  1. Check the basics (group size, purpose, set up, culture)
  2. Focus on each person (personality/background, position today, where they fit into this group, relationships with the other members)
  3. Use your eyes! (where people sit, how they look, what their faces tell you, how they involve themselves)
  4. Use your ears! (what they are really saying, who they are talking to, the role they play, how vulnerable they are prepared to be)
  5. Observe the whole group (listening to each other, loving each other, issues of status and success, leadership performance)

But be aware that being part of a group may never be the same again!


Here is the link to this item: PDF TN49 - What's going on under the water.pdf

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Author's notes

These notes have been updated in July 2023 with minor amendments to the layout.