Effective Small Group Leadership [part 4]

8. Maintain a certain level of confidentiality.

I tell all of my small group leaders that confidentiality is SUPER important, but they cannot promise a student that everything will be 100% confidential.  There are just certain things that have to be reported (physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc…).  So we say it this way, “maintain a “certain level” of confidentiality.  Earning the confidence of a student is HUGE in leading them.  If they are confiding in you, that means they trust you.  If they trust you, that means they want you to lead them.  When you say, “You can confide in me” you are really saying, “I care about you and want to help you grow.”

9. Respond positively to students remarks.

You would think that this would be a no-brainer… but it isn’t.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a leader tell a student that their answers or remarks were dumb, wrong, “Way out there,” etc…  Those are always fun leadership moments for me (that statement was DRIPPING with sarcasm). We need to be careful how we respond to students remarks.  How we respond will either encourage or discourage further input from that student (or other students, to be honest).  Even if the student is WAY OFF IN LEFT FIELD with their answer or comment, we need to make sure that we are encouraging them to keep thinking, keep talking, & keep processing.

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