Everyone gathers for a purpose.
Everyone wants to look good.
Everyone is reluctant to bring up something.
Some do not want to be there.
Most are committed to the way it’s always done.
Few try something new.
The senior person talks the most.
The latest recruit is wide-eyed.
Some endure the gathering.
Most cherish the gathering.
Thanksgiving Dinner… what the Fearless Facilitator knows!
Mental mantra – as you arrive. Think: “I’m going to love this!”
Connect – right away. Acknowledge: as many as possible with a smile, nod, “Hello!”
Agenda – very important. Follow the leader on what is “served” and when.
Ground Rules – basic etiquette. Be kind: This is not the day to make an enemy.
Listen – before you speak. Especially when Uncle Fred spews forth a shocking opinion.
Open Questions – are perfectly OK. “How are you doing?” Or “How’s the new job?”
Probe and Paraphrase – show great style. “So, if I’ve got this right, you owned a ’73 Beetle?”
Focus the Talkative – by asking another less talkative. “Grandma, what do you think?”
Encourage the Quiet – again, by gentle name-calling. “Jo, how are things in Poughkeepsie?”
When You are the senior – compliments never hurt. “Cousin Pat, your pudding takes the cake!”
Close – by summing it up – “Thank you all for the great food and fest. The best one yet!”
©2019 Cyndi Maxey