Imagine you're invited to two parties. One party host will be happy to see you. The other party host is very funny, is a great cook, but you're not sure he'll be happy to see you. Which party do you go to?

Hosting a study group is like hosting a party. If you smile, you're a good host.

1. Why hosting a study group?
Years ago, my manager said to me, "Discuss your project with others in the team. You'll make faster progress." But I didn't know how to invite others to work on something together. I thought "who wants to work with a shy person like me?"

It turned out that working with others is not hard. It is a lot of fun! Why not start with hosting a study group? You'll be able to host effective meetings at work, invite cross-functional groups to work with your group, and complete a project faster.

2. What do you do when hosting a study group?
Since hosting a study group is like hosting a party. Let's first determine all the actions of a party host. Select all that applies.
  • Hide dirty socks under a couch
  • Send out enthusiastic invitation. Ask Lex to bake a cake; Invite Heather to bring cool computer games, etc..
  • At the beginning of a party, give an introduction - where to hang jackets, which table is vegetarian food...
  • As a guest arrives, introduce him to current guests; when a guest leaves, thank him for attending.
  • Control time. If a guest talks on a topic too long, say, "Jenny, wow, you're passionate about camping. Cool! Let's talk about movies also."
  • Ask your best friend to stay behind to wash dishes

Select all the actions of hosting a study group:
  • Send out enthusiastic invitation, specifying meeting time and location. A library or a coffee shop is convenient for many people.
  • Prepare an opening to get people excited about participating in the session.
  • State your question, invite a person to answer. Acknowledge the speaker right after he or she finishes.
  • Control time so the session ends at scheduled time.

3. How to open the meeting, acknowledge people, and control time?
If you smile, you can do all three tasks very well.

With a smile, you will influence people what you're going to discuss is fun! For example, you can happily open the discussion for a taxation study group, "hey, everyone! Welcome! I'm so glad to discuss this topic. We'll be able to plan our finance ahead, file tax on time. So neat! You make effort to be proactive. Give yourself a big hand for coming here! (you lead the applause) Let's have a brief round table introduction - what's your name? what do you want to get out of this class?" You can take brief notes while people talk.

After a person talks, always say something brief to acknowledge the person before inviting the next person to talk, such as "cool! thank you", "I agree with you", "that's true", "wow! you explained it so well". Your acknowledgement not only makes a speaker feel good, but also encourages more people to participate in the discussion.

To invite a quiet person to talk, mention his or her name, such as "hey, Janet, you helped a couple of friends file their taxes. How did you handle this scenario? " (You took notes when they introduced themselves at the beginning so you had a bit information about each participant.) If a person dominates the talk, say, "Hmm. Tom, you know a lot about state tax. We can talk more about this after the meeting. Now let's move on to this topic." Remember you're not interrupting Tom. You're doing Tom a favor by helping him build a good habit of giving others opportunities to talk instead of dominating a discussion. Of course, you need to lead by example and be brief yourself. When you smile, people don't mind whether you're asking them to talk or asking them to stop.