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Encouraging Participation Requires Communication Skills
When soliciting participation, we need to remember that some people will feel more comfortable getting involved than others, so we should avoid putting people on the spot. However, if we are facing a particularly uninvolved group, we have various options for getting people involved: • Use open-ended questions, which may encourage participation (versus asking yes/no questions). After asking a question, we need to wait and accept the silence; after several seconds of silence, we can then paraphrase the question to see if anyone volunteers an answer.
Excerpted from Patricia M. Buhler and Joel D. Worden, Up, Down, and Sideways: High-Impact Verbal Communication for HR Professionals (SHRM, 2013).
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