Mentoring Topic: Best practices to encourage diverse participation in group discussions
- When you ask a question - define it well.
- Taking time to stop and re-frame can help keep a conversation to track.
- Always define technical and regional terms - don’t assume everyone knows what you are talking about.
- Before you move to the next question or subject pause and ask if anyone has any last things to say. Focus on people who have not yet spoken.
- Summarize the conversation and next steps before you move on.
- If a small number of people are doing a large amount of the talking, pause and see if anyone else wants to add anything or if the group is happy with the discussion as it is.
- Try to think about which groups you have not heard from and solicit their input. “I wonder if any 3rd party wiki users have something to say?”
- If you are participating in a discussion, try to ask a question or help lead the discussion forward.
- Conversations benefit from diverse viewpoints. If you do not feel empowered to speak yourself, you may be able to find an advocate to help you get your point across or make room in the conversation for you.
- Consider that it is often much more valuable to hear diverse viewpoints than it is to win and convince others.
You can find more "bite-sized" mentoring topics here: Hackathons/Handbook/Mentoring Tips
4.5 minute video providing a bit more context on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glAEUhU1XHQ -- We are aware that this is not a complete set of advice and we also understand that some of these points may vary by culture or situation. We only hope that this video might help people as a starting point to begin thinking about the issues involved.