Using Book Club Questions to Create Meaningful Conversations with Your Team

In total honesty, I never wanted to be a part of a book club. I hated reading things in school because it did not feel like a choice. It felt like another thing I had to do, not out of interest, but out of necessity for a grade. Book club felt like an extension of that. The way reading is presented in school, at least to me, was a punishment, not a reward. This is probably why 30 million Americans read at a below basic level.

However, the more books we read at Swift Kick, and the more conversations we have, the more I have grown to love being a part of a book club. As an actor, teacher and sales director I try to stay sharp. “There’s lots of evidence that reading has all sorts of benefits for your brain. Joining a book club can help you stay motivated to read and reap those benefits.”

In today’s day and age, I feel frustrated by the lack of conversation and how much people rely on their phones to communicate. According to “Americans spend 26 minutes a day texting and send 5.3 more texts than the number of calls they make.” Book clubs within your work are a lovely way to connect with your team and have real conversations.

For the last book club we read I’m Fine and Neither Are You* by Camille Pagan. If you have not read it, do so. It is a fantastic book that I now passed on to my librarian mother to read!

The reason I enjoyed this book club so much was due to the conversation sparked by the questions. Here are some helpful hints to making great conversation-starting questions:

1. Ask yourself the question first!

Can you answer the question easily in one word or does it take more time to explain? Can everyone answer the question differently but specifically? The more conversation the better!

2. Encourage everyone to write an answer down

Getting your thoughts on paper helps spark new ideas and keep you on task.

3. Dive deeper

Making the question relatable to each member of the group by asking things like why (or why not)? A diversity of opinions on a question or topic usually sparks other conversation. If people agree on an answer this can create bonds between team members.

4. Make questions easy to understand

Make your questions clear, concise, and focused so everyone can focus on their answer instead of trying to understand what you meant.

5. Show me, tell me, convince me!

This method is used in schools often. Show me: go back to the text. Tell me: elaborate on why you picked this passage. Convince me: add personal touches to your answer to sell your point even if someone in the group disagrees.

Reading no longer has to be a chore, and making questions for your team can be fun. You’ll learn more about the members of your team and bond in ways that you wouldn’t get to otherwise. You’ll get to hear a whole new perspective on a topic that you never thought of before. Making a great list of questions will help drive your book club to these moments and connect your team further.

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