Jeremy Pettitt on Communication and Culture

Affinity in Small Groups

Posted on September 20, 2020

The first Facet of Healthy Small Groups is Affinity.

Affinity refers to the natural attraction and/or connection humans feel toward each other when they share something or have something in common.

We often build affinity with others through small talk (phatic communication) which reduces our fear of the unknown and sows the initial seeds of trust for relationships to develop.

How can we build affinity in small groups?

  1. Set aside some time at the beginning of the group to engage in small talk with one another.
  2. Ask each member of the group to share their life story to find common ground/connections.
  3. When possible, allow each person in the larger group to suggest people they would like to be with in a small group based on their affinity for them.

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