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Deliberation

 

Techniques > Conversation > Types > Deliberation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

This type of conversation has the primary goal of making a decision about something. Hence we we deliberate, thinking carefully about the alternatives.

A deliberation conversation will often include stages such as:

  • Gathering information
  • Exploring options
  • Identifying criteria
  • Evaluating alternatives
  • Making choices

The style of the deliberation can vary depending on the relationship between the people, particularly based on:

  • Whether the decision is made by a single person or whether a consensus agreement is needed.
  • Whether or not people are open in providing information to help the decision.

Example

A person thinking about buying a car asks for technical details from the car sales person and for emotional responses from their partner.

A business team deliberates over whether to implement a new strategy, considering factors such as costs, risks and potential sales.

A parent, informed about their child's bad action, listens to the child's version and then decides what to do about it in conversation with their partner.

Discussion

Sometimes decisions are quick and easy, but can also need careful consideration of significant and complex data. Often, the information available is far from complete and what is supplied may be biased or suspect. In other words, deciding can be tricky.

Conversation can help decisions first by gathering data, including finding out what others know. This can be as easy as asking. It may require facilitating of recall (' Think back to the time. What did Sue say first?'). It may also require more persuasive methods when the other person does not want to reveal information. In this, the detecting of deception can be very important.

Deliberation also includes deriving meaning from information, formulating possible actions and selecting from amongst these. This may be done collaboratively or individually. A common approach is for one person to have the final choice, with others providing support, for example by pointing out risks or suggesting alternatives.

Deliberation conversations can be push or pull. Selling and general persuasion are typical 'push' conversations, where the prime mover seeks to change the mind of another person. Interviews and business decision-making are often 'pull' as the instigator seeks information and support to help with a choice they need to make. Deliberations often include elements of both push and pull, for example as the interviewee pushes while the interviewer pulls.

When the other person in a conversation feels they may lose out, they may be non-collaborative or try to lie. The decision-maker may consequently resort to interrogation methods or decide based on available information such as what has happened in the past and more vague information such as the other person's reputation and how trustworthy they seem.

If you need to deliberate about something, try to ensure you have enough time to do appropriate research, get truthful inputs and think through the various options. It can also help to have other people to bounce ideas off and offer information and alternative viewpoints.

See also

Decisions, Interrogation

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