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Discussion

 

Techniques > Conversation > Types > Discussion

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Much conversation takes the form of amiable discussion, where a major element is the exchange of information. In this, truth is broadly valued, though exaggeration and opinion are still common.

Staying on good terms is also an important element, which generally acts as a moderating force and reduces the chance of the talk falling into oppositional debate.

Example

A couple discuss how to spend the weekend. Preferences and options are openly talked about.

When a child has been in trouble at school, rather than telling them off, a parent engages the child in a balanced discussion about the possible consequences of what they had done.

Discussion

Unlike debate, there is no particular goal during the average discussion to destroy the other person's ideas. When persuasion is needed, more social means such as pleading or reason is typically used, although the logic used may not bear much scrutiny. Importantly, the other person is respected, even if they are thought to be wrong.

In a good discussion of equals, each person takes an adult mode rather than playing parent-child roles or other dysfunctional games. In this collaborate mode, deliberation is also done as a helpful activity rather than playing cat-and-mouse.

Within everyday conversation, the general frame is often one of discussion, though individuals may hold forth in periods of dictating as they expound their opinion on various topics. There may also be periods of debate, where people take sides and attempt to push their own views. Despite and within this, the thread of respect is maintained, sustaining the relationship and enabling the conversation to return later to an even keel.

This concern for the relationship is natural and usually functional, though it can slip into dysfunction when things that need discussing are left unsaid. When we fear upsetting or annoying other people, we tend to take the easy way out, nodding when we do not really agree or bottling it up and just saying nothing.

See also

Transactional Analysis, Relationships

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