Posts Tagged ‘group discussion’

Ethics of Group Discussions

October 30, 2009

After having experience of group discussions in my life, I always realize something is missing. The most important point that we all need to learn and master; its the ethics and rules to follow in group discussion. Even normal topics that are not sensitive; still they can be dragged to disagreement and hard talk. We all have natural tendency to be defensive and egoistic, so be careful in group discussions. Following are the golden & ethical rules of group discussion (they do not apply to all group discussions for example, office meeting):


  • We should respect each others opinion.
  • You must be a good listener.
  • Do not laugh unless participant is making a joke.
  • Never blame participants. For example, You do not understand. You have not learned. You are wrong. You are so ignorant. Your thinking is negative.
  • Be respectful to all participants.
  • No personal attacks on a person’s intelligence, background, way of speaking, etc. Ref1
  • Give respect to other participants by listening carefully others no matter how hard it is for you to digest it. Remember your stomach is weak thats your problem.

Equal Rights:

  • Allow participants to express completely.
  • Do not think you are intelligent, or who knows more and have better understand, do not bet it.
  • Speak with facts and reasoning.
  • Out of Line Comments: “That’s a dumb idea;” “You don’t know what you’re talking about;” “It figures a man/woman would say that”. Ref1
  • Speak on your turn.
  • Be polite, humble and accepting.

Positive behavior:

  • Do not be emotional, remember everyone is emotional being.
  • Behave rationally.
  • Raise your hand if you have to say something.
  • Speak on your turn.
  • Do not yell.


  • There is high possibility of disagreement. Again follow you do not have to impose your opinion.
  • Enjoy diversity, differences and complexity of topic.
  • You can disagree in a polite way. For example, What I think so, this is true in that way.
  • You do not necessarily have to accept others opinion, but you have to listen how others perceive differently.
  • You donot have to impose your point of view, you have to just express and explain your point of view.
  • Allow every participant to express his opinion.
  • When you disagree with someone, make sure that you make a difference between criticizing someones idea and the person themselves. Ref2