Evaluating Your Discussion Style
Submitted by Ritu Thomas
This activity is designed to help discussion participants reflect on their own styles and needs during a discussion. It can also serve as pre-discussion preparation for facilitators. The survey can help facilitators better understand and support individual and/or group needs.
Develop a deeper understanding of how we show up and present ourselves in discussions.
Develop greater awareness and empathy for different discussion styles and needs.
Set Up: Prepare for the Activity
Gather information on discussion participants’ discussion styles and needs using the Evaluating Your Discussion Style Questionnaire.
Step One: Share Group Assessment (30 min)
If participants completed the survey in advance, share the group’s assessment of their discussion styles (do not share individual results). Share a visual of the general tendencies and trends you see in the collective results. Discuss:
How do most people in this group self identify? Does this surprise you?
According to our collective feedback, how do most of us like to organize in groups? Does this surprise you?
What are some general discussion participation trends?
What are some common fears or points of anxiety? How could we anticipate and address these as a group?
How can we best support all members in this group?
If participants did not complete the survey in advance, then distribute hard copies of the Evaluating Your Discussion Style Worksheet and invite participants to discuss:
How did these questions encourage self reflection on your own discussion styles?
Were you surprised by any of your responses?
Not knowing how other people responded, how might we use this activity to help us create a more inclusive discussion space?
Step Two: Create Space for Quiet Reflection and Writing (5 min)
What stands out most to you when reviewing our group responses or hearing how group members shared their thoughts about creating an inclusive discussion space?
What can you take away from this peer feedback?
Step Three: Share Discussion Styles (10 min)
In pairs or small groups (3-4 ppl), ask participants to share the three most important things that they would like others to know about their discussion style. Note that they only need to share what they are comfortable sharing and they may not have three items. Invite pairs or small groups to decide how they will share this information: verbally, real time writing, asynchronously after some time to process, etc.
Step Four: Debrief as a Full Group (10 min)
What surprised you most about the group survey feedback?
What similarities or differences stood out in your small groups?
Again, what can we do as a group to support different discussion styles? Why does this matter?
Introduction to Collaborative Discussion
This activity can be completed by any discussion group.
This activity can be easily modified for asynchronous learning. See Sample Asynchronous Certificate Program Design to illustrate sample sequencing.
This activity can be used to build trust and interpersonal connection.
This activity can be used to support facilitation skills. See Sample Facilitation Certificate Program Design to illustrate sample sequencing.
Tell us what you think. Rate and review this activity:
Have any helpful suggestions or modifications for this activity?
Share them in the comments below!
August 31, 2023 at 8:33:37 PM
August 27, 2023 at 5:53:03 PM
August 5, 2023 at 9:41:33 PM
August 4, 2023 at 8:01:32 PM
August 4, 2023 at 8:01:22 PM
August 4, 2023 at 8:00:59 PM
July 24, 2023 at 7:24:46 PM
I adapted this toward skills students can bring to their next group project to learn about themselves and appropriately accommodate others. This complements our course texts "Crucial Conversations" and "Thanks for the Feedback" as well! https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1rbVXIQkViuqmg4nnZdKyGsroHQn-_xsn/edit?usp=drive_link&ouid=113770591818162655510&rtpof=true&sd=true
July 10, 2023 at 2:15:53 AM
Shannon Wheatley Hartman
December 7, 2022 at 6:49:22 PM
Similar to the previous activity (1.7 Taking Inventory of CD Skills), this activity includes a google survey that participants can complete at the beginning of a program or class. Instructors or facilitators can use this information to then tailor future activities to best fits the discussion needs of their group.
December 3, 2022 at 2:39:00 AM
Activity 1.8 provides a very useful survey to gather information on and help support participants' different discussion styles and needs, exploring various areas like preferences for group size, ways of participating in discussions, any fears relating to discussions, etc.