Many of the problems that arise in group discussion result from members who do not have discussion skills. Being able to properly participate in a discussion group is similar to reading. If you have a lot of experience with discussions, it is likely that you will do well in a discussion group.
During a discussion, it is important for members to always stay on topic. It is bad etiquette to raise issues that are not related to the subject of the discussion. When members raise issues that are off topic, they can waste time and prevent the group from achieving a certain goal. Most group discussions will have a time limit. The group will have little time to waste talking about topics that are not relevant to the subject. Because of this, it is always important to make sure any questions or statements you make are related to the topic. Another good form of etiquette in group discussions is to ask open-ended questions instead of closed-ended questions.
An open-ended question is one that does not require a specific answer. It is a question that is designed to get the group thinking. The only time a closed-ended question should be raised is if the group has specific information that they need to learn. Open-ended questions are important because they allow the other members to think. If the question is related to a problem, the members may be able to come up with a number of different solutions. If one member interrupts another while they are speaking, this is an example of bad etiquette. You should never do this. It is rude, and it can lead to conflict between you and the person that was interrupted.
It is important for everyone to get their point across. If you have a disagreement or concern with a statement that is being made by someone else, wait until they are finished speaking before you talk. Most group discussions require members to raise their hands before asking a question or making a statement, and this is something you will want to follow. If you disagree with a statement or idea that has been presented by someone else, it is important for you to say it in a polite manner. In a group discussion, it is important to avoid conflict, as this can stop the group from being able to successfully reach an objective.
For example, an example of bad etiquette is saying something like "that idea will never work" or " your idea doesn't make any sense." These are statements that can be damaging to the member you are addressing them to. You will want to avoid this. A good alternative to these two statements are "that idea raises some serious issues" or "I see your point, but there are a number of problems that may arise." These two statements are examples of good etiquette, and you will want to use them if you wish to succeed. There is nothing wrong with not being in agreement with what a person says. However, you will want to let them know this in a polite manner, and you should have good reasons for holding your opinion.
It is also bad etiquette to put down the ideas that have been presented by another person. During the meeting, all ideas should be considered, and no one should be ridiculed because of an idea they have. Their are a number of good reason for this.
First, if one member of the group is ridiculed for having a bad idea, this may make other member uneasy about presenting their own ideas. This could lead to a situation where a sizeable portion of the members aren't actively participating because of fear of humiliation by having their ideas crushed. Group discussions are important events that allow people to brainstorm ideas or solutions to problems. When the members of the group use proper etiquette, the discussion will be extremely productive.
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