So I posted a facebook status that’s triggered pros and cons a few days ago. When I was about to post it, I knew that it’s going to be responded from high and low. I posted it anyway because I always love a good discussion. However, sometimes there’s someone that just…how do I put it…spoils? Corrupts? Anyway, they’re usually the ones that make a discussion nggak ngenakin and kinda lose the fun. It can be me, or any one of us. That’s why we need to keep learning. Of all things that I learned from the ongoing discussion in my facebook wall, is how to keep a discussion fair and healthy. I’m making a list and everyone is welcome to add on to it 🙂
1. Digest thoroughly.
This is important. After all, we have to know exactly what are we going to discuss. Take time to read or listen to the topic carefully. Don’t rush to take a stand, process the information neutrally first, for it would allow us to come to a better and fair judgement. Don’t deny a fact, there’s no use. I repeat, this is important. Nothing is more awkward (well, silly for the audience) than charging like a wounded bull only to realise at some point that we might be wrong.
2. Take it easy.
Keep our calm. Remind ourselves at all times that we are just discussing. We discuss to find the truth, not to find flaws and faults. It’s easy to lose ourselves, especially in the middle of a heated argument, but remember that it’s just a discussion. Don’t win a discussion and lose a friend.
3. Courtesy is a minimum requirement and it must be insisted on at all times.
Simply put, don’t be rude. A free and fair forum in which people feel safe to express their opinions greatly depends on being polite to one another. Avoid ridiculing, name-calling, labelling, using violent language, ranting, swearing…yeah, you get the idea….Once any one of these enters the discussion, the emotional temperature will go up and participants will start to defend themselves. No matter how right you might be, nobody will listen to you anymore because the exploration of the issue no longer matters, and the focus of the discussion changes to defending ourselves or hurting others’ feelings.
4. No hitting below the belt.
First of all, we all know that this is a boxing metaphor, right? No literal hitting at all! Discussion should never change to a physical fight, okay? Okay. What I’m trying to say here is avoid making remarks that are too personal. Even if it’s right, it’s degrading, irrelevant and totally unfair. Not to mention nosey! Try to focus on the issue at hand. Seriously, attacking personal issue won’t do you any good. It will only become something others use to attack you right back.
5. For your own safety, know where the emergency exits at all times.
Sometimes, there are participants who really can’t seem to take a hint that they’re making the discussion unbearable. Even worse, sometimes there are people who’ve been told literally but keep doing whatever insufferable stuff they were doing. If you really can’t bear it and the moderator doesn’t seem to be able to kick the person out of the forum, sometimes the wise thing to do is to just leave the discussion. There are things that are more important than a discussion. Hey, think about your health and wellbeing! Think about your heart, literally and figuratively. Think about your blood pressure. Hell, think about the frown you’d make and the botox you’d have to perform and the money you can use to go travel had you not perform a botox!
Anyone got anything to add on to the list? 🙂