What’s the Difference Between Conversation and Discussion?

A discussion has a more focused, thoughtful tone – it’s a methodical exchange of ideas in which all participants have the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions.

Conversation, on the other hand, is less structured and more fluid; it’s about sharing ideas and stories. Both are important tools for building relationships and getting things done, but they should be used in different situations.

In this article, we’ll go into more detail about the differences between conversation and discussion. We’ll also give some tips on how to have a successful conversation or discussion.

What Is a Conversation?

A conversation is a two-way exchange of ideas, opinions, and information involving both parties. It’s not a lecture, it’s not a monologue – it’s a back and forth. That’s why you can have multiple conversations at the same time, with more than one person at a time.

To have a good conversation, you need to be able to listen well and speak clearly. You also need to understand what the other person is saying. If you do not understand what the person you are talking to is saying, it can be difficult for them to have confidence in your abilities as a conversationalist (or for you to have confidence in yourself!).

What Is a Discussion?

Discussion is a conversation between two or more people that focuses on a specific topic. A discussion may be about solving problems or making decisions.

A discussion can be structured in a variety of ways, such as an interview, where one person asks questions and another person answers them; a debate, where each side presents its arguments and then tries to convince the others of its point of view; a seminar, where participants give presentations on topics related to the issue being discussed; or just a casual conversation over coffee, focusing on different aspects of a topic.

The important thing about discussions is that they focus on a specific topic. This focus allows for a more in-depth exploration of the topic at hand. It also allows different points of view to be heard and considered.

Conversation Is Less Formal Than Discussion

A conversation is less formal than a discussion. A conversation can be a simple back-and-forth, but it doesn’t have to be formal. It can also be an informal meeting where people just talk about their day or what’s going on in their lives.

A discussion is a more formal form of communication and requires a more serious tone. When you’re discussing something, it’s more likely that you’re talking about a topic that needs to be carefully analyzed and considered. You may even find yourself in a debate or argument with someone who disagrees with your opinion!

In a Conversation, People Exchange Ideas, in a Discussion, People Share Their Thoughts and Opinions

Conversation and discussion are two different ways people can talk to each other. In a conversation, people share ideas and tell stories. In a discussion, people share their thoughts and opinions about a particular topic.

For example, you can have a conversation with your friend about how your day was at school. You could talk about what happened in class or how many tests you had to take. Your friend can also tell you about her day if she experienced something interesting!

However, in a discussion, you would probably be talking about something bigger than just your personal experiences with the subject. For example, if someone were to ask another person what science is, the latter might start by telling them what they understand science to be.

It’s about finding answers to big questions, like “Why are we here?“, “Where do we come from?“, “How does the world work?“. Then they could talk in more detail about how scientists use experiments to answer those questions.

A Conversation Is More Spontaneous Than a Discussion

A spontaneous conversation can happen between two people just hanging out in their living room, or it can happen when a group of friends goes out to dinner. People just talk to each other because they want to talk or because they like to hear each other’s voices and share their thoughts.

They don’t even have to talk about anything important – they might just be amused by how strange it is that cats seem to be smarter than dogs. It doesn’t matter what they talk about or why they’re talking – it only matters that they’re having fun together.

A discussion, on the other hand, is planned. It’s organized by someone who wants the participants to discuss something specific, such as whether or not a person’s favorite movie from last year should have won the Best Picture award.

The person organizing the discussion may have already formed an opinion on the topic and wants to hear others’ views on it, or they may just be curious about what others think about whether or not their favorite movie from last year won the Best Picture award. Either way, there’s a purpose behind this discussion, and it’s not just to chat and have fun together.

A Discussion Is More Structured Than a Conversation

When you’re having a conversation, there is no structure or agenda. You can talk about whatever you want, however you want to talk about it. You can talk about what you had for breakfast or what happened at work, or you can just gossip with your friends or complain about traffic.

A discussion is more structured than a conversation. It has a specific topic and purpose that must be accomplished within a certain amount of time – for example, if you are taking a quiz in class.

The teacher gives you questions about the topic and then asks each student a question individually to see if they got it right. If not, they get another chance until everyone has answered correctly and then the discussion can continue with another topic.

In a Discussion, Everyone Involved Has an Opportunity to Share, in a Conversation, the Person Who Speaks First Usually Dominates the Conversation

In a discussion, all participants have something to say, either about the topic itself or about the contributions of others. They may also have different points of view on the topic at hand.

For example, imagine you are having a discussion with your friends about what movie you should see next weekend. You might start by asking everyone what they think of that particular option (the movie).

Then you would also want to hear their opinions on other options – movie theater A or movie theater B, or maybe even staying home and just watch there instead! In this situation, everyone involved has an opinion on which movie they should see and why it would be best for everyone.

In a conversation, the person who speaks first usually dominates the conversation. This can lead to a one-sided discussion in which the other party feels like they don’t get a chance to speak or equal time to talk.

Conversations can also be difficult to moderate because there is no designated leader or moderator. The conversation may wander off-topic, evolve into multiple conversations at once, or even end abruptly if one party feels uncomfortable or offended by what is being said.

For example, imagine a person having a conversation with their friends about their favorite type of ice cream. If one person starts talking about how they do not like ice cream, the conversation might come to an abrupt end because the other party feels their opinion is not valid or worth discussing.

A Discussion Provides an Opportunity for Everyone to Learn, in a Conversation, the Person Who Talks the Most Usually Learns the Least

A discussion is a group of people talking about a topic, often with one person leading the conversation. The goal is to learn something new and exchange ideas.

A discussion encourages participants to share their points of view and experiences so they can help each other understand what they’re learning. The person leading a discussion should make sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak and ask questions.

In a conversation, the person who talks the most usually learns the least. This is because they’re not taking the time to listen to what others have to say. If you want to learn from a conversation, it’s important to take turns speaking and listening. This way, everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas.

A Discussion Provides More Clarity and Focuses on the Real Issue, in a Conversation, There Are Often Distractions

In a discussion, participants often have a single purpose and goal in mind when they start – and that goal should be clear to everyone involved. Everyone should also agree on what they want to accomplish by the end of their time together. Once all participants agree with this plan, they can move forward with their ideas.

In contrast, conversations are more informal – they are intended more as an open forum where participants can freely express their thoughts and share them with others who may not share the same values or beliefs.

This means that conversations do not have a set agenda like discussions do; instead, there is usually only one main topic for each conversation, but many different tangents may arise along the way (and often lead back) along the way.

A Discussion Allows for a Deeper Exploration of Ideas, in a Conversation, Ideas Are Typically Explored Only Superficially

A conversation usually talks about a fairly superficial topic. You’re not going to get into much detail about the topic, but you’ll still have a good time. Your conversation partner(s) can probably keep up with you, so it won’t be difficult to keep the conversation going.

When you join a discussion, you’re probably talking to someone with the same goal as you: to explore ideas in-depth and make sure everyone involved understands not only the main point of what’s being said but all the nuances and variations that make up that idea.

You want to figure out why something is important or how it can be improved, and the person you’re talking to wants to do the same. This is because a discussion is meant to help you learn from each other, and you can only do that if everyone really understands what’s being said.

A Discussion Allows for a More Objective Analysis, in a Conversation, Personal Biases Often Prevent People From Considering Ideas Objectively

In a discussion, people usually try to reach some kind of consensus or make a decision. You don’t just talk to each other, but try to work together to find a solution that’s fair to everyone involved.

This means that you have to consider the opinions and experiences of others as much as your own. You need to be willing to compromise, listen carefully, and really think about what the other person is saying before you respond.

This isn’t always possible in conversations because our brains are wired for bias. We tend to tune out things we don’t agree with or that don’t match our own experiences.

We also tend to look for confirmation that our beliefs are right – especially if we feel strongly about them. We may ignore anything that contradicts those beliefs, instead of considering it objectively or thinking critically about how it might be different from what we thought when we formed our opinion based on what someone else had said earlier in the conversation (which may have been wrong).

In a Discussion, Participants Often Respect Each Other’s Opinions, in a Conversation, Participants May Disrespect the Opinions of Others

In a discussion, participants have a common goal. They’re trying to develop ideas and theories that will help them better understand their topic. Therefore, they listen carefully to each other’s ideas and try to find common ground. They also make sure they understand what the other person is saying before they give their own opinion or add more information about the topic.

In a conversation, there’s often no agenda other than “let’s talk.” People may not even know why they’re talking- they just want someone around so they don’t feel alone or bored.

Since there’s not a lot of pressure on them as individuals, it’s much easier for them to get distracted by their phones or argue with another person about something that’s nothing to do with them.

A Discussion Allows for Better Problem-Solving, in a Conversation, People Are More Likely to Jump to Conclusions Based on Their Own Biases

A discussion allows for better problem-solving by exploring all possible solutions. It allows each person involved in the discussion time to explain their point of view in detail without feeling like someone else is trying to convince them otherwise (which would feel like an argument).

For example, if you’re having trouble getting your work done, you might start a discussion with another person who’s also having trouble getting everything done on time. You could talk about how much time you both spend on different tasks throughout the day, and then figure out how to get everything done without adding too much stress to your lives. 

In a conversation, people tend to speak in turn and share their personal experiences or opinions. They may also make statements they believe to be true rather than prove them.

While this type of conversation can be entertaining and enlightening, it can also lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings when two people have different points of view.

For example, if you’re talking with a friend about a political issue and they share their opinion, you may become defensive if you disagree with them. This could lead to an argument instead of a productive conversation.

A Discussion Can Help Build Relationships, in a Conversation, Relationships Are Usually Built on Superficial Similarities

A discussion can help build relationships by creating a sense of trust and understanding. In a discussion, you need to actively listen and respond accordingly.

This process helps build trust because it shows that you respect your partner’s opinions and experiences by allowing them equal space in the conversation. It shows that you’re interested in what the other person has to say, rather than just telling them what to think or feel.

This creates a sense of understanding between two people who may not otherwise communicate so directly because of their different backgrounds or outlooks on life.

In a conversation, relationships are usually based on superficial similarities rather than shared values or interests. In a conversation, it’s easy to fall into monologues where you talk about your own opinions and experiences. You may feel like you don’t have time to listen to your partner or ask them about their life experiences.

For example, if you and your friend both love the same TV show, that can be the basis for a conversation. But if you want to talk about how the show portrays women, you need to start a discussion, because that’s not something that can be resolved simply by agreeing to disagree.

A Discussion Helps Avoid Misunderstandings, in a Conversation, Misunderstandings Are Often Allowed to Persist Due to a Lack of Communication

In a discussion, the participants have a common goal and understand what they are talking about. They are also aware that they may not be on the same page, and that there may be differences in opinions or experiences.

A discussion is an opportunity for all parties to clarify their understanding of the issue at hand and to reach a consensus on how to proceed. This is not always the case with conversations. Conversations are more informal; they allow mistakes and misunderstandings to be corrected as they arise.

However, if you think back to some of your uncomfortable conversations, there were probably moments when you felt that no one was listening to you or did not understand what you were saying. A discussion can help avoid these misunderstandings by clarifying facts and assumptions from the start.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps of a conversation?

A conversation is a back-and-forth exchange of information. It is often informal and can take place in real-time or over time. The person who initiates the conversation is called the speaker; anyone else who participates in the discussion is considered the listener.

A conversation consists of four steps:

Greetings and introductions (if necessary).
Speaking – what you want to say or express.
Listening – the other person’s response to your message.
Closing – politely ending the conversation and getting on with life!

What’s important in a conversation?

Many things make a good conversation, but two of the most important things are listening and responding. These qualities are essential to any conversation, no matter who you’re talking to or what you’re talking about.

Listening is an art form that some people may not take seriously enough. It’s easy to get distracted by what you want to say or how you want to get your point across. It’s also easy to think about what comes next instead of focusing on what’s being said right now.

Listening well means being present with yourself and the person you’re talking to – pushing aside distractions, considering their words before you respond, and really listening to what they have to say.

Responding is also key to a good conversation. Whether written or verbal, giving feedback shows that the other person has been heard and appreciated for their thoughts and opinions (even if those thoughts aren’t shared by both parties).

A good way to do this is to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements – for example, “I disagree because…” as opposed to “You’re wrong because…“. This language change can make a big difference in how the other person feels about the conversation and whether it’s worthwhile for them to continue.

What are some tips for having a productive discussion?

Here are some tips to make sure your discussion is productive:

Make sure everyone is on the same page. This means you should start by stating what the discussion is about and make sure everyone understands what they’re talking about. This will help you avoid misunderstandings later.

Take turns speaking and listening. In a discussion, it’s important that everyone has a chance to express their thoughts and feelings. Make sure you’re giving the other person a chance to speak and really listen to them.

Respect the opinion of others. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re wrong. In a discussion, it’s important to be open and respectful of other’s opinions, even if you don’t agree with them.

Try to reach a consensus. A discussion is an opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings and find common ground. If you can’t agree on something, try to find a compromise that everyone can live with.

Keep an open mind. A discussion is a chance to learn about other people’s perspectives. If you’re closed-minded, you’re not going to get anything out of the discussion. Be open to new ideas and viewpoints, even if you don’t agree with them.

Be willing to compromise. In a discussion, no one will get everything they want. You may have to give up something in order to reach a consensus. If you are not willing to compromise, the discussion will probably end in an argument.

Don’t be afraid to disagree. In some cases, you might not be able to reach an agreement. That’s okay! It’s important to respect the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree with them. 

End the discussion on a positive note. Even if you don’t agree on everything, try to end the discussion on a positive note. Thank the other person for their time and express your hope that you can continue the discussion at another time.

What is the most important thing to remember in a discussion?

The most important thing to remember about a discussion is that there are two sides to every story. It’s easy to get caught up in your own point of view, but it’s important to see things from the other person’s perspective as well.

Only then can we truly understand their side of the story and find common ground. If you remember that there are two sides to every story, your discussions will be more productive and less likely to end in an argument.

How can you not turn a discussion into an argument?

How can you prevent a discussion from turning into an argument? Here are some tips:

Don’t bring up topics that are too personal or controversial. This also applies to religion and politics – things can get heated quickly here! Instead, try to choose lighter topics like movies or books.

Try not to interrupt others when they’re talking (unless it’s really necessary). Let them finish their sentence before you jump in with your own! If someone interrupts you first, politely ask them to let you finish.

Avoid “you” statements when possible. For example, instead of “You’re always interrupting me!” try “Can you please let me finish my thought?” This will make the other person feel less defensive and more willing to listen to you when you have something to say.

Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. It can be easy to get caught up in our point of view, but it’s important to try to understand where the other person is coming from. Only then can we find common ground.

Avoid getting too emotional. This can be easier said than done, but it is important to keep a level head during a conversation. If you get too angry or upset, your counterpart will only defend themselves and probably stop listening to you.

Be willing to compromise. It is unlikely that you will agree on everything, so be willing to meet the other person halfway. This does not mean you have to give up your own opinion, but it does mean you are willing to budge a little.

Take a break when things get too heated. Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and calm down before continuing the discussion. That way you can come back with a clear head and perhaps find some common ground.


Both conversations and discussions are important for effective communication. However, there is a big difference between the two. A conversation is about sharing ideas and information, while a discussion is more focused on solving problems or reaching a consensus.

To have an effective dialogue with someone, it is important to be aware of the difference between these two forms of communication.

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