Debate to sharpen perspectives and get ideas


Framing “debating” as a working method prevents negative relationships and unproductive competition and invites people to voice their opinions in a straightforward way.


A debate in which people strongly defend their position on a certain topic; a so-called House of Commons debate.

  • Announce that you want to do a debate to get insights and new ideas.
  • Start by formulating a proposition for debate.
  • Put two rows of people opposite each; one row argues for the proposition, the other row argues against the proposition.
  • Whoever wants to speak simply stands up. They may speak when the chairperson gives them the floor.
  • One individual notes everything on a flipchart.
  • When no-one has any further ideas/comments to share, summarize the different perspectives and their key differences and similarities.
  • Define how to continue.  

When you feel there is a need for energy, to sharpen perspectives or to find new ideas by addressing different viewpoints.

Skills and necessary training

Have a look at different debating techniques.

Critical success factor

Frame the activity as a work method.

Define a clear way to proceed after the debate to get a supported solution.

Possible workshop exercise

Organize a debate on a relevant topic.