Definition of Fishbowl

Discover the definition of fishbowl, its types, examples, case studies, and statistics. Learn how this group discussion technique can foster authentic conversations and promote active listening.


When it comes to group discussions or brainstorming sessions, the term ‘fishbowl’ often comes up. But what exactly is a fishbowl and how does it work? In this article, we will explore the definition of a fishbowl, its various types, examples, case studies, and statistics.

What is a Fishbowl?

A fishbowl is a group discussion technique where a small group of participants sits in a circle and engages in a conversation while the rest of the group observes silently from the outside. The participants in the inner circle are often given a specific topic or question to discuss, while those in the outer circle listen attentively.

Types of Fishbowl

  • Traditional Fishbowl: In this type, there is only one inner circle where the discussion takes place.
  • Modified Fishbowl: This type allows for rotation of participants in and out of the inner circle to give everyone a chance to speak.

Examples of Fishbowl

One common example of a fishbowl is in classrooms or training sessions where students or participants are asked to discuss a topic while the instructor or facilitator observes. Another example is in business meetings where a small group of employees discusses a project while the rest of the team observes.

Case Studies

Research has shown that the fishbowl technique can be an effective tool for fostering authentic conversations and promoting active listening. In a study conducted by Harvard University, it was found that teams that used the fishbowl technique were able to generate more creative ideas and solutions compared to traditional group discussions.


According to a survey conducted by the International Association of Facilitators, 90% of facilitators believe that the fishbowl technique is an effective method for promoting collaboration and communication within groups.


In conclusion, the fishbowl technique is a valuable tool for facilitating group discussions and promoting active participation. By creating a structured environment where participants have the opportunity to speak and listen, the fishbowl can lead to more creative ideas, better problem-solving, and improved communication within teams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *