Group Discussion is a very important round in any selection process, be it for an MBA course, campus recruitment or for any graduate/post graduate degree. The selection committee conducts GD to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its members: How good you are at communication with others. How you behave and interact with group. How open minded are you. Your listening skill. How you put forward your views. Your leadership and decision making skills. Your analysis skill and subject knowledge. Problem solving and critical thinking skill (Reasoning ability, Creatibility, Flexibility) Your attitude and confidence. Ability to work in a team Leadership skills
The group may be given a topic and asked to discuss on the same. A panel will observe the proceedings and evaluate the members of the group. Let’s discuss some few relevant points which one should remember while appearing for a GD. One needs to know what one's objective in the group is---- to be noticed by the panel and to contribute meaningfully in an attempt to help the group reach the right consensus. 1) The first thing is that the panel should notice you. Merely making a meaningful contribution and helping the group arrive at a consensus is not enough. · You must ensure that the group hears you. If the group hears you, so will the evaluator. · You need to be assertive. It depends on you how you steer the group in the right direction, once it gets stuck to something. This gives you the chance to showcase your leadership skills. · Most importantly, you have to make your chances. Many group discussion participants often complain that they did not get a chance to speak. The fact is that in no group discussion will you get a chance to speak. There is nothing more unacceptable in a GD than keeping one's mouth shut or just murmuring things which are inaudible. 2) The second most essential thing is that your contribution to the group should be meaningful. For that you need to have a good knowledge base. You should be able to think logically and hence put forth you ideas cohesively. The quality of what you said is more valuable than the quantity. It doesn’t help if you shout at the top of your voice and speak at great length, what matters most is what you speak and how it creates an impact on the group as well as the evaluators. 3) The last most important thing is that you must be clearly seen to be attempting to build a consensus. This shows your ability to work in a team, your ability to adjust yourself in new surroundings
Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive. Be assertive. You are in a Group Discussion and you are expected to discuss among group members. 2) Initiate the GD: Initiating the GD is a big plus. Even if you don’t agree with his/her thoughts do not snatch their chance to speak. before the discussion commences. all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
. After all this is what all Group Discussions aim at: To be able to discuss and arrive at a consensus. Don’t be too aggressive if you are disagreeing with someone. b) Take time to organize your thoughts. Speaking without proper subject knowledge is bad impression. To be able to meet the above requirements during a Group Discussion. e) Your body language says a lot about you . Instead make some notes and clear the points when it’s your turn. speak yourself and let others speak as well. Express your feelings calmly and politely. But keep in mind – Initiate the group discussion only when you understood the GD topic clearly and have some topic knowledge. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion personally. f) Never try to show your dominance.
Do’s and Don’ts of Group discussion: 1) Keep eye contact while speaking: Do not look at the evaluators only.your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say. 3) Allow others to speak: Do not interrupt anyone in-between while speaking. opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. so always look at your group members while you are speaking. 4) Speak clearly: Speak politely and clearly. d) Seek clarifications if you have any doubts regarding the subject. Use simple and understandable words while speaking. Think before you speak so that you don’t speak anything irrelevant to the topic being discussed. Don’t suddenly jump to any conclusion. Motivate the other members of the team to speak. Remember. Be as natural as possible and don’t try to be someone you are not. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion. h) Show your leadership skills. Keep eye contact with every team member while speaking. g) Don’t lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. c) Don’t make the mistake of looking at the panel while you are speaking. one should keep in mind the following basic mantras: a) Be Yourself.and help others in your team to reach a definite conclusion amidst difference of opinions.
This will make coherent discussion and you will get involved in the group positively. Do not try to dominate anyone. You will surely make people agree with you. You have limited time so be precise and convey your thoughts in short and simple language. No need to mention exact figures while giving any reference. Show interest in discussion. This would show your listening skills Would help you guage from him/her eye movement and pitch of voice that he is about to close his inputs. No fancy and funny dressing. You can quickly take it from there. Keep positive body language. Your thoughts should be sensible and relevant instead of irrelevant speech.
. Make all group members aware that you all need to come to some conclusion at the end of the discussion. 8 ) Listen carefully to others: Speak less and listen more! Pay attention while others are speaking. 7) Speak sensibly: Do not speak just to increase your speaking time. Don’t worry even if you speak less. 10) Formal dressing: Do not take it casually.
Skills that reflect in GD Clarity of thought Group working skills Conflict handling Listening and probing skills Knowledge about the subject and individual point of view Ability to create a consensus Openness and flexibility towards new ideas Data based approach to decision making
How do I gain my chance to speak? Trying to interrupt others while speaking would only harm your chances Maintain your eye – contact with the speaker. 6) Positive attitude: Be confident. So stick to the topic. Positive gesture and body language will make your work easy. Try and link your inputs with what he has spoken whether you are adding to or opposing his arguments. 9) No need to go into much details: Some basic subject analysis is sufficient.5) Make sure to bring the discussion on track: If by any means group is distracting from the topic or goal then simply take initiative to bring the discussion on the track. You should be comfortable while speaking in group.
Positive Task roles in GD Initiator Information seeker Information giver Procedure facilitator Opinion seeker Opinion giver Clarifier Social supporter Harmonizer Tension reliever Energizer Compromiser Gatekeeper Summarizer
Negative Roles in GD Disgruntled non-participant Attacker Dominator Patronize clown