Group Discussion A GD is a methodology used by an organization to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills
that it desires in its members. In this methodology, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss the it among themselves for 15-20 minutes. Freshersworld.com brings you an elaborate section for GD as you had ever seen anywhere else. Some of the personality traits the GD is trying to gauge may include :Ability to work in a team Communication skills Reasoning ability Leadership skills
Initiative Assertiveness Flexibility Creativity Ability to think on ones feet Group Discussion session is an important part of the company selection and admission procedure followed by the BSchools worldwide. This session is conducted to analyze the ability of the candidates to think on a situation and present their views on the respective subject. This examination also helps the examiners judge the ability of the applicants to perform in groups. Participants in a Group Discussion are always advised to practice group discussion sessions, so that they can come out with their best foot forward on the day of the examination. Group discussion topics are carefully selected
from various fields to judge the qualities of the candidates. Topics that are selected for group discussion are chosen from various fields like sports, politics, social issues, environmental issues and current events. It is always difficult to guess the group discussion topics as it can be chosen from any field of work. However, students are always advised to read a lot of newspapers and business magazines to stay aware of the current events and happenings. Participants might not possess thorough information about the GD topics, but common sense and familiarity with the issue can be of great help during the time of group discussion. This always helps to present your ideas in a proper manner.
In order to contribute meaningfully in the verbal test, it is essential for you to go through newspapers and other articles available online on a regular basis. Most of the GD topics are selected from current events, so profound knowledge on the recent issues is a must. You can also collect various group discussion topics online and start preparing yourself. This would help you build your confidence for the upcoming session. The examiners are there to see your psychological poise and temperament during the examination. You need to be confident about yourself and be smart and clear while presenting your ideas on the subject. Why GDs:The reason why institutes and companies put you through a Group discussion and an interview, after testing your technical
and conceptual skills in an exam, is to get to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute or Company. The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a member or as a leader. Therefore how you interact in a team becomes an important criterion for your selection. Managers have to work in a team and get best results out of teamwork. That is the reason why management institutes include GD as a component of the selection procedure. Company’s Perspective:Companies conduct group discussion after the written test so as to check on your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people. The GD is to check how you behave, participate and contribute in a group, how
much importance do you give to the group objective as well as your own, how well do you listen to viewpoints of others and how open-minded are you in accepting views contrary to your own. The aspects which make up a GD are verbal communication, non-verbal behavior, conformation to norms, decision-making ability and cooperation. You should try to be as true as possible to these aspects. 1. Team Player It is essential for managers to be team players. The reason: Managers always work in teams. At the beginning of his(manager) career, a manager works as a team member. And, later, as a team leader. Management aspirants who lack team skills cannot be good managers.
2. Reasoning Ability Reasoning ability plays an important role while expressing your opinions or ideas at a GD. For example, on India\’s growth and its effect\’s: Any Answer for this should be based on reasons, not assumptions. 3. Leadership There are three types of situations that can arise in a GD: ~ A GD where participants are unable to establish a proper rapport and do not speak much. ~ A GD where participants get emotionally charged and the GD gets chaotic. ~ A GD where participants discuss the topic assertively by touching on all its nuances and try to reach the objective.
Here, a leader would be someone who facilitates the third situation at a GD. A leader would have the following qualities: ~S/he shows direction to the group whenever group moves away from the topic. ~S/he coordinates the effort of the different team members in the GD. ~S/he contributes to the GD at regular intervals with valuable insights. ~S/he also inspires and motivates team members to express their views. Caution: Being a mere coordinator in a GD does not help, because it is a secondary role. Contribute to the GD with your ideas and opinions, but also try and steer the conversation towards a goal. 4. Flexibility You must be open to other ideas as well
as to the evaluation of your ideas: That is what flexibility is all about. But first, remember: Never ever start your GD with a stand or a conclusion. Say the topic of a GD is, \’Should India Ban night work for Women at night hours?\’ Some participants tend to get emotionally attached to the topic and take a stand either in favour or against the topic, ie \’Yes, India should\’, or, \’No, India should not\’. By taking a stand, you have already given your decision without discussing the topic at hand or listening to the views of your team members. Also, if you encounter an opposition with a very strong point at the 11th hour, you end up in a typical catch-22 situation: ~If you change your stand, you are seen
as a fickle-minded or a whimsical person. ~If you do not change your stand, you are seen as an inflexible, stubborn and obstinate person. 5. Assertiveness You must put forth your point to the group in a very emphatic, positive and confident manner. Participants often confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness. Aggressiveness is all about forcing your point on the other person, and can be a threat to the group. An aggressive person can also demonstrate negative body language, whereas an assertive person displays positive body language. 6. Initiative A general trend amongst students is to start a GD and get the initial kitty of points earmarked for the initiator.
But that is a high risk-high return strategy. Initiate a GD only if you are well versed with the topic. If you start and fail to contribute at regular intervals, it gives the impression that you started the GD just for the sake of the initial points. Also, if you fumble, stammer or misquote facts, it may work against you. Remember: You never ever get a second chance to create a first impression. 7. Creativity/ Out of the box thinking An idea or a perspective which opens new horizons for discussion on the GD topic is always highly appreciated. When you put across a new idea convincingly, such that it is discussed at length by the group, it can only be positive. You will find yourself in the good books of the examiner.
8. Inspiring ability A good group discussion should incorporate views of all the team members. If some team members want to express their ideas but are not getting the opportunity to do so, giving them an opportunity to express their ideas or opinions will be seen as a positive trait. Caution: If a participant is not willing to speak, you need not necessarily go out of the way to ask him to express his views. This may insult him and hamper the flow of the GD. 9. Listening Always try and strike a proper balance between expressing your ideas and imbibing ideas. 10. Awareness You must be well versed with both the
micro and macro environment. Your awareness about your environment helps a lot in your GD content, which carries maximum weightage. What skills are judged in group discussion? * 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. * Your attitude and confidence.
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OR Types of GD’s:Types of Group Discussions There are roughly four types of group discussion topics:
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Factual speech topics Controversial and argumentative issues Abstract discussion material Case studies
Factual topics for a group are – as the word says – about facts. This is a sample list of speech topics on current issues and facts: 1. Conspiracy is a very common form of political behaviour. 2. The pros and cons of having a credit card. 3. A chain gang is a modern form of slavery. 4. Why drinking and driving is dangerous to yourself and others. 5. Passive smoking is equally harmful.
6. The economic boycott causes most of the problems in Cuba. 7. International trade barriers work. 8. City curfews help to prevent juvenile crime and to protect youth from victimization. 9. The U.N. is mainly based on diplomacy and enhancing relationships. 10. Affirmative action draws people to work they never considered before. A controversial group discussion topic is a speech topic that has many controversies, pros and cons. Keep in mind that all current group discussion topics are not my opinion, but just a sample list of speech topics!
1. Sustainable urban living without the use of excessive natural resources must be our future. 2. Are there extraterrestrials who influence events on Earth? 3. Marijuana has a medical value. 4. Direct mail is a special form of junk mail. 5. The pros and cons of a female President. 6. Online dating chats have nothing to do with a search for a soul mate. 7. Should schools distribute condoms? 8. Most people support embryonic stem cell research. 9. Life imprisonment is a good alternative to capital punishment. 10. What is wrong with child labor?
Abstract group discussion topics are things that cannot be touched, not be easily defined or formulated. Just think in a creative manner and start a vivid group discussion with one of these abstract topics to talk about: 1. The Nostradamus Code 2. Breast Implants 3. Bribery in Business 4. Computer Viruses 5. Bigamy 6. Hidden Persuaders 7. Moral Majority 8. The Hippocratic Oath 9. Political Correctness 10. Vegetarianism The fourth type of group discussion topics are so-called case studies. You determine a problem and together with the other group members you have to
find a satisfying solution. These are small group discussion topic ideas. Just modify and alter where necessary, these are just guiding light topic ideas: 1. Leadership – What necessary changes are needed in your community organization and how do you want to lead the process? 2. Malpractice Insurance – Doctors walk out on the job to protest the rising malpractice insurance costs. What to do about it? 3. Work Ethics – Can we shape workers who have the sense that they serve the company ánd community? 4. School Violence – What are the real causes of violence and bullying in Schools? 5. Recycling – Sort out how to make money with recycling.
6. Dropouts – Individual attention in safe schools and smaller classes; is that the way to stop students to drop out? 7. Iraq – What are the best exit strategies? 8. Speech Privacy – What are the best technologies to safeguard the right of free speech privacy on the internet? 9. Minimum Wage – Why should we have a minimum wage or why not? 10. Burnout – Should everybody check his or herself of burnout signs? How? Tip: try to make an inventory of various angles of view and opinions of the group discussion topics.
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Or Roles In a GD:Roles in a GD
ROLES THE CANDIDATES CAN PLAY IN GD The major roles a candidates can play in a GD are as compiled below. You can classify all people in a GD into these. The first three roles are the positive roles that one can play in a GD and the next three roles are the negative roles. It is quite possible that a candidate plays more than one role in the same GD. The more a candidate sticks to the positive roles the better are the chances of his/her selection. The negative roles should be avoided and as soon as you realise that you are being seen as a negative role player you should try to mend your ways and switch over to a positive role at the earliest. INITIATOR : Initiator as the names suggest is the person who sets the ball rolling. One must start the discussion if
he/she has mastery over the subject being discussed or if he/she believes that she can do justice to the subject topic. Starting the discussion just for the sake of it may put you in soup. When you start the discussion there are very high chances that you get enough time to speak before you are interrupted by others. During this period chances of a chaos are very less and the evaluator has his full focus on you. You if you speak well you score some brownie points there, but if you don’t meet the evaluator expectation you are likely to give a bad impression and remember the evaluator has his undivided attention to what you are saying. CO-ORDINATOR : The co-ordinator usually makes sure that each and every who is willing to speaks get a chance to speak. He is the one who takes the group
out of a chaos in case a heated argument between two group members. He is usually the one who summarises the discussion at the end and in between helps others in putting the thought across. This is a very risky role to play as other candidates may not be happy as you trying to co-ordinate the whole event as presenting yourself as the leader of the group. If you have the human tacking skills and knowledge on the subject being discussed you are a sure shot winner if you play this role. You also need to be a good listener to play this role. NATURAL LEADERS : Speaks elegantly on the subject, does not argue with others just for the sake of it, influences others with his mannerism and speech. Listens to what others are saying, accepts and encourages others to come out with different view points, provides
relevant data and information to help others convey their points. Others are comfortable to follow the guidelines laid by him. The Co-ordinator usually looks to him at time of need and when the situation really gets out of control. This role can be adopted by person who has in depth knowledge, a balanced personality, clarity thoughts and ability to convey his thoughts in words . Highly recommended to UrPercentile.com members. ANTAGONISER : This person assigns himself or someone else as the chairman of the group at the start of the discussion, starts giving orders to other, is a poor listener, tries to control the time duration each candidate speaks, shouts at others when they don’t listen to him/her, flaunts his past experience or education qualification, is dogmatic in expressing his views, uses intimidating gestures
while talking and so on. If you play this role you are sure to be out of the game. This role is NOT Recommended for UrPercentile.com members. FICKLER : He speaks for the sake of speaking, agrees with anyone and everyone. Contradicts his own statements, fails to present his ideas in a cohesive manner, lack rhythm in his speech, gets too emotional during the speech, abruptly starts talking when others are presenting their views or abruptly stops half way while talking. This role is NOT Recommended to UrPercentile.com members. STUPID: Takes no initiative to presents his/her views, is nervous, does not take any responsibility, is devoid of ideas, tries to find excuses for not contributing, pretends to be good listener and just
repeats what other members said thus not contributing anything positive to the group. Have a Question on Roles in a GD !!! Simply ask at our MBA forums! If you feel that we have missed any thing or have included wrong Information for Roles in a GD, please add to the information using the comment form. We would be thankful if you help improve the information present in this page by leaving your comments.
A group discussion can be categorically divided into three different phases: i. Initiation/ Introduction ii. Body of the group discussion iii. Summarisation/ Conclusion Initiation Techniques Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy. When you initiate a GD, you not only grab the opportunity to speak, you also grab the attention of the examiner and your fellow candidates.In most GD’s the opening speaker is the person who is likely to get the maximum uninterrupted airtime. The reason is simple – at the start
most other participants in the GD are still trying to understand the basic issues in the topic, or are too nervous to speak and are waiting for someone else to start. Therefore the evaluators get the best chance to observe the opening speaker. Now this is a double edged sword. If the opening speaker talks sense naturally he will get credit because he opened and took the group in the right direction. If on the other hand the first speaker doesn’t have too much sense to say, he will attract the undivided attention of the evaluators to his shortcomings. He will be marked as a person who speaks without thinking merely for the sake of speaking. As someone who leads the group in the wrong direction and does not make a positive contribution to the group.
If you can make a favourable first impression with your content and communication skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through the discussion. But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and figures, the damage might be irreparable. If you initiate a GD impeccably but don’t speak much after that, it gives the impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or getting those initial kitty of points earmarked for an initiator! If you feel that the topic of discussion is simple and your cup of tea you can seize the opportunity to initiative the discussion. You will get the maximum uninterrupted airtime and the evaluators usually observe the first speaker with great interest and attention and you will
also get the opportunity of taking the group in the right direction. Summarisation Techniques Most GDs do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group decides in favour or against the topic. But every GD is summarised. You can summarise what the group has discussed in the GD in a nutshell. Keep the following points in mind while summarising a discussion: * Avoid raising new points. * Avoid stating only your viewpoint. * Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD. * Keep it brief and concise.
* It must incorporate all the important points that came out during the GD. * If the examiner asks you to summarise a GD, it means the GD has come to an end. Do not add anything once the GD has been summarised. Group Discussion Strategies: You should have a complete grasp of the subject knowledge and be adept in the art of positive argument and also be a persuasive communicator. Secondly, you should attempt to resolve the Contradiction, paving the way for an effective consensus and thus carry the participants with you. Above all, your contribution should be meaningful. It is the quality or relevant talk that matters and not the frequent interruptions and long winding and loud talk.
It is important for you to make sure the group is stimulated. One of the things you will want to focus on is choosing the right people to participate in the discussion. In most cases, this will be the task of the moderator. If you assume the de facto leadership of the group, you may meet with stiff resistance from other members. Hence you have to be extremely careful and assess your support in the group and then take up the role of a leader. Suppose, as an opening speaker, you don’t speak sensibly, you will get the undivided attention of the evaluators to your flaws and pitfalls. Hence speaking first. is fraught with high-risk and highgain consequences. Finally, your grade depends not only on your verbal communication but nonverbal skills as
well. Your body language like expressions, eye contact and movement of your hand is sure to fetch a favourable score. It is also important to make sure you never judge people based on their appearance. This is a mistake that can be made by the leader as well as the other members. Often, the appearance of a person will not have an effect on their ability to contribute to the discussion. In addition to appearance, an emphasis should also not be placed on the educational background of the participants. Just because a member does not have advanced degrees is not a sign that they are not valuable. Obviously, the ideal group discussion will be composed of people who are educated and attractive. However, fantasy and reality are two different things, and these
attributes are not crucially relevant in a group discussion. Everything should be organized and prepared. A lack of organization will convey a bad message to the other members, and this is something you will want to avoid. If the members of the group need to be organized for the discussion, it is important for you to let them know this beforehand. If you don’t communicate with them effectively, it can cause a number of problems. Have a Question on GD Strategies !!! Simply ask at our MBA forums! If you feel that we have missed any thing or have included wrong Information for GD Strategies, please add to the information using the
comment form. We would be thankful if you help improve the information present in this page by leaving your comments.