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Group Discussion (GD)
What is 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.
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 Listening Awareness
Institutes Perspective The reason why institutes put you through a Group discussion and an interview, after testing your technical and conceptual skills in an exam.
Now to know you as a person and gauge how well you will fit in their institute.
Company¶s Perspective ±
Companies conduct group discussion after the written test so as to check on your ± Interactive skills How good you are at communicating with other people. 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 How open-minded are you in accepting views contrary to your own. The aspects which make up a GD are verbal communication, nonverbal behavior, conformation to norms, decision-making ability and cooperation.
Preparation for GD?
GD reflects the inherent qualities of an individual . Reading: This is the first and the most crucial step in preparation. Mocks: Create an informal GD group and meet regularly to discuss
and exchange feedback.
During the GD:
Panelists assess on: Leadership Skills - Ability to take leadership roles and be able to lead, inspire
and carry the team along to help them achieve the group's objectives.
-Candidates will be assessed in terms of clarity of
thought, expression and aptness of language.
Interpersonal Skills Persuasive Skills -
- People skills are an important aspect of any job.
The ability to analyze and persuade
GD is a test of your ability to think, your analytical
capabilities and your ability to make your point in a team-based environment.
Skills that reflects:
Clarity of thought Group working skills (especially during a group task of case study discussion) Conflict handling Listening and probing skills Knowledge about the subject and individual point of view Ability to create a consensus Openess and flexibility towards new ideas Data based approach to decision making
My chance to speak
How do I take my chance to speak:
± Trying to interrupt others while speaking would only harm your chances. ± Maintain an eye-contact with the speaker. This would show your listening skills ± Would help you gauge from his eye-movement and pitch of voice that he is about to close his inputs. ± You can quickly take it from there. ± Try and link your inputs with what he has spoken whether you are adding to or opposing his arguments.
+ve 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
-ve Roles in GD
Disgruntled non-participant Attacker Dominator Patronizer Clown
Initiation Techniques Body of the group discussion Summarization/ Conclusion
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. If you can make a favorable 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.
Body of the GD
Techniques to initiate a GD
i. Quotes ii. Definition iii. Question iv. Shock statement v. Facts, figures and statistics vi. Short story vii. General statement
Most GD doesn¶t really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group decides in favor or against the topic. But every GD is summarized. You can summaries what the group has discussed in the GD in a nutshell.
While summarizing 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 summaries a GD, it means the GD has come to an end. Do not add anything once the GD has been summarized.
Types of GD
GD¶s can be topic-based or case-based.
1. Factual Topics
E.g. The education policy of any country, Tourism, State of the aged in the nation.
2. Controversial Topics
E.g. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers
3. Abstract Topics
Abstract topics are about intangible things.
The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation.
Why do we have GD?
It helps you to understand a subject more deeply. It improves your ability to think critically. It helps in solving a particular problem. It helps the group to make a particular decision. It gives you the chance to hear other¶s ideas. It improves your listening skills. It increases your confidence in speaking. It can change your attitudes.
Improving GD Skills
± ± ± ± How do other students make critical comments? How do they ask questions? How do they disagree with or support arguments? What special phrases do they use to show politeness even when they are voicing disagreement?
± How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a point?
± Start practicing your discussion skills in an informal setting or with a small group.
± Take every opportunity to take part in social/informal discussions
Speak pleasantly and politely to the group. Respect the contribution of every speaker. Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely. Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic? Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information. Be aware of your body language when you are speaking. Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.
Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument. Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch. Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive. Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter a chance to contribute. Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.
Leading a Discussion
You may be in a seminar group that requires you to lead a group discussion, or lead a discussion after an oral presentation. You can demonstrate leadership by:
± ± ± ± ± introducing yourself and the members of the group stating the purpose of the discussion inviting quiet group members to speak being objective summarizing the discussion
Chairing a Group Discussion
When chairing a discussion group you must communicate in a positive way to assist the speakers in accomplishing their objective. The following four leadership skills you can use to influence other people positively and help your group achieve its purpose. These skills include:
± introducing the topic and purpose of the discussion, ± making sure all members have approximately the same time ± thanking group members for their contribution ± being objective in summarizing the group's discussion and achievements
How to Face GD
A group discussion consists of:
± Communication Skills ± Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject ± Capability to co-ordinate and lead ± Exchange of thoughts ± Addressing the group as a whole ± Thorough preparations
The first aspect is one's power of expression. You should be precise and clear Listen is also what evaluators judge You should be able to convey your thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly before a group of people.
Knowledge and ideas
Knowledge of the subject under discussion and clarity of ideas are important
± Comes from consistent reading ± Knowledge makes one confident and enthusiastic ± That makes one sound convincing and confident. ± That¶s the key to crack GD
Leadership & Coordinating
The basic aim of a group discussion is to: Judge a candidate's leadership qualities. The examiner becomes a silent spectator A candidate should display tactfulness, skill, understanding and knowledge on varied topics, enterprise, forcefulness and other leadership qualities Motivate and influence other candidates who may be almost equally competent
Exchange of Thoughts
GD is an exchange of thoughts and ideas among members GD is held for selecting personnel in organizations where there is a high level of competition GD purpose is to get an idea about candidate in a short time & make assessment about
± The candidates skills on
Team membership Leadership skills Listening and Articulation skills
Addressing Group as a whole
Address the person farthest from you. If he can hear you everyone else too can. Attend the group discussion in formal dress. The language used should also be formal, not the language used in normal conversations.
± For instance, words and phrases like "yar", "chalta hai", "CP", "I dunno", etc. are out. ± This is not to say you should use a high sounding, pedantic language.
just use formal, plain and simple language.
Only 460 candidates make it to the final list from 2.75 Lac civil service aspirants each year. READING VARIOUS TOPICS & KNOWLEDGE ON THEM IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Quality Vs Quantity
± MAXIMUM TALK
Egotism Showing off (SELFISHNESS)
± FAKE FIGURES / INFORMATION
Get noticed - But for the right reasons
± WANT TO BE THE FIRST
Managing one's insecurities
For more soft skills preparation