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Friday, October 7, 2011

Purpose of Group Discussion


A Group Discussion can be defined as a formal discussion involving ten to 12 participants in a group. It 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.

Group Discussion’s are generally divided into the following parts
  • Introducing the topic and purpose of the discussion
  • Introducing yourself and the other speakers
  • Making sure all members have approximately the same time to speak
  • Thanking group members for their contribution
  • Being objective in summarizing the group’s discussion and achievements.

Here are some of the personality traits that Organization can assay in a candidate through Group Discussion. 
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.
2. Reasoning Ability
Reasoning ability plays an important role while expressing your opinions or ideas at a GD.
3. Leadership
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.
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.
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.
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. 

Voicing your opinion and using effective arguing techniques are valuable skills. You may have a great idea, but you need to communicate it effectively and support it. Confidence is the key. 




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