Group Discussion Importance | Rules | Tips | Topics
by vijay chauhan
What is a Group Discussion (GD)?
Group discussion is an important activity in academic, business, ssb interview and administrative spheres. In this article we will try to understand basics of a group discussion, objective of group discussion, importance of group discussion (GD),and also the tips toface a group discussion. It is a systematic and purposeful interactive oral process. Here the exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings take place through oral communication. The exchange of ideas takes place in a systematic and structuredway. The participants sit facing each other almost in a semi-circle and express their views on the given topic/issue/problem.
How does Group Discussion (GD) differ from a Debate?
Debate is competitive in nature while group discussion is a co-operative group process. In a debate, a speaker can speak either ‘for’ the topic or ‘against’ the topic whereas in a GD, the speaker can express both. The final decision or result in a debate depends on voting while in a GD, the group reaches group consensus. Why is a group discussion (GD) an important activity at college level?
As a student, it helps you to train yourself to discuss and argue about the topic given, it helps you to express your views on serious subjects and in formal situations. It improves your thinking, listening and speaking skills. Thi also promotes your confidence level.
It is an effective tool in problem solving, decision making and personality assessment. GD skills may ensure academic success, popularity and good admission or job offer. Thus it is important to be able to take part in a GD effectively and confidently. Participants should know how to speak with confidence, how to exhibit leadership skills and how to make the group achieve the goals.
The objective of a selection in Group Discussion (GD) ismainly to check your team playing skills. You have to understand the other persons’ point of view, while making your point and ensurethat your team as a whole reaches a solution or agreement that is both feasible and accepted by all team members.
There are four major areas of evaluation in Selection Group Discussion (GD):
Participants must possess a thorough understanding of the topic on which they are supposed to speak. You must prepare yourself to talk on a wide range of subjects. Be abreast of thecurrent events, national and international affairs, burning social and economic topics, scientific and environmental issues, key newspapers’ controversial topics and any experience that may be expected of an educated person. As a member of the group, you are expected to contribute substantially to the discussion.
Oral communication skills
If subject knowledge is important, communication skills is more important as withoutexpression, the knowledge is of no use. As the exchange of ideas in a group discussion takes place through speech, one of the pre-requisites of success in a GD is the ability to speak confidently and convincingly. Good communication skills include active listening, clarity of though and expression, apt language and proper nonverbal clues.
The success of any team depends to a larger extent on its leader. The panel evaluates a candidate’s personal skills which allow him to prove himself as a natural leader in the GD. Thoughthere is no appointed leader in a Group Discussion (GD), a leader emerges. Assertiveness, emotional stability, objectivity, self-confidence, decision making, discretion, initiative, good communication skills, patience, persuasiveness and adaptability are some of the leadership qualities that are immensely useful in proving oneself as a natural leader in Group Discussion (GD).
Your group behavior is reflected in your ability to interact with the other members of the group. You must be mature enough to not lose your temper even if you are proved wrong. You must be patient and balanced.
In Conclusion to summarize:
Advantages of a Group Discussion (GD):
•Ideas can be generated, shared and tried out.
•Groups provide a support and growth for any endeavor.
•Combine talents to provide innovative solutions.
Roles in a Structured Group Discussion (GD):
•Information seeker and giver
Expectations of the Panel:
You should have the following qualities:
•Creativity (out of the box thinking)
Phases in a Group Discussion (GD):
•The central group discussion
What to do in a Group Discussion (GD)?
•Speaking is important; do not sit silently. Speak freely.
•Do not monopolize the conversation or talk too much.
•Give everyone a chance to speak.
•Maintain eye contact with everyone in the group.
•Show active listening skills.
•Do not interrupt anyone while they are speaking.
•Keep the topic on track and don’t be irrelevant.
•Encourage someone who is silent to talk.
•Do not argue with anyone.
•Do not debate with anyone, while the group looks on.
•Do not repeat what has been said; be attentive; try to develop on ideas expressed or give out new ideas.