As a leader or team manager, you might need to lead group discussions. However these sessions could also be used in a learning context for example if you wish to teach a language. This article gives you some tips on how you can run a successful group discussion.
Make your group discussion interesting and informative
The purpose of a group discussion is to get everyone involved. You should reign in the people who are dominating the topics of discussion. Normally these groups have a natural leader who will set the terms of the conversation.
These are some of the things that you might need to control: Continue reading →
It is that time of year when students look take Group Discussion (hereafter, we will call it as GD) in their stride as a part of admission process. GD as it is commonly termed as, is often treated like an insurmountable myth to many, while it still is a cake piece for many. Through this series of articles we would look into approaching GD with a fresher approach. Remember originality and insights will always fetch you brownie points in a GD.
Before we begin to see how roles interplay in GD, let’s understand the objective and the outcome of such an exercise. Normally 8-10 candidates are grouped into a leaderless unit. They are given a specific situation (case study, topic etc) to analyze and discuss amongst them. A panel judges you by your participation in the whole process. What possibly can be the evaluation criteria? Why the groups why not an extempore?
From examiners perspective, they are looking to take the right candidates. Note that Right Candidate is the operative word here. If we can understand what a right candidate should constitute we would go a long way in actually fulfilling it. The panel is looking to check for people who can think on issues with a cutting insight not only to tear it open but also provide a solution to it. More often than not, the second part of the argument “provide a solution” is ignored by many students. Dissecting a problem which has no solution is like digging up a dead end- FUTILE!
We are constantly living in a world of progressive perceptions. Everyone is forming perception about the other by their traits. Often, the basis of this perception is how people think. Speech always should communicate how you think. But due to various language barriers arising out of non-nativity, social background etc words fail to portray the thoughts. Remember GD is all about how do you think and portray it. GD is not a speech or debate to check your preparedness, it’s about thinking aloud.
group discussion snapshot
Few more things before we move along. Contrary to the ordinary belief a GD group is carefully prepared in most cases. It tables around candidates of various backgrounds and various thinking cultures. Remember you are unique with respect to the background you hail from-connect to it. Sometimes you can directly cite examples from your life whilst at other times you can draw a parallel to your daily lives. Think out of the box, out of the crowd! With this understanding we are ready to dig deeper into various nuances of GD.
If we jot down the points to be taken care of based on the previous premise, we would find the following aspects:
- Ability to work in a team
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Reasoning ability
- Looking to take initiatives
- Ability to think and act independently
We will look into each of these points in detail in the next article with a focus on understanding the examiners requirements.
Group discussion is one of the best ways in developing your language skills. Especially for developing speaking skills of English, group discussion helps very much. Group discussion helps very much useful in effective communication with the people and if you are working in a business environment then this skill is compulsory in taking the best decisions. Now a days this became one of the crucial part in getting a job. So let’s know some important points that help you in making professional group discussion.
There are certain specific parameters on which the evaluation takes place. They are:
- Group behavior
- Leadership skills
Let us look at each issue separately.
Usually the evaluator will look at the level of our content with the subject or with the topic. It shows how well-read you are. Evaluator will look at all your men-management skills, etc. will be of no use in an organization unless you are sound on subject and knowledge. That is the reason for content to become such an important aspect of the evaluation process. It is very important for you to clearly display your understanding of the issues pertaining to the topic. The more valid points you make, the more marks you score.
The evaluator expects that you should be able to add the overall knowledge level of the group as a whole on account of the contributions you make out of your knowledge bank. The group should gain from its interaction with you because of what you have to contribute. It is very important for any candidate to understand that he\she has to come across as knowledgeable and well-read. Do not miss any opportunity whatsoever to exhibit your knowledge pertains to the “what to say” aspect of the group discussion.
If the content aspect covers “what to say” in a group discussion, communication pertains to “how to say it”. Communication covers what you want to say
- Correctly conveying what you want to say
The first aspect is to how you say what you want to say. A number of times, we find that the listener “understands” what we were saying very differently from what we are intended to convey. This only means that we have not been able to put across our ideas properly and correctly. There is a lot of scope for such communication gaps in any communication situation. It is the responsibility of the speaker to ensure that what he/she has been communicated correctly and understood the way it was expected to be understood. This aspect of communication also includes your thought process and showcases how you put your ideas.
Your communication should be very effective and it should convey the message that you are intended to convey. Your communication should also be efficient. You should make your opinion or point in as few words as possible. If you take too long to get to the point, someone else would have started speaking before you can make your point.