GROUP DISCUSSION (GD)

GD | GROUP DISCUSSION

Group Discussion (GD)

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 B-Schools 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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