Group discussion - Important for every organisation
WHAT IS GROUP DISCUSSION ?
FEATURES OF GROUP DISCUSSION
MERITS OF GROUP DISCUSSION
DEMERITS OF GROUP DISCUSSION
SKILLS REQUIRED IN GROUP DISCUSSION
Group discussions are a very important aspect of group
communication. Group discussions are a creative and dynamic activity which stimulates
reflective thinking among the members. Group discussions may be defined as an activity
in which a small number of persons meet face to face and exchange and share ideas
freely or attempt to reach a decision on a common issue.
Group discussions are unstructured and less formal compared to meetings or
conferences wherein specific roles are assigned to the participants. In a group
discussion, an individual’s thought process is influenced by the views and opinions of
the other members. It also depends on where and in which direction the mood of the
discussion moves. In a group discussion, each participant is free to speak his views. A
successful group discussion involves both listening and speaking
1. Group Discussion, as the name itself indicates, is a group activity carried out by
participating individuals. It is an exchange of ideas among the individuals of a group
on a specific topic.
2. It is used as a reliable testing device – mainly as a tool to assess all the candidates in
a group in order to select the best candidate in comparative perspective.
3. It is an informal discussion in which participants of the same educational standard
discuss, exchange and share their views and opinions on a topic of current interest.
4. It is also known as leaderless discussion because its main aim is to find out the
natural leadership quality of the participating candidates.
5. The main feature of group discussion is the conflict, which is a difference or
disagreement among the members of the group. It usually develops when every
member of the group has a different opinion regarding the discussion topic. It can
stimulate the members to find new solutions to the problem. If it arises due to the
political behavior of the members, it may have dysfunctional consequences.
1. It helps to combine individual strengths of the group members and hence has a set
of varied skill sets applied in the decision making process.
2. It provides a deeper understanding of the subject as every member of the group
has different opinions and views regarding the discussion topic.
3. It provides the ability to think critically as it enables a participating candidate to
think in divergent directions to generate more points and a good presentation of the
4. It enhances confidence in speaking as each participant gets an opportunity to share
his/her views and opinions in front of other members of the group regarding the
discussion topic , which increases his/her confidence.
5. It gives an opportunity to hear the opinions of other persons as equal opportunity is
provided to every participant to share and exchange the views and opinions
regarding the discussion topic.
1. Domination by the few – Group Discussion can be dominated by one or a few
members of the group. If this dominant coalition is composed of low and
medium ability members, the group’s overall effectiveness will be affected.
2. Pressure to conform – There are social pressures in a group. The desire by group
members to be accepted and considered as an asset to the group can result in
squashing any overt disagreement, thus encouraging conformity some view
3. Time-consuming – It takes time to assemble a group. The interaction that takes
place, once the group is in place, is frequently inefficient. The result is that
group take more time, to reach a solution. This can limit management’s ability
to act quickly and decisively when necessary.
1. Communication Skills –
1.1 Having good communication skills show that you are a good listener and a
speaker, the top qualities of a leader.
1.2 Good communication skills also helps students grab the attention of the
1.3 It emphasises clarity of thought, hence leaving less scope for
2. Cooperation Skills –
2.1 Acknowledging other’s point of view
2.2 Giving others a chance to speak
2.3 If someone has said something that you agree with, re-phrase it coherently
giving that person due credit
3. Leadership Skills –
3.1 Give others an opportunity to speak
3.2 If you disagree, put your point through politely stating the reasons
3.3 Display a pleasing personality trait and uphold the etiquette of a group
4. Analytical Skills –
4.1 First analyse the topic and then speak up with a relevant statement, fact or
4.2 Blabbering without making any point will definitely take you to the bad
books of the panelists. Make sure that whatever point you make has a direction.
4.3 Be open to suggestions and different opinions.
5. Subject Knowledge –
5.1 You should read a lot and gain significant knowledge on various topics
spanning commerce, politics, arts, law, media, social causes etc. so that speaking
up in the discussion come naturally to you.
5.2 Providing facts and figures (in numbers) give you an added advantage over
other candidates in a group discussion.
6. Attitude and Confidence –
6.1 Smile while you greet everyone in the room (both panelists and your fellow
6.2 Convey your point to other candidates coherently If you disagree, express
the same, but politely citing the reasons.
6.3 Never try and dominate other candidates. Let them speak without getting
into a fight.