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  1. 1. GROUP DISCUSSION Prepared by Narendra Singh Chaudhary
  2. 3. “ Communication is not all about what you say but what others understand .” <ul><li>Man has always used discussions and conversations as ways to communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>When does conversation become a discussion? </li></ul><ul><li>When two or more people talk about a particular issue or topic in detail-exploring its various dimensions and exchanging ideas intelligently, we say they are ‘discussing’ it. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>We hear discussions in the college canteen, in the train, at the bus stop, during a meeting and anywhere where people come together. we have also witnessed discussions ending in fisticuffs. </li></ul><ul><li>Can we disagree without being disagreeable? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we be assertive without being aggressive? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we listen and not just speak? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we be analytical without being critical? </li></ul>
  4. 5. Group Discussion-Definition <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Some of the personality traits the GD is trying to gauge may include :- <ul><li>Oral Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity of thought </li></ul><ul><li>Decision making ability </li></ul><ul><li>Presence of mind </li></ul><ul><li>Managing situational stress </li></ul><ul><li>Listening capacity </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal team play </li></ul><ul><li>Maturity </li></ul><ul><li>Reasoning Power </li></ul><ul><li>Influencing ability </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership skills </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Body language </li></ul>
  7. 8. Why Group Discussion <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Types of GD <ul><li>GDs can be topic-based or case-based . Topic based Gds can be classified into three types :- 1. Factual Topics 2. Controversial Topics  3. Abstract Topics  </li></ul>
  9. 10. Factual Topics:- <ul><li>Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is aware of in his day-to-day life. Typically these are about socio-economic topics. These can be current, i.e. they may have been in the news lately, or could be unbound by time. A factual topic for discussion gives a candidate a chance to prove that he is aware of and sensitive to his environment. E.g. The education policy of India, Tourism in India, State of the aged in the nation. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Controversial Topics:- <ul><li>  Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy. In GDs where these topics are given for discussion, the noise level is usually high, there may be tempers flying. The idea behind giving a topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying by keeping his temper in check, by rationally and logically arguing his point of view without getting personal and emotional. E.g. Reservations should be removed, Women make better managers </li></ul>
  11. 12. Abstract Topics:-  <ul><li>Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given often for discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled out. These topics test your lateral thinking and creativity. E.g. A is an alphabet, Twinkle twinkle little star, The number 10 </li></ul>
  12. 13. Case-based Gd:- <ul><li>Another variation is the use of a case instead of a topic. The case study tries to simulate a real-life situation. Information about the situation will be given to you and you would be asked as a group to resolve the situation. In the case study there are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions. The objective in the case study is to get you to think about the situation from various angles. IIM A, IIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Reasons for having a GD  <ul><li>It helps you to understand a subject more deeply. </li></ul><ul><li>It improves your ability to think critically. </li></ul><ul><li>It helps in solving a particular problem. </li></ul><ul><li>It helps the group to make a particular decision. </li></ul><ul><li>It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>It improves your listening skills. </li></ul><ul><li>It increases your confidence in speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>It can change your attitudes.  </li></ul>
  14. 15. Strategies for Improving GD Skills <ul><li>Observe </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Participate </li></ul><ul><li>Leading a Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Chairing a Group Discussion </li></ul>
  15. 16. Discussion Etiquette -Do’s <ul><li>Speak pleasantly and politely to the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the contribution of every speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic? </li></ul><ul><li>Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce irrelevant information. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of your body language when you are speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Don’ts <ul><li>Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument. </li></ul><ul><li>Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch. </li></ul><ul><li>Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive. </li></ul><ul><li>Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalise too much. </li></ul><ul><li>Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.  </li></ul>
  17. 18.   GD Do's <ul><li>Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to hear you speak. </li></ul><ul><li>Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say. </li></ul><ul><li>Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else's point and then move onto express your views. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain. </li></ul><ul><li>Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say. </li></ul><ul><li>Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently. </li></ul><ul><li>Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion personally. </li></ul><ul><li>Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object' or `I disagree'. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to share my views on?' or `One difference between your point and mine?' or &quot;I beg to differ with you&quot; </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak (this surely does not mean that the only thing that you do in the GD is to say &quot;let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has to say,&quot; or &quot;Raghu, let us hear your views&quot; - Essentially be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity . </li></ul>
  20. 21. The Don’ts <ul><li>Its better to be thought of as a fool, rather than open your mouth and confirm it! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t open your mouth to change your foot. </li></ul><ul><li>Undue or excessive aggression. </li></ul><ul><li>Misinterpret the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Whisper to your immediate neighbour or make gesture to anyone at the GD table. </li></ul><ul><li>Be cynical ,sarcastic or prove the other person wrong-to prove yourself right. </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Command others,shout,and stop others from speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>Change a stand. </li></ul><ul><li>Digress from the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Display negative body language like pointing a finger towards others). </li></ul><ul><li>Go overboard with enthusiasm if your are familiar with the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Show your emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Intervene when someone else is speaking. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Tough Situations <ul><li>“I couldn’t start”. </li></ul><ul><li>“I couldn’t finish”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Nobody let me speak”. </li></ul><ul><li>“I didn’t understand the topic”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Someone else dominated the GD”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Someone got angry”. </li></ul><ul><li>“Someone got sarcastic”. </li></ul>
  23. 24. Myths regarding a Group Discussion <ul><li>You should speak more (No!) </li></ul><ul><li>You should dominate the discussion (No!) </li></ul><ul><li>You should project yourself in style (No!) </li></ul><ul><li>You should speak in favor of topic (No!) </li></ul><ul><li>You should make others agree to your point (No!) </li></ul>