GROUP DISCUSSION TIPS
WHAT IS 'GROUP DISCUSSION'?
A collection of individuals in regular contact to perform some tasks or aim for some objectives is known as a 'group.' While the process of exchanging thoughts and ideas physically to solve a problem or achieve a goal is known as 'discussion.' So in this manner, 'GD or Group Discussion' is the process of exchange of information between several people. The results of the discussion can be improved knowledge, an agreement that can cause action, and a disagreement that can cause competition, or resolution.
IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE GD
Before understanding the tips and tricks of the group discussion, it is necessary to have some knowledge about the elemental composition and expectations of the GD. They include the information about the number of candidates in the group discussion, skills demanded by MBA colleges for the GD, etc. Without such facts, the purpose of this article will remain incomplete. These basic but important points are as follows:
- There can be 8 or 12 participants included in a group.
- All these candidates conduct a healthy debate on a given topic in the group discussion.
- The time duration of one round of group discussion is 12-15 minutes.
- During the group discussion, the participants present their thoughts and logically argue on the given topic.
- The GD helps to understand and recognize leadership skills, communication skills, and judgment of the knowledge domain.
- Out of these candidates, only one or two can be selected as a winner or for the further round while all the others get eliminated. This can happen due to their careless mistakes or breaking the rules of the GD.
BASIC TIPS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION
1. Collect A Piece Of Content With Good Subject Knowledge: First of all, you should collect a good piece of knowledge and unique content so that you can get a precise entry in the GD round. Some of the steps that you should follow to implement this tip are as under:
- It would be best if you prepared more and more essential topics with rich subject knowledge.
- You should be well aware of the latest incidents around you in the world.
- To steer the conversation as per your want, you should have complete subject knowledge. The use of relevant data can add a positive impression to your words.
- Having the quality of a good reader can be a plus point while preparing for GD. It improves your reading skills as well as vocabulary skills.
- It would help if you prepared the topic over a period to avoid the last-minute hotchpotch.
- Always opt for a magazine that has a lot of rich content, not only ads. Do some research to get the best magazine. That will help you a lot to enhance your skills.
2. Be A Leader: You must have full command over the topic to be a winner in GD. But along with this, leadership skills are equally important. Some tips to become a leader in GD are as follows:
- You should sit silently for a minute when the moderator announces the topic.
- Try to gather all your thoughts and start with your best point to get the positive impact or be a leader of the group.
- No problem if you are unable to start. Give the opportunity to others and start your conversation by agreeing or disagreeing with the previous speaker.
- As stated above, beginning a GD has a positive impact on you, but if you don't start with the relevant point, then it will lead to a negative impact. Because it is not just to start the discussion, but when you speak, make sure you are heard and your point is practical.
- Speak the name of your last speaker to agree or disagree with him before presenting your views. This will be beneficial to your discussion by showing respect to the fellow participants.
3. Be Relevant: The content that is filled with useless thoughts and information doesn't mean anything. Hence, a large set of information is not enough; you must have the relevant points to express your thoughts perfectly. The unnecessary information leads to a negative impression. The following steps can be helpful to make your points relevant:
- You should not divert the discussion from the main topic. Avoid the ambiguity of thoughts when you speak.
- Don't make too many lengthy points but making too many short points will not support your discussion. You can be eliminated if you follow the ideas of your group mates.
- Improve the quality of your points with facts and figures wherever possible.
4. Be A Good Listener: To become a good listener, you can go through the given tips:
- To agree or disagree with other speakers, you must have good listening skills. So, not just focus on speaking but also on listening.
- Suppose you speak throughout the discussion without listening to others Then this will not leave a positive impact. You should be respectful to other participants, give them a chance to speak, and listen attentively.
- Proper listening adds value to your content, thoughts, and communication.
- You can summarize the GD on each aspect when you listen carefully.
- If the speaker is making eye-contact with you while speaking, then constantly nodding your head to show that you are aware of what he/she is speaking. It will also represent your vigilance and active participation in the discussion.
5. Better Communication Skills: Your ideas and opinions have no use until you don't have rich communication skills. You may follow the tips that are listed below to improve your communication skills:
- You should be well versed in your communication skills.
- You should have rich vocabulary skills and a high command of English or any relevant language.
- Rehearse well before the actual GD. You can opt for mirror communication to improve your skills.
- You can organize a friendly GD with your friends on any topic to reduce your hesitation and get confidence. This will not just enhance your knowledge but also make you a better speaker prior to the real GD.
- You can take the help of some phrases such as 'I think,' 'probably/approximately,' when you are not sure about something. But don't use these phrases again and again. This will only mark a negative impact.
6. Proper Body Gesture: How you sit and react to others during the discussion is also observed by the panelists. Body language is an essential factor of the group discussion. This increases the need to have good body gestures. Keep the following points in your mind to avoid the awkward body gesture during the group discussion:
- During the GD, sit straight; don't bend back on the chair or knock on the table with a pen or finger. Don't be distracted easily.
- Folding your hands across your chest, nervous body movement, shivering your leg, constantly moving, having cynical expressions, rolling eyeballs continuously, , are the symbols of skepticism.
- Avoid Aggression: During the group discussion, you should be focused on your thoughts to make sure you are audible to others. But being aggressive, shouting, and not giving a chance to others to interrupt lead to a negative impact. The GD is communication among individuals on a specific topic. It is different from a debate. So, always avoid bullying and be careful while speaking.
- Never Crisscross on Your Ideas: As we know, group discussion and debate are two different activities. But it is pretty similar to a debate. The topics of the GD are debatable. So, you have to speak either in favor or against the topic. While speaking, you must be kept in mind that you are not crisscrossing your ideas. This leaves a harmful impact, and you will be identified as a confused person who is not sure about his/her point of view and who doesn't know what to speak.
- Avoid Being A Part Of Fish Market: As it can be understood from this article that GD is a group activity, so a person is not just responsible as a player but also as a leader of the group. During the GD, sometimes all the participants present their thoughts, and no one is heard or understood. In such a situation, you are advised to quit for a while and after collecting all your thoughts, raise your voice to make yourself apart from the fish market.
- Don't Give Up: Sometimes, you don't get any point to speak and may feel out of the discussion. In this situation, you should not give up. This is because the GD round does not remain the same during the whole period. It passes from highs and lows, which gives you an opportunity to re-enter the conversation and present your thoughts. In this manner, you'll get the proper time to gather more ideas beyond others' thinking, and after collecting these ideas, you can make an entry when you are heard.
GD preparation is an essential part of competitive exams like CAT/XAT/SNAP/CMAT/NMAT also. After clearing your written exam, you should be prepared for the GD round. This round has a weightage of 10 to 15 percent in the selection process. Some of the critical tips to get prepared for GD and crack the round are as under:
- Before preparing any topic for the group discussion, it is required to be stress-free and happy.
- You should be aware of current affairs, issues, and happenings in the world that affect
- To improve your English speaking and learning skills, read English newspapers, magazines, and novels. You can also watch documentaries to improve your perspective on various issues and concerns.
- The more you generate the reading habit, the better will be your preparation for GD. It is also required because sometimes the discussion can be from a wide range of topics such as current affairs, social topics, business news, sports, etc.
- Some topics are repeated with minor or no changes and variations in the GD. So you should be aware of such topics in advance so that you can get ample time to cover them. Such topics include terrorism, gender inequality, poverty, LPG (Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization), education reservation, etc., as these topics are common, so you should prepare them with some unique points and perspectives to make yourself better from your group mates.
- The topics related to controversies and politics very rarely figure in group discussions. So, you can pay less attention to them.
- Some other common topics recently added and became very popular in GD are recession in the global or Indian economy, recent bank mergers, acquisition, revocation of article 370, cryptocurrency, etc.
GD TRICKS TO BE A WINNER
You can win the game only after having a complete grasp and command over the topic. The four most critical winning tricks which can keep you out of the reach of others are as under:
- Always follow the rules and above-given tips of the group discussion.
- Some of the key skills that are required to be the master of GD are: speak logically, leadership, listen carefully, clear presentation of ideas, etc.
- Grab every opportunity of being a part of the discussion to make your position strong.
- Go through some actual GD rounds and read a few models related to the topic.
VARIOUS ROLES PLAYED BY A PARTICIPANT
Apart from the given tips and tricks, a participant should also know about the different roles that should be played or not be played during the group discussion. This is because some of them may lead to your selection, while others may invite elimination. It depends on you which role you want to play. This is not the part of tips and tricks but is equally responsible for deciding your win or failure. These roles include the following:
- Beginner: A beginner plays the role of starting the group discussion by suggesting and sharing new ideas, defining the GD topic. But it may be possible that he/she doesn't contain sufficient subject knowledge to present the views effectively.
- Facilitator: A facilitator led the group discussion and kept it on track.
- Information Seeker: A seeker of the information is one who gathers and solicits information and ideas from other participants.
- Information Disseminator: This is one who focuses on or prefers to share information and facts to keep himself/herself better from others.
- Opinion Seeker: An opinion seeker is one who gathers some opinions from co-participants and to present his/her points, he/she asks the participants about their opinions.
- Opinion Giver: An opinion giver promptly jumps to share his/her opinions on the thoughts or the viewpoints of other participants.
- Analyst: This is the one who analyses the ideas and thoughts of co-participants during the GD and makes them apparent.
- Community Supporter: This is the one who agrees with the ideas of all other participants, but he/she has not his/her own ideas to share.
- Reliever: A reliever presents and discusses the problems with a broader and unique perspective. A reliever uses the strategy of making the mountain of a molehill so that all the tension can be relieved.
- Energy Spreader: An energy creator supports and encourages other participants to speak and present their thoughts to explore new ideas and solutions during the GD.
- Bridge Creator: A bridge creator is the one who creates a bridge between various opinions and provides solutions with different ways of compromise.
- Summary Maker: This is the one who summarizes and concludes all the points and information discussed during the group discussion and leads it to an end.