Archive for the ‘Group Discussion’ Category

Tips for Leading a Group Discussion

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:

Group Discussion Tips

In this arti­cle we would look at few last min­utes tips for Group Dis­cus­sion prepa­ra­tion. Let us deal down to the points straight away.

The panel should notice you

Some of the points that stand out under this category

  • Make sure that you are audi­ble. If the group hears and acknowl­edges your point, so will the reviewer.
  • Be assertive and show your lead­er­ship skills. Prob­a­bly noth­ing else brings you to fore­ground much more than a proper inter­jec­tion and putting the dis­cus­sion back into track.
  • Speak Up. Some­times GD can turn out to be hos­tile; often can­di­dates com­plain that they don’t get enough chances to speak. Remem­ber it’s your GD, you are being judged. So no point in keep­ing mum.

Mean­ing­ful Con­tri­bu­tion to Discussion

To grab reviewer’s atten­tion, you need to have a good under­stand­ing of the topic. You can’t fool around with review­ers will ill logic. You should be able to think log­i­cally and hence put forth you ideas cohe­sively. Your inter­jec­tions are more valu­able than your speech. Qual­ity always wins over quan­tity. Also, you should judge the pulse of the room. Your words should drive home their impact.

Group Discussion Tips

Group Dis­cus­sion Tips


Con­sen­sus

Your points are likely to derive its set of approvers as well as detrac­tors. The force of your argu­ment lies in the fact that you can win over your detrac­tors by log­i­cal rea­son­ing. Build­ing con­sen­sus is needed because we are work­ing in a team. A divided group con­sen­sus is as good as hav­ing no meet­ing at all.

To achieve the above said points, we need to focus on the fol­low­ing points.

a) Be Your­self. You can only act as your­self. All oth­ers acts fail, or at least these exer­cises are attempt­ing to fail such acts. It is eas­ier con­vers­ing being you.

b) Take time to orga­nize your thoughts. Dur­ing the dis­cus­sion there will a lot many points. You might be nod­ding your head to many of them. But do not pitch in to say any­thing as soon as it is put on table. Think of the pros and cons. Take time to orga­nize your thoughts and put them across once you are confident.

c) The panel is lis­ten­ing to you always. Do not try to con­vince them or look for an acknowl­edg­ment. It is the group which mat­ters here-stick to them.

d) Seek clar­i­fi­ca­tions if you have any doubts regard­ing the sub­ject, before the dis­cus­sion commences.

e) First impres­sions speak a lot of you. So make sure to show the right ges­tures, the right words and more impor­tantly the right spirits.

f) Never try to show your dom­i­nance. Be assertive, speak your­self and let oth­ers speak as well.

g) Don’t lose your tem­per. Remem­ber every­one is a par­tic­i­pant there. They are putting across their point. Be log­i­cal and break down your answer to accept­able chunks. This will help you in confrontations

h) Show your lead­er­ship skills. Build­ing a con­sen­sus needs lead­er­ship skills. Steers the dis­cus­sion in right track also try to make all par­tic­i­pants speak-this would help in con­sen­sus building.

i) Any out­ra­geous act is sure to seize inter­est but least expects them to sus­tain that interest.

I hope this series of arti­cles on GD helped you up your ante for real life bat­tles. Best of luck!

Group Discussion Skills

We hope that you have already started to imple­ment the var­i­ous tech­niques enlisted in the pre­ced­ing arti­cles. We would look to wind up on the aspects with this arti­cle. In the next arti­cle we would look into some dos and some don’t s for the group dis­cus­sion. To reca­pit­u­late, we have looked down at GD from the outer per­spec­tive i.e. the things that meet the eye. We looked at the points which catch the observer’s atten­tion. In this write we would look into the points which bring out that outer per­spec­tive. We would list down the attrib­utes which make you visible.

Look­ing to take initiatives

In such a break neck race to win the most pres­ti­gious seats, the exam­in­ers are prob­a­bly look­ing for can­di­dates who would tread a path of their own, ques­tion­ing exist­ing par­a­digms, impro­vis­ing and reset­ting the stan­dards. In short they are on the look­out for the peo­ple mov­ing ahead of the crowd, not the per­sons in the crowd. Try seiz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties when they present them­selves in the GD. Try throw in a glar­ing exam­ple or a per­ti­nent anec­dote. Remem­ber you need to make your pres­ence felt.

Assertive­ness

In a GD you are likely to find your­self in a sit­u­a­tion where you have to force in through the dis­cus­sion to put forth your point. Being assertive not only helps in dri­ving your point across but also por­trays you in bet­ter light. For all the insights and points capa­ble of shap­ing the dis­cus­sion, you need to be assertive. Else, a valid good point would be lost in the maze of points.

Group Discussion Skills

Group Dis­cus­sion Skills

Cre­ativ­ity

Prob­a­bly you would feel the same about a topic as your neigh­bor does. But your pre­sen­ta­tions would dif­fer on cre­ativ­ity. In a horde of can­di­dates, cre­ativ­ity is an extremely desir­able trait. This war­rants the panel’s inter­est invari­ably. Many peo­ple are of the opin­ion that cre­ativ­ity brew from inside which is true gen­er­ally. But in this case being well read about the topic would help. With umpteen writ­ers, umpteen inter­views of peo­ple it becomes eas­ier to fol­low their train of thoughts. You need to be thor­ough with most of recent activ­i­ties hap­pen­ing around.

Flex­i­bil­ity

Some­times, you may find your­self to be will­ing to agree to the point of your col­league from inside but you may not want to agree on it from out­side. Remem­ber, accep­tance doesn’t mean los­ing. Accep­tances of points, to be able to fol­low dif­fer­ent opin­ions which seem rea­son­able bring forth the flex­i­bil­ity in you. It is dif­fi­cult to have hit all the right points always, hence the need for flex­i­bil­ity to be able to switch forth between ideas. Stead­fast and a staunch head nec­es­sar­ily is not right always.

Abil­ity to think and act independently

Look­ing at GD from var­i­ous angles, you might have real­ized by now that you need to think and act on the spot and you are not allowed to lax. Think­ing inde­pen­dently will help in not clog­ging the dis­cus­sion table with the same ideas or views. It will bring a fresher per­spec­tive to the table. With that it will bring you to the table!

I hope this write would have helped to ease the nerves at the news of dreaded GD. Please feel free to ask the ques­tions in the com­ments sec­tion. Best of luck!

Group Discussion Qualities

Car­ry­ing along from the first arti­cle, we would go through the var­i­ous aspects of Group Dis­cus­sion in this arti­cle. Hope, this arti­cle proves to be as infor­ma­tive as the pre­vi­ous one.

To com­mence with I would like to point out that the panel is look­ing at you every minute. The onus is on you, to make them notice you for as long as pos­si­ble. Let us see few aspects which inter­play with each other.

Abil­ity to work in a team

The catch in the whole work­ing envi­ron­ment is you should be notice­able even if you are work­ing as a group. The group vis­i­bil­ity and the indi­vid­ual vis­i­bil­ity go a long way in ascer­tain­ing anyone’s pos­i­tive force. Remem­ber the other can­di­dates are not your ene­mies, though they are still com­pet­ing, they are help­ing you to find a solu­tion by being a part of the team. This would prob­a­bly be the most chal­leng­ing team, where every­one is on his own-maybe that’s why pit­ting you in the most dif­fi­cult ever group imag­in­able to test your abil­ity to work in a team via the GD. As I men­tioned ear­lier, you should do well also your team should. After all you would work in a group invari­ably in some point of time.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills

We have been under­play­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills till now because it would already be at the back of everyone’s mind. I would just re-iterate the oft repeated quote– Flashy vocab­u­lary has no place in spo­ken world. Words should com­mu­ni­cate your ideas. I would leave the topic for it can span a whole arti­cle (May be we will get to it in another write)

group discussion

group dis­cus­sion

Lead­er­ship skills

When we started with the write, we touched upon the fact that a group of can­di­dates are bun­dled into a lead­er­less unit. There is a spe­cific rea­son for such a struc­ture. The lead­er­ship skills vis-à-vis try­ing to steer the dis­cus­sion along in our case is rated high on the wanted list of exam­in­ers. A dis­cus­sion such as this often has the ten­dency to fall apart from its bound­aries. A leader is needed to keep things under con­trol, to proac­tively act­ing towards a con­struc­tive aim. Lead­er­ship qual­i­ties come as a part of men­tal being rather than requir­ing extra efforts.

Rea­son­ing ability

A GD is bound to throw up ques­tions from all quar­ters. Valid, insight­ful ques­tions always force the move. A clear log­i­cal answer comes from the rea­son­ing abil­ity of the can­di­date. For rea­son­ing it out the can­di­date must be lis­ten­ing care­fully and should have ide­ally under­stood the con­text of the ques­tion. The answer should ide­ally be based on the con­text of the ques­tion fol­lowed by an accept­able exam­ple. In com­pe­ti­tions as this where can­di­dates try to tear apart each oth­ers from a bar­rage of ques­tions, rea­son­ing abil­ity would come in handy to steady the storm. Also be pre­pared with all facts for any of the claims you make.

In the next episode we would look into the remain­ing aspects. Also we would jot down a few last minute steps.

Car­ry­ing along from the first arti­cle, we would go through the var­i­ous aspects of Group Dis­cus­sion in this arti­cle. Hope, this arti­cle proves to be as infor­ma­tive as the pre­vi­ous one.

To com­mence with I would like to point out that the panel is look­ing at you every minute. The onus is on you, to make them notice you for as long as pos­si­ble. Let us see few aspects which inter­play with each other.

Abil­ity to work in a team

The catch in the whole work­ing envi­ron­ment is you should be notice­able even if you are work­ing as a group. The group vis­i­bil­ity and the indi­vid­ual vis­i­bil­ity go a long way in ascer­tain­ing anyone’s pos­i­tive force. Remem­ber the other can­di­dates are not your ene­mies, though they are still com­pet­ing, they are help­ing you to find a solu­tion by being a part of the team. This would prob­a­bly be the most chal­leng­ing team, where every­one is on his own-maybe that’s why pit­ting you in the most dif­fi­cult ever group imag­in­able to test your abil­ity to work in a team via the GD. As I men­tioned ear­lier, you should do well also your team should. After all you would work in a group invari­ably in some point of time.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills

We have been under­play­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills till now because it would already be at the back of everyone’s mind. I would just re-iterate the oft repeated quote– Flashy vocab­u­lary has no place in spo­ken world. Words should com­mu­ni­cate your ideas. I would leave the topic for it can span a whole arti­cle (May be we will get to it in another write)

Lead­er­ship skills

When we started with the write, we touched upon the fact that a group of can­di­dates are bun­dled into a lead­er­less unit. There is a spe­cific rea­son for such a struc­ture. The lead­er­ship skills vis-à-vis try­ing to steer the dis­cus­sion along in our case is rated high on the wanted list of exam­in­ers. A dis­cus­sion such as this often has the ten­dency to fall apart from its bound­aries. A leader is needed to keep things under con­trol, to proac­tively act­ing towards a con­struc­tive aim. Lead­er­ship qual­i­ties come as a part of men­tal being rather than requir­ing extra efforts.

Rea­son­ing ability

A GD is bound to throw up ques­tions from all quar­ters. Valid, insight­ful ques­tions always force the move. A clear log­i­cal answer comes from the rea­son­ing abil­ity of the can­di­date. For rea­son­ing it out the can­di­date must be lis­ten­ing care­fully and should have ide­ally under­stood the con­text of the ques­tion. The answer should ide­ally be based on the con­text of the ques­tion fol­lowed by an accept­able exam­ple. In com­pe­ti­tions as this where can­di­dates try to tear apart each oth­ers from a bar­rage of ques­tions, rea­son­ing abil­ity would come in handy to steady the storm. Also be pre­pared with all facts for any of the claims you make.

In the next episode we would look into the remain­ing aspects. Also we would jot down a few last minute steps.

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