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					Group Discussions

Dr K S Badarinarayan
Starting of GD

  Groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a
   leaderless group, and are given a specific
   situation to analyse and discuss within a given
   time limit, which may vary between twenty
   minutes and forty-five minutes, or
  They may be given a case study and asked to
   come out with a solution for a problem
  They may be given a topic and are asked to
   discuss the same
Leading a Discussion

  introducing yourself and the members of
   the group
  stating the purpose of the discussion
  inviting quiet group members to speak
  being objective
  summarizing the discussion
Chairing a Group
  introducing the topic and purpose of the
  making sure all members have approximately
   the same time, (i.e. no one dominates the
   discussion by taking too much time)
  thanking group members for their contribution
  being objective in summarizing the group's
   discussion and achievements
In group discussion you are
tested for following skills
 Communication Skills
 Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject
 Capability to co-ordinate and lead -Leadership
 Exchange of thoughts -Communication Skills
 Addressing the group as a whole -Interpersonal
 Persuasive Skills -Thorough preparations
In group discussion you are
tested for following skills
  These are some of the sub-skills that also get
   assessed with the skills mentioned above:
  Clarity of thought
  Group working skills (especially during a group task of
   case study discussion)
  Conflict handling
  Listening and probing skills
  Knowledge about the subject and individual point of
  Ability to create a consensus
  Openess and flexibility towards new ideas
  Data based approach to decision making
Group Discussions

  Topic based GD can be classified into
   three types

  1. Factual Topics
  2. Controversial Topics
  3. Abstract Topics
Why do we have GD
Reasons for having a GD
    It helps you to understand a subject more deeply.
    It improves your ability to think critically.
    It helps in solving a particular problem.
    It helps the group to make a particular decision.
    It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas.
    It improves your listening skills.
    It increases your confidence in speaking.
    It can change your attitudes.
Strategies for Improving
GD Skills
    Reading habits –News paper,magzines,TV
    Mocks
    Observe
    Attend as many seminars and tutorials as possible and notice
     what other students do. Ask yourself:
    How do other students make critical comments?
    How do they ask questions?
    How do they disagree with or support arguments?
    What special phrases do they use to show politeness even
     when they are voicing disagreement?
    How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a
   Practice
   Participate
   Discussion Etiquette (or minding your manners)
   Speak pleasantly and politely to the group.
   Respect the contribution of every speaker.
   Remember that a discussion is not an argument.
    Learn to disagree politely.
   Think about your contribution before you speak.
    How best can you answer the question/ contribute to
    the topic?
   Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce
    irrelevant information.
   Be aware of your body language when you are
   Agree with and acknowledge what you find
  Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.
  Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.
  Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like
   finger pointing and table thumping can appear
  Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should
   allow quieter students a chance to contribute.
  Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote.
   Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on
   their own experience, remember not to generalise too
  Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are
   saying before you speak
Points to Remember
 Knowledge is strength. A candidate with good reading habits has
  more chances of success. In other words, sound knowledge on
  different topics like politics, finance, economy, science and
  technology is helpful.
 Power to convince effectively is another quality that makes you
  stand out among others.
 Clarity in speech and expression is yet another essential quality.
 If you are not sure about the topic of discussion, it is better not to
  initiate. Lack of knowledge or wrong approach creates a bad
  impression. Instead, you might adopt the wait and watch attitude.
  Listen attentively to others, may be you would be able to come up
  with a point or two later.
 A GD is a formal occasion where slang is to avoided.
 A GD is not a debating stage. Participants should confine
  themselves to expressing their viewpoints. In the second part of the
  discussion candidates can exercise their choice in agreeing,
  disagreeing or remaining neutral.
Points to Remember
Language use should be simple, direct and straight
 Don't interrupt a speaker when the session is on. Try to
  score by increasing your size, not by cutting others short.

 Maintain rapport with fellow participants. Eye contact
  plays a major role. Non-verbal gestures, such as
  listening intently or nodding while appreciating
  someone's viewpoint speak of you positively.

 Communicate with each and every candidate present.
  While speaking don't keep looking at a single member.
  Address the entire group in such a way that everyone
  feels you are speaking to him or her.
 Do's
 Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone
  you are not. Be yourself.
 A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The
  evaluator wants to hear you speak.
 Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you
  are going to say.
 Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the
 Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood
  and analyzed the subject.
 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.
 Do's
 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.
 Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures
  and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude
  than what you say.
 Language skills are important only to the effect as to how
  you get your points across clearly and fluently.
 Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced
  tone in your discussion and analysis.
 Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object
  to. The key is to stay objective: Don't take the discussion
 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 "I beg to
  differ with you"
 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
  "let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has
  to say," or "Raghu, let us hear your views" - Essentially
  be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to
  others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
 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.
 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.
GD Mistakes

    Emotional outburst
    Quality Vs Quantity
    Egotism Showing off
    Get noticed - But for the right reasons
    Managing one's insecurities

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