A discussion group is a group of individuals with similar interest who gather either formally or informally to bring up ideas, solve problems or give comments.
The major approaches are in person, via conference call or website People respond to comments and post forum in the established mailing list, newsgroup or IRC. Other group members could choose to respond by posting text or image.
Group discussion on study topics plays vital role in understanding the topic. Discussing a topic with friends or classmates helps in learning the topic with perfection. Group discussion on a topic involves sharing of learning by the participants which equally benefits all the participants.
Although there are certain things we need to know about Group Discussion before preparing for them.
Who Conducts a Group Discussion?
Group Discussion is conducted by B-schools, institutes and companies. In fact to get admission into B-schools and other management and engineering institutes, GD has become an essential prerequisite. As far as companies are concerned, it is totally at the discretion of the companies if they want GD as part of their interview process
What is the Purpose of Group Discussion?
Having a clear objective: The participants need to know the purpose of group discussion so that they can concentrate during the discussion and contribute to achieving the group goal. An effective GD typically begins with a purpose stated by the initiator.
GD also serves as a mass-elimination tool. When there are many candidates applying for limited seats, the GD can act as a benchmark to select the best among the lot.
What is the Group Discussion Procedure?
The group usually consists of 6 to 12 members. They are given a topic and a few minutes to prepare. Post which they are called to begin the discussion. The duration of the GD will vary from institute to institute or organization to organization. For each candidate an assessor may be assigned. Usually, an assessor assesses two to three candidates. They will be watching the candidates every move
How To Prepare For Group Discussion?
The group discussion gives the employer an opportunity to assess and observe your behaviour in action. The theme or task given to you is often a reflection of what is required in the actual job. Each group discussion exercise will include one or more assessors who are trained to observe and assess your and your team members’ behaviour against the behaviour relevant for the job you have applied for.
In order to prepare yourself, you should be equipped with:
- Relevant Information: No one knows what the topic of GD is going to be. Hence, it will be a good idea to keep yourself abreast with topics like Current Affairs, Historical Topics, Sports, Arts and Literature and Data Crunching.
- Body Language: Ensure good body language and maintain relaxed eye contact. Make sure when you are listening to others you are attentive and demonstrate this through nods and gestures of agreement. If you feel uncomfortable in terms of how you are sitting, simply ‘mirroring’ other people will help. Smiling always helps too.
- Manage Time: Keeping a check on the time will earn you points. Suggesting that you will keep a check on the time and providing regular updates throughout the discussion will also work well. However, if you commit to this responsibility then make sure you maintain that check. There is nothing worse than the session running out of time when you have appointed yourself as time-keeper.
- Be a Team Player: More often than not, the group discussion exercises require coming to an agreement on a particular issue.For example, you may be given individual proposals and asked to agree on two of these as a group. In these situations, remember you do not always have to get your ideas accepted. Try to do what is better for the company or organisation as presented in the exercise, rather than what you think might benefit you.
- Contribute: Ensure you contribute to the conversation. Often candidates take up behaviours or actions that aren’t actively contributing to the group’s outcome. For example, taking lead of the group, standing up to make notes on a board. Be careful not to fall into the trap of regarding these behaviours as earning you some positive points. In some cases these behaviours can even lead to you being alienated by other group members.