Do’s and Don’ts of a Group Discussion

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Group discussion is a significant tool nearly new today to evaluate the communication and group skill of an individual for a job or an admission into b-school. The individual ability to co-operate and co-ordinate when being in a group is measured and points are given accordingly. This helps them to distinguish between the candidate potentials to successful professionals. Today every B-schools conduct group discussion in their admission process along with the MBA entrance test score and personal interview, so it is very important to perform well in a group discussion. And this needs a few sets of attributes which is crucial to be successful in a group discussion.

What is group discussion?

Group discussion is a formal platform where individuals assemble to share their perceptions about a given topic and gather insights to reach a conclusion. It is an important gauge used to ascertain the remarkable personality traits and the skills he/she has got, which makes him different from others.

How GD is organized?

In a GD, the selected number of candidates will be given a topic. This topic can be anything like a subject-related, current affair, or even a social stigma. The candidate will be given a few minutes to think over and they can make a note of the points on the notepad provided. The topic given will be discussed amid the candidates for 15-20 minutes. The candidates have to share their viewpoints with each other. This process takes place in front of subject experts, called ‘panelists’ or ‘moderators’ and they evaluate the performance of the candidates based on certain criteria. This panel can intervene if they found the candidate is speaking beyond the time permitted.

The panel measure how well the candidate can work with a team and to know the candidate’s personal characters when the personal interview and test measures the technical and conceptual skills. Be a candidate or even as an employee one needs to interact with a lot of people. So, it is very important to learn how one can deliver his best in the group discussion. When it comes to a management institution, they solely devote to nurture promising yet able managers and entrepreneurs to the society that is the reason management institutes included GD in their selection procedure which makes them choose the most eligible candidates for their institute.

Important characteristics measured at a group discussion

There are significant skills and qualities which act as a gauge for the performance of the candidate each feature helps the candidate to earn points during the discussion.  They include the following:

  • Interpersonal skill: It includes one’s listening, speaking, and questioning skills or the way they interact with other people.
  • Communication skill: It refers to an individual’s aptitude to give and perceive information like ideas, feelings, etc.
  • Motivation skill: The ways used to prompt an individual to do a desired action or procedure.
  • Leadership: The ability of an individual to guide and motivate others.
  • Team building skill: The ways used to create or form a rapport among the members.
  • Logical skills: It refers to a person’s competence to analyze the situation given to him and to come up with a possible solution for the issue.
  • Initiative: The ability to show enthusiasm always when asked to do something without hesitation at the right time it is required and being resourceful.
  • Creativity: It is being innovative or the ability to come up with brand new ideas.
  • Assertiveness: The ability to stand up for the right thing for oneself and for others
  • Ability to think for oneself: The ability to distinguish between right and wrong and to choose the best out of it.
  • Different thinking: It simply means to think out of the box.
  • Reasoning skill: The ability to evaluate matters in a critical way considering all extensive ranges of possibilities.
  • Flexibility: This is an important skill that make an individual quickly change for solving any kind of unforeseen glitches that may arise.

These skills are closely watched by the panelists and points are given for each feature of the individual. This valuation can be based on a score out of ten or they can assign weightage each required skill.

Do’s in a GD

Now, let’s see the most crucial things one must learn or should be aware of while they are attending a group discussion.

  • The body language should be confident as it reflects your attitude.
  • Always remember to follow the professional etiquettes.
  • Be polite and courteous always.
  • Always talk with dignity and respect for others.
  • Go with formal attire it will make feel confident.
  • Always be a good listener which aids to gather enough points even if you are not aware of the topic.
  • Arrange your thoughts before speaking.
  • List down all the important points you know.
  • Be positive and keep calm always.
  • Convey your thoughts and ideas in easy and understandable ways.
  • Motivate everyone to talk which shows your leadership skills.
  • Be courteous even if other candidate tries to offend your point
  • Disagree with others politely. Use phrases like “I’m afraid I disagree”, “I beg to differ” etc.
  • Try to learn the difference between initiating and beginning the discussion.
  • Establish good eye contact with all other members of the group.
  • Make the passive member express his points.
  • Accept the arguments against your viewpoint positively.
  • Establish relevant facts to validate your point.
  • Express good interpersonal skills.
  • While summing up the discussion add all the key points.
  • Use your strong voice, clear expression, and good language.
  • Focus on the quality of the points you are saying.

Don’ts in a GD

There are a few points to be noted while attending a GD that everyone may do during a GD, but which need to be avoided. These mistakes often happen to everyone assuming it’s okay to happen, but if you avoid this small mistake it can help to earn extra points. They are:

  • Don’t initiate the GD if you are not aware or have a clear point, to begin with about the topic.
  • Don’t be impulsive or rush to start the discussion.
  • Avoid using high jargons to be simple.
  • Don’t try to dominate other members because some Candidates think it will them extra points if you don’t let others talk.
  • Avoid repeating words even if have not got any other points.
  • Don’t take any arguments personally.
  • Don’t deviate from the topic stick to the subject.
  • Don’t confuse GD with a Debate they are completely different.
  • Never use the technical language while speaking.
  • Don’t talk too loud or shout at anyone to make your viewpoint clear.
  • Try not to intervene when others are speaking it is not a
  • Don’t shoe arrogance, aggressiveness, etc. which reduces your points.
  • Don’t concentrate on a single person give equal attention to all members.
  • Don’t be negative.
  • Never lose the temper even at the arrogant behavior of any participant. Keep cool all the time.
  • Don’t listen to any other noises outside the room or don’t talk to others while the discussion is going.
  • Don’t give importance to quantity or the number of times you are speaking.
  • Never try to break the code of conduct of the discussion which will add negative marks.

Now, these are the most substantial points to be kept in mind while you are attending the GD. These ideas will help one to stand out from the crowd. Today, many organizations are organizing group discussions as a criterion for selecting prospective employees for them.

Few tips for effective participation in a group discussion

  • Have a good level of general awareness about all relevant topics which can benefit in the GD.
  • If you have good knowledge about the topic given grab the opportunity to initiate the action.
  • If you are not able to talk first someone else already did it add your points and give the discussion a new dimension.
  • If your points are already put forward by some others before you talk thank them for bringing up the point and support them by adding your additional points.
  • If you have got no points to add don’t be a bystander gather all the points expressed by other members conclude the GD with a very clear summary which shows that you won the battle even though you have no armors.
  • Always remember the 6 c’s of communication- Clarity, Completeness, conciseness, confidence, correctness, and courtesy.

Group discussion at Marian International Institute of Management.

The college organizes GD for the selected candidates who got through the MBA entrance test. The GD is the second level for getting admission at MIIM and there is a personal interview which is the last and final round. There will be 7-8 candidate and a topic are given especially related to a current affair like “does women life have changed since the independence “. The group discussion will be monitored by professional faculties. The candidates will be given time to think once the topic is given. The GD is an important methodology to secure an admission at a top MBA college like Marian International Institute of Management

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