Group Discussion GD is a simulated exercise to see what kind of leadership quality emerge from a prospective candidate. Objectives: • You should be noticed by the panel • You should be able to be assertive not aggressive. • You should be able to make chances to speak & don’t complain about lack of time. • Should be able to put forth arguments logically. • You should be able to project good knowledge base.
Group Discussion • To highlight points that are different from others. • To take the group ahead if it is stuck at one point. • Should be attempting to build a consensus. • You must carry people with you. So do not get emotional, shout, invade other people's private space. • Outline the major issues first and only then state your stand. In other words give the justification first and the stand later. • Remember you are being evaluated on how you think and not what you think.
Before taking part in a GD . Keep yourself updated on latest news, happenings, and general knowledge, read the daily newspaper. • Discuss amongst your friends about the day’s important news and facts • Dress for the occasion. • Be professional and appear confident • Carry a notepad and pen • Relax and envision yourself as being successful
While Taking part in a GD • When you are speaking for the first time in the group • Introduce yourself by giving your name and the institution you are representing • Speak to the group and not looking at the invigilators. • Smile and be confident • Ensure you have proper body languagei. lean forward and show interestii. avoid unnecessary facial expressions and gestureiii. use hand gestures carefully
While Taking part in a GD • Make note of the points discussed when the other person is speaking and then give your viewpoints rather than disrupting when the other person is speaking • Speak loudly and clearly so that each member can listen to you. • Do not shout or become aggressive towards the other members • See that you do not go astray from the topic • If the invigilators give any special instructions, follow it carefully. • If you have any objection to any point , handle it carefullyObey the instructions of the leader (if any)
Important aspects of GD • The tone of language use in GD. • Usage of lubricating words or expressions in discussing. • Strategies. • Arriving at a win-win situation in all range of group activity-formal & informal.
Essentials for GDs • Team Player B-Schools lay great emphasis on this parameter because it is essential for managers to be team players.The reason: Managers always work in teams. • Reasoning AbilityReasoning ability plays an important role while expressing your opinions or ideas at a Group Discussion.
Essentials for GDs • Leadership • A leader would have the following qualities:S/he shows direction to the group whenever group moves away from the topic. • S/he coordinates the effort of the different team members in the Group Discussion. • S/he contributes to the Group Discussion at regular intervals with valuable insights. • S/he also inspires and motivates team members to express their views. • Caution: Being a mere coordinator in a Group Discussion does not help, because it is a secondary role. Contribute to the Group Discussion with your ideas and opinions, but also try and steer the conversation towards a goal.
Essentials for GDs • FlexibilityYou must be open to other ideas as well as to the evaluation of your ideas: That is what flexibility is all about • Assertiveness You must put forth your point to the group in a very emphatic, positive and confident manner.
Essentials for GDs • Initiative A general trend amongst students is to start a Group Discussion and get the initial kitty of points earmarked for the initiator. • Initiate a Group Discussion only if you are well versed with the topic. • If you start and fail to contribute at regular intervals, it gives the impression that you started the Group Discussion just for the sake of the initial points.
Essentials for GDs Listening Always try and strike a proper balance between expressing your ideas and imbibing ideas. Creativity/ Out of the box thinkingAn idea or a perspective which opens new horizons for discussion on the Group Discussion topic is always highly appreciated
Skills Evaluated in GD Leadership skills: ability to initiate group & guide the group in crisis. Communication Skills: clarity of thought, expression & aptness of language. Good listening skill & willingness to accommodate others. Esoteric jargons fetch negative marks. Interpersonal Skills: emotional maturity & balance. Should be more people centric & less self-centric. Should be able to remain cool in provocation, objective, empathize, team player & non threatening. Persuasive skills: analyze & persuade others to see the problem from multiple perspective without hurting the other person.
Skills Evaluated in GD Problem Solving Skills: ability to come out of divergent/offbeat solutions. Novel solutions=high risk/high return strategy.Conceptualizing Skills: ability to grasp situation, take from routine micro level to macro level.Eg: ability to summarize findings to present overall perspective of the problem discussed.
Characters that emerge in GD • Dictator • Middle of the road buffalo. Stuck to one point. • Wheel spinner. Goes round & round the same point. • Lawyer. Ifs & buts. • Monalisa. Passive. No contribution • Sleeping beauty. Lost to the world. • Donkey. Takes on all the responsibility. • Doer. Knows what he can do & gets into the discussion. Involves everyone in the discussion.
Speech is golden! • Speak in appropriate context. • Pay attention to the cultural aspect of the language spoken. • One of the most difficult things to do is to say ‘no’ or express disagreement to people. • Don’t say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’.
Speech is golden! • Gambits of speech in English language help in saying ‘no’ politely. • Gambit: is word or a phrase which helps to express what we are trying to say. Eg: we use gambit introduce, link, agree, disagree, respond… • Eg: asking for information: I’d like to know… could you tell me….. Do you happen to know….
Are you (mis)understood? Clarity & ambiguity: steps to bring in clarity: • Use unequivocal words same term may mean different in different fields or culture. 2. Use lower-level abstractions when clarity is essential they are direct as against high abstractions. 3. Use jargon judiciously they save time used in negotiation (liquidity-the degree to which an asset can be converted into cash) but create problem in cross-disciplinary discussions. 4. Use ambiguous language when it is strategically desirable it is true that straight talk is ethically palatable but ambiguity is acceptable in, I) promote harmony & cooperation, ii) soften the blow of difficult messages.
Are you (mis)understood? 5.Inflammatory language: generates negative feelings. • Biased language: • Beware trigger words: identify the set of our own trigger words that brings in flood of emotions. 6.Male/female language use: women’s style:-rapport, expressive, supportive, tentative, conversational initiation & maintenance. Men’s style: report, instrumental, advising, certain, conversational control
Words tell a story, your actions tells the whole story Non-verbal & verbal communication are integrated. Functions: i) regulates behavior and social interaction, ii) provides mechanisms for internal (self) regulation, iii) expresses emotions. The major channels of nonverbal communication include: • Facial expressions, • Kinesthics (body movements), • Paralinguistics (pitch, loudness, pausing, and timing of speech), • Proxemics (space), • Olfactics (smells), eye gaze, gestures, • Artifacts (like clothing and jewelry).
Essentials for GDs • Concluding the GDThe GD should be concluded by one or two members of the group. (in some cases, the invigilator may ask one person to come forward and make a presentation on the same) • All the major points and viewpoints discussed in the GD can be given as a conclusion
Remember the six C's of effective communicationclarity, Completeness, Conciseness Confidence Correctness Courtesy.
It’s not always what you have got and what the other has that is importantInstead what you think you have got and what you think the other has is important