Normally, when we sit on a Group Discussion panel ‘she’ starts opposing you, ‘he’ starts Shouting
and various other starts arguing among themselves only. And in this room which is full of chaos, you are supposed to impress the examiner so that you clear the GD round. Be it for Management (MBA), Company placement or Bank Exams.
Group Discussion is an important round and also full of Chaos. But as Little Finger says,
and we are going to tell you how to climb it. Think of it this way. When we are with friends and family, we are so good at talking because we have an opinion about everything.
Group discussions are exactly the same but all we have to do is to know what kind of topics will be thrown at us and be prepared. And today by the end of this lesson, we are going to get you prepared. So in today’s lesson we are going to learn:
Also read Can India Boycott imports from China?
What is Group Discussion?
A Group discussion is a platform where a number of candidates (say 10-12) are given a matter or a subject of topic and are asked to discuss among themselves for a set duration. The kind of matter given in a GD round can be broadly classified into 4 categories:
- General Category Topics.
This can be related to factual data, education scheme or strategy of our country, current affairs etc… For example: ‘Can India boycott imports from China?‘ or ‘Is India ready for the final wave of Corona Virus?’ The purpose of these topics are to find out how much aware you are of what is happening around you.
- Controversial Topics.
For example: ‘Is Beef Ban logical?’ or ‘Women make better managers.’ or ‘Freshers are better than laterals.’ As you can see, these topics are argumentative in nature and that’s exactly the purpose to provoke you! Because the examiner wants to know how mature you are in keeping your temper in check.
- Abstract Topics.
These does not really point to a particular subject. For example: ‘End justifies the means.’ or ‘The farther we look, the closer we are.’ These topics are meant to test your lateral thinking and creativity.
- Case-study based Topics.
For example: A company fired an employee and as a result other employees went on a strike. The question is, ‘Why do you think the company fired the employee and what can they do to end the strike?’ These use cases are usually a short description of a problem and the participating candidates together are required to come up with the solution.
What exactly the traits examiner wants to know about you through the Group Discussion?
(i) They want to know how good are your communication skills. So avoid using informal phrases like, ‘I don’t know’, ‘Kya yaar’, ‘chalta hai’ On the other hand, you don’t have to use complicated words like Shashi Tharoor or be a Grammar Nazi. It’s okay to make a few grammatical mistakes here and there. Just make sure you are confident while talking.
(ii) They want to know how flexible you are in accepting other people’s views. This is important because eventually you will work in a team where not everybody will agree with you. Your co-workers will come from different backgrounds, lifestyle, opinions, beliefs, religions. So it’s important that you are open to new ideas even if they don’t align with the way you think.
(iii) They want to know your subject knowledge i.e how much you read and how much you pay attention to what is happening around you. But most importantly they want to know how are your listening skills.So relax, listen carefully and maintain eye contact with whoever is speaking. Remember, the group discussion is not about you. It’s about the team.
Different parts of Group Discussion along with sample answers.
The Group Discussion can be broadly classified into 3 parts.
(i) Now a lot of people will tell you that you should be the first person to start the Group Discussion. The advantage of starting first, is that you grab everybody’s attention and can make a great first impression. But if you talk nonsense while everybody is looking at you then it’s going to give a bad impression on examiner.
(ii) But if you get the second turn, you will get extra time to note down the important points and think about what you are going to deliver the next and best yet, suppose you didn’t understand the topic then thanks to the first person who make it easier for you as you will start understanding what exactly the topic is all about.
(iii) Be it first or second, you need to have something meaningful to say. You can start with a quote, a fact or even you can start with a short incident from your own personal life that you can relate to the topic in the best way possible. For example, suppose the topic is ‘Was sudden Lock down a successful move in India?’ So in this, you start with your personal experience related to the topic and then immediately switch to the next point where you express your opinion. Remember, it is important to not lengthen your personal experience to the point where everybody gets bored.
Now, throughout the GD, you are required to remember these 3 points.
(i) In Group Discussion, people are seen hitting the table and screaming at others if they don’t agree with them. May be that’s how you get selected in Roadies but in real life, you will be kicked out of the next round. So, if somebody doesn’t agree with you, you don’t have to be aggressive about it. Aggressive people make bad employees and worse managers. Instead, be assertive and put your point across rationally. Suppose you get a controversial topic like ‘Women make better managers than men’ and if a guy doesn’t agree, then don’t be like ‘My mother makes a better manager than you! ‘Instead you can say something productive.
(ii) The best thing is to keep a notepad or a pen & paper with you throughout the Group Discussion so that you can note down the ideas that keep coming to you and the name of the other participants. Because if the argument gets heated then taking a person’s name is the best way to attract their attention.
(iii) You don’t have to dominate the GD by speaking on and on. There are no such rules but in a 15-20 minutes GD with 8-10 participants if you speak for around 2 minutes spread across 4-5 occasions then it should be good enough.
And finally, the examiner will ask you to summarize and the best way to summarize is to acknowledge other’s opinion, state your opinion and find the intermediate position to both in as less words as possible. For example, if the topic was ‘Will India be able to overcome this Global Recession?’ and you were ‘for’ the topic, then you can conclude by saying “India will definitely be able conquer this Global Recession”
Finally, it’s time for the Bonus Tip.
If you wish to clear the GD round, then you are required to follow these 2 things:
(i) Consume data that makes you smart. It’s okay to watch Comedy Skits and Vlogs on YouTube once in a while. But focus more on consuming data that makes you Smart. Like watching Infotainment videos, reading the newspaper, at least read Comic books because they will improve your English language skills.
(ii) Pick 2 – 3 of your friends or family members and create an informal GD group and meet regularly to discuss a particular topic. This is the best way to practice before you appear for your actual GD.
So, Go and form your GD group. But before you leave, here is your first Group Discussion assignment.
Comment below and let us know in 2 – 3 sentences how will you begin the Group Discussion on the topic. ‘How do you think India should deal with Corona Virus?’ Don’t worry about grammar, don’t worry about punctuation. Just write. Because that is how we will learn. we’ll be waiting to read your comments. On that note, we promise to see you again very soon until then,
Keep learning and get set to ACE Group Discussion.