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SBIT/H&S/7.5.

1/RC 07 June, 2011

Unit-III
GROUP DISCUSSION
Introduction
A group discussion is forum for discussing a topic with common objective of finding a
solution for a problem or discussing an issue. A Group discussion is a methodology used by an
organization to gange whether the candidate has certain personality traits and / or skills it desires
in its members. In this methodology the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation is given
few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for 15 – 20
minutes. It is considerably different from public speaking, a debate or an interview.
Four Essential components of a Group discussion are:
 Personality Manifestation
◊ Dress
◊ Body Language
◊ Tone and Voice
◊ Countenance
◊ Manners
 Knowledge:
Knowledge is power, the greater your knowledge of the subjects, the more interested,
enthusiastic and confident you will be. And the more fluent and forceful would be your
speech in the discussion.
 Communication skills:
Efficient communication is a silent feature of a Group Discussion. An idea can be
appreciated only when it is expressed Eloquently & Effectively.
A leader, an administrator , a manager, or an erudite scholar must possess the skills
to put across an idea. Communication may be one-way communication or two way
communication.
 Leadership:
The success of the group depends to a large extent on its leader. Active participator
may become a leader.
Types of Group Discussion:
Group discussion can be topic – based or case based. Topic based group discussion can be
classified into three types.
 Factual Topic: Factual topics are about practical things, which an ordinary person is
aware of in his day to day life.
Example : The education policy of India.
 Controversial Topics: Controversial topics are the ones that are argumentative in
nature. They are meant to generate controversy. In group discussion where these topics
are given for discussion, the noise level is usually high, there may be tempers flying. the
idea behind giving a topic like this is to see how much maturity the candidate is displaying
by keeping his/her temper in check , by rationally & logically arguing his/her point of view
without getting personal & emotional.
Example : Reservations should be removed, women make better managers.

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SBIT/H&S/7.5.1/RC 07 June, 2011

 Abstract Topics: Abstract topics are about intangible things. These topics are not given
often for discussion, but their possibility cannot be ruled out. These topics test your lateral
thinking & creativity.
Example : A is an alphabet, Twinkle Twinkle little star, the number 10.
HOW TO GENERATE IDEAS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION
There is no shortcut to knowledge. It is always desirable that you make extensive reading , keep
yourself abreast of the recent developments in various fields. You should consult good
magazines, newspapers and current publications , prepare exhaustive notes from them and
crystallize relevant points on important topics, pack them up in personalized language using
idioms , phrases, good words and expressions to generate ideas we can take help of three
methods: ( C A R, C P A, M P A ).
 Magazines
 Newspaper
 Current publications
Concept Analysis Response - C A R:
Every topic has a concept behind it. It is hidden the key idea & the key word therefore we can
approach the topic by analyzing the keywords.
Example: Should voting be made compulsory?
Concern Parties Approach - C P A:
Most of the topics concern several parties or group. It is relevant to approach the topic separately
from the point of view of the parties.
Example : Should teachers be assessed by students?
Multiple Perspectives Approach - M P A:
We can explore the implications of a topic from social , economic , cultural , political,
technological, spiritual ,religious, & Many other angles.
Example : Smaller states should be encouraged.
DYNAMICS OF GROUP DISCUSSION:
 Flexibility:
Never ever start your G D With a stance or a conclusion .
 Initiative:
Bear in mind that you have to initiate a G D only if you are well versed with the topic of the
G D.
 Communication skills:
It is necessary that communication should be clear. Your behavior in the group is also put
to test to see if you can work in the group.
 Knowledge:
Knowledge of the subject under discussion & clarity of ideas are important.

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SBIT/H&S/7.5.1/RC 07 June, 2011

 Leadership:
A candidate is supposed to display tactfulness , skill , understanding & knowledge.

 Exchange of thoughts:
The purpose is to get an idea about candidates in a short time and make assessments
about their skill, which cannot be evaluated in an interview.
 Addressing the group as a whole:
It is not necessary to address anyone by name. it is better to address the group as a whole.
 Thorough preparation:
There should be a thorough preparation because additional marks may be given, for
starting and concluding the G D.
Do’s & Don’ts
Do’s:
 Procedure to be followed
 Create an atmosphere to feel free
 Encourage non- participants
 Control talkative members
 Maintain friendly attitude.
Don’ts
 Don’t force the group to start the G. D Immediately
 Don’t try to be the centre of attraction all the time.
 Don’t comment on any everyone.
 Don’t the G.D too fast
 Avoid conflicts between ideas
 Don’t sit idle
 Avoid negative body language
 Don’t interrupt
INTERVENTION:
It is very important how we intervene. There are several tips we should keep in mind while we
intervene in a group discussion
 Never be emotional
 Use appropriate vocabulary & phrases
 Use pleasant body language
 Keep in mind that you are doing it only to convey your opinion & not against
the other members.
Summarizing Techniques:
A simple framework for a summary can be “ we had a healthy group discussion & as a
group, evaluated this topic from different perspectives. Some of my friends spoke in favour of the

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SBIT/H&S/7.5.1/RC 07 June, 2011

topic and the reasons they gave were (elaborate ), while some good points against the topic were
( elaborate ). In all, we had a very good discussion with everyone participating enthusiastically.

Some useful Tips:


 Body Language:
 Physical appearance
 Head position
 Eye contact
 Gesture
 Stance
 Facial expression
 Time to process the message.
 Bring it all together
 Modulation of Voice :
 Pitch, pace, power, pausing.
 Fluency & coherence :
 Gain fluency by expanding vocabulary.
 In order to speak effectively, it is important to clarify the purpose, goal
or thesis of your talk.

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