Group Discussion Do’s and Don’ts Tips

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do’s and Don’ts of Group Discussion
  • Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not. Be yourself.
  • A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. The evaluator wants to hear you speak.
  • Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say.
  • Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject.
  • Don’t start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject.
  • Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else’s point and then move onto express your views.
  • Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
  • Your body language says a lot about you – your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
  • Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently.
  • Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis.
  • Don’t lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don’t take the discussion personally.
  • Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: ‘I strongly object’ or ‘I disagree’. Instead try phrases like: ‘I would like to share my views on…’ or ‘One difference between your point and mine…’ or “I beg to differ with you”
  • Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak (this surely does not mean that the only thing that you do in the GD is to say “let us hear what the young lady with the blue scarf has to say,” or “Raghu, let us hear your views” – Essentially be subtle), and listen to their views. Be receptive to others’ opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.
  • If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving feedback.
  • Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity.

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