Group Discussion all you need to know
Group Discussion Topics can be classified as:
- Business Economy Topics (Factual Topics)
- Current Affairs (Factual Topics)
- Abstract Topics (Creative Topics)
- Social Issues (Controversial Topics)
- Political Topics (Controversial Topics)
Group Discussions can also be case-based or situation based.
A group discussion can be evaluated on various parameters since the behavioral aspects come out in open during the discussion. Let's see what the common criteria for general group discussions are:
The one who can initiate the discussion or give a particular direction always gets the brownie points in a group discussion. Always remember the 3 'C' approach while initiating a group discussion:
Clarity:To be the initiator, you must be clear with the thought process in order to take the direction in the right direction especially if the topic is abstract. Your creativity of dragging the conversation will decide the further path of the GD.
Content:Your content could really create a difference in a group discussion process since facts and figures always defend perceptions and help the other members create theirs. Thus you could be at an advantage if you know the world around you and can frame it in a sensible form.
Confidence:Creating a connection with other members of the group is very important to achieve an intangible support from them. This can be done by keeping a confident front in front of the members to gain their trust.
Remember: Initiation doesn't always mean being the first one to speak up. Consider an example where the group discussion has created a mess and you are the one who took the initiative to calm down the conversation and bring the members to consensus, aren't you the winner?
Your contribution in a group discussion has to be a balancing act, not just a speaker, neither only a listener. You need to take care of the following:
The Action-Reaction Approach: Your contribution can be either an action as an initiative to the discussion or a reaction to someone else's action. If you are going with the action, make sure you are clear with the topic at hand and the thought process that follows. Reacting to other member's views could either be an agreement or a disagreement. If you are going with an agreement, you can highlight your views by giving examples. In case of a disagreement, you must have strong arguments to support your viewpoints. Both the cases, your motive is to have an impact on the other listeners and give them direction to follow.
Role: Your role in a group discussion may vary from:
Leader: If you hold the role of the leader, it is your responsibility to keep motivating the members of the team and coordinate a healthy conversation.
Administrator: The one who has the ability to add relevant facts to the discussion to keep it active and alive.
The Piggy Rider: If you are the one who steals the ideas of others but is smart enough to make it seem sensible and present it confidently, you re the piggy rider.
Positive Contribution: When a group member is able to create a positive environment of participating and learning, it is a positive contribution style.
Negative Contribution: Traits like redundant interference, unpleasant attitude, and questionable behavior are depicted by the one showing negative contribution.
Let us check out how to communicate in a group discussion:
Fluency: Your ability to speak with a constant rate of speech coupled with uninterrupted flow shows a good fluency.
Articulation: Your voice should be audible pleasantly and clearly to maintain articulation.
Modulation: Your pitch should not go too high or too low. Keep it constantly at a suitable rate.
Energy: Keep your energy level high and in a positive way in order to gain an advantage over others.
Posture: : Keep your body posture appropriate. Stay upright to dignify your confidence and seriousness.
Eye Contact: Eye contact is one of the best ways to display acknowledgment that you are listening and considering what other group members are talking about. Considering the Pareto rule, maintain the 80-20 eye contact, i.e., look at the key speakers 80% of the time and at the other members 20% of the time.
Gestures: Your gestures give away a lot about you. To make an overall effective impact, maintain your gestures as positive. Avoid pointing fingers at others. Do not keep moving your leg unnecessarily.
You definitely will have the advantage in the discussion if you are able to persuade any one of the other group members with your argument. It reflects your strong personality full of leadership skills and confidence.Persuasion can be divided by following approaches:
Ethos: Ethos is persuading someone with trust and reliability. Being the one who adds value to the conversation, you are trusted more and listened to.
Pathos: This approach involves taking care of the emotions of other members of the group. Make counter-arguments to sensitive viewpoints at the correct time and in a decent way.
Logos: Be logical in whatever you speak. Logical arguments are always received in a better way.
The most difficult activity in a group discussion that you need to take care of is maintaining a balance between your individual performance and the group's performance. You definitely need to develop healthy relations with other group members with your excellence but that should not override your personal essence over the group and the discussion. You should maintain a good balance to give a confident behavior with leadership skills.
Keep your argument in line with logic and you will see the efforts turning positively towards you. If you feel the need to hop to other thread of an argument, make it in a continued and logical way so that it seems relevant.