The group discussion is a discussion or exchange of ideas. It involves an introduction to the topic, a body and a summary.
Structure of Group discussion
Introduction: Discuss the what, when and where of the topic. Discuss the scope and relevance of the topic.
Body: Discuss the causes and effects of the topic. Give relevant examples.
Solutions: As a manager you are expected to give solutions. While giving solutions, again bring out relevant examples. Further, if possible do a cost benefit analysis for the solutions.
Summary: Summarize what the group discusses. Organize topics. One way to do it is by discussing what the topic was, what were the causes and effects and some solutions suggested. Avoid adding an opinion
How to prepare for topic discussion?
- Make a list of all that comes to your mind when you think about the topic.
- Organize these points and write down examples.
- Ensure you have both the pros and cons.
- Prioritize points based on what you will say in the introduction, body and solution stage.
What to do in actual group Discussion?
- Greet the group
- Introduce the topic
- Analyse the topic and participate in the group discussion
- Suggest solutions
- Summarize the group discussion
Tips for Group Discussion session
- Always enter with pen and paper
- Progress by your own merit (use your strengths for the session, don’t get yourself too worried about what the others say)
- Do not speak too much or too little.
- Address the group and not an individual or evaluator (eye contact)
- Listen to others
- Look interested in what others say (even if you consider the talk not relevant)
- Encourage group members who want to speak or show initiative (quality of concern and team spirit)
- Interrupt using positive words only (Eg. Not “but….” but “and also…” or “how about looking at it this way”)
- Respect contrary view point
- Keep your cool and don’t get restless if you have not been able to speak
- Display appropriate body language (based on company profile / job profile)
- Use your management knowledge to approach the topic given
- Display and contribute original ideas
- Be innovative
- Do not just find the remedy or give solutions but analyze them effectively
- Display democratic leadership style
- Utilize your time efficiently, try to summarize points during the session and provide direction to the group.
- In case of case study, remember to do cost benefit analysis (this will fetch you your scores)
What you must never do at the group discussion?
- Don’t be rude to other members.
- Never take a strong stand in the beginning.
- Don’t criticize group member’s opinions or points discussed.
- Avoid correcting unless done politely
- Don’t point fingers while talking
- Don’t write while the group is discussing.
- Don’t giggle or laugh at someone else’s opinion, accent, communication style.
- Don’t look at the panelist.