Group Discussions (GD) FAQs

Updated: Apr 3



HOW TO START A GD?


When in a group discussion, rule number


1: Once the GD has begun, there is no moderator in the GD room. < That does not mean you need to assume the role of one> GD is all about becoming visible in a crowd. It usually takes a format in which everyone does not get a desired time to pitch in and speak. Hence, my experience tells me, the rule number 

2: Being on the feet, thinking, thinking and thinking is the most important thing.


The “I am the one” way: Big Daddy approach

START: In the time to think, Structure the topic: Write down a. How to start b. main 2-3 points and begin!!!!!!

INTRODUCE THE TOPIC AND OPEN IT UP FOR DISCUSSION: modularization is the word folks!

SIT back, relax: In the remaining GD, all you need to do is:

Listen 

Smoothen the flow: put in additives or contribute/ support other’s ideas


The “Best manager” approach:

Don’t start, structure your points. Pay specific attention to innovative directions possible for the topic.

Let them begin, let 2 or maximum three of them speak. Then you put in your nose with “immediate” buzz of:

Structure

Direction

Involvement with the things being discussed: you had been listening

Reasons: The moderator should think, “Thank God he spoke”


So how to practice?


  •  Make a GD group 

  •  Practice once a week on any relevant topic

  •  Keep reviewing each others attempts to start

  •  Make sure you do not blabber post starting

  • Be confident


HOW TO ADD NEW DIMENSIONS TO A GD?

MODULARIZATIONis the key. Every topic has parts to it. Some visible, some out of the box. You need to keep thinking on the feet. Break a topic into its component parts and then create dimensions from each of the picked up components. 


For example: “India of today” – Its parts can be a. India b. today c. Rest of the world d. yesterday e. tomorrow f. Indians g. Indian economy h. Indian politics i. Indian movies.


The idea is to identify the present and the absent present.



Note: Adding dimensions is not the same as throwing more and more examples. Example throwing is a part of discussion, but not the only thing. This is a trap that GD takers often fall into. Modularize, create new points for discussion. You get brownie points for doing that. 


A good GD person uses all his/her tricks to design the discussion. Here are some ways of how to add new dimensions.


“I agree to your point but….”

“Good point, to take it forward …”

“This is one aspect for sure, but ….”

 “I have another point to make..”

“I would just make it a bit different…”


NOTE:


Lets summarize: Do not say harsh words which might sound offensive. You should also remember that you are not the moderator, but you are there to add value to the discussion being held. A good team member is what you need to become in the discussion.


HOW TO ADD STATISTICS OR EXAMPLES IN A GD?

You need to add on to the discussion going on. This means you can add relevant examples to your points as well as to the points that others are making. Put in examples only when you think you have some example to strengthen some valid point being made.  Do not create examples out of context. An out of context example might be suicidal – it shows, “your listening is poor”


How to pin in examples?


  • “I have something to consolidate the point been made”

  •  “I would like to add some example to this discussion”

  •  “Would like to give one example before we proceed”

  •  “There are examples for this….”


Statistics are as impressive as statistics. Be it a man’s salary, a student’s marks or a girl’s age, statistics do speak a story. Factual discussions need to be factual. We need data and facts to back the points that we are making. If you are not in a habit of remembering socio-economic-political figures, you must change habits right from now. 


How to do it then?


  1.  When you follow news, remember the relevant things. 

  2.  Keep notes – keep revising them

  3.  Use statistics as tools for your help – do not just live on stats, but thrive on them every now and then. 

  4.  Enjoy numbers!


HOW TO CONCLUDE A GD?

The key to concluding is to keep noting the points being discussed in the group discussion. You might want to take notes in a piece of paper given there or keep things in your mind.  


When asked to conclude, you have to carry forward the discussion from where it got interrupted. Its more like completion, than conclusion.



What is summarization?


Summarization is about wrapping up what direction the group has taken. It is not about giving your new points on the talk. It is about combining the points that have been broadly put forward in the group or accepted by the group.


  •  Never use words of disagreement when you have been asked to end the discussion. It is time to show your leadership skills, not to kick off your innovation boots. 

  •  Try to set up a conclusion which comes from a leader and for the group. The team members should feel that this person spoke for the larger group and on the logic discussed.


How to practice?


  1.  Read editorials

  2.  Summarize them in not more than 4-5 sentences

  3.  Practice finding out central ideas of articles that you read in newspapers or in magazines. Try to get into the minds of the authors you read.