A Group Discussion may be based on two kinds of topics:-
Such topics require familiarity with facts/information on static/dynamic components of the environment.These topics can be further categorized into the following :-
- Factual Generic - These topics require a basic level of awareness w.r.t the various segments of the environment. They test you more on interpersonal skills and behavior,rather than discrete sectoral information. Examples:-
- Cricket and India.
- Issues of managing diversity in a country like India.
- Honesty is the best policy.
- Living in a joint family is better.
- Guessing is an act of intelligence.
- Factual Specific -
These topics assess you on specific challenges in gathering and analyzing information on select areas. A thorough understanding of current affairs can ensure a high comfort level in handling such topics.
- WTO and its impact on the Indian Economy.
- The Jasmine revolution and implications for the Arab world.
- The Euro crisis: issues and challenges.
Such topics are based on your perception. The way you look at the topic decides your subsequent participation and performance. The challenge here is to put forth multiple implications of the topic and then evoke a discussion on some of them. Idea generation and ability to add a tangible angle to an otherwise abstract topic are the hallmarks of success here.
- Pigs can fly.
- And the clock struck 13!
- Pink pyjamas over the Red Fort.
- Red is red, blue is blue and never the two shall meet.
- Factual Topics:
The first step towards approaching factual topics is to look at the topic from various perspectives. Try to get the reasons and causes behind the topic or issue. This would help in reaching and covering more areas about the Topic. It is highly recommended that one should not take a pre-mediated stand before the start of the topic, as it may restrict one to contribute new ideas to the topic and also the discussion becomes more of a debate. Factual Topic s can further be classified into the following categories.
The techniques that one can adopt to manage factual topics are:-
- Try and find the stake holders in the given issue - Given the topic or the issue try and figure out those elements who have been responsible for the occurring of the problem.Also, figure out those elements who are going to lose or benefit from the issue.
- A good way to start is asking why- Try to find the root of the topic i.e. what has caused this issue.
- Try to explore the history of the Topic / issue - find those people who triggered the issue.
- Discuss the Pros and Cons and offer your perspectives
- Give examples relevant to the issue.
- Non-Factual Topics:
- Creativity and Lateral Thinking: Focus the Group on thinking as creatively as possible and then translating that thinking into concrete ideas and words.
- Linkages to factual issues: A creative idea is best if linked to a factual issue and preferably a matter currently in the news.
- Ability to understand and develop other's concepts: Paying close attention to other's points so that they can be developed further.
- Linkages of abstract concepts: Connecting two concepts to form a third one and therefore a new area of thought is a very impressive way to further the discussion of an abstract topic
- "Funnel Approach": An advancement of the above idea where the participant combines not just 2 or 3 but a whole range of diverse ideas and finds common ground between them and brings then together.