What is a Group Discussion?
"Group" is a collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction and who work together to achieve a common set of goals. "Discussion" is the process whereby two or more people exchange information or ideas in a face-to-face situation to achieve a goal. The goal, or end product, maybe increased knowledge, agreement leading to action, disagreement leading to competition or resolution or perhaps only a clearing of the air or a continuation of the status-quo.
Who holds a Group Discussion?
"Group Discussion", popularly labeled as GD, is a popular methodology used by an many organizations (company, institute, business school, etc.) these days to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits such as interpersonal communication skills, confidence in public speaking, team spirit, leadership abilities, social behaviour and problem-solving skills. GDs form an important part of the short-listing process for recruitment or admission in a company or institution.
Group Discussion Preparation
How is a GD Conducted?
In this methodology, there are usually 7-12 participants in a group. The the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation which could be either factual, abstract or case based, and typically given some time to think and make notes about the same. After this, the group of candidates is, and then asked to discuss it the topic among themselves for a specific duration ranging between 10-40 minutes (which may vary from one organization to another). While the group discusses the pertaining issue at hand, the Moderators/ Panelists silently observe each candidate on various pre-determined parameters. The Panelists assign scores to every candidate based on his/her individual performance as well as how he performed within the group.
As in a football game, where you play like a team, passing the ball to each team member and aim for a common goal, GD is also based on teamwork, incorporating views of different team members to reach a common goal. So, a group discussion refers to a communicative situation that allows its participants to share their views and opinions with other participants. It is a systematic exchange of information, views and opinions about a topic, problem, issue or situation among the members of a group who share some common objectives.
Why is a "GD" conducted?
Over the recent years, Group Discussion became a popular method of assessing a candidate’s soft skills. The contenders who are shortlisted on basis of written exams have qualified with their intelligence quotient, i.e., aptitude and knowledge. However, since the significance of emotional quotient arose, new tools such as GD were devised to gauge candidates’ social and interpersonal skills. Organizations conduct GDs to find out whether you possess the critical qualities/skills to contribute effectively to the goal accomplishment process.
Why GD is important?
- It helps evaluate whether a candidate is the right fit for the organisation.
- It helps assess how a participant performs under different situations in a group.
- It helps to judge how one conceptualizes and manoeuvres his ideas through the discussion.
- It helps in analysing the candidate’s attitude towards fellow members through one’s communication and interpersonal skills, listening ability, humility and tolerance to others ideas.
- It helps in shedding light on candidate’s leadership and managerial skills, problem-solving aptitude, creative thinking and knowledge on diverse topics.
Since, team work is an essential element of business management and corporate work-sphere, a person’s ability to perform well in a GD is very critical for a successful career. A GD helps to achieve group goals as well as individual goals. The examiner can evaluate both the personality traits and group skills of candidates participating in a G.D. It is basically a situation test wherein a sample of a candidate’s group worthiness and potential as a worker comes out quite explicitly.