5 tips for handling a fish market situation in a GD

Group discussions often turn into a fish market if there is lack of direction or an effective leadership. Such a situation can adversely impact the performance of all the candidates. Go through the following five important points to tackle a 'fish market' situation effectively:
Do the unexpected
  • The unexpected results in a sudden shock : The fish market situation is a desperate situation to be in. Doing the unexpected may act as a momentary jolt for the group and give you an opportunity to add immediate value.
  • The shock can act as a momentary pacifier : Such a strategy creates a quick vacuum for you to rush into and get the stage for a short while.
  • Unexpected can be a quick example, a short story or a befitting data : A story, a quote or a data input are some of the tools for doing the unexpected. All of these have a potential to create an awe factor for you.
Form Allies
  • Fish market is the result of contradictory views/opinions :A fish market situation usually arises out of conflicting opinions and may be avoided if you are able to seamlessly align with the group members.
  • Identify the person(s) you wish to support : It may not be possible to support all the participants as it will kill the essence of a discussion. But you are advised to identify the ones you wish to resonate with.
  • Collaborate effectively : Once you know the set of participants you desire to associate with, plan your strategy accordingly. Collaborating with them may help you leverage the power of synergy.
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Use Voice/Eye Contact Techniques
  • Modulate upwards to enter the discussion and then downwards to plant your point.
  • Look at the person whom you wish to counter; start from there and then take your eyes off that person in a quick swing of neck to establish an eye contact elsewhere.
Assign a Sequence
  • This is the last resort : Assigning a sequence is actually against the essence of natural discussion and may be resorted to only if all other channels fail.
  • Intervene with a persuasive tone and propose a sequential order of speaking.
  • Start with someone who has been high on ‘speaking inertia’, as he/she is more likely to hold on to the opportunity.
  • Ensure that nobody overshoots the tentative time window.
Avoid the following…..
  • Speaking for the sake of speaking : You get only a limited time to add value to the discussion. Don’t waste that in redundant and random inroads.
  • Being irrationally rigid : If you are convinced that the other someone has valid discussion pints, don’t hesitate to accept that point. It reflects willingness to learn from others.
  • Getting into an argument with ‘loud’ personalities.
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