Objectives of Conducting a Group Discussion

Why is a Group Discussion Organized ?

In the previous article, we talked about what is group discussion, the basics and how is it different from a debate. In this article we are going to cover a number of subjects including why a Group discussion is being conducted, the areas of evaluation during a selection GD and some more points:

We all know that recruitment process nowadays is not a cake walk process. It is complex than it used to be in earlier times. Gone are those days, when only basis mark sheets and degree one used to grab a job. Now selection in a company or even in a management college depends on how you perform during your Group Discussion and Personal Interview.

While watching many reality shows, singing or dancing contests on television, we get to see that the judges evaluate the candidates’ skills, not only basis their singing or dancing skill, but an ‘x’ factor is also important. Now, what is this ‘X’ factor? This X factor is determined through the group discussions. Hence GD plays an important part in letting the recruiters know, identify and acknowledge your skills other than your educational degrees.

Group Discussion serves several purposes:

  • Collecting data

  • Breeding fresh ideas and taking inputs from a particular group

  • Perception of common people on a particular topic

  • Identify a solution to a specific problem or issue

  • Selecting candidates after their written test for hiring in a company

  • Selecting candidates for admission in an educational institute

The group discussion is a two-way helpful process. A candidate who goes through the process gains clarity of his/her own thoughts, views and opinion. He/She learns how to evolve thinking and come to a solution or conclusion for a certain topic. And on recruiter’s part, it is helpful as they evaluate a candidate’s soft skills through Group discussion.

This also allows people to walk around a concept in greater detail and learn the topic in depth. This practice is also being applied during campus interviews and selection process. A group discussion among students is being organized to see and evaluate their thinking skills, listening abilities and how they are communicating their thoughts. One should learn to control the conversation through listening attentively and then having the perseverance to mould it towards his/her own direction.

Benefits of Group Discussions

  • It is a good way to engage the participants in a fruitful discussion

  • Group discussion generates a creative thinking in all participants, something beyond the obvious answers and solution to a specific problem

  • Generate more ideas and a structured presentation of a topic

  • Improves analytical abilities to think on a particular given topic

  • Enables profound and in-depth understanding of the subject

  • Provides different approaches to a topic

  • Helps to come to a concluding point or at least near solution to a problem

  • Gives a chance to listen, know and understand diverse opinions on a particular matter

  • Improves confidence in public speaking platform

  • Can alter our perspectives as well

Areas of Evaluation in a Selection GD

Though a group discussion, many things for a particular candidate can be assessed, such as his/her mental capacity to think, his creative bent of mind, Analytical abilities, comprehending a subject and then speaking on it, awareness, attitude, and energy levels. Some of them are detailed below:

  • Understanding of the Subject: During a group discussion, it is being constantly assessed how deep your knowledge is about the chosen topic and how well you are aware of each aspect of that topic.

  • Assertiveness: You confidence shows up in a group discussion. It is assessed that how confident you are while putting up your opinion in front of other. Others may certainly vary or disagree to the point but how well and how confidently you bring your thoughts forward is what matters the most.

  • Team Work: While working in an organization or even during management studies, it is very important to work as a part of the team in a given project or any assignment. This skill is really important and it is evaluated through GD as well. You not only put your own points but also listen to others and then come to a concluding point. This shows how ready you are to listen to other’s opinion, give value to that and also at the same time stand by your own convictions.

  • Willingness to Take the Initiative: This skill plays a very important part in professional and personal life. Employers highly regard it. They want that you just do not stick to your own work but also should be able to take extra initiative whenever it is required. When you start a topic, you have to be very cautious so as to put the right point forward and give the entire discussion a right direction.

  • Listening Skills: This is again an important skill which gets evaluated during a group discussion. So, you should learn to listen not to reply back, but pay full attention to what the other person is trying to say. Generally, people get biased to their own thoughts and ideas and do not want to look beyond that. So listening to other person is also essential.

  • Adaptability: In today’s dynamic and ever-changing environment, it is essential to keep yourself flexible and adaptable toward the situation. During a group discussion, sometimes you need to agree to some point and also it happens that in due course some views change your mind as well. So being rigid and stubborn is not going to be very helpful

  • Leadership Qualities: Group discussion demonstrates clearly who amongst them is taking the lead and who is a passive contestant. A good leader gives the entire discussion a good direction and takes it forward whenever it is deviating from the main topic. But while taking the lead, one has to be double sure whether his/her points are valid or not, else it will give the other person a golden opportunity to snatch the lead away and negate his/her points.

  • Communication Skills: As communication is a medium of expressing your thought, it is more important in today’s interactive world. Hence communication skills are yet again important skills which are evaluated through a structured group discussion.

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