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Group Discussion is one of the major nightmares an aspirant of an interview has after clearing the written paper. Many brilliant candidates are thrown out post-CAT as they lack the preparation and tactfulness required in a GD. You can relax as Mr. Vineet Patawari - PGDM (IIM Indore), ACA, B.Com (H), founder CEO of www.fireup.co.in tells you how you can do this more effectively and crack the interview.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL GROUP DISCUSSIONS

 

Effective group discussions achieve group goals and aid in decision making. However, a large number of group discussions end without a group consensus. It is therefore, important to know the characteristics that make a group discussion successful. Successful group discussions share some or all of the following features:

 

Agreement on Group Goals

An effective GD begins with a purpose, which is shared and understood by all the group members. As the participants know why they are taking part in the discussion, they can concentrate better and can be more active in realizing the group goals. They can smoothly work from a general purpose to specific goals. Moreover, the agreement on group goals brings clarity and provides direction to the group.

 

Goal Oriented Interaction

Successful discussions motivate group members to have goal oriented interaction. Effective GD members are not only aware of the group goals but also work towards the attainment of these goals. As they are more interested in achieving these group goals than promoting their personal interests, they develop and promote meaningful interactions that aid in implementing the purpose of the discussion.

 

Agreement on Procedures

Participants of a successful GD develop procedures to guide them. They decide how they will organize the presentation of individual views, how an exchange of the views will take place, and how they will reach a group consensus. In order to ensure attainment of group goals, they may develop norms of interaction. If the participants of a GD fail to do so, there may be anarchy and the more assertive and aggressive members might dominate and monopolies the entire discussion. This may make the entire process meaningless.

 

Cooperative and Friendly Atmosphere

An important characteristic of successful GDs is the development of a cooperative, friendly, and cordial atmosphere where disagreements do exist but they do not lead to serious conflicts. Members cooperate with each other as they understand and appreciate different points of views and try to pool them together in order to develop group consensus. There may be direct but goal-oriented confrontation as each member presents his/her points of view as well as reservations and differences. However, these different positions, opinions, ideas, and approaches enrich the process of discussion and broaden the horizon of the group.

 

Use of effective communication techniques

The success of a GD depends on an effective use of communicative techniques. Effective GD members keep the channels of communication open and speak clearly and precisely using simple words, short sentences, correct articulation, and appropriate pronunciation. They are direct and specific and try to avoid and check barriers to group communication. Moreover, they use non-verbal communication tactfully and interpret the body language of other participants. As they are active team listeners, they encourage others to speak.

 

Equitable Distribution of Participation

An effective GD ensures an equitable distribution of participation by all. Each member is important and no one is allowed to dominate or monopolise the discussion. As optimal participation by all is the group-goal, members encourage each other to participate. Reluctant and shy members are drawn into the discussion.

 

Shared Leadership

There is generally no elected or formal leader in a GD. The leadership functions are shared and performed by the various members of the group. As there is a willingness on the part of each participant to reach to a group consensus, they come forward to perform leadership tasks such as starting the discussion, keeping the discussion going, encouraging non-participants to speak, making periodic summaries, checking the group progress, and so on.

 

To know some more tips on GD and PI you can log into www.fireup.co.in the fireup team also has an offline help for the aspirants, their innovative CD on GD.

 

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