Group Discussion or GD is the stepping stone to get closer to your goal – an MBA school of your choice.
We all know the role a Group Discussion plays to get admission to a college; GD evaluates whether the candidate has certain personality traits and skills that is befitting for a manager.
So we know how we should deal with the GD topic, how to prepare for a GD and the correct etiquettes to adopt while participating in a GD. Insipte of all this, we do commit some fatal mistakes. These mistakes may seem insignificant to us, but they are very important in the corporate life. For example, how we speak/ treat others may seem natural to us, but may be interpreted as arrogance by the panelists. This is something that is innate in our character and no amount of training can fix it, except our personal efforts. Let’s start by identifying the common mistakes that we make in the course of a Group Discussion.
Common Mistakes in a Group Discussion (GD)
- Outburst of emotions or anger
- Talking too much
- Egotism or showing off – fake figures and information
- Grabbing Attention (most of it arises from the desire to be the first, and hence acts in the wrong way)
Now that we are aware of the common mistakes during a Group Discussion, let’s look at the things that we should do at the time of a Group Discussion (GD). These tips for a successful GD will not only up your chances of getting ahead of your fellow participants, but also give you the huge advantage of being noticed by the panelists for your sheer compatibility.
Things to Do during a Group Discussion (GD)
- Speak pleasantly and politely to the group
- Respect and recognize the contribution of every member (and show it with a nod or a smile!)
- Agree and acknowledge whatever you find interesting
- Disagree politely because it’s a discussion and not an argument! Be firm but gracious
- Do a mental revision of what you are going to say. Think of how you can best answer the question or contribute to the topic
- Stick to the theme of discussion and not wander into other discussion / irrelevant information
- Follow GD etiquettes, when speaking
Things to NOT DO during a Group Discussion
- Lose your temper. It’s a GD, not an argument
- Shout. No one is deaf there, so use a moderate tone and a medium pitch
- Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive, so limit your body gestures
- Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow the quieter, a chance to speak up/ contribute
- Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote
- Interrupt when someone else is speaking. Wait for a speaker to finish before you speak.
Remember, the panelists are watching and observing you. So here are some of the most important points that you should remember & follow in a Group Discussion (GD)
Important Points to Remember in a GD
- Communication skills – listen and then talk, be precise and clear and let others speak
- Knowledge and ideas – read consistently, knowledge will make you confident and convincing
- Capability to co-ordinate and lead – display tactics, skill; have knowledge and understanding on varied topics and motivate & influence others
- Exchange of thoughts – listen first, articulate well, lead the discussion and treat every member with respect
- Addressing the group as a whole – dress conservatively, use formal and simple language to address the group and maintain group discussion etiquette
- Thorough preparations – read voraciously, so that your thoughts come to you naturally