Racing in the Rain

Group Discussion

“You never ever get a second chance to create a first impression”

    -Anonymous

Group discussion is the assessment of your language proficiency, interpersonal skill, general awareness, subject knowledge etc. It also helps evaluator or examiner to judge your confidence level, attitude, enthusiasm, leadership quality, patience, decisiveness, critical thinking ability, smartness etc.

In a Group Discussion, you should confine yourself to express only your views; it’s not a debating stage, so. In fact, a systematic Group Discussion can be divided into two parts with respect to the given time. In the first half, candidates can share their views one by one and in the remaining half or second part of the discussion, candidates can exercise their choice in agreeing, disagreeing or remaining neutral about the topic. Most often, candidates don’t prefer this pattern and start speaking randomly. Now let’s briefly summarize dos and don’ts of an impressive Group Discussion:

1) Initiate the GD

It is believed that initiating a Group Discussion will be very beneficial. And of course it is, but only if you have enough acquaintance, facts & figure relevant to the topic. Otherwise, do not start Group Discussion just to grab the attention of the evaluator because it may hamper your impression in the beginning.

Tip: To make a better first impression you can use quotes, definition, shock statement, questions and a short story related to the topic.

Idea: Try to generate questions from the topic itself, if the topic is “Reservation is a boon or a curse” then to start a discussion you can generate questions like What is reservation? Why is reservation? How did it start? And then, define them. Another example: “Should Narendra Modi become Prime Minister of India”, then you can generate questions like What should be the qualities of a Prime Minister? Who is Mr. Narendra Modi? What has he done so far so that his name being suggested as PM Candidate?

Caution: Remember, when you initiate a  Group Discussion, it becomes your responsibility to take the discussion in a right direction. If you start  Group Discussion, then never start it with a conclusion that you are in favor or against the topic. It’s just the beginning and topic is yet to be discussed at length and to be concluded in the end.

2) Body Language

Be confident, stay positive and keep your interest in the discussion. Positive nonverbal gestures will bring you more marks. For example, your eye contact with all the team members during the discussion will give them a feeling that you are speaking to them, nodding while appreciating others views will also be a good indication. Don’t play the role of devil’s advocate.

Caution: Do not use slang, abusive language, do not smirk or insult any member and do not show that you are having a Mr. Don’t care type character.

3) Be a Good Listener

Listen to every member with proper attention and better if you can make a note of useful points.

Idea: An unfamiliar topic of  Group Discussion may make you anxious. And, you feel defeated even before the starting of  Group Discussion.  But, don’t lose confidence and start listening to other members carefully. After gaining proper insights about the topic you can intervene or you can also conclude the  Group Discussion in a better way.

4) Don’t wait for your turn

Don’t wait for your turn while  Group Discussion is going on. You can interrupt politely with your points.  You can steer the  Group Discussion in the proper direction if another candidate diverts  Group Discussion from its topic.

Caution: Politeness is good but don’t be over polite. Do not ask for permission from any member to speak. Everyone has equal rights to speak and nobody is mentor among the group.

5) Let others also speak

Remember, every member has right to speak and put his/her opinion. If you do not agree with their thoughts then make a note of it and speak during your own turn. Even, motivating other  Group Discussion members to put forward their idea is also a good practice and may increase your points.

Caution: If a candidate is not at all willing to speak, you should not unnecessarily force him to put forward his views.

6) Coordinate GD

There is no formal declared coordinator of a  Group Discussion among all the participating candidates. But, by good leadership skills, you can make yourself coordinator of  Group Discussion. The main role of the coordinator is to start the  Group Discussion in a proper manner, keep track of time limit, motivate everyone to participate, avoid diversion etc.

Caution: To be only a coordinator of Group Discussion does not help so much because it is a secondary role. You have to contribute significantly in the  Group Discussion to gain points.

7) No Anger or Aggression

Speak clearly, in a polite manner without any anger or aggression. It is often seen that many candidates speak very aggressively if they are not satisfied with the opinion of another member. But, it shows the lack of empathy and patience in your behavior.  It seems you are trying to force your opinion on others.

8) Don’t Divert

Don’t divert the discussion in the wrong direction and if any member does so, take the initiative and ask them to come on to the topic.

Instance: E.g. during a  Group Discussion on “Women are better Managers” a male guy said “Women are more emotional and having fewer leadership skills than their counterparts”, while he wasn’t done with his statement, a female candidate got charged and interrupted him instantly and started defending females aggressively and diverted from the topic. This makes a wrong impression of that candidate on evaluators.

 9) Talk Less Say More

Speaking more will not bring points while short, sensible, and relevant thoughts are more appreciable.  E.g. quotes, facts and figures, axioms will summarize more stuff in small statements.

10) Time bound

To complete a  Group Discussion in a time frame is also very important so candidate must be aware of remaining time and conclude the  Group Discussion.

11) Conclusion

A conclusion can be reached when all the members of  Group Discussion agreed in favor or against  Group Discussion. But, most of the time it does not happen. You must keep in mind following points while summarizing  Group Discussion:

  1. Keep it brief and concise
  2. Do not raise new points
  3. Do not state only a single side of Group Discussion especially your views.
  4. It must include all the important points discussed during the Group Discussion.
Best scoring points in Group Discussion:
  1. Initiation of discussion
  2. Creative/ analytical thinking
  3. Keeping discussion on track
  4. Conclusion on time
  5. Patience to hear others, politeness to put your ideas, and motivating others to put forward their ideas.
 About GD topics

Usually, GD topics are based upon current affairs like the performance of Indian teams in recent Olympic Games, Violence in Jammu-Kashmir, economic slowdown etc. All-time hit controversial topics like India vs. Pakistan, the age of retirement need to be increased, Indian education system etc. are also popular. Sometimes case studies based topics may also be given like: discussion on a particular merging of a company, launch of a new product etc.

Abstract Topic: In some specific cases abstract topics may be given like: the sky is blue, number 7 etc. These topics just explore the creative thinking and imagination of candidate.

Positive and Negative Traits of a personality

Following are some positive traits of personality

Communication Skills Personality Leadership
Clarity Enthusiasm Decisiveness
Fluency Inquisitiveness Patience
Effectiveness Participation Initiative
  Optimism Team Spirit
  Cheerfulness Persuasiveness

Following are some negative traits of personality

Communication Skills Personality Leadership
Silence Nervousness Selfishness
Aggressiveness Shyness Intolerance
Ambiguity Fearfulness Unfriendliness
Tonal poverty Hesitation  

 

Group Discussion Topics 

Latest topics (Indian Perspective):

  • GST will be a big tax reform or barrier in the growth of Indian Economy
  • Impact of Demonetization in India
  • Is it wise to scrap Planning Commission?
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of scrapping RTOs
  • The authenticity of exit polls.
  • Wives and Girlfriends should not be allowed on cricketing tours.
  • ‘Mera Kya’ and ‘Mujhe Kya’ culture of corruption
  • Civil Disobedience, a key to gain political stability in Pakistan?
  • PM’s vision to make India a Manufacturing Hub – dream or possibility?
  • Should Saif Ali Khan be stripped of his “Padma” award?
  • Do you think Smriti Irani will make a good HRD Minister?
  • Can Narendra Modi create Thatcher moments in India?
  • Should voters be given a NOTA (None Of The Above) choice? New!
  • Necessity of Women Quota Bill for Women Empowerment
  • What India needs is a Dictatorship? Or Democracy is Hampering India's Progress
  • Is it fair to call ‘Hindutva’ to be the cultural identity of India?
  • Lalu-Nitish unison – a move out of fear or a threat to BJP?
  • Value-based Politics is the Need of the Hour
  • Religion should not be mixed with Politics
  • Should porn stars be accepted in Indian film industry?
  • Military training should be made compulsory in India.
  • Online shopping Vs traditional shopping
  • Celebrities should be welcomed in politics.
  • Mobile phones - the requirement of the day.
  • It is the time to restructure Indian Olympics Association
  • Is Sania Mirza’s appointment as the Telangana’s brand ambassador justified? Is FDI in real estate beneficial for the common man?         
  • Greater political power alone cannot improve women’s plight
  • E-Learning is good for the education system and society.
  • Who is responsible for increasing incidences against females?
  • Should the basic level of English test section be scrapped from UPSC?
  • Should Tainted Ministers Allow to Contest Elections?

 General Topics:

  • Women should not work in night shifts.
  • Fee cut in Premier B-Schools
  • There is never a Wrong Time to Do A Right Thing!
  • Animals should not be dissected for academic purposes.
  • Friendship day or valentine day has lost its charm.
  • Brain Drain on Indian Economy
  • Self-discipline is the key to better and safer traffic
  • Whose responsibility should be creating skilled workforce?
  • Woman is God’s best creation
  • Divorce - Wife should get 50% of husband's residential property?
  • Misinterpretation and misuse of Freedom in India
  • Sex education should be made compulsory in schools.
  • Is our Political System Reason for our Backwardness?
  • Educational qualification for Politicians
  • Voters, not Political Parties, are Responsible for the Criminalization of Politics
  • Should We Pursue our Policy of Dialogue with Pakistan?
  • The Way Forward for India is to Join Hands with Pakistan on Nuclear Matters
  • Need for Good Leaders in India
  • Retirement Age for Politicians
  • Corruption is the Price we pay for Democracy
  • Presidential v/s Parliamentary form of Government in India
  • Reservations in the Private Sector
  • Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour
  • True religion cannot be misused
  • Delay in execution can be a ground to reconsider the life sentence?
  • India’s contribution to world wisdom
  • Globalization and its impact on Indian culture.
  • Transparency in public administration
  • Need of better disaster management system
  • Should India curb all its ties with Pakistan?
  • Private or Government School - Which is better?
  • Literacy v/s Education
  • MNC Culture is a boon or curse for the country?

Check out a mock group discussion on "T20 has ruined Cricket"