GD/PI / #GD Topic

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Group Discussion

What is Group Discussion?

The concept of Group Discussion has not been a part of the regular academic curriculum in Colleges and Universities. So, students usually face a lot of problem in this area of the Selection Process. Let us first understand why Group Discussion is conducted.

Most institutes today are very clear about the skills and knowledge that they look for in a student while screening. This was not the case a couple of years ago. Group Discussion has been a part of the Selection process for admission into most of the top Business Schools.

Skills required for Group Discussion

The skills that are usually assessed in a Group Discussion are:

So, it's important to assess your current strengths in all these areas and accordingly put efforts to strengthen your weaknesses.

GDs are used to assess certain group skills that cannot be evaluated in an interview. These include reasoning ability, leadership ability, Inspiring ability, flexibility, creativity/out-of-the-box thinking, social skills, listening and articulation skills, situational handling ability, interpersonal ability to function as a team player, body language and attitude. These are the skills which are very much required to become a successful professional which in turn works as an asset for the institutes at time of campus placements.

Another important reason for institutes to keep GD as an elimination round is because of the crowd factor. At the peak time of admissions, an institute has to deal with 1000s of aspiring students. In a GD, they can analyze upto 15 aspirants in 10 minutes.

Most of the institutes use Group Discussions as the next step in the selection process after written examination. That is the reason why Group Discussion has become so very important criteria for selection and rejection of candidates in institutes as well as during campus placements. GD is basically a methodology used by an institution to gauge whether a candidate has certain personality traits and/or skills that it desires in its students. Normally, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for some time. Topics can be from a wide range of issues. It could be a topic on current events, business news, sports or anything very general. The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be to face the group discussion. A Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team.

Tips and Tricks for Group Discussion

Here are some tips for effective participation in a GD:

  • Understand - Understand the topic before attempting to contribute.
  • Speak - Try and get a chance to speak. If you can't get a chance to speak make your chance.
  • Initiate - Take the initiative to begin the discussion, if possible.
  • Structure - Structure arguments logically - justify your stand.
  • Summaries- Summaries the discussion effectively
  • Involve- Take active part throughout the GD.
  • Assert- Be assertive.
  • Articulate- Work continuously towards articulating your ideas into meaningful sentences to make the best impact. Be clear in your speech.
  • Emphasize. - Use non-verbal communication to emphasize points.
  • Listen- Be an attentive listener.
  • Quality, not quantity matters- it's not 'how much' you say, but 'what' you say that's important.

To prepare for a group discussion, keep track of happenings around the world. Being aware of current affairs and issues and happenings, which affect our lives, however remotely, shows a well-rounded personality. Make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines, watch interesting documentaries and profiles on television to get a wider perspective on issues. As an individual, your intelligence, general knowledge and core competencies are measured through the aptitude test. As a team player, your ability to lead and play in team is measured in the GD.

You will have to pursue the following points if you want to be successful in a group discussion. The points are as follows:

  • Make sure that you read as much news as possible. Generally, the topic is chosen from some of the current happenings. Hence you should make sure that you have a look at all of them.
  • Make sure that you speak loudly and clearly. This is one of the most important things and you could find yourself in difficulty if you do not speak loudly and clearly in a GD.
  • You should know that you are not really bounded to think in one way. You are free to think on your own and put forward some new ideas. It is good for your chances and also for the GD since new ideas will definitely make it interesting.
  • You should know what the topic is really about. If you have some confusion then you should wait for some time and let the other speak at first. When the matter is quite clear and the GD is in midst then you should start speaking with new ideas in mind.

Traits required

Traits institutes are looking for in an MBA aspirant:

Knowledge:

Knowledge about the subject can never be replaced in a GD. No matter how good you might be communicating, but if your sentences don't reflect that you are knowledge bank then it's probably not going to work out. You are required to talk in a GD but inputs that don't contain any substantial value will not help in any way. One has to keep himself updated by knowing what all is happening around the globe.

Alertness and presence of mind:

In a GD you are required to carefully listen to the other person's thoughts and keep an argument, example or a supportive statement, fact, example ready to participate in the discussion. This shows how alert you are, how much importance you give to when someone is putting his or her point forward. This also shows how good listener you are, at time, things turn up to be a mess when you feel that what is being said is not making sense. Don't get irritated. Remember that you need to be calm and composed. Many times, after a mess happening in a GD, candidates who are calm are selected.

Out of the box thinking:

Yes! This the something that can help you get further selected because this reflects that you have a different way of looking at things. You need to be creative and have to put points that might amaze the panel. Remember, while working there are times when we need to find out solutions to the problem in a better way, thinking out of the box helps you finding smart and good solutions at times

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Group strength is usually 8 to 12 members
  • When the group discussion topic is announced and if you do not get the topic properly, just request to repeat the topic. Do not show surprises.
  • Correctly saying what you want to say- speaking effectively and efficiently is very important.
  • General Principles
  • Be a good listener
  • Do not use high vocabulary
  • Never use technical language while speaking
  • Not knowing is not a problem, do not try to bluff

Things to avoid

  • Do not criticize on religion
  • Do not get personal with anyone
  • Do not criticize foreign policy of India
  • Never ever try to bluff
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Role of the Evaluator in Group Discussion

Admission selection panel evaluates GD which is usually a group of 8 - 10 MBA aspirants who vie with each other to impress upon selection panel. Most of the time the prime objective of the evaluator is having following parameters:

  • How the candidate communicates?
  • The inter personal skills of the candidates
  • How a candidate menuovers of the subject of the GD and how he concludes?
  • The leadership quality is judged
  • How the candidate adapts with cross questions during GD?

Purpose of Group Discussion

Post cut off list each institute conducts GD to evaluate MBA aspirants for the soft skills with following objectives:

  • To know the communication skills of MBA aspirants
  • To judge body language of the candidates
  • To understand top of mind personality of the candidates
  • To understand attitudinal attributes of the candidates
  • To understand attributes of positivity of the candidates
  • To understand the Entrepreneurial traits of the candidates
  • To understand the institute fit quotient of the candidate

Latest Topics for Group Discussion

CRICKET HAS SPOILED OTHER STREAMS OF
INDIAN SPORTS

Number of participants: 5

Time: 20 Mins

Rahul Reddy Started:

Good Morning everyone, it is my pleasure to be seated with you all for this exciting discussion. Let's fully participate in this and try to come up with a concrete end remark.

I think, it is not justified to think cricket as a national obsession. It is the one game through which we Indians are able to hold our heads high. We won two world cups and have been on top in tests for two odd years. Whatever it has brought is quite appreciable. In other sports as well, like Abhinav bindra winning gold medal in Olympics, Indian hockey team winning 8 gold medals in past, etc are also highly appreciated. But it is also a fact that it happened when TV's and internet are on full bloom. But, in 1983, when India won the world cup, the TV's were just becoming popular. Still, cricket fever was high on everyone's head. That made it more popular than any other sport. Every Indian wants to play cricket in streets. It is in Indian blood and no media is required for cricket. Cricket is, and will be the most popular sport in India although I hope other sports also will do well.

Smriti Nigam said:

Hello everyone, I do agree with my friend here.

Even I don't think that cricket have hurt any other sports. If cricket is more interesting, full of excitement, inculcating a nation patriotism feeling, then it is not the "SPORT'S" fault. I think it is just because cricket has a very interesting format and that is why it has become so popular and loved by all. It is followed as a religion and the cricketers are worshiped as God in our country. But also, the fame that cricket has given to India, cannot be ignored. As far as other sports are concerned, they have not lost their importance. Whether it is tennis, badminton or hockey they are still very popular. But yes, it is a fact that cricket is more popular and followed by more people.

Himanshu said:

Good Morning friends,
I don't think cricket as a national obsession is a deterrent to other sports. Cricket has got popularity because of the legends cricket has given to us like sunil gavaskar, kapil dev, sachin tendulkar, etc. Just because of the achievement that these peoples have made in the game of cricket, it is appreciated so much in India. Recently, if we take an example, when Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore won silver in Olympics, just after that we won lots of medals in shooting. So, if we want others game to be equally appreciated, then we need some great legends in other games too. And I believe that if other sports will also produce great players then definitely they will get as much appreciation as cricket in this country.

Mayank Aggarwal said:

Hello Friends,
As the topic suggests, that cricket is detriment to other sports, I quite agree with it. It is because:

  • Cricket game is promoted by the way of advertisement.
  • Cricket sport stars are being seen in most of the advertisements related to cricket or promotion of any other product from honey to alcohol and potato chips to insurance.
  • One of the main reasons for the game of cricket being preferred is when there is a match between India and Pakistan. And the way it is advertised on the news make cricket not only detriment to other sports but to national peace.
  • In newspapers, most of the sports page is filled with cricket news, wherever it is held.

So, along with cricket, the Indian media too, is playing the role of detriment to other sports of India.
Media has the highest power today in our country. If it wishes, it can change the shape of sports too.

Abin Thomas said:

Hello everyone,
I don't, at all, think that cricket is a detriment to other sports. But, it is the Indian people's supportive spirit towards cricket is what is destructing other sports. Most people do not even know that India has teams in Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Basketball, etc. It feels mortified extremely, to know that a huge nation like India does not support its athletes. I hope that we will recognize our athletes of all games and supports them in their respective sports.

Rahul Reddy said:

As I said earlier, according to me cricket is not at all detrimental to any other sports, it is suppressed by ourselves, we-the people are totally responsible for that. Well, I think that there is no comparison between 2 sports. Each has its own existence, so how can cricket suppress the other sports? It is just the matter of fact that Indian people are crazy about the cricket. So, the comparison lies not in sports but in our thinking only. Few days ago, the Economic Times conducted a survey to find out who inspires the people in the field of sports and the results announced that almost -

43% people inspires with S R Tendulkar
35% people inspires with M S Dhoni
11% people inspires with S. Nehwal
04% people inspires with Vijendra Singh
04% people inspires with A. Bindra

This survey observed that a total of 78% people inspired by the cricketers, that shows the craziness of the people towards cricket.

Mayank Aggarwal said:

Well, I personally feel that obsession with cricket is a detriment to other sports. It is all because of the way it is promoted. It is just like in the case of a movie, if a movie is hyped about, all of us go to watch it. But on the same time some epic movie just gets neglected because of poor advertisement. Also, it is not the case that there is less talent in other sports. If other sports are unable to match up to the expectations, it is only because of improper training due to lack of finances.

Smriti Nigam said:

Well friends, although I like and support cricket a lot, I fell that, unintentionally only but cricket has come to a point from where it has become detrimental to other sports. You can see among yourself only, tha how many of us watches other sports played by Indian sportsmen. Of course, a handful! Why is it so? One definite reason could be the hype that cricket gets through the media. People not only watch the match with shear attention but also the pre-and post-match shows. Other main reason is the investment of money either by the Government and/or, now as we can see, by the business individuals which lures young minds to have a great profession in cricket. Lastly, I would say that the Government should definitely see to this and take necessary measures to allow other sports perpetuate.

Abin Thomas Concluded:

Now, if we conclude our discussion I would like to highlight the main points that were discussed.

First: Majority of us agreed that the Game of Cricket, in itself, is not spoiling other streams of sports but it's the audience that goes crazy for its favorite sport.

Second: Media should give as much exposure to other sports as much it does to cricket.

Third: Government and Corporate people need to fund other sports as well so that they could get better training and bring home as much popularity as cricket does.

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