Start and Run a Discussion Group

Group Discussion – The Process

A group discussion is a leaderless group exercise. Usually, a bunch of candidates (numbering 8 to 15) is given a topic or a situation to discuss. The group is normally given some time (I.e. a few minutes) to think about it, and thereafter, is supposed to discuss it for 20 to 40 minutes. The group discussion topics can be based on current events, social problems, business, sports or any general issue. In general, the more well-read and better-informed you are, the better prepared you will be for a group discussion.

Group Discussion – How To Get Ready For It?

To ready oneself for a group discussion, start reading good newspapers and current affairs magazines to update yourself on the world around you. A thorough awareness of hot, current issues points to a well-rounded personality. Make a habit of reading newspapers and magazines regularly and watching TV news channels to get wider perspectives on current issues of interest. While doing so, please remember that you need not think in a manner similar to the writer’s or the speaker’s. You are free to think in your manner and put forward new, innovative ideas. In reality, new ideas and creative solutions to existing problems make a group discussion more interesting and fruitful.

Group Discussion – Should I start it?

Yes, by all means, but if you decide to take the plunge first in a group discussion, you ought to know about the topic in good measure. Otherwise, you the great risk of treading on a landmine. If you are ill-informed or confused about the topic, wait awhile and let others speak on it. In fact, you may even ask for a clarification from others if you are totally clueless about the topic. It shows you in good light as you are keen to learn.

Listen to others carefully and once you have gathered some knowledge and can think of good ideas, you may start speaking. Remember, careful listening is an important part of a good speaker’s art. You should think of your own examples to participate in the discussion. It shows your alertness and also how much importance you give to others. A major precaution, while quoting examples, is: Do not generalize one-off instances of something. Make sure that the data you quote are taken from reliable sources.

Sometimes in a group discussion, the proceedings can be a total mess but it does not pay to get irritated. You need to be calm and composed through the process despite the provocations. Many a time, in a messy discussion, only those candidates, who display calm, are selected.