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Group Discussion Preparation Strategy
Group Discussion (GD): Most widely used Screening methodology for B schools
GDs are conducted to test managerial attributes like interpersonal skills, leadership, analytical and rational thinking, knowledge and personality traits. GD preparation strategy is very important if you are aiming to qualify the admission process of top B schools and thus GD preparation strategy becomes more vital for candidates seeking admission in 2014.
Let's start from ground zero. GD
preparation can be started among your friends. One should take GD
as a meaningful discussion among friends. Each friend has his own
opinion on a particular topic. You just need to listen to everyone's
point of view and also express yours in a proper manner to enhance
you GD preparation. GD preparation strategy must be prepared well
in advance of your GD rounds in B schools so as to give you ample
time to adapt.
Group Discussion Preparation
First of all, one should try to make sure that the judges are noticing you. You have to be seen by the evaluating panel to have made the meaningful contribution. You must ensure that everyone in the group listens to you. If the group hears you, so will the evaluator. That does not mean that you shout at the top of your voice and be noticed for the wrong reasons.
You have to be assertive. If you are not a very assertive person, you will have to simply learn to be assertive for those 15 minutes. Remember, assertiveness does not mean being arrogant. Arrogant is a totally different thing.
Most importantly, you have to make your chances. Many participants often complain that they did not get a chance to speak during Group Discussion round. You have to take your chances and speak up whenever you get a chance. Nobody is going to give you chance or time to speak.
The core mantra for Group Discussion preparation strategy is to participate in as many practice GDs as possible before you attend the actual GD round. Don't miss any chance of being a part of a GD round of any Institute. Try to learn from each experience during your GD preparation.
GD Preparation Strategy: You should have a good knowledge of the topic
• Don’t just make any sort of contribution. Your contribution has to be meaningful. A meaningful contribution suggests that:
You are able to put forward your arguments logically and are a good communicator and also a good listener.
The quality of what you said is more valuable than the quantity. There is this myth among many participants that the way to succeed in a group discussion is by speaking loudly and continuously for a long time. One could not be more wrong. You must have meat in your arguments.
• Everybody will state the obvious. So, highlight some points that are not obvious. Don't try to be a part of the crowd.
On the contrary, try to be unique, if possible. But that would mean taking a risk. The different perspective that you bring to the group will be highly appreciated by the panel. Be careful that the "something unique" you say is still relevant to the topic being discussed in the Group Discussion.
• The last thing is that you must be clearly seen to be attempting to build a consensus.
Gaining support or influencing colleagues is the two methods to gain consensus. This is widely used by successful corporate leaders.
Nobody expects a group of 10 intelligent and assertive people, all with different points of view on a controversial subject, to actually achieve a consensus. What matters is the fact that whether you are able to build any kind of consensus or not? Is the whole group going towards a common point or not?
Building consensus is given importance in most organizations you will have to work with people in a team, accept joint responsibilities and take decisions as a group.
You must demonstrate the fact that you are capable and inclined to work as part of a team.
• GD Preparation Strategy: Increase your knowledge quotient (KQ)
To do well in GD, one must have
a high Knowledge Quotient. Read newspapers and magazines on current
issues, especially the year-end issues that capture the highlights
of the year gone by. Also watch and listen to news and current affair
programmes on news channels. Candidates must keep themselves abreast
of all the abstract and contemporary issues. Prepare for as many
GD topics as you can to widen your knowledge base.
There are some GD topics of perennial interest. For economy-related topics, read fundamental concepts like FDI, stock markets, liberalization, rupee vs. dollar, inflation, export-import, inflation, globalizations, socialist vs. capitalists, employment scenario etc.
• GD Preparation Strategy: Express yourself
Knowledge itself is not enough. The next step is to improve your ability to express yourself. One should be well versed in expressing his/her feeling, emotions and views in front of a group of strangers. This can be easily done by regular GD preparation among group of friends or classmates or even family members.
You can practice speaking in a GD scenario by forming a discussion group which meets every day and takes up a topic for discussion. Practice ease of expression since clarity, brevity and choice of words are keenly observed by evaluators.
• GD Preparation Strategy: Be Natural
The best mantra is 'to be what you are'. Sailing through GDs successfully is an art too. Don't try to be artificial. Express your own views.
• GD Preparation Strategy:
A key principle of participating in a GD is that you must speak. Always carry a piece of paper and a pen along with you in whenever you go for GD preparation and use them unless it is not allowed to do. Before you start speaking, think through the major issues in the topic in the first two minutes. Start speaking only when you have understood and analyzed the topic.
• GD Preparation Strategy:
Make free-flowing discussion
Avoid speaking in turn as it leads to an unnatural discussion. Don't speak in a fixed pattern or number. A GD involves a free-flowing exchange of ideas among participants. Even though there will definitely be chaos in most competitive GDs as all participants will be keen to be heard. Speak up whenever you get a chance to.
Group Discussion Preparation Strategy: DO’s and Don’ts
You don’t understand or You are wrong Let me explain
I think I suggest
Please listen to me I recommend
What? What did you say? Pardon me or Could you please repeat
'I strongly object' or 'I disagree'. I would like to share my views on...' or 'One difference between your point & mine...' or "I beg to differ with you"