Group discussion

Group discussion

What is group discussion? It is discussing on a topic in a group towards a desired preferably common conclusion.


Discussing means to share ideas and thoughts about a topic. This is achieved by listening and speaking. To listen one has to ensure others speak by encouraging other team members to contribute to the discussion and by playing a leadership role. We should not interrupt while others are speaking. But only listen. To speak is to say sensibly. Always add value to the discussion by contributing to the topic. Being well read and well informed helps. While saying use relevant data, statistics, quotations, proverbs and any other facts or anecdotes which are memorable and create an impact on the team.

Body language: Always sit erect but not in a yoga posture. Be comfortable, but at the same time do not slouch or bend forward. Be enthusiastic but not too eager. Maintain eye contact with all your team members. Avoid looking at the convener. He is looking at you for that is his duty. Remember, he is not your team member. Freely use your hands for actions while making your points and adding value.

Voice articulation: Articulate your voice synergizing with the content you are saying. Focus on appropriate loudness, clarity and tonal variations. Be careful about your pronunciations but do not be overly worried. Remember, there are very few native English speakers in the world and they too have accents.

Topic: Topic is nothing but the subject of discussion. It simply means not only you but all your team members should be focused on the topic and should not go off tangent during the entire discussion. The team is supposed to inter act, exchange ideas on the topic and arrive at a desirable conclusion. Be aware of distracting elements both intentional and accidental. Scrupulously avoid these traps.

Quantitative group: At the minimum more than one person can be a group. There is no maximum limit, it can be any number so long as the members can discuss and add value to the topic. Remember, it is one group, it is your group. Unlike a debate there in only one group. You have to lead it towards a desirable conclusion. Everyone need not agree with your views, the majority should agree. In extreme and exceptional cases, a good leader can still lead his team even without the majority. This is rare.

Qualitative group: Anyone who can add value to the topic can be a group member. Topics are chosen depending on the level of participants, and the participants are expected to discuss, add value and conclude. Therefore, if you ask for a change of topic, you are not only exhibiting your ignorance, you are also announcing your foolishness.

Desired conclusion: In the first couple of minutes, depending on your knowledge and competency of the topic draw up a mental plan as to where you want to lead your team and what should the desired conclusion be. Your conviction matters. In case you are not having sufficient knowledge to lead, observe the team, join and lead the band wagon. Suppose you find yourself on uncertain terrain, change quietly, quickly and effectively. No one should notice the chameleon in you.

Before the discussion, groom yourself well and have a professional look. Always wear clean, neat and pressed clothes, preferably dark trousers and light shirt. However, never black trousers and white shirt.Wear shiny black leather shoes with laces properly tied. Never wear sports shoes / sandals / chappals / slippers. Have a clean shower and go fresh. Be punctual; reach the venue preferably 10 -15 minutes before the discussion. Visit the wash room and be bodily comfortable before, during and after the discussion. Be 100% honest; do not try to fool the convener, your team members or yourself.

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