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The MBA Admission procedure of most of the top MBA colleges comprises Group Discussion (GD) rounds to analyse the awareness, preparedness, communication, analytical, logical and leadership skills of applicants. It is very important to qualify the GD round in order to qualify for Personal Interviews (PI). Group discussions play a major role in deciding whether a candidate possesses the qualities and knowledge that are required for management courses or not. It is a great opportunity for MBA aspirants to convince the panellists of their conversation skills, wit, awareness, and knowledge. Group Discussion (GD) round at all the top B-schools usually begins in the second week of February and goes on till the end of March. While most of the IIMs do not have Group Discussion round, some of the top MBA colleges such as FMS Delhi have reintroduced the GD round in their final selection process.
The most important question in the minds of MBA aspirants is how to initiate, lead and conclude a group discussion. Apart from being aware of the trending GD topics for MBA admissions, you have to set the right attitude to crack GD rounds during MBA admissions.
How to Crack the Group Discussion (GD)
There are some simple tricks and strategies that you can follow to ace the group discussion round. Find out more about the group discussion round and how to initiate, lead and conclude a group discussion below.
How to Start a GD
By beginning a Group Discussion, you not only get an opportunity to speak but also get to grab everybody’s attention. Beginning a GD gives you an edge over other candidates as you get maximum uninterrupted time to share your views and p skills to the examiner as other participants are still busy in understanding the topic. Also, while initiating a Group Discussion, you should not state the wrong facts or stammer.
- Communicate fluently – If you are starting the GD, make sure that you present your views fluently. Try not to stammer as being confident about your point-of-view is of utmost importance.
- Relevant content – It should not seem that you are starting the GD just for the sake of beginning first. Your points should be relevant to the topic and must grab the attention of the participants.
- Questions and quotes – You can also start the GD with a shocking statement, question, quotation, definition or facts. All these things can be used to present your take on the subject in order to lead the GD further.
- Time-efficient – If you are indeed planning on starting the GD, make sure that you do not overelaborate your points. Present your views in the most precise way possible as the evaluators are not looking for a story.
It is very important to understand that leading the GD is the best way to start as it gives you the undivided attention of the participants as well as the GD regulator. Starting a GD also gives you uninterrupted time to put up your points while other participants are thinking. However, if you are starting the GD, your points have to be very relevant.
How to Enter a GD in the Middle of the Discussion
- Listen intently – In case you are planning to start the GD, keep your ears open and observe what the other speakers are talking about. Listening not only gives you positive marks but also gives you an insight into what the other participants think about the topic and you can prepare your points accordingly. It is immensely helpful if you don’t understand the topic.
- Target the low points – There are high and low points in a GD, i.e. when the discussion is at its peak (high) or when the contestants have concluded their point (low). You have to target the low points and glide into the discussion effortlessly.
- Continue where the participants have left – When a participant is done putting up his or her point, you can jump into the conversation and talk about why you agree or disagree with their points and put forward your views.
- Express dissent – Putting forth unpredictable points is a crucial part of the GD. If you have a different take on the subject or have something new to present, you should put it forth very clearly with reasons.
How to Stay Active Throughout a GD
- Bring new ideas – To maintain your place in the GD, you will have to express points about the topic that the other contestants have not mentioned. This will help you get the attention of the GD regulator and score some extra points.
- Be perceptive – In case you don’t have any new ideas, you can present a different perspective on the points that the other participants have presented. Share your views about the points that have been talked about so far in a different light to present your point-of-view and support your argument.
- Stay on track – You can also make your come-back in the discussion by bringing the discussion on track if it is deviating from the topic. This will help you to lead the discussion and nail the group discussion.
- Be convincing – You can also convince the other participants to get back in the discussion. Eye contact, agreement and body language are the best tools to win the favour of other participants and lead the discussion in the direction that you want.
How to Conclude a GD
- Summarise all the points – The best way to conclude is to summarise all the points that you have discussed in brief and present your final take on the subject being discussed.
- Be concise – Make sure that you don’t drag your conclusion. Keep it as short as possible and try to mention the points clearly. Don’t mention any new point in the conclusion just support what has already been spoken about.
- Closure argument – Make the closure around the main idea of the topic and be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. All your points should build up the conclusion.
The most important thing to remember about the GD is to not mention any figures or data unless you are absolutely sure about its accuracy. You should not stay quiet in the GD for too long. Active participation is of utmost importance.
Also Read:GD, PI, WAT Topics for MBA Admissions
While putting your points, try not to appear like a dominator, allow other people to speak. Don’t attack people while speaking and maintain a calm aura through the discussion. Keep the above tips in mind and you’ll do excellent in the group discussion.
Positive Task Roles in a Group Discussion (GD)
Here are some positive roles that will help you get points in a group discussion. Make sure you are
Initiator – Starting a Group Discussion, giving definitions and introducing and suggesting new ideas.
Information giver – During GD sharing facts and information.
Information seeker – In a Group Discussion, gathering and soliciting information from others.
Opinion seeker – Asking other participants of the GD for their opinion.
Procedure facilitator – Leading a GD round by keeping track of the discussion.
Clarifier – Clarifying all the opinions and ideas discussed during a GD.
Opinion giver – Giving your opinion in a Group Discussion on the statement provided by the other participant.
Tension Reliever – Discussing and Presenting the problem from a broad perspective.
Social Supporter – Giving support to ideas and suggestions of all participants of a GD.
Compromiser – Creating harmony between different opinions by giving compromising solutions.
Energizer – Encouraging other participants to explore some new ideas during a Group Discussion.
Gatekeeper – Involving other participants/ members in the GD by asking for their opinion
Summarizer – Concluding or Summarising a GD by including all important points discussed during a Group Discussion round.
Negative Task Roles in a GD
Following are some roles that you should avoid at all costs during a GD.
Disgruntled non-participant – Not contributing to the GD
Dominator –Taking control of the discussion and not letting others speak in a GD.
Attacker – Disapproving opinion of other participants of a GD aggressively
Clown – Not taking GD seriously and disrupting it through inappropriate humour.