How to excel in Group Discussions

How to excel in Group Discussions

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When over 2 lakh people vie for just over 1500 seats at the premier management institutes in the country, what will set you apart is the way you tackle your personal  interviews (PI) and group discussions (GD). Here are ways to tip the scales in your favour during your GD…
1. Management is nothing but managing your ego and those of others. So how do you begin? Simple. Keep your biases to yourself and start with a clean slate. Make no judgement, just state what you have to say, but keep it open-ended, so anyone can interpret it without taking offense to what you said.
2. Picture your ideal group discussion companion. What do you want them to be like? In the way they speak, they argue and agree/disagree with your viewpoints. If you have got all those points clearly outlined, your job is done. Now just try to be that yourself. The others will mirror you and all will be well in the group discussion.
3. Think positive. Avoid bitching about anybody or anything. Always look at the positive side and give an affirmative feedback for being part of the GD.
4. Questions are important, but remember to not conclude anything in your questions, because that could show your bias and lack of consideration for the opinion of others. Therefore, to prevent this catastrophe, ask open-ended questions.
5. Remember that a GD does not have any end goal to fulfill. It’s just an ideas lab where concepts are bounced around. Just remember to deliver your ideas respectfully and accept genuine criticism with responsibility and compassion. These are the virtues the higher-ups are looking for. They don’t want a person who knows them all. They want a person who have their faults but knows how to accept criticism, and how to clarify or correct factual errors candidly.
6. Some of the topics you could be asked at the GD could be as follows. This is to just give you an idea, so you know how open-ended they can be for a freewheeling conversation that can go anywhere:
1. Is management, an art or science?
2. Is consumer really the king in today’s times?
3. Are leaders born or made?
4. Are family-run businesses a fading reality?
5. Is outsourcing, a boon or bane?
And finally…
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Also published on Medium.

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