It is in human nature to interact with other people. Not interacting with people or living a solitary life drives a man crazy. Hence we are also known as ‘social beings.’ When it comes to interacting with each other, it could be through speech, facial or body gestures, and even through clothing. As part of this interaction, we have discussions, debates, speeches, presentations, small talks, etc., which not only increases our knowledge but also improves our listening and speaking skills. From the above examples, one of the most systematic and standard methods of communication is discussion.
What is a Discussion?
Discussion is a part of the conversation through which people try to exchange ideas and reach a decision or explain the significance of their finding, any shortcomings of the finding, and possible solutions. It can also be defined as an informal debate.
Group discussion refers to an interactive environment in which people can share and exchange information about various topics, issues, situations, etc., and try to answer any questions. It helps in improving our social and behavioral skills, leadership skills, communication skills, and general awareness.
As part of group discussion, we should be polite, open to new ideas and criticism, work as a team, and present our ideas elaborately to understand them. We must pay attention to what the other person is trying to say instead of interrupting them to say our views and criticism. We should be respectful and discreet.
Prerequisites for group discussion
- Planning and preparation
- Expressing ideas effectively.
- Communication skills
- Alter your pitch
- Appearance and body language
- Listening skills
- Out of box thinking
- Being cool and calm
Situation based group discussions:
Group discussions are of various types and take place in different scenarios. For example, in a student-teacher scenario, group discussions can be classified as spontaneous discussions and planned discussions.
Spontaneous discussions: Discussions that arise when a student puts forward a query, whether it’s about a current event or a topic under study. This type of discussion helps the student to understand the topic better and helps them to gain knowledge.
Planned discussions: Discussions planned by a teacher in a classroom area to help children improve their social and leadership skills, analytical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Generally, In this type of discussion, the teacher assigns a few topics that must be integrated into their discussion to conclude.
Case-based group discussions:
Another form of discussion is case-based group discussions that simulate real-life situations intending to make you think about various angles. In this type of group, discussion candidates are asked to brainstorm and give solutions to the situation. It is good to keep in mind that there are no incorrect or perfect answers in this type of discussion as every person assesses the given situation through their own perspective.
Topic-based group discussions:
These topics are about practical things which everyone, in general, knows about like politics, economy, environment, and technology. This helps us to see how much the candidate knows about the current situation and helps us assess his awareness.
These topics are the ones that are generally debated on. Since these are controversial, everyone has their perspective, which might be conflicting with each other. Therefore there is a lot of anger and noise. These types of topics are given to candidates to test their maturity and anger management skills. It also shows whether the candidate can put his point across rationally rather than emotionally and deal with people in this situation. Few examples of controversial topics are reservations, women empowerment, etc.
These topics enable the candidates to show their creativity and intelligent thinking. It requires multi-dimensional thinking, perspective, and a literal explanation of the topic should be avoided. Examples of abstract topics are early bird and night owl, and haste makes waste, etc.
Group discussions are those discussions in which we have to put forward our opinion on the given topic and debate why it is right or wrong. Examples of opinion-based topics are religion, nepotism, global warming, etc.
The recruiters use group discussions to analyze the thinking, logic, and aptitude skills. In these discussions, the topic is given to the group randomly and on the spot to see how the candidates will interpret, put forward, and analyze the information given to them.
Dos and don’ts of group discussion:
- Listen to the topic carefully
- Note the points raised by others on a book or a paper
- Initialize if you are familiar with the topic
- Always listen to other participants
- Contribute your points after someone is done talking
- Give a chance to speak to others
- Speak politely and answer peacefully
- Handel criticism politely
- Maintain eye contact
- What you are trying to say must be clear, and the person in front of you should understand it.
- When you are speaking, try to stick to the topic.
- Always respect the contribution of other speakers.
- Do not try to initialize with the topic you are not familiar with.
- Try to be patient and do not shout at others.
- Never criticize a person for their religion
- Do not reply emotionally but reply rationally
- Don’t talk while thinking. Always plan what you are going to say and then speak.
- Do not deviate from the given topic.
- Don’t dominate others.
Group discussion helps us in not only coming out of our comfort zone but also to increase our abilities and promotes us to think outside the box. It is a very efficient way of making people interact and socialize with each other in a classroom setting and shows our multidimensional skills in an admission or recruitment setting.