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Nowadays Group Discussion is being extensively used along with personal interviews for the final selection of candidates. It plays a main role in selecting the best among the best. Having scored high marks, students who get selected for a higher/another course or employment are placed on a par - on equal footing - based on their age, qualification and experience. It becomes necessary to conduct further screening for choosing a few among many. It is here, the Group Discussion plays an important part. [It helps in choosing the socially suitable candidate among the academically superior achievers. It is one of the best tools to study the behavioral and attitudinal responses of the participants.] Rightly speaking, Group Discussion is more a technique than a conventional test. In fact it is one of the most important and popular techniques being used in a number of personality tests. [It is a technique or a method used for screening candidates as well as testing their potential.] It is also designed as a situation test wherein a sample of a candidate's group worthiness and potential as a worker comes out quite explicitly

Features Of Group Discussion

1.Group Discussion, as the name itself indicates, is a group activity carried out by participating individuals. It is an exchange of ideas among the individuals of a group on a specific topic. 2 It is used as reliable, testing device - mainly as a tool to assess all the candidates in a group at one go -in order to select the best in comparative perspective. 3.Group Discussion is an informal discussion in which participants of the same educational standard discuss a topic of current interest. 4.It is also known as leaderless discussion meanits aim is to find out the natural leadership level of the candidates. Strictly speaking, no one from the group or outside will be officially designated as leader or president or chairman or anything of the sort. Even the examiner or supervisor who launches the discussion will retire to the background. No one will participate or intervene in the deliberations of the group.

Factors In Group Discussion

There are several factors that affect group dynamics and thereby, discussions. Let us consider a few of these. shape the outcome of group Size The smaller the group, the better its members can communicate with each other. When the group is a large one members have fewer opportunities to interact with each

other. Researchers haven't yet hit upon an optimal number of members for the effective functioning of groups, but it is generally believed that groups of five to seven members are ideal for decision-making and problem-solving tasks. Longevity Group Communication Groups formed for short-term goals, such as to arrange a dinner, usually focus more on the task at hand, rather than on maintaining inter-personal relationships. Groups formed for long-term assignments may devote a lot more time to maintaining relationships among members. Leadership: Leadership that aims at achieving task goals, while at the same time maintaining inter-personal relationships in the group, is likely to make for greater group success. Perception and Self-Concept Each member of a group generally has his own perception about how the group should function, what kind of goals it should have and how it should work toward it. At the same time he also has a self-concept, which determines how he will interact with the others in the group. The successful working of a group depends to a great extent on its ability to satisfy the expectations and support the self-concepts of its members. Status Sometimes some members of a group have a better social standing or are better qualified than the others. The status of the members determines the manner in which they interact with each other. People tend to communicate with peers as their equals, but they tend to

Purpose of GD
1.The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a team. As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a member or as a leader. 2.It helps you to understand a subject more deeply. 3.It improves your ability to think critically. 4.It helps in solving a particular problem. 5.It helps the group to make a particular decision. 6.It gives you the chance to hear other students' ideas. 7.It improves your listening skills. 8.It increases your confidence in speaking. 9.It can change your attitudes.

Guidelines for GD
Must Speak: The first principle of talking in a group discussion is that you must speak. If you do not understand the topic you may ask the group the meaning or you may wait and listen to someone, which will clarify the topic to you. Entering into discussion: You could enter by making a supportive statement (d) or by increasing your voice. Active listening: Be an active listener. You might just strike a new point, taking cue from the listeners. It will also help you understand the topic clearly in case you are ignorant of the same. It would help you could take the discussion forward, taking on from where another participant has left off. Avoid repetition: Do not repeat any point Make eye contacts: Establishing eye contacts with the members while talking during the discussion. This will help you know who support you and who do not. Body language: Do not have an offensive body language. Appear friendly and not intimidating. Try smiling ...it often works. Influencing the discussion: You can influence a group by providing it direction, highlighting the crucial issues and putting forth persuasive arguments. Examples and Statistics: Try introducing new points, statistics or other information on the topic. You can give examples to illustrate clearly certain aspects. But make sure what you are quoting is correct. Summarize if time permits or if you are asked to. Include main points discussed, your view points and if a consensus was not achieved say so. Do not force a consensus, if it has not been achieved.