Most of you might be all done with the Round 1 of MBA Entrance Exams, the written round. And if you don’t want to let all that hard work go to waste, you should focus even more diligently on the group discussion rounds, as you are given only 10-15 minutes to prove your worth to the Institute.
Lets start with the basics.
A Group Discussion (GD) can be called as a simulated exercise and here is how most of them work:
- A group of 8-12 participants is formed. There is no leader (and I call this a catch!!). Within a stipulated time-frame, the group is supposed to analyze the given topic and reach a conclusion.
- A topic may be a case-study. The group will need to come up with a viable solution to the given problem. These are really fun, as there is more active participation and brainstorming involved.
- A panel will observe the proceedings and evaluate the members of the group. Its better you ignore them and by that I mean DO NOT look at them. DELETE THEM.
Now let me come to the point.
Your foremost OBJECTIVE while you are a participant should be:
GET NOTICED FOR YOUR MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION
I am not saying that sticking to this objective alone will get you through but yes this is the most important one.
Now if you have buried the above line deep into your brain (trust me..you must!!), Follow the points below and rest assured, your chances of winning the battle are more than the people who still consider that this article is moronic.
1. Ensure that the group hears you. But don’t ever shout. NEVER EVER SHOUT. You don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons.
2. Be Assertive. Google what “being assertive” is. If you think this is not your way of dealing with things, here is what i will say “The Evaluators do not give a crap to your kind of way”. So practice to be assertive.
3. Focus on every single word that every single participant speaks and make your chance to speak yourself ( Don’t expect getting an invite to speak!!) . Its simple, all you have to say is “I agree with you my friend ….” or “You maybe correct but what I think is…. ” or “To add to that…” and keep adding. Try to do this at least 3-4 times in any discussion.
4. Sometimes, the topic is so twisted in words that you don’t understand it. Don’t Panic. Just let the discussion start and in 1 minute (I promise), thanks to your big-mouth friends in the group, you will be in a much better position in no time. Its not rocket Science. Just speak your opinion with confidence once you know what others are talking about.
5. Stick to you initial stand. Needless to say, nobody wants a neutral or a side changer in a GD. A complete NO NO.
6. Bring a platter of points to the table. What I mean by this is, try and prove your point using a not so obvious perspective. But do not deviate from the topic too much. You or the group might be fine with that but the evaluators will negate your marks.
7. Attempt to conclude the discussion. This favorite old trick always works!! While doing so, make sure you speak for the whole group and state the consensus reached (if any). Attempt is the keyword here. That’s what they are looking for..You must demonstrate the fact that you are capable and inclined to work as part of a team.
8. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! The only way to make a meaningful contribution is to expand your knowledge base. Read at least 1 probable GD-Topic everyday (Keep coming to this site!!) . This will also do wonders to your confidence. You can always relate points of 1 topic with another!!
Best of Luck… Keep liking, sharing, commenting, re-visiting etc. I am going to post some really useful GD topics for 2013-14, with points in favor and against. Choose your side and excel.