College students work together on a collaborative activity called a group discussion to have in-depth conversations about a specific topic or concern. These discussions are frequently used in college courses as a means for students to explore a subject, share their perspectives, and exercise critical thinking.
Group conversations enable students to learn from one another and to think more critically about a subject, making them helpful learning tools. Students can also improve their communication skills by participating in group discussions, where they must respectfully communicate their thoughts and actively listen to others.
A group discussion (GD) is a commonly used technique in the MBA admissions process to assess candidates' communication, leadership, and practical skills. A GD asks a small group of candidates to discuss a particular topic or issue. This can be challenging because you must learn the other participants or the topic beforehand and compete with several other candidates to present your opinion effectively.
Personal interviews (PIs) are often seen as a less stressful alternative to GDs because they involve a one-on-one conversation with the interview panel, where the focus is solely on you. However, a successful GD performance is still essential in the MBA admissions process, and candidates should be prepared to interact with various personalities during the discussion.
Personalities you encounter in a Group Discussion
The Dominator in a group discussion is a person who tries to take control of the conversation and speak as much as possible. They may interrupt others to get their point across and not allow others to speak.
While everyone needs to have a chance to contribute their ideas, the Dominator may not allow for this to happen. This can be frustrating for the other group members and may make it difficult for the discussion to be productive.
To deal with the Dominator, it is essential to encourage them to listen to others and allow others to speak. This can be done through active listening and asking questions that enable others to share their thoughts. It is also helpful to set ground rules at the beginning of the discussion that encourages respectful communication and encourages everyone to have a chance to speak.
By creating a more inclusive and respectful environment, the Dominator may be more willing to listen to others and allow for a more productive discussion.
These individuals may appear quiet and reserved initially, but they are intelligent and well-organized. They prefer to observe the conversation and understand the concepts before contributing their thoughts and ideas. When they do speak, they provide logical solutions and valuable insights. They are sharp and resourceful, making them helpful discussion group members.
The Silent Observer in a group discussion is a person who is quieter and less likely to speak up. They may not actively participate in the forum or may not offer their ideas and opinions as frequently as others. This can be due to various reasons, such as feeling intimidated or unsure of their ideas.
An introvert could be thought of as someone who is quiet and speaks little in a group setting. They might be timid for several reasons, such as a lack of confidence or a sense of being overshadowed by more outspoken group members. They might not actively engage in the conversation because they are naturally reserved.
However, when they are given a chance to speak and the group leader supports them, they can articulate their thoughts and add to the conversation. To promote a fruitful and courteous debate, it is crucial to be inclusive and supportive of all group members, regardless of their communication style.
The Show-Off in a group discussion is someone who tries to impress the group with their knowledge and may only sometimes contribute constructively to the debate. They may speak excessively or attempt to monopolise the conversation to show off their expertise. This can be frustrating for the other group members and may prevent the discussion from being productive.
To deal with the Show-Off, it is essential to redirect the conversation back to the topic at hand and encourage others to speak. You can ask questions that allow others to share their ideas and actively listen to their responses.
The Agreeable One in a group discussion is a person who tends to agree with everything that is said and may offer little in terms of new ideas or perspectives. While it is essential to be respectful and open to the opinions of others, the Agreeable One may contribute little to the discussion. This can lead to a lack of diversity in the conversation and may prevent the group from exploring different perspectives and finding creative solutions.
You may encounter individuals with aggressive body language or behaviour during a group discussion. They may use loud actions or styles, such as speaking in a high voice or banging on the desk, to dominate the conversation. These behaviours can be disruptive and make it difficult for others to speak. It is essential not to be intimidated by these individuals and to maintain a respectful and productive discussion.
These behaviours are often negatively marked by the panellists and can harm the individual's performance in the group discussion. Focusing on respectful communication and creating a more inclusive and collaborative environment is essential.
The Challenger in a group discussion is a person who has a question or challenge for every comment made during the debate. They may focus their challenges on the statements made by the more assertive group members. The Challenger's questions or challenges can be either correct or incorrect, and they play an essential role in helping to clarify the facts and explore different perspectives on the topic. However, their challenges can sometimes make the conversation uncomfortable, as they may ask embarrassing or personal questions.
When responding to the Challenger's questions or challenges, it is essential to be respectful and professional. Even if you disagree with their perspective, listening to their ideas and trying to find common ground is crucial. Maintaining a respectful and open-minded approach can create a productive and collaborative discussion.
A group discussion participant might need help comprehending the subject or need help with how to add to the conversation. They could seem lost or unsure of what to say and require further assistance to participate fully.
With the Confused One, it's critical to be understanding and patient as you work to help them organise their thoughts and choose how they can participate. This can be accomplished by actively listening to their comments and posing open-ended questions encouraging them to elaborate on their points.
Additionally, assign them specific roles during the conversation, such as summarising the crucial points or outlining a particular angle on the subject. This can offer them a sense of direction and make them feel more at ease taking part in the conversation. You can encourage the Confused One to participate in the discussion by fostering a welcoming and accepting atmosphere.
It is typical for one individual to emerge as the group's leader during a conversation. Even though they might not have the most to say, they are essential in directing the conversation and ensuring it is fruitful. The facilitator strives to allow everyone to voice their opinions and may be watchful to ensure that the conversation is going well. They might also be gracious in letting others join the discourse and contribute.