One of the most vital activities in educational, business, and administrative spheres is group discussion. It is a vocal process where people state their point of view on a particular topic to the others present in the group. People also often share their ideas, thoughts, and feelings in group discussions. It helps to improve one’s oral communication skills. Besides this, group discussion also helps to improve a person’s confidence.
How so, you may ask? It is because while you are in a group discussion, you need to state your point of view clearly to other people. When you do that often, it reduces your stage fright and helps you build confidence in yourself. This exchange of ideas takes place in a very orderly and systematic way. The participants sit facing each other, often in a circle or a semi-circle to ensure eye to eye contact and present their thoughts to others.
Many people also often confuse group discussion with debates, but there are in no way the same. How do these two things differ? Let us find out below!
What Is The Focal Difference Between Group Discussion And A Debate?
Debate, as we know, is competitive in nature. But group discussion, on the other hand, is a free-flowing process. There is no competition or right or wrong while you are in a group discussion. People may cross you when their opinion differs from the one you have, but here, you won’t be judged. While you are in a debate, you can either speak in admission to the topic or ‘for’ or you can oppose what is being said or ‘against.’ But in a discussion, there is never any ‘for’ or ‘against’. You are free to say anything you have in mind about the topic being discussed.
Furthermore, in a debate, people vote for which speaker they liked the most. The speaker with the maximum number of votes wins. But, while in a discussion, the people in the group reach a consensus and there is no winner or loser.
Why Is Group Discussion An Important Activity At Educational Level?
As a student, when you share your thoughts on one specific idea to a group, it helps you widen your views about the same. You eventually not only end up increasing your knowledge about a particular topic, but you also improve your oral communication skills, especially in formal situations. It also improves your thinking, listening and speaking skills and boosts your confidence level like nothing ever before.
Group discussion is also an effective tool in decision making, problem solving and also personality assessment. With proper practice and a developed skill set, you can easily land any job you wish to. After all, the interviews are all about testing whether or not you can perform under pressure. Thus, it is important for a student to continuously take an active part in group discussions. Whether it is only inside your class where you have known faces all around or on stage between two or more colleges. You should never shy away from this one activity since it can help you achieve success like you never knew it could.
How Are Group Discussions Important During An Interview?
In many interviews, the recruiters judge you based on your group discussion skills. In such cases, the Human Resources personnel or the HR place you in a room and give you a topic on which everyone has to place their point of views. They do not interrupt you while you are talking or do not stop you at any point. The commencement and the termination of the discussion is decided by the human resources team itself. You can express your opinion either for or against the topic. You might also be given some time to think over the topic or the team might ask you to start immediately, that depends entirely upon them.
Thus, if you have a practice of taking part in group discussions since when you were a student, it helps you out a lot in this level. Many people get frightened or face a lack of confidence in such cases, thus forcing them to underperform. But when you already have a practice of this activity, you can easily ace the interview and get the job.
What Is The Objective Behind All Of This?
The main aim of the human resources team behind conducting such a round is to check whether or not you are a team player. This again is because while in a group discussion, it is important for you to understand the other person’s point of view while making sure that your opinion brings success for you and your team.
What Are The Main Components Of A Group Discussion?
Just like any other activity, there are also many major nooks and corners of a group discussion. Let us have a look at them.
The participants need to have a proper knowledge of the subject they are discussing about. One always has to prepare themselves before they speak. You also need to know what all points are related to that topic and how preparing yourself about them can help you make your point in front of others. In such cases, if you only take a glance at the summary of the topic on the internet, you are most likely to perform miserably. That is why prior preparation always becomes necessary. Your opponent might be so well prepared to cross you at every point that you say. You should be skilled enough to know how and with which point you can subdue the opposition and place your point well.
The best way to equip yourself for this is to read newspapers, magazines, national and international journals, watch news and other important documentaries. Basically, whatever good you can get your hands on.
Oral Communication Skills
Just like subject knowledge is important, oral communication skills are too. If you do not have the proper skills to place your knowledge about the topic in front of others, you will anyway fail. So, besides working on gaining knowledge, you also need to work on your communication skills. You need to be confident and convincing at the same time to place your point in front of the others. This is so because, if the panel or the other members of the discussion are not convinced enough, you cannot make it towards achieving victory.
Another vital part of a group discussion is listening intently to what the other person is saying. You need to hear them out in order to properly cross their points and place your opinion as the ultimate one. Also, the other person speaking in the discussion might have also studied well-enough. So, you never know, you can gain amazing insights into the topic which might even help you prove your point in a better manner! Besides, you cannot contribute to the discussion until and unless you are listening to what your opponent is saying. By being an active participant in the listening field, you can be the leader in the presenting field.
As the name itself suggests, you need to be able to clear yourself out in front of others. For this to happen properly, you need to be able to clear out your thoughts. Only when that happens, your expression too will be clear enough for others to catch on to what you are saying. You should also check the tone in which you are communicating. Neither should it be extremely demeaning nor should it be too subdued. Yes, you need to express your passion through your words, but that does not mean you have to raise your voice or be unwantedly loud. A lively and a cheerful voice is what attracts the panels the most and that should be your aim.
As already mentioned before, team behaviour plays a huge part while in a group discussion. You should be able to interact properly with the other members of the team. Also, you should never lose your temper at any point. It is the job of the opposing team to prove you wrong, but you should always stay calm and think of ways to prove your point in a calm and well-behaved manner. Besides this, you also need to be patient and balanced to perform properly throughout the discussion and also ace it.
A group discussion can be advantageous for a student in many ways. It is a place where multiple ideas are generated, shared and also tried out. The fellow group members provide support and enthusiasm when you are out on a new venture. Here, you can also combine multiple talents to come up with innovative solutions! Isn’t that great?
But like in any other field, you need to be well prepared and concentrate enough to be at the top. It is important that you hear properly whatever the other person is saying and prove your point in a way that no one else can speak above what you just said. But yes, that always needs to be done in a well-mannered way.