How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

How to Prepare for Attending a Group Discussion

Group Discussion or the GD have become a commonplace in today’s selection process whether it is for a job selection or for getting admission to a top rated college or university. If you have applied to organizations and institutions that conduct a GD as a part of their selection process then it would important for you to prepare yourself to face a GD apart from preparing yourself to face the interview.

To be true, an interview isn’t as challenging as a GD because in a personal interview, you would be evaluated solely on your performance. When it comes to a GD however, your evaluation is comparative and based on other candidates’ performance as well. GD helps the evaluators compare and select their ideal candidates. Also, a GD majorly shows your team building skills which are absolutely essential in any organization.

To brief it all up, a GD is conducted with about 8 to 10 candidates for about 20 to 40 minutes. Sometimes, it can be just for about 15 minutes too. The topic is given to the group a few minutes before the GD begins. Typically, a GD reflects the inherent skills of the candidates as the topic leaves them with not much time to prepare. That being said, if you are keen on performing well at a GD, it does call for some preparation. While you cannot definitely get to know the topic of the GD beforehand, you definitely can hone your inherent skills. Here is what you can do to prepare yourself to face a GD –

  1. Read:

This is the first and perhaps the most crucial step in preparing yourself for the GD. The more you read, the better acquainted you would be to deal with the various topics that can be presented to you for the GD. You can read anything and everything across various subjects and industries but make sure that you are well versed with the current affairs as most often, the topics for GDs are based on recent happenings.

  1. Participate in Mock GDs:

Create an informal group with your friends or colleagues. You can even find like minded people with similar interests and qualifications through social media. Meet regularly with your group members and conduct mock GDs. This will benefit you all.

  1. Improve your communications skills:

Practice listening and speaking skills. These skills are essential to express yourself in the right tone and manner. Being assertive is important but being too aggressive will run down your chances of getting selected. So, practice well. You can try speaking to yourself in the mirror. This is a great way to evaluate yourself, your body language as well as boost your self-confidence.

While preparing yourself for the GD, keep in mind what the evaluators will be looking at – leadership skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills and persuasive skills. Also, the panellists will test your ability think and make your point to the group. Your clarity of thought, how you handle a conflict of opinion, your individual understanding of the subject, how flexible you are towards new ideas and opinions and your ability to create a consensus with the others in the group.

Of course, you may not be able to reflect all the above characteristics in the short time allotted for the GD. But whenever you do get a chance, make sure that you reflect your confident self and bear in mind the above aspects that the panellists would be looking out for. If you are able to generate a positive response, you are good to go!

10 Leadership Skills to Practice Every day!

10 Leadership Skills to Practice Every day!

By definition, a leader can be any individual who aims at guiding others. You need not be a senior managerial position or be a student union head to be a leader. You can be a leader in your own right and by this we mean, you can practice leadership skills at everything you do. Talking about these leadership skills, we can assure you one thing – success will be yours if you religiously adopt these skills in your everyday life. From completing your project assignment to meeting deadlines at work, these skills are essential for students and executives and for everyone who want to leave their mark at whatever they do – small or big!

The Leadership Skills Checklist

Here is a list of the top ten skills you will need to become a leader of your situation; now and forever.

#1 Inspire and motivate

When you want to become a leader, you need to have a vision. It could be a simple group activity at your college or it could be a team working together to crack the most complex software code; if you want to be a great leader in your group, you have to inspire and motivate others. No task can often be done all by yourself so start practicing to inspire others and motivate them to work towards your common goal. That’s what a good leader does.

#2 be honest; display integrity

People look up to their leaders and this means if you want to lead, you need to have it in you. Yes, be at your honest best. Being truthful may not always be in your favor but this is one leadership skill that will pave way for everything else.

#3 Solve problems by critically analyzing the situation

The ultimate role of any leader is to solve a problem situation. You can do this by having the right analytical abilities and more importantly, right people management skills.

#4 Work for results

Great leaders and results driven; they work to succeed. Your efforts can only be measured when they can be quantified and this can be done only when they give you the desired results. You will need a huge amount of perseverance, stick-to-intuitiveness, and drive than most anyone else to be a great leader.

#5 communicate, communicate and communicate effectively

Communication is the power weapon for anyone and particularly if you want to be a great leader, you need to be a great communicator. A power listener and a prolific speaker, a leader needs to be it all!

#6 Build strong interpersonal relationships

Teams are built on interpersonal bonds. As a leader, it is your primary responsibility to ensure that you have strong foundation of trust in your team. The stronger your bonds with your team, the better leader you would be!

#7 Hone your technical or professional skills; display your expertise

You need to have some basic, primary skill to become a leader. Identify your USP skill and work at it to turn it into an expertise.

#8 Have a strategic perspective

Strategic perspective will differentiate you form your other colleagues. A leader is one who can strategize effectively.

#9 Develop others

Just as you work to continuously develop yourself, work at developing your team as well because your leadership will be put to test based on your team’s performance.

#10 Have an innovative approach

Innovation need not be something that calls for employing robotic science. A simple change in the process of operations that may bring about positive changes can be enough innovation. As a leader, innovation is your weapon to success.

Lastly, embrace change. Always remember that the one thing that is always constant is change. Change is good when you adapt yourself. Great leaders see changes coming and are ready for them. Now that you know what skills you need to have, be ready to welcome the leader in you and that, with élan!

Smart Steps on How to Face a Group Discussion

Smart Steps on How to Face a Group Discussion

After having cleared your technical tests and in some cases, a primary round of interview, you are most likely how to face a Group Discussion. It has become a sort of norm for management institutes, business schools and higher education colleges to have a round of Group Discussion as a part of selection process. And wait, not just for your higher educational qualifications, GDs are even important selection tools for job interviews. That being said, it would make sense to make yourself completely acquainted with what you need to know and skills that you need to hone in order to perform your best at a GD.

You have read previously here on what really a GD and you know for sure, what the evaluators would be looking for. Considering that, we have got for you here some essential information on how you should face a GD.

Facing a Group Discussion – the Six Smart Steps!

Step One: Communicate right

Communication skills are your key to success at a group discussion. It is your power of expression that would be taken into notice here. You need to be an attentive listener and an efficient speaker. Not being either will cut down your chances to get selected by the evaluators or even get noticed by them. Effective communication needs you to be assertive and this will help you hold the attention of your audience and create a positive impact. Being precise and clear is more important. And most importantly, you should allow others to speak as well. Remember, good listening skills are an important aspect of good communication.

Step Two: Gather knowledge and ideas on the topic

Knowledge of the subject on the topic and having a clear idea of the same are essential for performing well at the GD. Keep yourself updated with the recent developments or current affairs, follow news and read consistently – these are little things that will ensure you will have necessary knowledge that will help you in the GD. When you are aware of the subject matter, you will sound convincing and confident.

Step Three: Coordinate and lead

One of the basic aims of a group discussion is to judge your team building and leadership skills. A promising candidate is considered to be one who displays tactfulness and leadership qualities. You need to motivate and encourage the other members of the group to participate in the discussion apart from presenting your views assertively.

Step Four: Promote healthy exchange of thoughts

Group discussion, as the name suggests, is a discussion between the various participants. You need to ensure that you are allowing others to speak and if you do not agree to their perspective, be accommodative to listen and then state your disagreements. Your body language, your eye contact and the way you present your thoughts will win you points. Remember, you are not in a debate but in a discussion.

Step Five: Address the group as a whole

In most cases, the groups are made randomly. That would imply, you may not know the members in the group or even their names. Addressing the group as a whole is hence a strategy that will display your confidence as well as indicate that you are not nervous to be a part of the discussion.

Step Six: Prepare yourself

When the interviewer organizes a group discussion, he will mostly allot you a certain time frame to prepare yourself after giving the topic. Use this time strategically and to your best. Prepare yourself, note down points that come to your mind regarding the topic.

The above steps when followed keenly can assure your success at any GD.



Leadership lessons from Rahul Dravid

I was 12 when I first watched Dravid play, was bored with his game in the beginning but started loving him later on. I believe he was born in a wrong era, had he been born in an era sans Tendulkar, the love and adulation he would have received from the Indian fans would have doubled or mark my words even tripled.

In the illustrious career that spanned for over 16 years we got see many facets of the “Great Wall”. The perseverance, the adaptability, the selflessness, the attitude of putting the team first …. all of them hold valuable lessons for all of us in our respective career paths. Here are some leadership lessons we can learn from the true legend of Indian Cricket.

For Entry-Level Executives:

Rahul Dravid is more technique than talent. He is a disciplinarian who came first to any practice session and left last, and didn’t miss coaching. Dravid idolized Sunil Gavaskar, another master technician. Dravid in his earliest days imbibed from his coach and his idol that patience, staying at the wicket and a work-horse like approach was the sure-shot way to sustain initial success.

The lessons for entry-level corporate executives are clear: it takes a lot of learning and honing the ‘fundamentals’ of the domain, for an expert to emerge. Dravid also stands for fitness and multi-skilling. They make you more valuable to your employer. A junior manager should think, Dravid kept wickets for India; he needn’t have developed that skill.

For Middle-management:

Early successes spurred Dravid to greater dedication. He went to master newer abilities, the square cut of a turning ball, the glance off the pads of an in swinging delivery and the pull shot along the ground. His success made him more grounded. He adapted to ODIs. But still maintained an unassuming profile. He never minded playing second-fiddle in any long partnership.

The takeaways to corporate managers in the middle to senior levels are plenty. Build on pilot success, each milestone only spells a higher bar for the next, no celebration, in fact no declaration of successes even. And above all partnerships, peer-group respect and selflessness. Dravid put his team first always, but he still ended up as the second-highest run-getter of all times.

For Leadership Executives:

Dravid failed as a captain. The lowest point was the India’s ignominious early exit from the 2007 World Cup. He was sacked as a captain, but he still wrote a letter to BCCI saying he didn’t want to continue. He was removed as a captain by his IPL team owner Vijay Mallya.

Dravid continued to perform as a player. He showed grit and determination not to let his team, its owners and the reputation down. He wasn’t made to be an all-guns-blazing leader his successor M.S.Dhoni turned out be. The lesson for corporate leaders? No matter how well prepared and competent you are, circumstances may give you a rough time. It is the ability to rebound and flourish again that determines the ultimate winner.

Reference:- Economic Times