Group Discussion – Introduction

Group discussion is the first task in the series of group tasks. It is an informal discussion among your group on a generic topic of common interest. You can consider the task to be something like a discussion with your friends, in your school, or college canteen. Obviously, it would be a free for all discussion. You can say what you like, whenever you like and as many times as you like. In fact, your group does not have to arrive at any conclusion at the end of the task. In thsi category, we shall present examples of good content which you can use in the actual group discussion during your gtoup tasks.

Importance of Group Discussion

You would have heard the phase ‘First Impression is the Best Impression’. Since, Group Discussion is the first task, it is your best chance to make a favourable impression on the GTO. Although the task by itself is very easy; it involves just talking with your friends, it sets the tone for other tasks. In this task, you should speak out, as well as listen to other members of your group. Both the aspects are equally important. Your aim in-group discussion should be to put forth some valid points, during the discussion. In addition, you should listen attentively to others, in your group, and try to understand their views.

Group Discussion is a Leaderless Group task

Like most of the group tasks, Group Discussion is a leaderless group task. That means to say, unlike an organised discussion, the GTO does not nominate any leader, or chairman for the task. Since, GTO has not nominated a leader, don’t try to act like a boss of the discussion, but as a part of your friends circle. Obviously, it would be a free for all discussion. You can say what you like, whenever you like and as many times as you like. At the same time, your friends would also have the same privilege.

Your aim should be to win the confidence of the group

Remember, this is the first task in the series of tasks, therefore, winning the confidence of your friends, is more important than speaking to win. However, you should not shy away or keep quiet during the discussion. During the discussion, you should be forthright, and put forward your views in a simple, elegant and polite manner. That would enable you to gain the confidence of your friends in the group.

It is an informal discussion among your group on a generic topic. You can consider the task to be something like a discussion with your friends, in your school or college. Some of you may be wondering as to what would be the topics of discussion. I can assure you that, the topics would be quite common, like the ones you would talk about with your friends. It would not be highly technical or something, which is beyond your knowledge.

Conduct of Group Discussion by the GTO

Initially, the GTO would give you two topics, out of which your group would be asked to select one. In addition to being common topics, the GTO has further helped you, by giving you a choice of two topics. Try to convince your group into taking the topic, which you like. In the Group Discussion, you do not have to arrive at any conclusion.

The basic aim of group discussion is to provide an opportunity for all of you, to get to know each other. During the task, you should speak as well as listen, with the aim of understanding each other better. The second part of what I had said, that is, listening to each other is as important as speaking out your mind.

Just interact freely, and put up your views in a cordial and natural manner. There are no hard and fast rules, like speaking first or last. However, you should participate wholeheartedly in the discussion.

Focus on your content and not the time

More important than the timing of the speech or duration of participation is the content of your speech. Your sentences should add value to the discussion. I did not mention the time limit intentionally. Don’t bother about how much time you would get for discussion. If you focus on the time limit, you may have a tendency to interrupt others or speak hurriedly. Some of you may feel that you have a lot’s of time and wait until the end of discussion to participate. Both of these are not good practices for discussion.

You should participate in a natural manner. Your ultimate aim should be to add value to the discussion, without getting into an one to one arguments. That’s it, period. Do not get bogged down by hard and fast rules like the ones floating on the internet. There is no such thing as you have to speak first always and every time. However, active participation in the discussion is very important. Participate as soon as possible and get into the core of the discussion.

Language of Discussion

Try to speak in English, because as an officer you would be required to interact with not only your soldiers but also with other senior officials. However, you don’t need to spak in any flowery language. If you can speak simple sentences, which others can understand, that’s good enough.

Your language is considered to be good enough, if you can express your views in a manner that others can understand. Just like any other informal discussion, you can remain seated while speaking. It is quite possible that one of your friends may have an entirely different view of the subject. Listen patiently and avoid getting into a one to one argument.

Tips for Effective Performance in Group Discussion

  • Try to participate as much as possible
  • Select your lead with some thought
  • Once you have selected a lead, stick to it
  • Express your opinion in 3 to 4 sentences
  • Avoid repeating either your or other’s statements
  • Avoid Sweeping Statements
  • Avoid Copied or Stale sentences
  • Avoid Un Realistic views
  • Avoid Anti-social or Anti-national views
  • Don’t be Flagrantly optimistic or Uncritical
  • Speak in a friendly manner
  • Be Receptive to other’s views
  • Try to create some impact on the discussion
  • Display Confidence during your speech
  • Understand and empathise with other’s point of view
  • Finally, make your every word count

If you follow these few guidelines, you would be able to project a good impression about yourself to the group. If the group likes you then your GTO would also like you.