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10 mistakes you must avoid in a Group Discussion

Feb 23, 2018 16:27 IST
10 mistakes you must avoid in a Group Discussion
10 mistakes you must avoid in a Group Discussion

Group Discussions have become a mandatory part of the admission screening process, especially for MBA admissions. To ace the GD round during the admission screening process, you must avoid following mistakes to mark a difference in the mind of your peers as well as the examiner. So, let’s check out the most common GD mistakes that candidates commit during Group Discussions.

Don’t take the lead, if you don’t know the topic

A lot of students join coaching centres to prepare for MBA entrances. At these centres they are also given tips and advice about the interview and GD sessions that follow the written exams. And armed with pieces of advice gained here many candidates try to initiate the topic even if they have no clue whatsoever about it. Ignorance is one of the biggest problems in the GD round. If you know the topic well and are confident about it, it makes sense to initiate the discussion. If not, then it's wiser to wait for the others to start. There is no harm in being the second or the third speaker as it will give you a chance to reflect and understand the topic and put in some valuable input, earning yourself better points.

Don’t hesitate to take the lead, if you know it

On the other hand, if you are well versed in the topic and are fairly confident about initiating the discussion then you must not hesitate to do so. For it's quite true, the candidate who initiates the discussion gets noticed and if he puts invaluable inputs is also awarded some bonus points. If you speak without proper knowledge on the topic right at the start it leaves a negative impression. However, hesitating to speak even if you are knowledgeable on the subject is mainly because of lack of practice. So, make sure to participate in as mock GDs as you can.

Don’t copy or follow someone else’s ideas or comments

It is essential to remember that in a GD if you just simply go on to repeat what others are saying then you are making no valuable additions to the GD. It leaves a bad impression of yours on the evaluator. Also, not to mention, your elimination is imminent. In case, you have no knowledge on the topic are completely in the dark about it then, its best to play smart. Listen to others speak, analyze their answers and add some points to it if you can or think what else can be said along those lines. Any idea that you put forward must not be something that has been previously said.

Don’t contradict your own points

This is a very common mistake that most students make during a GD round. For most of the times, the topics given in a GD are debatable. You may stand either in the favour or the argument or against it. But what happens here is that you end up contradicting your own points and often fail to realize that. And when this happens the evaluator sees you as someone with no actual stand and lack of confidence in your thoughts. Which, of course, is not a desirable quality in the managers of tomorrow.

Don’t avoid eye contact with fellow participants

When participating in a GD it is important to remember that this is a discussion which includes multiple people. Which means that you are not just simply a speaker addressing multiple people but having something like a debate with them. Avoiding eye contact in such a situation then is seen as a sign of disrespect or lack of confidence on the part of the in his thoughts on the part of the speaker. Many candidates fix their eyes simply on the evaluator or prefer to look at in a blank space. But he is not someone you are conversing with, it's your fellow candidates who are the part of the discussion. So, the best strategy in such a scenario is to maintain eye contact with everyone in the group. As it gives the impression that you are keen enough to make your point clear to everyone present there.

Avoid interrupting others

Group discussions are meant not just to evaluate your speaking skills but also your listening skills. Interrupting someone often leads to negative points. For remember, that the topic might seem as that of a debate but a GD is a discussion. So, don't go on interrupting others while they are speaking, listen to their points and then put forth your views whether they be in favour of it or against it. It will help you earn more points and express yourself more effectively.

Don’t just speak once, contribute during the entire discussion

This mistake is something that can be easily avoided with a little presence of mind. What students usually do is try to speak all their points in a single go, in a single chance. The problem is that they fear they may not get another chance to speak. But that is not the wise move to make. Break all your points into 2-3 different parts and then try to focus on one keyword at a time. Don't spill all that you have to say in a single go but rather present your opinion over 2-3 times. Also, make sure whatever you speak is of value and not repetition of what you or someone else has previously said.

Don’t lose confidence

Getting nervous jitters or experiencing lack of confidence is not uncommon during a GD. For the most part of your performance in the GD depends on the topic given by the evaluator. So, if something goes wrong like if you state a point wrong, a lot of aspirants get nervous and lose confidence. But the point here is, there is no use crying over spilled milk. Everyone makes mistakes but what counts is that how quick and how good you recover from it. Take it as a challenge and try to attempt to bounce back and correct your mistake. While at the same time add some valuable points to the discussion. Not everything you speak might be acceptable to the group but how you speak it and how much value is added to the group is what counts for the evaluator.

Don’t mumble, be Audible

Remember that all the candidates around you are all looking to impress the evaluator and each one is striving to put forth their points. The scene at a GD often becomes like a fish market because of that as everyone is speaking but nothing is audible. Speaking in such a din is waste of both your effort and time. Also, if you have a weak, low or timid voice you stand no chance. You could either wait for the commotion to settle down or if you have a strong voice then you could try to lead the discussion, put forth your point and try to settle down the commotion by speaking in a slightly higher volume. It will help convey your message and your ability to lead the group in a situation like this would leave a good impression on the evaluator.

To Conclude,

Whenever participating in a group discussion it is important to remember that you have a limited amount of time. Wherein you have both convey your message effectively and also listen carefully to what others are saying. If you can help add some valuable fact-based or such information or manage to lead the group you surely have an added advantage. Hope these above mentioned tips will help you avoid making some common mistakes in a group discussion. For more such videos please visit www.jagranjosh.com/college.

    DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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