Group Discussion

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Introduction

Discussions of any sort are supposed to help us develop a better perspective on issues by bringing out diverse view points. Whenever we exchange differing views on an issue,we get a clearer picture of the problem and are able to understand it. The understanding makes us better equipped to deal with the problem.This is precisely the main purpose of a discussion. The dictionary meaning of the word Group Discussion is to talk about a subject in detail. So,group discussion may refer to a communicative situation that allows its participants to express views and opinions and share with other participants. It is a systematic oral exchange of information,views and opinions about a topic,issue,problem or situation among members of a group who share certain common objectives.

G D is essentially an interactive oral process. The group members need to listen to each other and use voice and gesture effectively,use clear language and persuasive style.

GD is structured: the exchange of ideas in a GD takes place in a systematic and structured way. Each of the participants gets an opportunity to express his/her views and comments on the views expressed by other members of the group.

GD involves a lot of group dynamics, that is, it involves both -person to person as well as group to group interactions.every group member has to develop a goal oriented or group oriented interaction.A participant needs to be aware of needs of other group members and overall objectives of the discussion. Definition: Group discussion may be defined as – a form of systematic and purposeful oral process characterized by the formal and structured exchange of views on a particular topic,issue,problem or situation for developing information and understanding essential for decision making or problem solving.

Group Discussion and Other forms of Oral Communication

There are several types of oral group communication. In Public Speaking,the speaker is evaluated by the audience;however there is not much interaction between audience and speaker.Audience,for the most part would only listen to the speaker. In the interview,a panel of members would assess the candidate for the requirement of selection or promotion etc. In meetings,there are discussions on issues mentioned in the agenda. Meetings may have multiple agenda.A chairperson conducts the meeting and controls and concludes the deliberations.. Group Discussion differs from debate in nature,approach and procedure.Debates include representation of two contrasting viewpoints while GD can include multiple views.A GD may help achieve group goals as well as individual needs.The examiner observes the personality traits of several candidates who participate in the G.D.

Importance of Group Discussion skills

A Group Discussion helps problem solving , decision making and personality assessment. Whether one is a student, a job seeker ,a professional engineer or a company executive one needs effective GD skills. Students need to participate in academic discussions, meetings, classroom sessions or selection GDs for admission to professional courses. A job-seeker may be required to face selection GDs as part of the selection process. Professionals have to participate in different meetings at the workplace .In all these situations, an ability to make a significant contribution to group deliberation and helping the group in the process of decision making is required. The importance of GD has increased in recent times due to its increasing role as an effective tool in a)problem solving b)decision making c)personality assessment. In any situation of problem, the perceptions of different people are discussed, possible solutions are suggested. The best option is chosen by the group. While taking a decision, the matter is discussed, analysed, interpreted and evaluated. While using GD as a tool for personality assessment, a topic-a problem, an opinion or a case - is given to the group...
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