Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is Group Discussion | Group Discussion Process

What is Group Discussion | Group Discussion Process
The term 'group discussion' is used to refer to an oral communication situation in which a small number of professionals meet and discuss a problem or issue to arrive at a consensus or to exchange information on a significant matter  related to the function, growth or expansion of the organization to which they belong.

The purpose of the group discussion is to elicit the views of all participants and to reach a consensus through intense interaction. By its very nature the number of participants is small ranging from five to ten. It has been observed that if the number is smaller, the discussion does not get off the ground and the interaction is less animated and diversified with the result that often important aspects and factors are not properly focused. And if the number is large, a few participants become reticent and do not contribute to the discussion. Thus the very purpose of holding a group discussion is lost. Sometimes the group discussion is used as an instrument for judging the suitability of a candidate for a job as several personality traits come to the fore during the discussion, and this helps the prospective employer assess the qualification of a candidate.
There are some traits which are vital for success of a person in the professional world, and these are quick grasping power, mature reaction to views expressed by others, positive approach to issues and problems, leadership qualities, power of exposition, analytical ability, communication skills, and group behavior.

Group Discussion Process

The group discussion is not as structured as a meeting. There is no chairperson, no secretary, and no detailed agenda. Only the problem or issue is stated and any member can initiate the discussion and deal with any aspect. Similarly, any member can give a preview of what points are likely to arise, provide an internal summery of the views expressed upto a point of time and summarize the discussion towards the end. However, it is the duty of each member to ensure that the discussion proceeds smoothly in an orderly fashion, leading to the emergence of a solution, a common viewpoint or a course of action. Obviously, display of anger, emotion and excitement has no place in a group discussion.

Sometimes the topic to be discussed is made known to the participants beforehand so that they can ponder and formulate the views before the discussion starts. And sometimes the topic is announced after the participants have assembled. In this case, a few minutes are usually allowed for thinking and preparation. The participants generally sit in a circle round a table so that each participant is able to observe the expression and make eye contact with the others.

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