10 Mistakes that Can Eliminate You from a Group Discussion

Oct 13, 2021

Group Discussion can be a deciding a factor for you to get your dream job offer or dream college admission. As a result, you can not afford to make any mistakes. The stakes are high!

1. Formal Attire and Body Language
You should appear for a group discussion round in formal attire, well-groomed and with a confident and positive body language. Don't panic and stay clam even if you have an unknown topic for the group discussion.

2. Dominance = Damnation
Even if you are well prepared and confident, you should never try to be a dominant individual in the discussion. You have to listen to others and consider others' opinions and do not try to dominate someone. Be polite and do not involve in any kind of argument with any member of the group.

3. Avoid Chaos
The eternal dilemma in the group discussions is - when someone is trying to participate, is it a good idea to interrupt?

First of all, you should avoid interrupting any member of the group and avoid chaos. However, if someone is dominant and is not allowing others to contribute, you can start by saying - "I do understand your perspective. However, I would like to contribute......" or in extreme situation "We do have a limited time to discuss. I would like to share my points....."

4. Listen to others!
Group discussion is not about only sharing what your perspective. You need to the others and based on that you may decide to frame your argument for the discussion. You have to be attentive to the discussion for the entire duration of the group discussion. Use non-verbal cues to portray that you are attentive to the discussion. You may consider taking notes.

5. Irrelevant Discussion
Focus the discussion on the given topic and take initiative to take the discussion back on track if you feel the group is diverging from the the given topic.

6. Accuse an Individual or Organization – Biased opinion
Do not accuse an individual or organization even the Government based on your personal experience if the alleged accusation is not legally proven. Personal experience may be biased. For example, you may be a supporter of a political party, but you have to consider opinion of others and need to have a unbiased opinion.

7. Late Participation ~ No Participation
Participate at the earliest. The initiator generally receive some brownie points. Even though there is no surety that if you participate early you will be selected, you late participation surely diminish your chances.

8. Do NOT Generalize Your Opinion
Do not use words like "all of you", "everyone of you" to address or to share a counter argument. Instead, use words like "most of you", "few of you" etc.

9. Stats without Source
While you are encouraged to share relevant stats to support and strengthen your arguments, do not share any of the stats with mentioning the source. The credibility of the source is another important factor in this.

10. Do Not Turn Off The Web Cam!
Now-a-days, the group discussions are being conducted in online video conferencing mode. You need to take care of few basic things in the online group discussions. You should avoid using a different and informal account name while attending the group discussion. In addition, do not turn off the web camera till the entire process is not over.

We can conclude that panicking, hurrying and hesitating can create a negative impact on your performance. Just be confident and convey your thoughts confidently. We are humans and we learn things from our mistakes. That is why you should participate in many Mock Group Discussions and similar activities as they reduce the chances of committing mistakes in the final stage where it matters the most.

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