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Dynamics of Group Discussion

Group Discussion is a discussion among participants who have an agreed (serious) topic. The term suggests a discussion among a group of persons.

Skills required for GD


Analytic skill and technical know how. Attitude and confidence. Behavior and interaction with group. Communication skills. Decision making and leadership skills. Expression power. Listening skills. Open mindedness. Problem solving, critical and tangential thinking skills.

Roles in Group Discussions


Task Roles: - These are the roles that relate to getting the work done. They represent the different roles needed to take a project step-by-step from initial conception through to action. (Individuals may fulfill many of these roles during the life of a project.) 1. Initiator/Contributor Proposes original ideas or different ways of approaching group problems or goals. This role initiates discussions and move groups into new areas of exploration. 2. Information Seeker Requests clarification of comments in terms of their factual adequacy. Seeks expert information or facts relevant to the problem. Determines what information is missing and needs to be found before moving forward. 3. Information Giver Provides factual information to the group. Is seen as an authority on the subject and relates own experience when relevant. 4. Opinion Seeker Asks for clarification of the values, attitudes, and opinions of group members. Checks to make sure different perspectives are given. 5. Opinion Giver Expresses his or her own opinions and beliefs about the subject being discussed. Often states opinions in terms of what the group "should" do. 6. Elaborator Takes other people's initial ideas and builds on them with examples, relevant facts and data. Also looks at the consequences of proposed ideas and actions. 7. Co-ordinator Identifies and explains the relationships between ideas. May pull together a few different ideas and make them cohesive. 8. Evaluator/Critic Evaluates proposals against a predetermined or objective standard. Assesses the reasonableness of a proposal and looks at whether it is fact-based and manageable as a solution. 9. Energizer Concentrates the group's energy on forward movement. Challenges and stimulates the group to take further action. 10. Procedural Technician Facilitates group discussion by taking care of logistical concerns like where meetings are to take place and what supplies are needed for each meeting.

11. Recorder Acts as the secretary or minute-keeper. Records ideas and keeps track of what goes on at each meeting.

Stages in a Group Discussion

Stages 1. Forming

Tasks of the Stage

Examples of Conflict that Might Arise Joining If purpose or membership seems Welcoming exclusive, or people Understanding dont feel welcomed, the purpose they might not join or Building might be tentative or relationships suspicious If leaders set an exclusive tone, others may follow Setting Expectations Establishing styles Learning Leadership and Member Roles Establishing processes Establishing Goals If expectations not clear, people may not be meeting them If expectations not met, frustrations may arise If judgments arise about styles and roles, people may act critically If oppressive behavior happens and/or is condoned, people may be hurt or want apologies or even want to quit If the organizations goals dont match members goals, members may be frustrated Airing Dissatisfaction Finding Ways through conflict Assessing Leadership

Possible Approaches to Getting Through Individual outreach Listening openly to members

2. Norming

Team-building on expectations or style inventories Leaders stating expectations Individual confrontations and listening Group discussions

3. Storming

Airing Dissatisfaction Finding Ways through

A support the leader exercise Individual discussions

conflict Assessing Leadership Assessing Member role

Assessing Member role

Group discussion

4. Performing

Functioning Well Seeing Conflict as Opportunity

If there are unresolved issues, they will keep resurfacing in another form until resolved If member performance isnt supported, members may burn out or attack leadership If leadership isnt supported, leaders may burn out, not appreciate members, not cultivate new leaders

Group discussions Appreciations for members and leaders

5. Adjourning

Putting Closure on Tasks Putting Closure on Relationships Preparing for next group

If people have unspoken feelings about closure, they may procrastinate or otherwise sabotage projects

Team-building about closure and the importance of acknowledging feelings while taking care of tasks

Do's and Donts of GD


1. Be as natural as possible. 2. Do not try and be someone you are not.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 6.

Be yourself. A group discussion is your chance to be more vocal. Take time to organize your thoughts. Think of what you are going to say. Seek clarification if you have any doubts regarding the subject. Don't start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject. Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else's point and then move onto express your views. 7. Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain. 8. Your body language says a lot about you - your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say. 9. Language skills are important only to the effect as to how you get your points across clearly and fluently. 10. Be assertive not dominating; try to maintain a balanced tone in your discussion and analysis. 11. Don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. 12. Don't take the discussion personally. 13. Always be polite: 14. Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object' or `I disagree'. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to share my views on' or `One difference between your point and mine' or "I beg to differ with you" 15. Brush up on your leadership skills. 16. Motivate the other members of the team to speak. 17. Be receptive to others' opinions and do not be abrasive or aggressive.