Group Discussion(GD), is a methodology used by an organization to check whether the candidate has certain personality traits. GD is an important part of the short-listing process for recruitment in a company or institution. The evaluators analyze the skills and personality of the candidates by the way they discuss as a group. During GD not only your communication skills will be analyzed but also your leadership ability, team-building capacity, ability to reason and think differently, assertiveness, flexibility, and creativity will be thoroughly checked. So, GD is not just about what you speak but also how you speak.

In every Group Discussion, four types of people are needed. They are:

1. Initiator: The person who initiates the GD when the topic is announced is called the initiator. The initiator is like a leader of the group but that doesn’t mean that everyone should only initiate. The initiator should be very confident about the topic or else it is better not to initiate because you may start it in a wrong way. There is an example of how worse the GD can go when it is badly initiated.

  • Once in a GD, a topic on ‘Indian Reservation System’ was given to a group and the initiator spoke about Reservation in Indian Railways instead of the actual Caste Based Reservation. Alas, how pity for the group and how fun it is to the evaluators. So unless you are sure about the topic, do not initiate. And if you are sure and know much about that topic, do not hesitate to start.

2. Moderator: Moderator has an important role to keep the discussion stick to the topic. There are many chances it may go out of the topic. People start speaking about their experiences and the stories they hear and what not. They speak everything so that they will be heard. But when it feels that it is irrelevant to the topic the moderator should politely make them understand the situation and bring back the discussion to the topic. It is not so easy to do when people are fighting to prove themselves and hence moderators have an important role.

3. Gatekeeper: A gatekeeper has to provide an opportunity for the unspoken or the less spoken members of your group. There are times when just two people keep on speaking in a group. To avoid dominance and give everyone an opportunity to speak is the main role of the gatekeeper. To be a gatekeeper you must have spoken in the first hand. Without you speaking, you cannot give way to others. Don’t be so generous, remember you should also be selected.

4. Concluder: The person who concludes the whole discussion at the end is called the concluder. A concluder must be the most active listener who has an idea what each member in the group spoke. It is better to take notes on all the important points that came up while you were discussing and summarize it at the end. The concluder’s speech can show how well the discussion had been taken place and the worthiness of the people and their ideas.

It would be better taking up some roles like these in a GD rather than just simply speaking. It shows that you are a team player and you are concerned about the quality of the discussion. It is you who should make GD a real discussion rather than shouting and fighting. Have a healthy GD.


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