Group Discussion- objectives, steps involved and it's limitations
Group Discussion-diagramatic view
Group Discussion (GD)
A group discussion aims at a structured but informal exchange of knowledge, ideas, and perceptions among the participants on any issue, topic or sub-topic. Contributions are pooled together and examined in terms of their relevance and validity to the discussion objectives. If planned and organized in a structured way and certain essential conditions are met, it can provide a highly enriching and stimulating experience to the participants. Lets us see, the objectives, different steps involved in it and its limitations.
Objectives of a Group Discussion
- Produce a range of options or solutions, addressing a particular problem or an issue.
- Generate a pile of ideas by examining issues in greater depth, looking at different dimensions of these issues.
- Broaden the outlook of the participants through cross-fertilization and exposure to new and different experiences and ideas and enrich their understanding of the issues under discussion.
- Develop their skills in interpersonal communication and in expressing their views in a clear and succinct manner.
- Effective means of changing attitudes through the influence of peers in the group
- Valuable means of obtaining feedback for the training team on verbal skills, motivation level and personal traits of the participants and characteristics of the group
Steps in organizing a Group Discussion
- Setting up the Groups
- Planning a Group Discussion
- Preparation of Group Reports
- Presentation and Consolidation of Group Reports
- If the group is large, not all the members may get the opportunity to participate and contribute to the discussion.
- If the task is not clearly defined, the discussion may lack focus and, as a result, it may be unproductive.
- Difficulties can arise if the leader is unskilled in guiding the discussion and/or not familiar with the topic or the issues.
- Some members may dominate and, in a way, hijack the discussion.
- As this is a group task, some members may take it easy and not feel constrained to participate.