Is aggression required in a Group Discussion?

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Group discussion, an important part of the MBA admission process, is a way to select a socially suitable candidate among the knowledgeable candidates. It is the best way to evaluate the behavioural and attitudinal responses of the candidates. Only candidates who qualify the written examination will be called to appear in the GD Round wherein small groups of candidates are formed.

Then, they will be provided with a random topic, which can be related to the recent trending news or can be a social issue like child labour, ecosystem and more. This round is conducted to know your thoughts on the topic, and help the examiners to select the best candidates on the basis of the way you present your views, how you respect other’s point of view on the same topic and how smartly you manage yourself with elegance in group situations. So, in order to crack the GD for B-School, you must show leadership skills.

Is aggression required in a Group Discussion?

Not at all, even do not think about it. Aggression immediately decreases your score, no matter your point is correct or not. You just got a negative marking for showing that intense look of aggressive expression or words. Students do mind that while participating in a group discussion, your view on the topic is evaluated after checking your behavior over other’s view. So, whenever your views don’t match with the other participant, never show aggression, not even in your expressions.

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What can you do is? Just address the person politely and say, “I agree with your point however in my view there must be another solution, which is ..” and now put your thoughts in front of others.

How to Control Anger During a Group Discussion (GD)?

Controlling anger during a Group Discussion (GD) is essential to present yourself positively and effectively. Here are some strategies to help you manage anger in a GD:

  1. Preparation:
    • Thoroughly prepare for the GD topic in advance. Knowledge about the subject can boost your confidence and reduce frustration.
    • Anticipate potential arguments or counterpoints and prepare responses calmly.
  2. Mindfulness Techniques:
    • Practice mindfulness and deep breathing exercises to stay calm and focused.
    • If you feel anger rising, take a few deep breaths to center yourself before responding.
  3. Active Listening:
    • Listen attentively to what others are saying without interrupting.
    • Demonstrating respect for others’ opinions can help diffuse potential anger.
  4. Positive Body Language:
    • Maintain positive and open body language. Avoid crossing your arms or displaying defensive gestures.
    • Smile, nod, and make eye contact to convey a friendly demeanor.
  5. Empathy:
    • Put yourself in others’ shoes to understand their perspective.
    • Acknowledge diverse viewpoints and express your disagreement diplomatically.
  6. Pause Before Responding:
    • If you feel anger building, take a moment to collect your thoughts before responding.
    • A brief pause allows you to formulate a composed and articulate response.
  7. Choose Your Words Wisely:
    • Use neutral and respectful language, avoiding inflammatory or confrontational words.
    • Express disagreement with tact and without personal attacks.
  8. Focus on the Issue, Not the Person:
    • Keep the discussion focused on the topic rather than targeting individuals.
    • Avoid making personal comments or getting defensive.
  9. Maintain a Positive Attitude:
    • Approach the GD with a positive mindset, focusing on collaboration rather than competition.
    • Highlight common ground and areas of agreement to build a positive atmosphere.
  10. Seek Clarification:
    • If a statement triggers anger, seek clarification rather than making assumptions.
    • Ensure that you understand the speaker’s viewpoint before responding.
  11. Practice Active Participation:
    • Engage in the discussion proactively, contributing your ideas and viewpoints.
    • Active participation can divert your focus from negative emotions.
  12. Accept Constructive Criticism:
    • Be open to constructive criticism and view it as an opportunity for personal growth.
    • Avoid reacting defensively; instead, respond with a willingness to learn.
  13. Develop a Sense of Humor:
    • Use humor to lighten the atmosphere, but be cautious not to offend anyone.
    • A well-timed, light-hearted comment can defuse tension.
  14. Reflect After the Discussion:
    • After the GD, reflect on your emotions and reactions.
    • Identify triggers and work on strategies to manage them better in future discussions.
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