Managing Group Discussion

 In Management

Managing Group Discussion

What makes a group discussion effective?

A group discussion can be described as a critical discussion about a topic or range of topics. It is a discussion that all participants are able to participate in. While a group of three or four people is sufficient to hold a productive discussion, more than five or six members will need a facilitator or leader. A leader or facilitator is helpful for ensuring a productive discussion when the group has eight members or more.

Facilitating a discussion effectively requires the acceptance and use of diverse perspectives and skills in order to create an inclusive environment. It is crucial to understand the characteristics of successful discussions and conditions that encourage small group interaction and engagement in order to achieve this. Participation is an effective mechanism for active learning. A well-facilitated discussion allows participants to explore new ideas and recognise and value the contributions of others.

Group Discussion

Accept the best from others.

Ask questions if someone says something that seems out of place or alarming. Pay attention to the subtext. Sometimes the most important thing in a conversation is underneath it. You can also offer a tentative interpretation of the student’s thoughts and feelings.

Take a break if things get too heated

Write for five minutes about how you feel. Next, resume the conversation. It is normal to be awkward. However, it is okay to tell everyone to take a moment to reflect on what was said and how they can move forward. This will help you to take a moment to yourself.

It is important to seek out advice.

After a heated group discussion, you may feel shaken up. Getting guidance from someone who has a clear mind and can offer a different perspective is the best thing for you.

How to manage group discussion

1. The Silent Participant

Participants were chosen to represent a variety of perspectives. This is because the Silent Participant disrupts this balance and makes it less rich.

  • To avoid drawing attention to themselves, use closed body language
  • Only speaks when called directly.
  • Speaking can make you feel uncomfortable.

2. The dominant participant

Always the first one to answer a question. Talks a lot all the time. They will often repeat comments if they don’t have enough to say. They don’t “give the floor” to others. Unbalanced atmosphere. The Silent Participant can also hinder contributions. Unchecked, this can lead to biased results in favor of the dominant participants, resulting in a failure to represent the group.

3. Scope-Bender

To keep the conversation on-topic, be a good gatekeeper. Sometimes, brief topic diversions can be necessary and even beneficial. If the diversions become excessively long or frequent, it is best to stop them. It is a common practice to divert the conversation from core issues in order to discuss tangential topics which are not within the scope of the topic.

How groups make decisions

Facilitators allow the group to have their discussion, but they also help keep it focused. A facilitator can tell when the group is moving in the right direction and when it needs to be reminded of the main topic. Facilitators who are effective limit their speaking time and don’t dominate the conversation are well-rounded. Here are some examples of facilitator roles.

Decision making in groups has two advantages over individual decisions: synergy, and the sharing of information. The idea that the whole is more than the sums of its parts is called synergy. A group can make a decision together and have a greater sense of the whole than any individual member. Group members can find more robust and complete solutions and recommendations through discussion, questioning and collaboration.

Diffusion of responsibility

Group decision-making can lead to a dispersion of responsibility, which could result in an absence of accountability for the outcomes. If everyone is responsible for making a decision, then there is no accountability. Group decisions may make it easier for people to blame others and deny their responsibility for poor decisions.

Another advantage to group decision-making is the sharing of information among members. Because each member of the group may have unique knowledge and expertise, group decisions consider a wider range of information. Information sharing can improve understanding, clarify issues, or facilitate a collective decision.

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