January 22, 2009|
If you are logical, and can put across your viewpoint effectively and manage to bring others around your viewpoint through the courage of conviction, you are the manager in the making!
You may be a great communicator but you can only CATapult yourself to the managerial chair if you can prove yourself to be a good board man and not a 'bored-man'; a good statesman and not a 'stats-man' in your GD.
While GDs put all your mental faculties to an acid test, something as small as a fist-in-the-air action can spell a doom for you. Yes, you can be down and out that soon.
Remember, it is a 'group' discussion. You can struggle to hog the limelight and not haggle to elbow others out. Don't [Images] act 'Mr. Know-all or Ms Know-all'. Do give sufficient space to your fellow speakers. Speak in measured tones and prove to be a valuable rather than a voluble speaker.
Most of the country's B-schools want their would-be managers to be the people with their feet firmly on the ground. They want them to be quick-thinkers -- to be able to take split-second decisions -- without tottering under pressure. Yes, they want them to have steely nerves and determination to take their companies to great heights.
Some points to ponder on:
First speaker myth: It's not as important to be the first speaker as it is to be the one who speaks sense first.
Leadership: It's less about how much talk time you had and more about your ability to bring the discussion to a logical conclusion.
No stats-man, please: Don't just roll out reams of facts and figures. There's no dearth of 'gyan givers' in the corporate world. Problem-solvers are rare to find. Be the one in your group discussion.
Win over your audience: Your peers are not your foes. Don't antagonise a peer if he is not letting you speak. Rather than going head-on and creating a scene, simply take away his audience by engaging in your own point of view. Now who is he talking to?
Global & local: Your global knowledge may be appreciated but you should be well aware about what's happening around you. Your local ignorance can land you in a soup.
Modulate: Don't try to create a fish market. Raise the pitch of your voice just a little when you have to make a point, but bring it down to normal when once you get going.
It is needless to say that group discussions are basically initiated for segregating the grain from the chaff. Now is the time to prepare well for this exercise, rising above the ordinary, thinking beyond mere communication skills.
GD is the time where you are put under a scanner for full personality traits. As they say, looks can be deceptive but words coming from your mouth speak volumes of your real personality. The big brothers and big sisters are watching you and analysing you threadbare.
So, the bottom-line is, be assertive not aggressive. Prepare well to floor everybody with your acumen. Show everybody that you really mean business.
The author is chief executive officer of Tops Careers & You (www.TCYonline.com), a premier organisation that has been preparing national and international candidates for high-end tests like CAT, XAT, JMET, SNAP, CET, FMS, IIFT and GMAT since 1998.