Today we gather to pay homage to a once-preferred mode of short-listing candidates. He was a technique, a method and over all – a true judge of person’s abilities to work in a group. However, in face of zillions of websites and coaching centres trying to make group workers out of overzealous individuals, our poor chap lost out. Now what remains is a group but hardly any discussion ever takes place. Saddest of all is the fact that he was betrayed by his own tools.
For me, he was not just a GD, he was more... he was a G(m)D.
- Initiation: Initiation was seen as a positive sign of a person being able to take initiative. But now everyone knows this. Result, when the initial few minutes are given to think and jot down key points, participants are more looking at their watches than thinking. 5 secs before the actual time, all start – “Friends.... blah blah” It’s pure luck who sustains this...!!!
- Team skills: Commonly heard in GDs I’ve been part of – “Taking his point forward... blah blah” when the point being made is not even remotely connected to the previous speaker and in many cases contradictory....!!! “As my friend (Remember, u can’t call him names in GD) said... blah blah” and proceed to make a point which is a polar opposite of his actual point.
- Listening: Lesser said the better. Stop a GD midway and ask the next speaker to not make his point but reiterate the previous point and half the time he/she would just mumble.
- Assertiveness: Yeah right... Shout and be heard. Repeat “Friends friends friends...” till someone with more sense than you stops and lets you speak.
- Knowledge: Does it even matter!!! As long as you can speak English, it shouldn’t matter. IR guys trying to explain fin fundae (That was brilliant!!!) and bummers talking of labour laws, rights of workmen and court procedures (Even more so!!!)... Marketing – well that is anyone’s field anyways... you just need to think customer is a fool and you know more than the marketers of global conglomerates (Kotler sure had an uneasy day!!!)
- Reasoning ability: Yes. That is still present in GDs. “Friends... let us first try to understand the reasons behind blah blah....” is what all GDs start with. This forces me to assume there is some reasoning going on behind the brains (though the content that follows often defies the reasoning)
- Leadership skills: Stopping one person making a valid point to give a non-participative member a forceful chance to speak is bringing out the best and thus demonstrative of leadership skills. “Friends... I think let us hear what Mr.XYZ here has to say” even when Mr.XYZ has no particular point to make. Mr. XYZ also starts making a “valid” point when in his mind he is thinking, “Dude! What are you doing? Why do you want to make a fool of me? I know nothing on the topic and am only waiting for the moderator to say ‘summarise’. If I speak now what will I do then!!!”
GD was a good man but overuse caused a total burnout leaving no purpose in his existence. Though HR pros still think they can use his services, what they are actually doing is reducing their workload due to absence of any other bakra. May the G(o)D rest in Peace.