Friday, November 14, 2008

Requiem for a (G)Dream


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.



Ski said...

Amazing analysis... I'm sure many people have lst faith in GDs. Thats y new methods like case GDs and Puzzle GDs have been invented..

MMM said...

There have been variants designed in cases but at the end of the day, the case is turned to a global GD carefully and selectively ignoring case facts...
I saw almost all types of GDs but until the candidates and companies accept the fact that there are GDs where the candidate may not know anything about the topic. In that case, often GD is dead once again..!!!

ski said...

The More I think of it, I believe u are right. The fundamental assumption of a GD is the all prospective candidates know about everything on the earth and have a view on it... which may not be true in all cases. Then all they do is "Initiate" and demonstrate "Leadership skills"...

Akriti said...

u said i need to come to xl to get this of it maybe...but generally bhi gd's pe fit baithta hai!!!! funnnnnnyyyy!!! m still laughing!! specially the "friends friends friends..." part.....n abt getting Mr. xyz to speak up as he grumbles!!! really funny!! :)

MMM said...

Very Frankly, I hadn't seen them as funny - mere sarcasm.. but now tht i see, it really can be funny sometimes... One of my friends started laughing in an actual GD after witnessing the scene that was developing in the name of GD. (She did make it through - though she was asked about y she felt like laughin in the GD.. and she laughed again)