Group Discussion Activities

Group discussion activities help at several levels, may it be professional or personal. The following article will highlight the importance of these activities and provide you with examples of some of the same. Continue reading for more details.
When man lives in society, he does not live in isolation. He interacts with others and therefore has to learn the skills of being social. When this same man is placed in a crowd and has to make his presence felt in amongst so many, he needs to have skills to do that as well. And that is where group discussion activities come in. These activities help a person learn the skills of being in a group - the intricacies of being in one as well as learning to maintain his individuality in the same. In a professional scenario, more focus is placed on the fact about how a person can make his stand and portray his individuality through these activities because that is the quality that the professional world demands. In other areas however, like church and college activities for example, the stress is probably placed more on the fact of how a person interacts with others in the group and learns to be a part of the group. In the article that follows, we shall look through some of these discussion activities and go through some tips on how to ace these.

Group Discussion Games and Activities

Here are some group discussion games listed below that will help a person learn how to be a part of a group and yet maintain his individuality.

Quality Listing
This is a simple discussion game with an interesting turn to it. Divide the people into 2-3 groups. Then have each group of people sit in a circle and pass around a sheet of paper. Each person in the group has to list one quality pertaining to what makes a good orator or what are some qualities of effective team leadership. They cannot repeat the quality that has been already listed and they cannot discuss them either. A stipulated time will be given to list the qualities. The group that finishes fastest and has the most qualities listed wins. After which a formal discussion can be held discussing the issue at hand.

Walk the Talk
Have all the people sit in a huge circle. Then club 2-3 people into small groups each. One person from each group is given a role to perform - like 'Scowl while you walk', 'Look nervous while you walk', 'Smile cheerfully while you walk'. He then walks in the middle of the circle performing that role while the others make a note of his character based on his emotions. After everyone has had their turn, discuss the qualities that were listed and then discuss whether they were right in making those assumptions and why they were made.

Issues of Importance
One can hold mock discussions on several issues, bringing forth the points in both sections - for and against. Have a discussion panel made and then give them a topic. Have 3 people speak in favor of the topic and 3 people against the topic. It is imperative that each person speaks and brings forth their own points of view. The person has to make sure that he's being heard. This is a great way to give the group a feel of what discussions are, while helping them analyze, think and build their stands for the same. These make for great group activities to build effective team communication. Here are some of the topics for group discussion that one can look into:
  • Are the singers of today really talented or is the high-tech equipment the reason behind their success?
  • Is it right to commit suicide?
  • Should capital punishment be allowed?
  • Should rape victims be allowed to abort?
  • Should cell phones be banned in schools?
  • Should junk food and processed food come with a statutory warning that it is harmful for ones health?
  • Today's youth have it easy in life.
  • Is it wrong to live off your parents after a certain age?
  • Politics is a farce.
  • The world will end in 2012
  • Should everyone turn vegetarian?
These were some of the group discussion topics that one can look into. Each of these has the potential to turn into very heated debates and that is when the clarity of a person's thoughts and his ability to make his point clear can be seen.

Other than a list of these activities, it has to be understood that there are certain group discussion tips that have to be employed to ace these as well. The main points to keep in mind are that one has to make themselves heard and always back one's arguments with a base of knowledge. Taking charge and exhibiting great leadership qualities is just another way of making a lasting impression in the group discussion activities. And now that you know what some of these activities are, you can try and include them as a part of your next function and promote effective group discussions.
By Rujuta Borkar
Last Updated: 9/26/2011
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