What are group discussions and how can they benefit your business?

7 tips on activities to motivate your employees and improve cooperation.

What are group discussions and how can they benefit your business?

Many entrepreneurs still believe that merely hiring good professionals is enough to make their business work perfectly.

Of course, you need to find and work with the best experts in their area, but hiring well isn’t quite enough.

In addition to having great talent by your side, it’s also essential to keep your team motivated, so that everyone focuses on the same thing and works for their professional growth and the company’s.

One of the ways of keeping people engaged and working in harmony, as well as promoting a better working environment is by conducting a group discussion.

Do you want to learn more about this? Read on!  

Understanding group discussions

Group discussions consist of procedures through which companies try to identify employee behavior, personality and profile to train them to better develop their skills, either personal or professional.

It also serves as a way to make the corporate environment more relaxed, since the workload or pressure can often reflect in employees’ performance.

Moreover, with these discussions, members of the same team have the opportunity of getting to know each other better and work more harmoniously, which contributes to increasing their motivation at their workplace.

And from the moment employees become motivated, they will strive harder not only for their personal growth, but also for the company’s as a whole.

Why should I set up group discussions?

First and foremost, you should know that there are several theories about the importance of group discussions. But overall, they are conducted:

  • To increase the energy level of professionals in a company or team;
  • As an initial icebreaker, especially for new employees;
  • To promote learning;
  • To make the working environment more relaxed;
  • To integrate employees from different areas;
  • To improve corporate communication;
  • To allow the exchange of experiences and information;
  • To bring leaders and subordinates closer;
  • To create empathy;
  • To increase team cooperation;
  • To reduce turnover within the company.

7 group discussions to conduct in your company

Now that you know more about group discussions, and have seen the advantages of this activity for your company, let’s move on to the practical part.

We’ve set aside 7 examples of group discussions you can conduct in your business:

  1. The Challenge
  2. Holding Hands
  3. Treasure Island
  4. Who should I bring?
  5. Sales Theater
  6. Tell a Secret
  7. A person of principles

1. The Challenge

In this group discussion, the main goal is to make the team face new challenges, and to do so, people need to feel confident and secure.

Basically, you’ll need a black or dark-colored box where the challenges will be placed.

Divide the team into two groups, forming a circle.

To start the discussion, play some music and pass the box around to everyone in the circle.

When the music stops playing, whoever is holding the box will have three choices:

  1. Accept the challenge;
  2. Pass it on to someone in their group;
  3. Pass it on to someone in the other group.

If the person accepts the challenge, the group with the box will receive 3 points. But if not, in addition to having to perform a dare or task, the group will lose 4 points.

Each group can opt out from performing the challenge 3 times, but on the fourth, they’ll have to do what was proposed.

In the end, add up the points and you’ll know which group performed more challenges.

This type of group discussion helps the group relax, but it also encourages innovation, since ideally, participants are expected to accept the proposed challenges that are often not related to their areas of expertise.

2. Holding Hands

The purpose of this discussion is to show how teamwork is important and that together, the results will be a lot more effective.

For this discussion, you’ll need colored cardstock paper.

Everyone will hold hands in a circle and memorize who is on their right and left side.

Then, participants will let go of the hands and walk around the room or space selected, wait a few seconds, place the cardstock paper in the middle of the room and ask a participant to stand on the cardstock paper.

Then, ask participants to tell who was on their right and left and hold their hands again.

3. Treasure Island

The idea behind this group discussion is to promote collaboration and engagement among people.

Materials required: a box of chocolates and newspapers.

Ask the participants to pair up.

Then, place a sheet of newspaper in one of the corners of the room with the box of chocolates on top of it. Repeat the process in all corners, giving each pair another sheet of newspaper.

You’ll tell them that each corner represents an island.

Each pair has to stand on their newspaper and try to reach their goal, which is the corner of the room, or island, but they cannot tear the newspaper or let their feet touch the floor.

The important thing in this group discussion is the perception that teamwork produces better results.

4. Who should I bring?

The goal here is to get participants to learn how to recognize qualities in others, and also find out how others feel about them.

You’ll need envelopes, paper, and pencils. Hand out the envelopes and inside of each one, place a questionnaire with 3 questions:

  1. If you were stranded on a desert island, who in the group would you like to have with you?
  2. If you were to throw a party, who in the group would you like to help you?
  3. If you won a prize in a contest and could choose 3 people in the group to go with you on a cruise, who would you bring along?

It’s very important that the answers are not spoken out loud and that no one knows who their colleagues chose. The questionnaires shouldn’t be signed, nor have any means of identification.

Each participant receives the results in private. This way, you can understand who is being left out of their team and you can think of ways to integrate this person.

5. Sales Theater

The idea here is to practice argumentation and negotiation techniques, in addition to developing spontaneity and empathy.

You’ll need a table, sheets of paper and pens.

Then, the group will be divided into two. Group 1 will be the sales representative of a pharmaceutical company and group 2 will be an NGO.

Group 1’s goal is to obtain the highest profit and group 2’s is to get the lowest price as possible, preferably for free.

Each group will have a predefined budget and have to sit at the negotiation table.

Closing the deal isn’t really mandatory, the important thing here is for your sales team to debate strategies used in negotiations and practice their power of persuasion.

6. Tell a Secret

This group discussion aims to promote empathy among team members. Ideally, the group should be formed with approximately 20 people.

Materials required: paper and pens or pencils for each participant.

Each participant will write down if they have any difficulty in their relationship with another team member, but wouldn’t like to express it verbally.

Note: Each participant should use different handwriting so that it can’t be recognized.

Then, the papers are redistributed and each one needs to read what was written, as if the problem were their own, and propose a solution.

7. A person of principles

The goal here is to make everyone feel more relaxed during meetings. To do so, all participants need to form a circle.

The coordinator stands in the middle of the circle, begins to tell a story and asks each participant to complete the sentences. Those who take too long to complete it will go to the middle of the circle and start the game again.

In addition to breaking the ice, this group discussion can be used to understand if people in the same team have similar thoughts and complement each other in a positive manner.

Train your team

As you can imagine, these are only a few out of several strategies that can be applied in your company to motivate your employees, as well as to make them realize the importance of a collaborative environment.

In addition, group discussions are an excellent tool to improve the organizational environment.

It is necessary to take into account that one of the reasons for the success of a business is directly linked to employee satisfaction. Therefore, always remember to collaborate so that those who work with you can feel appreciated and a part of your business.

In addition to organizing group discussions, investing in the professional training of those who work with you is also a powerful strategy to improve your business’ results.

Do you wish to find a new way of bringing out your teams’ full potential?

If so, read our post with 6 techniques to train and develop people.

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