GD Lesson #8

SEVEN Different roles that one plays in GD:

  • In a Group Discussion (GD), the participant end up playing certain roles that may be akin to some roles that we are used to in our real lives.
  • Each role carries certain strong connotations-both positive and negative

SEVEN Different Roles (depends on the situation)

  1. The Professor:
  • The professor plays the role of an intellectual in the group.
  • He would be the one who generates new ideas and add dimensions to the discussion.
  1. The Salesman:
  • His strength is his persuasive and reasoning skills.
  • He possess strong people skills and builds good
  • Rapport with the group.
  • His limitation could be low quality content.
  1. The Gatekeeper:
  • His role is important to maintain order in the group. He is preoccupied with directing the group
  • Process such as controlling entry and exit of participants.
  1. The Time Keeper:
  • His role is very important to meet time commitments made to the panel.
  • He keeps reminding the group to the progress and not gets stuck with one issue.
  1. The Butcher:
  • He is most welcome in a group which has one or two aggressive elements in it
  • He does great service to the group by cutting
  • The aggressive members to pieces.
  • However, his role comes to the fore because he
  • Perceives threat from those members and not necessarily out a felt urge to benefit the group.
  1. The Spectator or the Passenger:
  • The spectator is involved in the proceedings through he plays a limited role
  • His contribution is very limited and does not affect the outcome of the group task.
  • The passenger, on the other hand, is purely incidental to the journey. His interest lies in reaching the destination.
  1. The Ideal Role:
  • Each role stated above and some not mentioned adds value to the GD in one way or other. However strong entrenchment in any single role throughout the GD could limit ones performance. What is more important to do well is to show “situational leadership”.
  • One should work to achieve an ability to move across these roles as per the demands of the situation.


  • Anyone seen to be performing more than three roles will positively make a strong impact on the panel. Every things depends on the situation and accordingly to be act on.
  • Thus, in nutshell mobility is the key to success in Group Discussion(GD)
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