Often candidates ask me as to how to handle the fish market like situation during the PP&DT? This is a pertinent question because often during the PP&DT and GD discussions all candidates speak up together and don’t just relent despite several warning from the conducting officer. Following are the two main reasons for this:-
- Leaderless Task. There is no designated leader in the group and thus it is a leaderless task. The rejection rate during screening being nearly 60% all candidates are anxious to do well and hence start speaking up and allowing the others to speak.
- Bad Coaching. Many academies teach their students to speak as much and ensure that their story gets selected as the group story. Thus, candidates speak and many a times start shouting at the top of their voice to get heard.
Whatever be the reason, the outcome is often fatal for most. Typically, in such cases candidates who are shy and too decent hardly speak and remain mum and the ones who are boisterous bang the table with their views. Both these types are sure to fail.
Let’s first understand why is it a leaderless task?
The purpose of SSB test is to assess leadership potential of candidates. Thus, in almost all practical tasks including that of the Group Testing Series all tasks except the Command Task are leaderless. In a discussion when a candidate speaks first it reflects his initiative and self-confidence. Depending on the contents spoken we can assess his intellect, power of expression and reasoning. His approach towards others, how handles other’s views and collaborates to evolve a consensus shows his ability to influence his group, adaptability, tact, diplomacy, determination, courage, mental stamina, liveliness etc. Thus, when a candidate remains mum, the assessors just can’t assess him/her. On the other hand candidates who are dominant and disruptive are seen as selfish and uncooperative. Such candidates even if their content is logical they may not get selected.
How to handle this situation?
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to explain in worlds as to how to handle this situation practically because each group is going to be different in terms of its composition. Thus, I advise you to see the video where several discussions are provided and the strategies explained. Nevertheless following these five strategies:
- Concentrate. While others are narrating the story, listen to them intensely. Spot chest numbers of candidates who’s stories are similar to yours. Note what is the consensus on number of characters, their age and gender.
- Be Ready to Shoot. Once you have noted the above, be ready to shoot your first line. As soon as the last person finishes his narration, shoot. Say “friends the stories of chest nos —,—,—- and —- were similar and also appealing and so let’s make that the common story. Give a pause and wait for reactions. You have now revealed your self-confidence, initiative and courage.
- Handling the Confusion. The moment you stop the confusion will start and everyone will speak at the same time. You must get into action and urge them to speak one at a time. Make sure you are not harsh to anyone and don’t name anyone in particular. Keep urging for some time and I am sure no one will relent.
- Be a Roman in Rome. When no one cooperates, start telling your logic as to why the story appeals to you and why it should be made the group story with minor modifications. Continue giving your logic and if someone else’s point appeals to you accept and include in the group story. This will reveal your reasoning, intellect, power of expression, ability to influence, decision making, determination, liveliness etc. This is good enough at this stage.
Like I said earlier, it is very difficult to explain this in worlds. Just watch my complete video series to know how to handle these situations practically. I am sure you will benefit from this immensely!!!
Dr. Cdr. NK Natarajan
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PPDT Sample Video