What Are Nominal Group Techniques?

Nominal Group Technique

Nominal group technique is a structured method for group brainstorming that encourages contributions from everyone and helps prioritize ideas.

NGT is a structured method for group brainstorming that encourages contributions from everyone. The technique is used to ensure that each group member has an equal voice when it comes to decision-making or generating ideas. It's particularly useful in facilitating a group of people to discuss ideas systematically and for reaching consensus without allowing the dominance of a single person during the discussion.

NGT involves several steps such as idea generation done silently and independently by each group member. These ideas are then collected, discussed, and prioritized by voting. The technique prioritizes personal contributions before opening up the floor to group discussion, which can help mitigate the effects of influence, pressure, or criticism from more vocal members. The main goal of using the NGT is to arrive at a decision or solution that is reached collectively but influenced equally by the individuals within the group.

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Nominal Group Technique

What is nominal group technique used for?


The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is primarily used for decision-making and problem-solving in groups. It organizes the process of generating ideas and prioritizing responses in a democratic way. By involving all participants equally, it assures that diverse viewpoints are considered, making it effective in various settings like corporate, educational, and community planning contexts.

What are the steps of nominal group technique?


The steps of the Nominal Group Technique include:

  1. Silent idea generation - each member of the group writes down their ideas independently.
  2. Round-robin sharing - each participant shares their ideas with the group without discussion, often facilitated by a meeting chair.
  3. Group discussion - the ideas presented are discussed openly to clarify meanings and explore implications.
  4. Voting - each participant votes on the ideas, often using dot voting to rank them based on preference or importance.

When should you use nominal group technique?


You should consider using the Nominal Group Technique when faced with decision-making that requires group consensus, particularly when there is a history of communication challenges or dominance by certain individuals during discussion. It's highly effective in situations where equal participation and diverse input are important for a fair decision, such as strategic planning sessions, resolving complex problems, or generating innovative ideas in a workshop.

What is the difference between brainstorming and nominal group technique?


While both brainstorming and the Nominal Group Technique are used for generating ideas, they differ mainly in structure and participation. Brainstorming typically involves open discussion and spontaneous contribution of ideas, which may lead to some ideas being overshadowed. NGT, however, is more structured, involving silent, independent idea generation followed by systematic sharing and voting, which helps manage dominant personalities and ensures that all ideas are heard and considered equally.

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