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Allowing group members to offer any ideas they wish and creating a list of all the proposed ideas before any are debated.

Nominal group technique (NGT)

An idea-generating process in which group members generate their initial ideas silently and independently and then combine them and consider them as a group.


An idea-generating process in which each member adds three or four ideas to a pile and then offers comments on other's ideas. Afterward, members respond to comments made about their ideas and generate a master list of ideas worthy of consideration.

Unanimous consensus

Uncontested support for a decision-sometimes the only option in a group's decision-making process.


An outcome where member's opinions are so sharply divided that consensus is impossible to achieve.

False consensus

An outcome where come members of a group say they support the unanimous decision even though they do not.

Majority rule

A decision-making process that follows the will of the majority.

Minority rule

A decision-making process in which a small number of members makes a decision on behalf of the group.

Expert opinion

Recommendations of individuals who have expertise in a particular area that are sometimes the basis of a group's decision-making process.

Authority rule

A decision-making process in which the leader of the group makes the decisions.


Defining characteristics of a person that are often relatively enduring and not easily changeable.

Physical traits

The body's physical attributes.

Psychosocial traits

Characteristics of one's personality and ways of relating to others.


A personality trait shared by people who are friendly, assertive, and outgoing with others.


A personality trait shared by people who are shy, reserved and aloof.

Communication apprehension

Anxiety or fear about communicating with others.

Democratic style

A leadership style in which every member of a group has the right to participate in decision making.

Autocratic style

A leadership style in which leaders see themselves as having both the authority and the responsibility to take action on a group's behalf.

Laissez-faire style

A leadership style in which leaders offer minimal supervision.


The ability to influence or control people or events.

Reward power

A form of power based on the leader's ability to reward another for doing what the leader says.

Coercive power

A form of power that comes from the ability to punish.

Referent power

A form of power that derives from attraction to the leader.

Legitimate power

A form of power in which leaders' status or position gives them the right to make request with which others must comply.

Expert power

A form of power that stems from having expertise in a particular area.

Informational power

A form of power that stems from the ability to control access to information.


A situation in which group members seek unanimous agreement despite their individual doubts.

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