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Participation in groups is often limited and impoverished because participants have not previously had time to organize and clarify their ideas.

Prior individual reflection is a very useful exercise. It is a technique of individual character, but which complements and enhances the effectiveness of the later application of group techniques.

In the minutes prior to the group work all participants are asked to reflect individually, separately, and to collect their ideas on a paper, to later proceed to the sharing. The phases would be:

1. Formulation of the topic.

2. Individual reflection, during a short period of time.

3. Individual registration of the main ideas.

4. Sharing.

The main advantages offered by this technique are:

– the prior clarification of ideas and the best preparation of the content to be presented,

– Obtaining more resources in the form of ideas, if the more equitable distribution of interventions, is the greatest possibility of participation for those who reason more slowly,

– the avoidance of possible forgetting,

– the greatest commitment to the ideas worked and exposed.

As a limitation we can see that it is, in the case of group work, only a complementary auxiliary technique, given that it does not allow the crossing of ideas. For this, other specific techniques will be used later.


The discussion group consists of a conversation held in a small group, between three and six individuals approximately, in which the ideas, initiatives or opinions of each one of the members with respect to a subject. The small number of people involved makes it easy for everyone to participate OR participate in the discussion. At the end of it must be obtained as result some group conclusion.

The sequence of the discussion group would be as follows:

Formulation of the topic under discussion.

Interaction and free dialogue, with a certain regulation of the word shift.

It is especially suitable for groups that are well cohesive and have team work experience. The main advantages of the technique reside in:

the relative spontaneity of the interventions, their flexibility in terms of content and structure.

During the discussion the direction can be varied on the fly, which can bring greater richness in terms of content.


The Phillips 66 technique, also known as discussion in cliques, was created by]. D. Phillips. It is especially useful when a relatively large group needs to analyze a situation, a topic, a proposal, a document, and obtain a general conclusion with the participation of all its members.

It consists of dividing the group into subgroups of six people, who treat and discuss the proposed question for six minutes. In its application, the following phases are followed:

Formulation of the topic.

Choice of moderator

Constitution of subgroups of six people.

I work for six minutes of the subgroups.


It requires that all participate in order to obtain, either a general conclusion, or at least a report of particular conclusions. Some member can perform the role of Secretary and spokesperson.

After sharing the work done by all the groups, the technique can be repeated successively.



It is a technique partly similar to the previous one, although it is easier to use. Its essential difference with the Phillips 66 is that in the whisper the group is divided into subgroups of two people. You work in pairs, usually with the person sitting next to you, which minimizes the size of each group. The sequence would be:

1. Formulation of the topic.

2. Comment in pairs for a few minutes.

3. Sharing.

As main advantages it should be noted that the use of the whispering technique contributes to:

Increase and facilitate participation

Increase the time available for each participant.

Reduce the possible resistance to intervene.

Encourage the involvement of everyone with the work of the group.

Increase the number and diversity of contributions, ideas, perspectives and points of view.

Perform a first filter of ideas in pairs.

Streamline training sessions.

Enable and facilitate knowledge among the participants.

Enhance group cohesion.



The round table is a fairly widespread technique, known and used. It has a certain similarity with the discussion groups. It allows you to approach and analyze a specific topic in a group.

A number of group members are selected, and they speak freely for a specific time on the subject in question.

The phases would be:

Selection of the theme.

Selection of the participants.

Preparation of the presentations.

Development of the round table before the group.

Debate in group.


It is convenient to carry out a prior preparation by the participants, who can focus on a specific aspect of the topic or advocate a certain argument, position or reasoning. Then they present their ideas to the other members of the group during the round table.

At the end of it, there is usually a Collective debate in which everyone can participate, and in which you can ask questions, add ideas or personal contributions and make suggestions.



The symposium is a fairly similar technique, but in it several qualified people, usually between three and six, make presentations on various aspects of the subject that is being discussed. The presentations are made successively, individually.

Subsequently, the audience establishes a Colloquium that is controlled by the person who plays the role of moderator.

At the conclusion a summary of the conclusions is presented and a final assessment is made.


The assembly, on the other hand, is a more methodical technique, which is generally applied to large groups, and which offers the possibility of debating in a more regulated manner:

– the group meets in full, in order to address an issue or problem that affects them,

– someone exercises the role of moderator, while another person performs secretarial duties,

– a dialogue is established whose purpose is to inform and make general agreements.

In the last phase we proceed, if necessary, to the vote, in order to make the decision, or a summary is made of the most relevant aspects and the opinions expressed, commissions are appointed to address specific issues, etc. .

With the application of this technique, the free expression of opinions and ideas is allowed, the implication with the subject is increased and the active participation of everyone in the decision making is given.



Brainstorming, also known as brainstorming, or rain or whirlwind of ideas, can be considered as a technique of creative reflection and generation of ideas in a group. It was created by A. Osborn, an expert in creativity. Its validity and effectiveness make it a widely used technique even as a support to other techniques of creativity, problem solving, participation or meeting development.

During its application, a member of the group exercises the role of facilitator or coordinator, invigorating the process. Another person can perform secretarial functions, recording the contributions that group members are making.

After a first moment of motivation, warm-up and exercise of the group for a better functioning Collective later, the group starts the generation phase of ideas. It establishes a certain number of ideas that we want to reach, or a time limit during which we will work.

The members of the group can freely and spontaneously express all their thoughts and occurrences around the problem central plan, taking into account some basic rules:

Any criticism or prior evaluation is prohibited.

Any idea is welcome.

Priority is given to quantity over quality: It is about collecting as many ideas as possible.

It seeks the association of ideas and the development of same.

The participants can express without any kind of inhibition any idea although it may seem absurd or ridiculous. You can take advantage of those expressed by others, through association, referral, opposition or expansion. The goal is to obtain as many as possible.

From the resulting list, very different actions can be carried out:

Associate Adapt Reorganize

Select Combine Reverse

Clarify Discuss Add

Develop Rate Split

Deepen Eliminate Sort

Expand Priorize Integrate

Search Apply Complement

Complete Modify Change

Replace Reduce Collect

So, we see that in brainstorming there are two clearly differentiated phases:

Generation of ideas.

Evaluation of ideas.

After the initial registration is passed to the subsequent phase of assessment of them, The group can establish previously the criteria with which they are going to evaluate. Among them, the following can be considered:

– feasibility,

– cost effectiveness,

– cost,

– advantage,

– inconveniences.



A. Osborn claimed that the question is the most creative of human behaviors. The questions formulated both at an individual and group level allow us to explore the problems and open new perspectives, generate many ideas and obtain a great diversity of approaches, uses, and possibilities. .

It can be applied as a group technique in itself or as a complementary technique to other techniques, such as the brainstormin itself. It consists of applying a wide and diverse series of questions on the subject OR problem.


What? Who as? Where? When? why? For what? 

How much? Which one? What kind? With what? 

In which? About what? By what means? From where? 

Where? Where else? How far? Of what? By whom? 

Because it causes? For how long? How often? Again? 

To who? Whose? With whom? For whom? Plus? 

Less? More often? What extent? Everyone? Some? 

Are there any exceptions? It is important? 

More difficult? Easier? Higher? Less?…


After the exploration of the problem and the posing of questions and their corresponding answers, a more open perspective of the problem is obtained, a broader perspective to approach it, which allows the group to generate many more ideas.



The critical moment is a technique that stimulates critical thinking. Given an issue or central theme the group is asked to make specific criticisms in this regard, without worrying about the solution. It is an opportunity to highlight:




Weak points




Criticism should not generate defensive reactions or justifications. It is only time to collect and analyze what can be improved. It is not about taking the opportunity to lament, vent or raise negative emotions.

After the exposure and recording of the criticisms, a distinction can be made between those that are under our field of action and our control, and those others that are beyond our scope of action. To perform the subsequent work with the material obtained, specific techniques for analysis and problem solving can be applied.



After the formulation of the topic on which it is going to work, and sometimes after applying some other complementary technique, such as previous individual reflection or whispering, all the members of the group intervene following a previously fixed order.

Normally it is usually done following a sequential order, by the place occupied by the participants in each of the seats, or by following a list order of all the members.

As main advantages of the wheel of opinions we can highlight the following:

The dynamic participation of all the members is guaranteed.

It allows to know and share the opinions and ideas of all.

Increase the involvement of the participants.

Even when very similar or redundant interventions can occur, everyone has the possibility of personalizing and

Express your opinion with your words.

It allows to know the weight assigned to each idea according to its frequency of appearance.



The collective interview starts from a previous group work in which one of the exposed group techniques can be used. From the selection and formulation of the topic on which it will work, and with the participation of all members, the diverse ideas that the group contributes are collected. With this material, a team is responsible for preparing and preparing a questionnaire.

Later it is used and applied to a person, usually an expert in the subject being treated, during an interview that is conducted in the presence of the rest of the group.



The Delphi method is a special analysis and problem solving strategy involving several people who, however, do not constitute a group as such. The participants, usually experts in one or several specific fields, never get to meet; It is not necessary either to know each other.

The coordination is done through a person who is responsible for organizing and centralizing the work of the experts. This person communicates with them, synthesizes the answers that each one contributes, groups them by categories, and sends them to others to contribute their criticisms, suggestions and ideas.

The experts are the people in charge of responding to the problem. Participate voluntarily, know and accept the rules and work procedure. These are people who must know well the problem that is proposed and, if possible, proceed from different fields, which provides a more complete view of the problem.

The stages of Delphi method are the following:

1. The coordinator exposes the problem to the experts.

2. Each expert sends the first solutions to the coordinator.

3. The coordinator receives them and forwards them, anonymously, to the other experts.

4. Each expert provides new answers to the solutions he receives from the coordinator.

5. The coordinator closes the problem after crossing the different answers that he has obtained.


By not knowing the origin of the ideas, the method allows the elimination of possible biases or prejudices that could arise from the knowledge of the person who proposed them. Ideas are analyzed and valued in themselves, regardless of the source.

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