A Guide to Better Brainstorming

Author: The Job Window |

The Job Window

Everyone has ideas. Not all of those ideas are going to work. Finding the idea that fits perfectly can be a difficult and prolonged process. Somewhere along the way on most projects, everyone sits down and has a brainstorming session. Even if you’re working alone on something, there is usually a point where you sit down and try to come up with an idea.

Even though you’re supposed to just yell out anything, brainstorming sessions, especially within a team can be rather dull. People toss in boring, regular suggestions if they say anything at all. How can you get those great ideas swirling in people’s head, out into the open?

Loosen Up

One of the biggest roadblocks to any brainstorming session is each individual’s inhibitions. They’re worried they’ll be laughed at or that someone will knock down their idea immediately. They don’t want anyone to think they’re dumb. To get past this, start with a small game or conversation about something other than the project at hand. Something to get everyone’s energy up. This will get people into a funner frame of mind.

No Comments

This happens in nearly every brainstorming session. Someone throws out an idea and a bunch of people agree and compliment the idea. If you’re brainstorming by yourself, maybe you give yourself a little congratulations. Sounds good right? Everyone likes encouragement! Nope, because what’s going to happen next is someone else will put an idea out there, and… silence. Now that person feels like no one liked their idea because there wasn’t all kinds of agreement. The best practice for brainstorming is no comments about ideas until the very end.

End It Right

Give yourself or your team a set time limit for ideas. Once that time limit is up, shut the session down. Brainstorming under pressure can bring out new and interesting ideas and prevents the session from dragging on. People will be less likely to hum-and-hah over what ideas they put out there if they know they only have a short period of time to do so.

Brainstorming can be an integral part of any project. From problem solving to development to simple idea generation, getting ideas out into the open brings people together, makes them feel included and will bring new creative ways to handle things. Make sure your getting the best ideas possible.