5 Team brainstorming tips for filtering through ideas.

When it comes to innovation and business development, it all comes down to the ideas.

Getting a group brainstorm together can often feel like a fruitless task, but with these 5 tips, you may find your basket looking a little more full. 


1. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’

It is often the elephant in the room and you’re probably scratching your head thinking why would I put down ideas? But, often in group discussions, the leader is too afraid to say no to ideas which they don’t agree with or are off target from what the guidelines were. This can often lead to discussions going the wrong way. Saying no, quickly is particularly important if you’re trying to run a quick and effective brainstorm session.


2. Plan in advance 

I often get called ‘Sherlock’ for stating this tip but its extremely important when it comes to group discussions. Let the attendees know in advance what sort of things you are trying to solve and what areas ideas are needed for. Don’t just do this the morning before the session as that isn’t enough time for participants to really think, give a few days notice so preparation is possible, and in turn, the quality of ideas discussed will be raised. 


3. Silence is golden

To many people, there is nothing worse than silence when it comes to group discussions. However, after reading this tip you may find yourself relishing the awkward silences. Silence is often a great indication that people are thinking, this is exactly what you want people to do – you may have fears that because nobody is talking, nobody has anything else to add, or people have lost interest. The awkward silences are the perfect opportunity for the participants who are not usually used to these sorts of environments to pipe up with an idea – It really can bring the best out of everybody. 


4. Set a time limit 

A good time limit for a group discussion is between 20-30 minutes, this way you can be sure that you’re going to catch everything which is said without cutting out valid ideas. Employees who thrive under pressure can also see the benefits of having a deadline to meet as it encourages them to be productive as possible. 


5. Bad ideas are okay

Now I know this sounds rather hypocritical as I mentioned earlier in this post that you should rush to say no to bad ideas. But, (and it is a very big but) if participants feel scrutinised for offering a bad idea, they won’t offer anything else out of fear of getting it wrong. Finding the right balance is essential in creating confidence whilst keeping the session productive. 

Now you can go back to the drawing board (literally) with a fresh perspective on how to harvest better ideas from your coworkers – See if you notice the difference, I know we have. 

Twitter – @Pogofilm

Posted by Chris – Pogofilms

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