There is a RIGHT Way and a WRONG Way to Brainstorm

A delightful infographic from MavenLink presents the concept that there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct brainstorming sessions, which actually makes me think of how there is a right way and a wrong way to host effective meetings (as a brainstorming event is basically a glorified super effective meeting).

Idea Stage Fright

Anytime that a group of people are asked to publically collaborate, not surprisingly, there appears to be ‘groupthink’ issues and psychological barriers to idea generation.  Number five on the infographic, fear of criticism and rejection, especially spoke to me.

I find myself flashing back to a horrible third grade contest when a group of kids had to solve math problems, called T-Drills, on the blackboard in front of the entire class.  The goal was to finish your problem first and sit down, while those that struggled would remain standing at the board, subject to the humiliation of looking stupid in front of their peers.  Although I could solve any math problem while seated at my desk, the moment that I had an audience, I was unable to arrive at a solution in a timely manner.

Traditional Brainstorming Rewarded the Loud and the Flashy

It seemed a cruel and pointless game.  Not fun or educational.  It was all about being a confident performer, not learning math.  I have viewed formal brainstorming in much the same way.  I was a very late convert to the idea of brainstorming since the first ones that I participated in appeared to be grown-up versions of T-Drills.  I was also vastly unimpressed with the quality of the ideas that were created in these free-for-alls that rewarded the loud and the flashy.  Experts now say that extroverts are not the best at collaboration.

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According to MavenLink’s infographic, the best brainstorming results actually came from people being allowed to generate ideas on their own before they are subject to public attention.  Ah, finally, some statistical evidence confirming what I always suspected, and found to be true on my personal experience—the time to convene and brainstorm, as a group, is after generating some ideas, independently.

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Originally posted 2017-06-24 13:52:05.

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