Brainstorming is a term you’ve probably heard a lot. From the first time your teacher drew a mind map on the chalkboard to your latest company brainstorming session, it’s a tried-and-tested problem-solving strategy.
Even so, we tend to overlook this common tool when we make our own team and personal decisions—which is a pity, since brainstorming is a powerful way to get our best (and worst) ideas out! If you aren’t using brainstorming in your decision-making, you’re really missing out. Here’s why.
Brainstorming Gives You a Baseline
Whether you’re brainstorming alone or in a group, brainstorming is a fast way to uncover how much you know—and how much you don’t. When you struggle to come up with ideas or solutions in a specific area or run out of ideas too quickly, it’s a sign that you may need a little more research or self-education before you can think of ways to move forward.
Brainstorming Gets You Into a Creative Mindset
Our normal decision-making process can be pretty constrained to “in-the-box” thinking. As a rule, we’re cautious thinkers who rarely make the leap to consider the grandest of possibilities as viable options.
Brainstorming, if done well, can help us shed our inhibitions to let our ideas flow free. Because it relies on getting high quantities of ideas onto our paper instead of only high-quality ones, we’re more likely to reach for more “outlandish” and creative solutions that could be a breath of fresh air in terms of our current problems.
Brainstorming Brings Teams Together
Don’t misunderstand: if done poorly, team brainstorming sessions can devolve into off-topic chatter or long, boring meetings. But a team brainstorming session done the right way can invite fun collaborations and even participation from people you don’t normally hear from.
Because you’re working toward a solution as a team, brainstorming meetings have a way of engaging all team members, boosting morale, and even cultivating better relationships between participants. After all, it’s hard to stay distant when you’re blurting out the best, worst, and weirdest of your ideas!
Brainstorming Invites Diverse Viewpoints
If you’re working on a team—or even chatting with friends—ideas tend to come from some people more often than others. However, a brainstorming session that encourages ideas from everyone in the room is a great way to hear unique perspectives. This is especially true when that room is filled with people of different backgrounds, motivations, hobbies, and interests.
Generating a list of wild and crazy ideas may be more fun than you remember, but don’t forget that your next step is to refine that list and separate the good ideas from the bad. Easier said than done! However, with a little work, your amazing ideas can offer some great results that make a difference in both life and business.
Of course, if you’re looking into brainstorming as a method of motivating yourself on a personal level, don’t forget to check out our recent post on motivation tips!