In working with a team or even if you are working alone, you would still opt to ask for other people’s ideas or fellow designers’ ideas in order to improve your designs. It is in these situations when you need to brainstorm and come up with what is best for the project. But not all brainstorming sessions end up well for they aren’t done rightly. Here are some tips on how to have an effective brainstorming to help you have a better output.
1. Be prepared.
Image: Kali Sikaran
Always be prepared to involve yourself in a brainstorming session. You need to have stored knowledge about what your group will be talking about. No one wants to appear worthless in a group who are tattering about various ideas. You wouldn’t want to be merely saying Yes or No, wouldn’t you? So do your homework and always be ready.
2. Have a creative and comfortable environment.
The ambiance matters for it gives a different energy and impact to those people involved in brainstorming. If possible, you can change the location and go out to brainstorm instead of staying in your usual four walled air-conditioned office. You’ll see the difference when you brainstorm with fresh air and verdant grasses around you. The color green stimulates the mind and makes one think better.
If you are part of the group to brainstorm on something and you are not focused on it, you wouldn’t be able to share something valuable and you won’t even understand what the group is talking about. Focus. That is very important for you to come up with a good idea.
4. Choose the right people.
When brainstorming, make sure you have chosen the right people who could give you the right ideas. But you should also invite an outsider so you will know how others will think about it. For example, you are brainstorming with a group of designers to discuss a logo design project for a client. You can invite someone from the market your client is targeting and for sure he’ll give you ideas you may never have thought of.
5. Know how to listen.
Since different ideas are gathered, you have to listen to each one of them. Consider each one as valuable. You should always look interested to what they are saying so that there will be a healthy exchange of ideas. That way, everyone will be willing to participate.
6. Identify goals .
Before you get started, make sure to know your goals. You have to have SMART goals which means it has to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Specific goals will be easier for you to brain storm for you wouldn’t be going around the bush. It has to be measurable and attainable to make sure that the ideas you will come up with could be done. Also your goals should make sense and are therefore relevant and can be done in a specific period of time. Make sure your goals are doable.
7. Take down notes.
Image: Eduard Titov
You’ll get lost if you won’t jot down the things that you have discussed. Some even write it on a white board in front of everyone. You wouldn’t want to miss out anything that is being suggested. If you do this, you surely won’t have a hard time in the wrap-up.
8. Never criticize someone’s idea.
Remember that all ideas are important. Do not criticize other’s idea for it could insult him and he won’t be participating anymore. Every member in the brainstorming team is important. And who knows, his idea which you didn’t like at first might help you a lot as you continue with your discussion.
9. Visualize ideas.
When brainstorming, let your imagination go wild. You can do that better if you visualize every idea that comes out. This will also help you choose which one is better especially if you’re dealing with designs.
10. Take a break.
Before you start brainstorming, stretch those mental muscles by cracking some jokes or merely conversing about something that will lighten up the atmosphere. And in between your brainstorming session, if you can see that people are quite tired already, let them stand up and do a little exercise or give them a break so they can freshen up again.
11.Combine, extend choose the best idea.
The more the ideas that you could gather, the better. After gathering them, combine those which you have chosen, extend it so you could dig deeper into it and then choose which one is the best. In doing this, you’ll never go wrong.
12.Set a time limit.
Of course, you couldn’t spend the whole day brainstorming. So you need to set a time limit. This way, you wouldn’t be lingering and just let time pass without accomplishing something.
Brainstorming is a healthy way to gather brilliant ideas and achieve a great project. If we do it the right way, we will be productive and instead of feeling stressed out, everyone will enjoy brainstorming with others, thus, always looking forward to the next gathering. So,let your brain gathering activity be a fun and prolific one.
- 14 Ways to Brainstorm More Effectively by Cailín Boyle
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- Effective Brainstorming: 7 Tips To Brainstorm Better With Your Team by Ken Thompson
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- Eight Tips for Better Brainstorming by Robert Sutton