3 Main Tips on Brainstorming - Make It Really Happen

Brainstorming is one of the most interesting aspects of daily life in a startup. There are many opportunities to brainstorm, and it can be a critical step. Startups must constantly be evaluating new ideas and creative solutions in order to address one of the millions of problems they come across in a day. If you say to yourself, “No, I don’t need brainstorming. I don’t see a problem to solve at my startup,” then you might be too corporate minded to open your mind up to this post.

First, let me tell you that brainstorming is one of the most complex processes that takes place in a company. The complexity isn’t derived from the simple thought of “Let’s brainstorm,” it is complex because of the human side of it. For example, if you’re in a highly intelligent environment, it will be more complex because smart people are mostly introverted people. Sure, everybody is a bit introverted and extroverted, but contextually speaking it’ i different when smart people are solving a problem. Most notably, I have never seen an introvert solve a problem in a group of people who are strong willed. So, why they don’t participate? They don’t participate because they have their own internal ways of doing things. It’s completely abstract and emotional. They wouldn’t share their process with you or anyone else, especially with somebody they don’t respect.

If you can resolve this issue, you might uncover brilliant ideas and facilitate a happy team. Everyone will feel productive and fulfilled. How does one respond to such a situation? In short, you have to manage it!

1. Don’t Behave Like a Teacher or Boss

Don’t do anything that is going to make people like they are being watched or monitored. Don’t do anything that is going to make them feel as if they are being scored. Even if they do have to live up to some achievement scorecard, they will still only perform at half their potential.

Instead, be a leader. Keep in mind that you will be creating a culture of productivity. Make people open to offering and supporting new ideas. Remember, you need your team, otherwise you might as well put yourself in a room and solve everything by yourself.

2. Smile

If someone has a good idea, smile. If someone has a bad idea, smile. If you support your team, they will support you in return. Most importantly, fostering support between yourself and your team will open the door for them to support each other. If they feel like they’re a team, then they will be well equipped to solve hardest problems.

Make everybody feel at home. Make people feel their effort is appreciated, and don’t openly judge them. Remember, you can’t judge anyone since you put everybody in a room to do brainstorming.

3. Give Space

Don’t rush anybody, give them some space. Your strategy is to provide the big picture and the goal. Give people the space they need to feel productive enough so they can solve whatever they need to solve. Giving space also helps everyone work better together since they will have a hard enough time thinking internally and merging their thinking process with each other.

Giving space is not just about the solving the problem, but is about showing that you respect them. This respect tells people that you trust them to reach their own potential.

There are always more ways you can help your team brainstorm, but I believe that these three are the most common things managers neglect to do. Keep these core problems in mind so you may have a clear vision for your next brainstorming session.

Good luck!

Editor: Emily Coffield

Photography: Brain page 368 by Sue Clark

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