Brainstorming Techniques and Tips

Tue, Jun 1, 2010

Self Help Motivation

Brainstorming Techniques and Tips

 Life often takes some planning, some coordination, and well…some brainstorming. This said, if you are planning a big project at work, a move to a new career or life, or just a change in your life; you need to know how to brainstorm it all  out-in order to make sure it goes as smoothly and successfully as possible. While this is all well and good, do you know how to brainstorm? Many of us think we do, but still come out scratching our heads once our brainstorming session  has ended. Here are many ways to effectively draft a plan for making some of the bigger and smaller potent changes in  your life work, and work with success.

1. Consider Perspective: In order to truly grasp the entirety of a situation, you need to incorporate an objective perspective. Often, we are too connected to the change, the issue, or the situation we need brainstorming on; and thus, cannot make any sense or progress with it. So, we must then consider how someone else in our same situation might handle it, what they might do, steps they might take, etc. This can often be aided by a friend or colleague offering their opinion if objectivity cannot be readily reached.

2. Time Travel: Another great way to brainstorm effectively is to consider how you might react to this situation or solve it if you lived in another time period. Consider how you would react to the situations 10 years ago, 100 years ago, or perhaps 10 years in the future or 100. This can usually stir up a set of variables and constants to better understand how to plan for a successful future.

3. Different Location: Another brainstorming condition to consider is if you lived in a different place or if the situation was occurring in a different place-how might you regard it? Placing yourself in a different location clarifies the actual problem or project at hand, and better addresses it with a solution.

4. Attribute Variables: Try brainstorming the situation at hand from a different attribute perspective, such as race, age, gender, nationality, or sanity. Each various attribute might color the situation in a much different light; and give you a much more comprehensive and complete view of the problem, project, or issue at hand.

5. Try a Mind Map: There are-at present-scores of companies that offer software that helps you brainstorm and sort through your thoughts, so that you can see it presented in an organized manner. By seeing your thoughts and brainstorming results in a mapped out presentation; you are that much more likely to be able to come to some successful conclusions.

6. SWOT: Many companies and individuals successfully implement something called a SWOT analysis. This refers to a system of brainstorming that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your situation. By evaluating these factors, you can better determine where you stand, what actions might proactively be taken, and what solutions exist.

7. Group Brainstorming: When you cannot piece something together for a successful solution, a great way to get brainstorming input is from a number of people. Get a bunch of people together and pick their brains to see what they think is the best action, details, and solution for the situation at hand. You will get varying answers which can be generalized into one comprehensive answer or plan.

8. Challenge Assumptions: In every situation, there is a common set of assumptions that people make about the topic. Make a list of these most common assumptions, and set yourself to the task of challenging each one. This way, you will see how true these assumptions are about this situation, and also, how they might be answered in a correct fashion with the best and most appropriate solution.

 

Thanks for reading and be sure to share any additional tips  :)

 

Picture by waldo pancake

 

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11 Responses to “Brainstorming Techniques and Tips”

  1. One of The Guys Says:

    I think you’ve covered it well. The only thing I’ll say is, removing yourself from the situation in order to gain a bit more objectivity. You mentioned that, but in a slightly different way.

    Maybe take a week vacation and do some of the steps you mention, and then come back and see if it all makes sense.

  2. Richard Says:

    I enjoyed this post. Learnt a few things and noticed a few things. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to more in future :)

  3. hazel wagner Says:

    You said it well. Most people think they know how to brainstorm and then wonder why they don’t come up with lots of good ideas. http://www.brainstorming-that-works.com has many more tips and techniques including more information about mind mapping, which as you point out, is a great tool for brainstorming.

  4. hkki Says:

    nice post. It might be good to add another post “6 hat thinking” also.

  5. Hulbert Lee Says:

    Hey Fatima, I like how you outline these different ways of brainstorming. In order to create a big change in our life, to solve a big problem that we have, or even to achieve a big goal, it’s important to outline the different thoughts we have that may be related. Thinking in terms of time travel or living in a different location can bring more insight to help the situation that we are in. Thanks for this!

  6. nothingprofound Says:

    All good suggestions, and I particularly like number 2. I often do that in my writing, wondering how some old poet or philosopher might express the same thought.

  7. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    I like the technique of challenging assumptions. We often make these assumptions without even realizing we do.

  8. Fatima Da Says:

    Thanks @vered true! and some of us simply make these assumptions. @NP thanks, writing is obviously one outstanding tool n personal development . @Hulbert great point and whatever insight is established can be very helpful .@hkki thanks for your comment . Thanks @Hazel for your contribution and mind mapping I suppose is a topic on its own. Thanks @Richard look forward to seeing you around. @One of the Guys thanks , a vacation sounds awesome too, it’s nice to see myself on the beach mind mapping , every little helps. :)

  9. Magda Says:

    love the tipps.. keep up the good work.. ;>>

  10. Fatima Da Says:

    Thanks @Magda look forward to seeing you around :)

  11. KTMG Says:

    Great tips. I do a lot of collaborative work and this will help me out a lot. A lot of great works, like the ebook I just finshed The Instant , are the result of good thought, which is harder to get when you have to deal with the jostling of 4 or 5 people.

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