Brainstorming: A Strategy for Creative Productivity

Brainstorming is a process one goes through in an effort to generate ideas, let the creative juices flow, and problem solve. It can be applied to a variety of activities including conflict resolution, writing, developing a search on the Internet, and figuring out math problems. Brainstorming is an effective way to think of new ideas individually or within a group. First, the steps are outlined with a group in mind. Second, ideas for brainstorming are presented with an individual in mind. Follow the steps in the group strategy, but use the individual strategies to widen your scope for ideas, creativity, and solutions.

Brainstorming in a group

  1. Allot 20 to 30 minutes for the session.
  2. Record all ideas on butcher paper so everyone can see them and they can be retrieved at a later date.
  3. Encourage all ideas. Perhaps offer a sticker to the person with the most ideas or with the most creative suggestion.
  4. Do not accept judgmental tones, remarks, body language, or facial expressions that indicate the ideas are good, bad, or funny.
  5. Use others' comments to think of new ideas.
  6. Keep discussion of the recorded ideas to a minimum during brainstorming. After the session, take a break, then come back for a more critical evaluation of the ideas. During the analytical phase, make sure comments are constructive, or students might avoid speaking up at the next brainstorming session.

Brainstorming by yourself

  1. Draw or doodle while you're thinking.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Read something.
  4. Take a walk with a little notepad and pen.
  5. Work a crossword puzzle or a word search.
  6. Do something with the intention of figuring out what you want to focus on.
  7. Look around: Write down the interesting things you see, hear, touch, feel, smell, or taste.


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