Why Brainstorming Makes you Brighter
You’re stuck. You know what you need to do but you’re bamboozled about how to do it.
That goal you’ve written on a post-it is becoming an ornament on the edge of your screen and you’re convinced the words are actually sneering at you because you’ll never get it done.
Here’s a simple and fun coaching technique to get you unstuck and find a solution.
I know it works because I’ve tried it and because it’s from Jenny Rogers who is a wizard at coaching (she’s written 70 books on the subject). If there were a Hogwarts’s for coaching she’d be Dumbledore.
To get unstuck find a space where you’ve got peace and quiet for half an hour and take two pieces of paper, a pen, and a highlighter.
You’re going to brainstorm your way to a solution, but brainstorm with a twist that uses the right side of your brain which controls creativity, insight and intuition.
At the top of one piece of paper write down your goal. Let’s say the goal is to plan a party for your team because they exceeded their sales targets.
Now, armed with a sense of fun, think of all the ways you could accomplish this goaland I mean all the ways.
Party on a yacht? Bouncy castles for all? Go to Charleston to Charleston?
Write it all down as the ideas come out and don’t worry about writing them in a neat order, just get them down on the page.
Once you’ve run out of ideas have a think about the criteria you’re going to use to evaluate your ideas.
This might be time, money, or the important stuff like knowing someone who has contacts at a marina or having colleagues with a sense of rhythm.
Once you’ve decided your criteria write them down on the second piece of paper.
Now it’s time for a little analysis. Have a look at the long list of ideas you wrote down on the first piece of paper.
What jumps out at you? What makes you smile? Mark those that do with a highlighter.
Next, put the two pieces of paper side by side.
Look at the piece of paper with the criteria on it. Which of the highlighted ideas that you liked pass your criteria? Circle these.
These are your top contenders.
At this stage you have a number of options.
Find a good coach who can ask questions that allow you to chisel down those ideas to craft a master plan, grab one of your favourite colleagues to debate which ideas will win the day, or take some more time on your own to muse it over.
The choice is yours.
After this exercise you’ll be lighter in mood and brighter in terms of producing the goods. And you’ll have been able to play with paper and colouring pens at work.