Brainstorming is the most effective method used in group work, the technique of which is aimed at generating ideas and solutions on any issue and making decisions. This technique is performed with a certain number of participants. Certain rules are applied, and it is aimed that the participants come up with new and creative ideas. With this technique, no evaluation is made until all the ideas are collected. Every idea is respected, and everyone is equal in an idea-generating environment.

This technique thus eliminates the limitations of critical judgment. It encourages creative thinking by overcoming emotional tendencies such as boredom, biased criticism, putting pressure, worrying about being criticized, or being crushed under pressure.

So, the brainstorming technique restraints emotionality and irrational behaviour when searching for creative thoughts in a democratic and disciplined environment. The brainstorming technique can be used very effectively in situations where the problem can be described as simple. If the problem is a complex and multifaceted problem, then it is necessary to divide the problem into parts and discuss each of them in separate sessions.

How to Organise a Brainstorming Session

Brainstorming is carried out in a meeting pattern, and the following rules apply.

1. The discussion topic is selected and written on the blackboard. It is very important that the chosen topic is understood correctly by all participants. That is why the chosen topic is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.

2. If the topic of the meeting is “problem-solving”, the group members make suggestions for possible problems. If the issue is to solve a known problem, the members propose a solution.

3. Each member of the group takes turns making remarks and stating ideas. Only one idea is explained in each speech.

4. Ideas are conveyed briefly and concisely.

5. The member who has not come up with an idea about the relevant issue passes by saying “pass”.

6. All transmitted ideas are recorded in a place where everyone can see them.

7. When ideas are mentioned, they are not discussed. However, if the transmitted idea is not understood, clarification can be requested.

8. After all the ideas have been put forward, the first round of voting begins. Ideas are voted on one by one; members can vote on any proposal they want.

9. As a result of the first round of voting, the proposals with the most votes are circled and discussed on these ideas. When all members pass, the second round of voting is held.

10. In the second round of voting, members can vote for only one proposal. As a result of this vote, the proposals will be determined in order of importance.

Brainstorming is carried out in a meeting pattern, and the following rules apply.

1. The discussion topic is selected and written on the blackboard. It is very important that the chosen topic is understood correctly by all participants. That is why the chosen topic is expressed in clear and unambiguous language.

2. If the topic of the meeting is “problem-solving”, the group members make suggestions for possible problems. If the issue is to solve a known problem, the members propose a solution.

3. Each member of the group takes turns making remarks and stating ideas. Only one idea is explained in each speech.

4. Ideas are conveyed briefly and concisely.

5. The member who has not come up with an idea about the relevant issue passes by saying “pass”.

6. All transmitted ideas are recorded in a place where everyone can see them.

7. When ideas are mentioned, they are not discussed. However, if the transmitted idea is not understood, clarification can be requested.

8. After all the ideas have been put forward, the first round of voting begins. Ideas are voted on one by one; members can vote on any proposal they want.

9. As a result of the first round of voting, the proposals with the most votes are circled and discussed on these ideas. When all members pass, the second round of voting is held.

10. In the second round of voting, members can vote for only one proposal. As a result of this vote, the proposals will be determined in order of importance.

Basic Principles of Brainstorming

Number of Participants

The number of participants in the brainstorming application can be from 6 to 8 people. A small number of participants limits the possibility of generating new ideas. However, many of them also extend the meeting time and makes it difficult to ensure the dominance of the meeting.

Adherence to the Rules

Brainstorming requires a certain discipline. The steps of the implementation process must be strictly followed. But this discipline shouldn’t be strict, it should be practised in a constructive, enjoyable, and fun atmosphere.

Receiving Suggestions and Encouraging Creativity

Creative thoughts can only be developed in the appropriate environment. Therefore, people shouldn’t be forced, but only encouraged. Some suggestions, even if they are overly optimistic or even fantasy, should not be taken as a sarcastic attitude, and ideas should not be criticized.

Guidance

A determined person should guide the group during brainstorming. The guide manages the flow during the brainstorming practice. So the guide monitors the circulating ideas, doesn’t give any opinions about incoming ideas, and writes them on a blackboard or clipboard that participants can conveniently see. Only, if necessary, they can make an abbreviation or edit the idea with the approval of the sender to write the transmitted idea clearly.

Mistakes Made in Brainstorming Applications

The main mistakes made in brainstorming applications are as follows.

Individual Dominance

If a democratic and intellectual production environment is not provided, the dominant person and managers may be influential. In this case, creative and original ideas cannot be generated.

Non-compliance With the Rules

If the rules of the technique are not followed, an efficient and effective result may not be achieved.

Absence of a Creative Environment

If the creative environment is not provided and encouraged at the meeting, the group settles only on known ideas. Therefore,

– Time pressure shouldn’t be created

– Discussing ideas should be prevented

– A comfortable and peaceful environment should be provided

The Inability of the Guide to Provide an Appropriate Environment

If the guide is not of sufficient competence, it is possible that the technique won’t be fully implemented. The group will prevail and will lead the work in the direction they want. The guide should be a person who knows the technique of brainstorming and is able to approach events impartially. At the same time, he/she should be able to direct the group and encourage the group to new ideas.

Absence of a Meeting Order

If a regular and serious meeting order is not maintained, chaos and disorder will occur. Loss of time, boredom and distrust may appear.

Vicious Debate

Immediately judging ideas and generating ideas in the case of fixed-mindedness can turn the session into discussions that have no contribution. Deviations from the main topic and discussions on different topics may arise.

Conclusion

A brainstorming technique is a social technique that can be used to generate and develop ideas. The participants can develop their communication abilities by listening and watching expressions during the execution of the idea. At the same time, it is a very effective technique for analysis and evaluation. Expressing ideas and thoughts in a relaxed and free environment by the rules ensures the alliance of participation, sharing and interaction.

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EWOR Team

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