Brainstorming 101

From Vivian Scott’s Conflicts Of InterestBlog

Are you getting into a big fight trying to solve a problem? Brainstorm!


Wait. Not sure how to brainstorm without getting into a big fight? Try these tips:


1) Clearly identify the problem. Be specific. Stating that you need to do something about the kids is vague. Stating that you need to ensure the kids adhere to their curfew is specific.


2) Brainstorm only one problem at a time, please.


3) Agree to attack the problem not the person. Get out of the blame game and into solving the issue at hand. Add “how to avoid this in the future” to the next brainstorming session if you need to, but for now stick with the solving what’s in front of you.


4) Ignore the saying that no idea is a bad idea. Good ideas become bad ideas when they don’t have anything to do with reaching the goal. If you’re trying to find ways to keep customer service phone calls under five minutes and your idea is about what to serve for lunch at the next team meeting, you’ve derailed the process. That’s a bad idea.


5) Be okay with not coming up with the best solution in the first round. I like to have two sessions. One to get going with initial ideas and then another in the next day or so. Keeping the time between meetings to a minimum ensures that the topic is still on everyone’s mind but they’ve had time to step away, sleep on it, and reconvene with clearer thinking.


6) Quickly (and I do mean quickly) discuss the pros and cons of each suggestion after you’ve created a list (not after each idea is suggested).


7) Choose an idea with the agreement that everyone will get behind it. Do everything you can to make the idea work even if—and especially when—it wasn’t your idea.

                        author

Vivian Scott

Vivian Scott is a Professional Certified Mediator and the author of Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies.  She spent many years in the competitive and often stress-filled world of high tech marketing where she realized resolving conflict within the confines of office politics was paramount to success.  Through creative solutions… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

First Things First: Design the Arbitration Process You Want

JAMS ADR Blog by Chris PooleThe principles for drafting a pre-dispute arbitration clause are straightforward. They do require an understanding of the legal relationship, which will be the subject of...

By Richard Chernick
Category

Independence: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

From the Mediation Matters Blog of Steve Mehta.One of the advantages of having a mediator is the fact that the mediator is neutral and not so closely connected to the...

By Steve Mehta
Category

Get More from Workplace Mediation, It’s Not a 1 Trick Pony!

CMP Resolution Blog by Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.In many organisations, mediation can play a limited part as an activity to resolve a specific conflict. But mediation has more to...

By Katherine Graham

Find a Mediator

X
X
X