I am leading a brainstorming session with a group of peers. I am the facilitator, but not the meeting organizer. I am fine with running the session and dealing with all the different "meeting killers".

The goal of the session is to generate ideas for a future product. I am looking for advice on how to wrap up the session to make the group feel as if they are moving towards a solution, as this brainstorming session is filled with engineers. I don't want them to feel like they are just coming to a consensus.


Any advice?

vartikakashyap's picture

Brainstorming is a process of toiling and generating new ideas alone or by holding intensive group discussions between team members in a team.

Here are five ways to help you brainstorm, produce kickass ideas and deliver nothing but excellence.


This exercise can be done solo or by a number of people where they sit down at a quiet place with a pen and a paper. Now, you just need an idea, probably a single word that summarizes the idea in a nutshell. Start writing other words that come up in your mind associated with that idea or a word. It works best when you let your mind run free and make an effort to come up with as many words as possible. With this technique, you tend to trigger your mind with other related words that further triggers new words. This allows your brain to connect the dots and conceive a number of new ideas. You can easily choose the duration of exercise anything from 10 minutes to an hour.


This is a group exercise where a number of team members sit down to work on an idea. This is polymorphic in nature i.e the idea can take different forms as it progresses. In this activity, a team leader shares the topic and the team members are required to write three ideas on a piece of paper and pass it to the other member. Now, likewise, he will jot down three ideas in coherence with the previous ideas and pass it on. Similarly, this will be repeated till the last person is not done with his inputs. After the activity is performed, sit down and go through all the ideas. You may need to scrap some of them as well. Some might trigger better ideas as well. With little more brainstorming, you can transform the average ideas to incredible ones.


Freestorming is usually thinking and writing about anything and everything that comes to your mind whenever you think of an idea. You just need to find a quiet place and allow yourself to completely immerse in freestorming. Just note down all the things – relevant or irrelevant, good or bad in your notebook or a computer. This is a powerful brainstorming technique that lets you put down all the ‘real and raw’ ideas and then take a deep dive into an ocean of possibilities where many hidden ideas are waiting to be discovered.


Virtual brainstorming is often referred as online brainstorming. Today, when most of the teams are geographically scattered, more and more people are opting for this contemporary way of brainstorming. All you need is an internet connection and you are all set to brainstorm! With the help of online collaboration tools, all the team members are virtually present at one centralized platform where they can initiate discussions. This advancement in technology has helped us to overcome the constraints of time and space. ProofHub – an online collaboration tool helps you get everyone associated with a project under one virtual roof. It helps you seamlessly communicate and collaborate with all the team members. You can start important brainstorming sessions in discussions and can jot down the important pointers in the notes section.


This probably is one of the most fun and engaging way of brainstorming developed recently. Here, you don’t think like yourself rather you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Interestingly, it allows you to think that how you would think if you were somebody else. Your boss? Or maybe your mentor? You can give it a spin-off by thinking like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs or maybe Barack Obama. Now, with this activity, you can shed all your inhibitions and limitations aside and allow yourself to think like the stalwarts. They say “Fake it till you make it”. In fact, this is a great way to develop new ideas without losing your authenticity and at the same time stepping into the world of the Greats.

Bonus tip: Try some music at the background while brainstorming. However, this may not work for everyone as different music genres evoke different feelings in different people. You can give Pop, Rock, or Jazz a try and see if they contribute to better your brainstorming experience or not.

Hope this helps