U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


Making Your Meetings Work

Part 6 of Making Your Meetings Work web-based training. To access this training, please download Flash Player.

Video 1: Brainstorming Example 1 (0:50)

Video 2: Brainstorming Example 2
Essential Elements

Brainstorming offers an excellent way of quickly gathering a multitude of various and sometimes eccentric ideas about a topic. Because of the “anything goes” attitude and high energy of brainstorming, it offers an opportunity for quieter people to speak up.

Guidelines include:

  • Give a specific task or directions to the groups.
  • Set time limits.
  • Accept all ideas without criticism, discussion or debate.
  • Unusual and offbeat ideas are encouraged.
  • Quantity, not quality, of ideas is the goal.
  • Ideas stimulate new ideas and new ways of thinking. (Osbourne, 1959)
  • Have each group present their list of brainstorming ideas: the facilitator should repeat the ideas aloud for all to hear.
  • All ideas should be considered by the entire group.
  • The facilitator should ask if anything missing from the list and continue the brainstorming with the entire group.
  • Read the list of ideas. The leader encourages members to add new ideas if the group seems stuck.
  • Pauses are normal; encourage members to keep going.
Quick Facts
  • Quick method of gathering ideas
  • Give specific task and time limit
  • Accept all ideas
  • Want quantity versus quality
  • Stimulates new ideas and ways of thinking


Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov