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.
- 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.