Top 10 brainstorming methods for better Teamwork

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Brainstorming is an important technique for unlocking creativity, promoting innovation, and improving teamwork. No matter the size of your team, these tips will improve your brainstorming session.

What is Brainstorming?

Alex Osborn created brainstorming in the 1930s. Brainstorming is a way to solve problems creatively. Team members work together to come up with lots of ideas and solutions. They don’t judge or criticize right away.

In a friendly and imaginative atmosphere, we encourage everyone to share their ideas. After the session, we usually review and improve these ideas to find the best options.

This isn’t about gathering around a whiteboard and throwing ideas into the air. Brainstorming is both an art and a science. It involves specific methods and approaches that boost team brainpower.

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Brainstorming Session

Brainstorming is a process that helps generate ideas by working together step by step.

1. Problem Definition

The session begins with a clear statement of the problem or challenge at hand. This ensures that all participants are focused on the same objective.

2. Setting the Rules

Participants are briefed about the rules of brainstorming. The rules aim to make a welcoming space for creativity to thrive freely. Some key rules are to not judge, to think of unusual ideas, and to prioritize quantity.

3. Idea Generation

In this phase, participants freely express their ideas. The team leader inspires everyone to share thoughts and takes note of all suggestions without judgment. Here, we encourage participants to think, suggesting any and all ideas.

4. Building on Ideas

Brainstorming is unique because it encourages building on others’ ideas. People can work together to make their ideas better and be more productive.

5. Open Environment

A key element of effective brainstorming is maintaining an open and non-judgmental space. Participants should feel at ease and be able to express unique ideas without worrying about criticism. This openness often leads to the generation of more creative and innovative solutions.

6. Review and Refinement

After the idea generation phase, the group reviews the collected ideas. In this stage, you arrange, assess, and focus on ideas using criteria related to the problem or goal.

7. Action Plan

Finally, we select the most promising ideas for further development or implementation. We create an action plan, assigning responsibilities and timelines to bring these ideas to fruition.

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Best 10 Brainstorming Methods

There are different methods for brainstorming that encourage diverse participation and collaboration. These are the top 10 ways to use teamwork in brainstorming. Each method helps collaboration and creativity.

1. Brainwriting

The team members write ideas instead of talking. They encourage everyone to share their ideas.

2. Round Robin Brainstorming

In the session, everyone gets a chance to share an idea. We take turns so that the most vocal members don’t dominate.

3. Starbursting

Instead of coming up with answers, try asking lots of questions about the subject. Using this method helps you understand the problem better and find more complete solutions.

4. Mind Mapping

Begin with a central idea and branch out with related concepts and thoughts. This visual approach helps in organizing and connecting ideas, making it easier to identify potential solutions.

5. Rapid Ideation

Set a time limit and encourage team members to generate as many ideas as possible within this period. This approach fosters quick thinking and spontaneity.

6. SWOT Analysis

Identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to the problem at hand. Teams can use this approach to understand the issue and come up with specific ideas.

7. Reverse Brainstorming

Instead of looking for solutions to a problem, the team focuses on how to cause the problem or make it worse. This reverse thinking can lead to innovative solutions when the process is reversed.

8. Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono created a method to solve problems by looking at them in six different ways. These perspectives include logic, emotions, caution, creativity, process, and optimism. This helps to come up with well-rounded solutions.

9. The Five Whys

Keep asking ‘why’ to each answer to delve deeper into the root cause of a problem. This method is often used in root cause analysis. It can find hidden problems and help find better solutions.

10. Stepladder Technique

Start with a small group talking about the problem, then slowly invite more people who thought about it on their own. This ensures fresh perspectives are added systematically to the discussion.

Common Challenges in Brainstorming

1. Dominance by Vocal Participants 

Solution: Use structured brainstorming techniques like round-robin or brainwriting to ensure equal participation. The facilitator should actively encourage quieter members to share their ideas.

2. Idea Fixation

Solution: To prevent the group from fixating on early ideas and inhibiting new ones, encourage participants to withhold comments until a significant number of ideas have been generated. Sometimes, taking a short break can also reset the group’s focus.

3. Lack of Focus

Solution: Set clear goals and objectives at the beginning of the session. A facilitator should steer the conversation back on track if it diverges too far from the topic.

4. Fear of Judgment

Solution: Establish a positive, open environment where all ideas are welcomed and criticism is withheld. Reinforce the brainstorming rules at the start to build a safe space for sharing.

5. Groupthink

Solution: Encourage diversity of thought by including team members from different backgrounds. Facilitators can also play devil’s advocate to challenge ideas and stimulate alternative thinking.

6. Ineffective Ideation

Solution: Use various brainstorming techniques to spark creativity. Visual aids, prompt cards, or changing the setting can invigorate the ideation process.

7. Loss of Good Ideas

Solution: Ensure that all ideas are documented, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Use digital tools or a dedicated note-taker to capture everything.

8. Post-Session Inactivity

Solution: Assign a follow-up team to categorize, evaluate, and develop the generated ideas into actionable plans. Setting a timeline for next steps can maintain momentum.

Brainstorming in Sales Teams

Sales teams use brainstorming to come up with ideas, solve problems, and create new strategies for customers. Brainstorming helps salespeople work together on sales challenges, leading to better sales strategies.

Here’s how it’s particularly beneficial in a sales context:

  • Sales Strategies: During brainstorming, participants come up with ideas for new sales tactics, reaching different markets, and improving the sales pitch.
  • Overcoming Sales Obstacles: Teams can address sales challenges, like handling objections, solving problems for clients, or re-engaging lost leads.
  • Product Knowledge: Brainstorming helps in sharing knowledge about products or services among team members, leading to more effective sales conversations.
  • Client Needs: Sales teams can brainstorm to find new and creative ways to exceed client expectations. They can create solutions that go beyond the usual.
  • Improving Customer Relationships: When teams come up with ideas to get and keep customers, they can make better plans for building relationships.
  • Team Collaboration: These sessions help build the team by making members feel valued and heard. It boosts morale and creates a more cooperative team environment.


Here are a couple of case studies or examples that illustrate the effectiveness of brainstorming in real-world scenarios:

Case: Tech Startup’s Product Development

The educational software startup had trouble coming up with new features for its next release. They had brainstorming sessions with employees from all departments, not just the developers. The ideas weren’t thought of before. The product was very successful because of its innovative features that made it stand out in the market.

Case: Advertising Agency’s Campaign

The ad agency had to change the brand of a popular drink company to appeal to younger people. The agency had a big brainstorming session. A junior designer had an idea to use social media influencers in unscripted videos. At first, this idea seemed unlikely, but it inspired many creative suggestions.


Brainstorming is a key catalyst for teamwork and creativity. Valuing everyone’s ideas and contributions promotes collaboration and engagement in the team. Brainstorming is important for solving problems and improving teamwork and performance.


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