When you hear the word ‘brainstorming’ you might instantly tense up.
What if my answer isn’t correct? I can’t think on my feet. What if my answer is judged?
All of these concerns (which can be lessened based on your office culture and reinforcement of values) are common and because of them, we tend to censor ourselves and become more inhibited with our ideas and contributions.
We filter out our “crazy” ideas, pre-judging them before they’re even spoken.
To fool our filters and train our brains to be more spontaneous, one trick, per this article in Fast Company is to focus on speed. When you’re going this fast, there’s no time to judge ideas.
We know it’s hard to brainstorm cold. So here’s my favorite 3-minute warmup to quiet your censor and get you primed for better brainstorming.
- Walk around the room, pointing out what you see and naming it out loud (60 seconds)
- Walk around the room again, point out what you see, but name it the item you previously pointed at (60 seconds)
- Walk around the room, point at things and purposefully call it by the wrong name. Anything you want! (60 seconds).
What did you notice?