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How to Brainstorm Like a Pro

People say ‘put your thinking cap on’, but that is easier said than done. Yes, grabbing a hat is easy, but you have to grab the right one; preferably a White Hat. Check out these 6 tips on how to brainstorm like a pro and possibly add a new skill to your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Know your goals.

It is important to understand that you are working towards a goal whether that be an increase in revenue, engagement on your website, etc. Understanding your goal before you brainstorm can help eliminate a cat and mouse chase into the rabbit hole of ideas.

  1. Good ideas do start with a lot of bad ideas.

So you are at the candy store and you want M&M’s. The only problem is that you only like the green and blue ones for whatever reason that may be. Let’s face it, they are all the same flavor of chocolate, but you swear that they are all slightly different. So, first you have to get a bag and dispense all the colors of M&M’s, even the ones you don’t like. Once you have your bag of chocolate goodness, you pick out your favorite colors and eat those, trashing the other or giving them to your trash disposal of a best friend. Well, the generation of ideas is like getting the whole bag of M&M’s. You first need to lay them all out on the table even if they are ones you don’t like, examine them and then pick your best options. Go for volume first, then quality or rather pick your greens and blues after you have looked through all of the colors.

  1. Start with yourself.

Don’t immediately jump into group discussion because it could be mayhem. First, brainstorm by yourself, get your good ideas, and then meet with the group to share and discuss. Which leads me to…

  1. You’re not the only smart one in the room.

Contrary to what you might think, others have pretty good ideas too. One of the greatest things you can do to brainstorm is to do so with a group. There is no harm in bouncing ideas off each other and your ideas could lead to even bigger and better ideas with the help of others.

  1. Chill out.

Breathe. Your face is turning blue. Sometimes you just need to chill out and give yourself a break. Try coming back to brainstorming after lunch or after a short break. Don’t rush good ideas. They come with time and you don’t usually come up with your best and final ideas straight off the bat. If you do you’re obviously the next Einstein and you deserve a Snickers or even one of those donuts doused in chocolate and covered with brownie bits.

  1. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so try tomorrow.

Similar to chilling out, you need to give yourself time to brainstorm the perfect idea. That could mean sleeping. Sleep is a lovely thing and it may be good for you to relax and forget about brainstorming at the end of the day. Every day is a new day filled with new ideas. Who knows what you could come up with tomorrow if you don’t allow yourself.

Now that you have the skills to get you there, go forth and brainstorm like a pro. While you’re at it, instead of a thinking cap, put a White Hat on.