Group brainstorming sessions are a great tool for problem solving and collaboration. Pair them with your favorite online whiteboard tool and you’ll surely tackle any problem that comes your way.
In these sessions, people contribute their ideas and they snowball from each other to create the best solution to any challenge. But, brainstorming sessions need to be done well in order to work. Also, understanding what are the key pros and cons of these group sessions will help you prepare for anything that could come out of them.
Let’s see what are some pros and cons of group brainstorming sessions.
Two heads are better than one, and when you include multiple people in brainstorming, they might come up with things you haven’t even thought about.
When you’re choosing a group, try to get participants from different departments, who come from various backgrounds. The more diversity you have – the better.
Everyone likes their own idea the best until they hear other ideas. You and everyone else on your team can get stuck in an idea due to existing beliefs and biases without even realizing it.
So, when you get a group of diverse people in a virtual room to discuss ideas, you’ll probably get many different viewpoints which will open up everyone to even more possibilities.
When people are solving a problem together, they tend to get closer, which makes it easier for them to communicate and collaborate in the future.
Brainstorming sessions usually connect people who didn’t have the opportunity to work together before, and it creates unmatched camaraderie between team members.
Group brainstorming sessions without proper moderators and agendas can quickly turn into a disorganized mess. Such sessions fail to produce any results, and in the end, you’re left with a lot of wasted time with no solution in sight.
Get a good moderator for every session. This person will keep your team on track. Additionally, create a brief agenda, to help participants and the moderator better understand where the conversation should be heading.
Some people are just shy by nature, others have dominant personalities. Dominant and loud people can be intimidating to the shyer group, resulting in one person leading the conversation. This way, no additional ideas are shared, and participants lose interest in adding anything to the conversation.
Your moderator, or you, need to be able to detect the dominator, and sort of shift the spotlight from them by encouraging the rest of the group to participate.
Groupthink is the situation in which brainstorming participants focus on developing one idea, instead of thinking of new ones. Also, people tend to agree with dominant personalities, taking the line of least resistance.
In this case, you need to go back to encouraging people to think about other avenues. Then, in the end, you can set some time aside to explore some of the best ideas together.
There they are – the top three pros and cons of group brainstorming sessions. Although they can be fruitful and delightful, you still need to think about potential downfalls and do everything you can to prevent them.