Remember in school when we would get into groups for a project and the first thing we had to do was brainstorm? So yeah, you guessed it. We’re talking brainstorming…more specifically, which is better: Brainstorming or Brain-writing?
Brainstorming is group discussion based and is used in order to produce new and innovative ideas. In theory, the process seems fault-proof. People are able to stem off ideas of others to make ideas even better. You’re also able to knock-off other ideas that wouldn’t work, have problems, or just plain don’t make sense.
Here’s where Brain-writing comes in. Think of it as brainstorming…just by yourself.
- Think of ideas you want to be included in the discussion
- Instead of sharing them right away, make a list by yourself and include every idea you want to mention
- Meet with your group & go over everyone’s list one by one
- Talk out the ideas and eventually pick out the winner!
As you and I both notice, brain-writing isn’t drastically different from brainstorming. Looking deeper though, the outcomes seem different.
Brainstorming can lead to:
- The Loudest One Winning. We all know this guy (or girl), he (or she) pushes his ideas onto everyone else until the rest of the group is basically bullied into picking his idea.
- Groupthink. This is when people tend to make decisions in a group because of the pressures of conformity. This actively discourages creativity and individuality.
- The One Documenting Loses Out. That one person that has the best handwriting always is the one writing. Which means they can’t (or it’s hard for them too) actively contribute to the conversation.
- Gives everyone an equal chance of coming up with ideas to make the final “list” as perfect as it can get.
- Gives everyone’s idea a chance to live past the basic “hey, what about this…” intro.
- Allows each member to contribute to an idea rather than one or two dismissing the idea immediately.
Bottom line: Brain-writing allows everyone to be involved, everyone to be creative, and everyone to be heard!