How does the method work? • Profiling Institute

Image source: © for

The brainstorming method is used in different ways, especially in a professional context, but also in a school or other context. However, this is not undisputed either. How does successful brainstorming work? What to watch out for? How can the method run and work?


Brainstorming is used as a method in professional and other contexts. She is one of them creativity techniques. The goal is a lot of ideas in a short time find and develop a defined question.

However, the method is not without controversy and is often seen as a waste of time with no real added value and no result. If brainstorming is unproductive and this negative impression is created, it is usually not because of a faulty method, but because of poor implementation or errors in it.

What to watch out for?

To make brainstorming useful and productive, there are a few things to keep in mind. The method is not as free as it seems. Even though it’s free association and reflection, it still takes some time rules and structures, so that it doesn’t get out of hand or start at all. Therefore, the following are some things that can support successful brainstorming. However, these cannot be considered conclusive or generally applicable, but should only be used as a guide knowledge to consider

have a moderator

Although brainstorming seems very free and unmoderated at first, it is good moderation important to the process. The moderator has tasks that are already before the meeting will take place, which will be explained later. But she also takes control during the process important tasks, such as stating the question, respecting the time limit, allowing all participants to express themselves, ensuring compliance with previously formulated rules, structuring the evaluation of the idea and documenting the results. These tasks and things are also discussed below.

Before brainstorming

Even before the actual brainstorming, there is a preparatory phase. Here, the person who later also leads or moderates the brainstorming, thinks about different things. On the one hand, it’s about one thing Looking for an appointmentas well as finding a suitable one space, Invite participants and specifications question.

When asking about Number and composition of participants, there is no single clear answer. Group sizes are often in between 6 and 8 people, but it can be more or less. The composition can also be different. There can be one homogeneous A group from one department suitable, in other circumstances maybe more heterogeneous A group with people from different departments. Both can have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered beforehand.

It is also important Question specification. Only if this is clearly formulated and also clearly defined can ideas be found. The question is then also introduced at the beginning of the brainstorming session and introduced to the participants. At the end, a specific question can be written down and thus visualized.


He arrived at the actual brainstorming and after stating the question moderated, the method is divided into two phases. In any case, they should be clearly separated from each other. Separating the two phases is also one of the moderator’s most important tasks.

The first stage is brainstorming or collection. Here are Fr 30 to 45 minutes as many ideas as possible are found for the question. These are collected and visualized by the moderator (e.g. on the board as a list or mind map).

Then the phase Evaluation and sorting of ideas on, for approx 30 minutes to an hour should be scheduled. Only in this step are the ideas examined more closely, sorted or structured into groups and then evaluated. At the end of this phase is also the result of the process and its documentation.


Above all, the brainstorming phase, i.e. the brainstorming itself and the exchange of ideas, requires several rules to be successful. Rules are followed through moderation guarantee by repeatedly notifying the participants.

The first and at the same time the most important rule is expressed thoughts was not criticized or commented on will. This means that every idea that is expressed is initially accepted without comment and is welcomed. Discussions, comments or any form of evaluation of ideas should be avoided at this stage. Otherwise, they may not express all possible thoughts because they are afraid of criticism or negative comments.

Another rule is that in the generation phase of the idea, it is clean Quantity, i.e. the number of ideas, before their quality it costs The more ideas collected, the better, even if many ideas seem absurd at first glance. Participants should therefore present each of their ideas, even if they do not consider them to be directly effective.

This rule also leads to another, because from every thought uttered another thought can and does develop. The ideas that have been expressed can and should be taken up, combined and further developed by all participants will. This means that the ideas expressed are “available” to everyone, not just the person who first expressed them.

The last rule of brainstorming means that completely free thinking, association and also digressions are allowed and desired. Unconventional ideas and thought processes it can open up entirely new ideas and possibilities not otherwise considered. Participants can unleash their creativity and try to bring in different ways of thinking.


In order for brainstorming to work as a method and for ideas and solutions to actually emerge, several things need to be considered. There should be a process first moderated will. It will come in handy during preparation organizational matters also on Question specification. Both phases should be present during brainstorming Brainstorming and evaluating ideas are clearly separated will. In the first stage, care must be taken to make ideas no comment or rating be so clean number ideas more important than their quality they are thoughts expressed taken over by all participants can and should be and also unconventional ideas they are welcome. Brainstorming can be successful with these things. They are intended as options and as a guide.

Other posts you might be interested in:

About the author J Bohlken

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.