People are afraid to throw out ideas because they think someone will criticize them. This severely inhibits creativity. The way around this is to focus on generating new ideas without evaluation. This is easier said than done. Here’s how to keep the criticism at bay.
- Speed. Don’t give people time to think. Idea generation is a spontaneous activity. Evaluation requires thinking. If you want to create a list of ideas, give yourselves a time limit and then use the limit to increase the sense of urgency. Setting the pace with music or with a timer can also keep the ideas popping.
- Quantity. Give yourselves a goal for the number of ideas you want. Keep pushing the group toward the number, and they will quickly forget about the quality of the ideas.
- Build on ideas of others. Allow people to add their ideas only if they can build on the current idea with a statement that begins with “Yes, and…” This forces listening, and what they hear stimulates new ideas.
Image credit: Nina Matthews