Choices = Power: Brainstorming

by Pamela

in Brilliant Women Toolkit,Choices = Power,Popular Posts

Choices Equal Power

Nothing will give you more power than having choices.

Consider this: how many times have you been confronted with a problem and only can think of only one or two choices to solve it? How many times have you been presented with an opportunity but can only think of several ways to take advantage of it? Without choices, we can feel powerless and stuck.

I certainly have felt powerless and stuck. But what I found is that if I can generate potential choices, I can quickly get unstuck, feel more powerful and make better decisions. Life is grand.

Generate More Potential Choices Using Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a creative thinking technique designed to generate a large

number of potential solutions to a problem. During the idea generating phase, it is key to suspend judgment to generate creative options. Although brainstorming is often used by groups, it can be used by individuals as well. Brainstorming is my go-to tool for generating options.

5 Steps to Effective Brainstorming

  1. Identify the question or issue. You can put it in question form (“How can I make $500 more per month?”) or statement form (“$500 more per month”).
  2. Set a time limit.  Maybe 15 minutes (it’s useful to use a timer), and develop as many solutions as fast as possible without censoring any of them. This will silence your inner critic and allow you to be as creative as possible.
  3. Combine like ideas.
  4. Analyze and evaluate. You can do this by pre-establishing criteria such as cost, easy to implement, time to complete. etc. Evaluate each idea according to the criteria and eliminate those ideas that do not meet the criteria.
  5. Select the best choice.

Brainstorming Rules

  1. All ideas are acceptable.
  2. Try to generate as many ideas as possible.
  3. Do not evaluate any ideas until step number four, Analyze and Evaluate.

Brainstorming Tools

Here are some tools that you can use to Brainstorm.

  1. Mind maps. I use mind the mapping software, MindManager, to quickly brainstorm potential solutions.
  2. Post-it notes. Write down each idea and the problem on a post-it note.  When the time is up group the ideas around the problem on the wall or a piece of poster board. Do you see patterns and similarities? Rearrange each post-it note as needed.
  3. Freewriting. Write down ideas as they come to you and you just keep writing even if have to write down “I can’t think of anything to write”. Use pen and paper or document processing software such as Word.
  4. Bulleted lists. Each idea is a bullet. Make sure to leave several lines empty under each bullet for any sub-bullets. Use pen and paper or document processing software such as Word.

Try brainstorming the next time you are stumped for choices. You will feel more powerful. Never underestimate the Power of Choice.


Mind Mapping Software

MindManager I use it and it’s excellent. It integrates with MS Office. Approximately $349.


Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It Notes by David Straker
Tinkertoys by Michael Michalko

Brilliant Woman Quote

It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. Jean Nidetch

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