Brainstorming Secrets

Written by Steve Gillman

Continued from page 1

You keep it civil, take notes, and eventually call a halt to this free-for-all part ofrepparttar session. Now it's time to evaluate and developrepparttar 144789 ideas for whatever usefulness they may have.

To keeprepparttar 144790 creativity flowing in this stage, have participants defend or develop ideas that are not their own. This brings new insight torepparttar 144791 idea, and preventsrepparttar 144792 problem of ego-identification that causes people to get "stuck in a rut" with their own ideas.

For example, askrepparttar 144793 man who was critical ofrepparttar 144794 idea of not delivering to work with that idea. "We have to deliver," he might start with. Then he thinks for a second and says, "I suppose we could deliver to central distribution points instead of torepparttar 144795 individual customer. The customer could drive a short distance to pick up their order. That might save us on shipping."

Someone else suggests thatrepparttar 144796 customers may likerepparttar 144797 arrangement. They would be able to returnrepparttar 144798 product immediately if they were dissatisfied, with no need to pack and ship it. You assign a couple people to look into it, and move on torepparttar 144799 other ideas.

Good leadership keepsrepparttar 144800 whole process working. Inrepparttar 144801 last example, you've even used a "bad" idea to come to a possible solution. That's good brainstorming.

Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower enhancement, creative problem solving, and related topics for years. You can visit his website, and subscribe to his free Mind Power Course, at:

Story Telling With a Purpose

Written by Robert F. Abbott

Continued from page 1

Stories can also be used to add context or background information, "I know you'd like to launchrepparttar new product line, but when I was atrepparttar 144449 industry conference a couple of weeks ago, I heard banks want to get into our business, which means...." Very often, information by itself has little meaning or impact without context. Stories buttress our arguments by explainingrepparttar 144450 rationale we used, and not justrepparttar 144451 conclusions we reached.

You can use stories as a type of proof. My life insurance experience is a pointed example. The most effective stories, of course, talk aboutrepparttar 144452 good and bad things that happen to survivors after an unexpected death.

Sometimes, a story can be used for self-deprecation. By making fun of myself, I can further illustraterepparttar 144453 point I'm trying to make. For example "Did I ever tell you aboutrepparttar 144454 time I spilled coffee on a client while he was sitting at our boardroom table? As it turned out, it brokerepparttar 144455 ice between us and we ended up talking serious business. Now, I'm not suggesting you spill coffee on clients, too, but I would suggest that you look for ways to connect with them on a personal level."

Where can we find stories? The best ones come from our own experience, from things that happened to us and things we've done. But, don't overlook magazines, television, and other mass media. For example, you might warn against doing something by explaining what happened to characters in TV sitcoms when they did something similar. Remember, most sitcoms are morality plays in modern garb.

Which reminds me ofrepparttar 144456 time when....

In summary, strategically-used stories can help us communicate more effectively by adding emotion or context, providing proof, or giving us a chance to poke fun at ourselves.

Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Learn how you can use communication to help achieve your goals, by reading articles or subscribing to this ad-supported newsletter. An excellent resource for leaders and managers, at:

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