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The most dangerous guest in a brainstorming session is the one who immediately dismisses an idea (often before it’s even completely verbalized).

The problem with a person like this is the negativity that he or she brings to the group. Not only is that single idea treated unfairly, but the other team members will begin to feel hesitant about sharing their ideas for fear of being shut down. A team that holds back any ideas will suffer a lack of genuine creativity in their brainstorming.

When judgment is made about someone’s idea before it has had a chance to be explored or discussed, the group automatically misses out on any possibilities for improving on that idea and possibly incorporating it into a clever solution.

Some tricks to removing negativity during a session include creating a “NO” parking zone. This is where you write down all of your negative thoughts on small sticky notes and collect them on a “NO” parking zone sheet. This ensures that there is no interruption in the flow of the creative session. You can then deal with all of the “NO” parking notes after the session has been adjourned.

Another suggestion is to make the most negative person in the room responsible for the “NO” parking zone. It’s a great way to keep them busy, and put them on the other side of the task at hand!

Finally, don’t allow the group to get stuck in the executional mud! The definition of success in a brainstorming session is to generate as many big ideas as possible in the time allotted … not to figure out all the ways those ideas might fail!

We would love to hear from you! How do you deal with negative comments while brainstorming? Leave us a comment down below.
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negativity cramp creativity