6 Pros and Cons of Brainstorming

Brainstorming has become an important part of society. Students are put in groups and told to brainstorm for projects. Employees are separated into teams that brainstorm for sales and marketing strategies, while entrepreneurs hold brainstorming sessions with their staff to come up with ways to grow their business.

Because of these, brainstorming is generally seen as a good thing. However, there are people who believe that this technique isn’t always effective. If you don’t know which side is right, you have to know the pros and cons of brainstorming, which include the following:

List of Pros of Brainstorming

1. It helps you come up with great ideas.
At its basic level, brainstorming is designed to help you gather ideas from classmates, employees, or colleagues — specifically, ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t think of on your own. Opponents of brainstorming state that it promotes criticism and arguments, but proponents argue that these actually stimulate the development of new concepts and solutions.

2. It fosters camaraderie.
Brainstorming creates a way for you and the people around you to interact with each other in a “neutral” ground. You and your colleagues may not hang out after work but, when you brainstorm in the office, you have no choice to work closely together. This, in turn, gives you something to talk about and creates a foundation for a stronger working relationship. Brainstorming may not instantly turn people into BFFs, but it at least paves a way for them to get to know each other better.

3. It promotes creativity.
Brainstorming challenges you to become more creative. By sitting down with your classmates or co-workers, you’re forced to think critically and imaginatively and come up with ideas that make you stand out and be noticed. You can also take the concepts and opinions that other people bring to the table and build on them to come up with great solutions.

List of Cons of Brainstorming

1. It promotes fights and arguments.
As mentioned above, many believe that brainstorming only leads to criticism since people usually judge others’ ideas and statements. This, in turn, creates negative experiences for everyone involved and destroys people’s relationships with their colleagues. Brainstorming can lead to great ideas, but this doesn’t always mean that these ideas come from peaceful discussions.

2. It’s not always effective.
Brainstorming is dependent on several factors, and it becomes ineffective if one or two of these factors are not present. For instance, if one or more of the brainstorming participants have poor communication skills, they’ll find it hard to express their ideas or listen to what other people have to say. This can then derail the discussions and make it difficult for the group to produce good ideas. Similarly, if brainstorming is done in an organization that has an authoritarian structure, it would basically be useless since everyone just waits for their boss to dictate what they’d talk about.

3. It’s not always the right choice for everybody.
Some people panic at the thought of speaking in front of a group, but they can come up with excellent ideas when in one-on-one meetings. Others, meanwhile, are simply lazy, and they coast through brainstorming sessions by allowing noisier and more proactive colleagues to do the work. For these people, brainstorming isn’t the right choice.

Brainstorming can be effective in some situations, although there are times when it’s not the right technique to use. The key here is to identify when and where you should do a brainstorming session and determine if the people around you will benefit from one.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.