Brainstorming Session how to lead using a 6-step process


Brainstorming session is an essential tool in any business environment. It allows teams to come together and generate creative solutions to problems.

But leading a brainstorming session is more than just gathering people in a room.

It requires careful planning, execution, and participation from both leaders and employees.

This 6-step process will guide you through the steps to lead an effective brainstorming session.

Step 1: Define the Problem Clearly

Before you gather your team, make sure you have a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve. Write it down and ensure that it’s specific, concise, and understood by everyone involved. Although sometimes we organize a brainstorming session before we present to management a project or an idea, still it is necessary to be aligned with current company ‘s goals, before we involve a group of people in meetings and extra work.

Step 2: Choose the Right Participants

Selecting the right mix of participants is crucial. Include people with diverse backgrounds and expertise to encourage a variety of perspectives. Don’t just stick to senior staff; junior employees can provide fresh insights too. Also, consider if it would be valuable at this point, to include somehow people outside the organization.

Step 3: Set Ground Rules

To create a safe and open environment, establish ground rules. These might include: no criticism, focus on quantity over quality, and encourage wild ideas. Make sure everyone agrees on these rules. If the team is new, or you are new in the organization, consider engaging with the participants before the session. In this case, you can also consult a peer, or ask them to join the session.

Step 4: Employees’ Responsibilities

Employees are not just passive participants; they play an active role in the success of the brainstorming session.  Encourage the team to project:

  • Participation: Engage actively and contribute ideas.
  • Respect: Adhere to the ground rules and respect others’ opinions.
  • Collaboration: Work cooperatively to build upon each other’s ideas.
  • Open-mindedness: Be receptive to unconventional or creative ideas.

Step 5: Encourage Open Communication

Encourage everyone to speak up. Facilitate the session in a way that ensures everyone’s voice is heard. Sometimes, the quietest person in the room has the best idea.

The ultimate goal is to leave the room of the session but not leave the discussion, so keep reminding people to come back with fresh ideas.

Step 6: Utilize Visualization Tools

Use whiteboards, sticky notes, or digital tools to visually capture ideas. This helps participants see connections and build upon each other’s thoughts. Digital tools for collaboration can also be fun. Try to use them as a deck for ice breaking game, if needed, and for documenting new ideas after the session is over.


Leading a brainstorming session is an art that requires planning, the right participants, ground rules, open communication, and the use of visual tools.

Brainstorming is more than just a meeting; it’s a strategic process that can lead to groundbreaking ideas that drive your business forward.

Give this 6-step process a try and let us know if you managed to foster a creative environment where innovative solutions emerge.


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