Updated: Jun 20, 2020
Leading your team through brainstorming can help you tremendously in achieving your team goals.
As a leader there are many things that you have to accomplish, and you have so many hats you have to wear. I have asked several leaders what their biggest challenge is in accomplishing their goals and they all pretty much share the same sentiment, there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. When diving deeper into the conversation I find out the leader has a whole number of employees on their team. I also find out the goals the leader wants to accomplish are team goals, not individual goals. So why is it that the leader feels they need more hours to accomplish their team goals? Why does the leader feel they are solely responsible for carrying the burden of achieving these goals? Better yet, why does the leader feel that they have to accomplish these team goals on their own? As an experienced leader, I am here to tell you that you don't have to do it alone, and you don't have to carry the burden of team goals all on your own either!
Brainstorming can help you and your team achieve your goals!
There are so many benefits for leaders that lead their team through effective brainstorming. Yes you have to wear many hats as a leader, and yes it's hard work, but you can be strategic with how you get these goals accomplished. If you are a leader who is lucky enough to have a team working for you, shift your thinking when it comes to what you have to accomplish from an individual effort to a team effort. At the end of the day, a team needs to strive towards the same goals and accomplishments. A leader that promotes team work towards a common goals is a leader that understands the statement "Teamwork makes the dream work". Meaning a team that works together towards accomplishing a goal, stays together. What better way to get your team involved in working together than to accomplish these goals together. Better yet, what better way to accomplish these goals than getting them involved in brainstorming!
What is brainstorming?
I like to describe brainstorming as a process that allows multiple individuals to work together, be creative, and come up with different ideas for a solution to solve a common problem. Brainstorming is a way to take a goal from being a problem that needs to be solved, to a goal that has many options with potential solutions! This is why participating in brainstorming can be beneficial and effective in helping you and your team achieve your team goals!
Now that you know what brainstorming is let's discuss some positive outcomes that you'll experience.
There are so many benefits from brainstorming!
1) You are taking the responsibility (and possibly stress) of accomplishing the goal from one individual and sharing the responsibility with your team.
Remember, even though you are a leader you can ask for help. Don't feel bad about that. That's why you have a team. The goals you have are to make your team better once they are achieved, so why not get them involved in the process!
At the end of the day you hired a team to help you carry the load of work that needs to be done. The burden should not just rest on your shoulders alone. You have a team so they can help you, and so they can help themselves. Encouraging your team to work on team accomplishments along side you is how they can help you as their leader, and help themselves.
2) Your team wants to be involved and know what's going on.
Your team wants to contribute so why not let them? You can do this by involving them and keeping them informed of what's going on.
Communicate team goals, metrics, and how the team is doing compared to your competitors. Your team needs to know where they stand so they can have something to strive for. As a leader it is your job to paint a realistic picture for your team, or else you are not doing your job in communicating realistic expectations.
Also, without communicating realistic expectations how can you set goals for your team to achieve and strive for? Your team will be working blindly without knowing what direction to go in, how much effort they need to put forth each day, and why.
3) Your team is on the front line so who better to help you overcome obstacles than them?
Your team experiences obstacles standing in the way of achieving your team goals and their individual goals on a daily basis. Not only that, they probably talk about these obstacles with each other complaining how these things are standing in their way of progress and accomplishments.
This new collection of information and sharing can shed light on things you didn't even realize were issues or barriers for your team since you are not the one working on the front line like they are.
They say "Knowledge is power" because the more you know what you team is experiencing, the more you will be able to share your expertise to help them overcome their challenges, which will ultimately help you lead your team to success.
It will also enable you to do what a leader should do which is add value to your team. It will also help you to be more in the know and in touch with your team so you can understand what it's like to be in their shoes, so you can advocate for them, and so you can help them to develop further.
4) After brainstorming is complete you and your team will not only learn from one another, but you will all walk away with a number of viable solutions to the obstacles standing in the way of accomplishing your goals.
What if you expressed the need to overcome these obstacles and why? Then after communicating the importance of overcoming these obstacles, what if you asked for their opinion on how the team should move forward?
Could it be possible that your team may have even created work arounds for these obstacles and you don't even know it?
By asking your team to be involved in the brainstorming process they will be able to share their ideas, and you will be able to share the responsibility of achieving team success.
The brainstorming process will allow a space for them to work together as a team and provide ideas to move the team in a new direction based off their knowledge and experiences.
During brainstorming the team can also share what has worked for them in the past or currently, as well as what hasn't. They can share any and all ideas they have, good or bad. The more sharing of ideas the better! It will create momentum and can lead to ideas that can work to potentially accomplishing your goals.
This creates a space for learning, and you are also giving them a chance to provide their input, as well as express themselves.
5) Your team will thank you!
By giving your team a space to share their thoughts, be creative, work together, and come up with solutions, I guarantee they will be thankful for you and for the process.
Employees want to be engaged and what better way to do this then their leader asking for their ideas!
Getting your team involved in brainstorming is a quick and easy way for them to share what they have been thinking, and for you to listen to what they have to say.
They will feel heard and valued regardless if you move forward with their idea or not. As much as it is your job to add value to your team as a leader, it is their job to add value to you and their team as well.
So, whether your team believes in brainstorming or not, if they follow your leadership and give it a chance, they will see the value. The outcome will be a list of their ideas to help solve the issue at hand standing in the way of accomplishing your team's goals!
I hope this has helped you see the value of brainstorming and how it can help you and your team create momentum towards accomplishing your goals. I also hope the benefits of brainstorming are things you are looking forward to experiencing.
With that being said the next blog post will be geared towards how you can lead an effective brainstorming session and what to do next after brainstorming!
All the best!