Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on running an effective brainstorming session.
The basic idea of brainstorming is quite simple: you have a problem to solve and you bring together a group of people to generate ideas. You don’t evaluate those ideas immediately, you just want to generate as many ideas as possible. And with the right focus, a good facilitator, and respect for the process, brainstorming can bring out some great ideas.
Today we’ll look at some useful language and techniques for group brainstorming sessions. For facilitators, we’ll look at encouraging more ideas and resisting evaluation. For participants, we’ll cover qualifying your own ideas, introducing an unusual idea, and praising other people’s suggestions.
In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Sally, Melissa, Noah, and Eric, who work for a coffee shop faced with increasing competition. The group is trying to come up with ways of attracting more customers to the shop. Sally is the store manager, and she’s facilitating the session.
1. Melissa introduces an idea that she says might be “a small thing.” What is it?
2. Noah questions Eric’s suggestion about being more creative with product names. How does Sally deal with Noah’s reaction?
3. How does Noah respond to Melissa’s idea about a delivery service?