Research: For better results tell and embarrassing story before brainstorming

Leigh Thompson, a management professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, conducted a study in which one group shared embarrassing stories about themselves, while another group shared positive stories. Then, both groups were instructed to brainstorm for 10 minutes.

Guess what? The group who told embarrassing stories generated 26% more ideas. Ultimately, openness and candidness among your participants could help foster stronger, more creative brainstorming.

Key takeaway - to set the tone, consider asking each participant to share an embarrassing or funny story about themselves at the beginning of a brainstorm. It helps to foster openness, trust, and a sense of silliness - which are all critical ingredients for increased creativity.