In the Spotlight – Remote Brainstorming

When it comes to working with your teams, just because you’re not in the same room doesn’t mean you still can’t brainstorm with one another. In this issue of In The Spotlight, we feature Yasmin Khater, Founder of Sales Story Method. Here she shares  top tips with you on how to be effective at remote brainstorming.

Yasmin’s spotlight comments:

As individuals across the globe are in a state of isolation or working from home, a lot of people are struggling with adapting to the new changes, with sourcing for new tools and having to look at processes of how they did things automatically.
 
One of the biggest aspects of working in any team is the ability to brainstorm, however when you are working remotely, you can’t take advantage of sitting in a room, or using a Post-its, white board, or any other tool you enjoy.
 
After working remotely for nearly 6 years, I wanted to share with you 5 steps to be effective at remote brainstorming and the digital tools to help you get there.
 
I have also compiled a full resource list of tools  entitled Ultimate Virtual Sales Guide that you could use to effectively sell and work remotely.

5 Steps to be Effective at Remote Brainstorming

1. Brainstorm separately:

To get started each person should spend time brainstorming separately. The reason why in psychology there is a phenomena called “groupthink” where when a team comes together, they start to think like one another. Oftentimes the lack of innovation happens because we get into tunnel vision.

So it’s better to come up with ideas and present them on the call.

2. Appoint a facilitator and a note taker:

As in a regular brainstorm, the process is messy so it’s good to appoint a facilitator to help navigate the process and direct what to do.

One often missed opportunity is having a note taker capture key words and key lessons so that everyone can be in flow. Instead of a person, I LOVE using Cisco Webex tool voicea.com, this tool has changed my life. I use it for writing articles (like this one) and it automatically transcribes everything you say.

But in a brainstorm what you can do is configure voicea.com to capture words like “great idea”, “we should explore that further”, “that’s something we should follow up on” and in less than 10 minutes after the meeting, it will send you the summary points or the full meeting transcribed.

3. Set up a video call:

Ideation and brainstorming best happen with other people. I highly recommend using the video as this helps build connection, momentum and allows you to pick up on non verbal communication.

There are a ton of tools like CISCO webexGoogle HangoutMicrosoft Teams or Zoom you can hop on and share screen. There has been a lot of security challenges with Zoom, so if you don’t have something that is confidential, it’s a great tool. If you do, then you may want to use Microsoft Teams or CISCO webex instead.

4. Use an online whiteboard:

As humans we are visual beings, so a whiteboard should be your best friend in remote brainstorming. Visual brainstorming, mind-mapping, and post-it notes help others see more possibilities to achieve the task at hand.

Now, what’s great is most video tools will have a whiteboard, but my favourite is Miro just because there are so many features that you can use to replicate a real life brainstorming environment. Miro also have tons of templates so it makes the brainstorming also quite beautiful, you can switch between various techniques, use different models to help you achieve your brainstorming goals.
 
5. Follow up through a communication channel:

Does the company use slack, whatsapp, facebook workplace, facebook group or a project management tool like clickup or asana?

Use these platforms to help you post brainstorms as often times people will get surges of inspiration and they can continue to share.

There are many, many ways to refer business and to get business referrals.  Remember you must know, like and TRUST the person you are giving referrals to.  Their subsequent delivery of the service will impact on your reputation just as much as if you delivered the service.  Make sure they are going to do a good job before you refer business to them.

About Yasmin Khater

Lindsay Portrait-500Yasmin Khater coaches and trains senior leaders and sales teams in over 100 MNCs, governments and entrepreneurs use stories to stand out, attract more customers, inspire their team and grow their business (and careers). 
 
She is the founder of the Sales Story Method, the Host of the Sales Story Podcast and developed the 30 Day Fearless Challenge to help leaders unleash their courage.
 
Armed with a degree in psychology, she is an aspiring “armchair” neuroscientist who loves to study how to improve sales by applying discoveries about the brain.
 
Want to stand out, become a better storyteller in time of covid, email her at yasmin@salesstorymethod.com

Don’t forget to download your copy of the Ultimate Virtual Sales Guide here.

Book 3D Grey Background