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How to brainstorm with introverts

Read time: 2 minutes

Brainstorming in large groups isn’t easy.

Often, it's the loudest voices that dominate.

Creating an environment that encourages a free flow of ideas while accommodating diverse personality types can be challenging.

To accommodate introverts (and extroverts equally), I like to use the silent yet powerful technique described below.

It ensures every participant's ideas are heard, and the best ideas can bubble up to the top.

Ideal for groups of any size, this method fosters creativity and collaboration in a tranquil yet dynamic setting.

Whether you're starting a full-day workshop or reviving the group post-lunch, this approach will energize and inspire.


The primary aim is to harness a group's collective creativity while reducing the influence of dominant personalities and potential conflicts.

The method encourages participants to build on each other’s ideas, fostering a collaborative atmosphere where all contributions are noted and valued.


Put posters (flip chart paper) around the room and write a topic or question on each.

Ensure plenty of space between each poster, allowing multiple people to interact simultaneously.

Consider varying the topics or questions on each poster to stimulate a broader spectrum of ideas.


Set a timer for between 10 to 20 minutes, tailored to the group size and the complexity of the topics.

Each participant gets ready to roll with a block of Post-it notes and a marker.

If you have enough colours of Post-its give each person their own colour so you can easily see who has written what after.

Step 1 - Brainstorming

Participants walk around the room silently, contributing their ideas to the stated problems/topics by affixing Post-it notes to the relevant posters.

Encourage a "yes and" approach. Participants should look to expand on each other’s ideas constructively rather than focusing on errors and flaws.

Step 2 - Theming & Debrief

After brainstorming, I like to divide participants into smaller teams to analyze the different posters.

Invite them to group the ideas into themes. Then, get them to share their results with the group.

The whole group discussion will likely promote further discussion and refinement of ideas. As ideas come up, add them to the posters.

Virtual Sessions

To adapt this activity to a virtual setting, use an online whiteboarding tool that supports a large, zoomable canvas, such as Mural or Miro.

Arrange each topic in distinct sections of the virtual board, mimicking the physical setup.

Invite people to contribute their ideas while maintaining the silent, collaborative nature of the activity.


Remember, when you use this introvert-friendly brainstorming technique, you are guaranteed to engage all participants equally.

That helps you foster a productive, inclusive environment and maximizes the group's creative potential.

It’s also incredibly easy to run as a facilitator, which is a nice little bonus.

Well, that’s it for today.

I hope you enjoyed it.

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About the Author

Nick Martin helps leaders & consultants improve team results with resources, advice & coaching through