It is well known that our physiology can affect our psychology. If our posture is more positive then our thinking is more positive.
Researchers Slepian and Ambady report an experiment in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. They had some subjects move their arms in big fluid movements and other subjects moved their arms in short, precise movements.
Then everyone took a creativity test. The people in the first group with the fluid movements scored 24% higher in their creativity scores.
So before your next idea generation session try this gestures exercise. Get everyone to stand up and move away from each other. They then make gestures following your instructions:
This little icebreaker should be short, energetic and fun. It will raise energy levels and affect how people think and behave. You can refer back to it later as you run the brainstorm sessions. You can use the gestures as you encourage people to be open to ideas or look in fresh directions. I am sure that you will get more and better ideas.
Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.