YOU ARE HERE: - Free Training Materials

Free Training Resources, Games, Roleplays, Activities & Downloads

Current Articles

Get Updates to Exercise Database by Email  

Brainstorming Exercise: The Shifting Technique

Brainstorming Exercise: The Shifting Technique
Exercises, Creativity, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 64 Ratings :::: Monday, October 29, 2012


In this exercise delegates learn about an effective brainstorming technique that aims to take advantage of personal and group creativity. In classic brainstorming sessions, some members might feel too shy or threatened to present their ideas or to challenge bad ideas. Another common problem is group think; the group can end up exploring a particular area for solutions and ignore all others by remaining too focused on the current ideas. The Shifting Technique helps you to systematically avoid these issues.


Brainstorm on a problem as a group, then work individually, then brainstorm again based on personal and group ideas identified so far. Repeat as often as necessary.


  • Ask the delegates to pick a topic that they plan to brainstorm on. Ideally they can select a topic related to work so the results are meaningful and the exercise is useful.
  • Ask the delegates to get closer to each other and brainstorm on the topic. They can use any method they like.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
  • Now ask the delegates to spread out and work in private on the problem to come up with more ideas and solutions. They can record their ideas on paper if they wish.
  • Allocate 3 minutes.
  • Bring back everyone together and ask them to present their ideas systematically one by one to the group. Each person has 1 minute to do so. The ideas should then be discussed and considered for another minute.
  • Once everyone has presented, delegates have another 3 minutes to discuss the options in the group and brainstorm for an ideal final solution.
  • Follow with a discussion to highlight the power of this technique.


Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 5 min initial brainstorm + 3 min private thinking + (1*N min presentation of ideas + 1*N discussion of the presented idea + 3 min final discussions) = 27 minutes for 8 people

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


What did you think of the Shifting Technique? Were you able to come up with many more ideas after everyone had a chance to think in private? What did you think of the second brainstorming session after everyone had a chance to think about the problem in their own and bring fresh ideas to the group? Were you able to come up with a better solution in the second brainstorming session than in the first one? What is your overall view of this technique?

Post Rating


Train the Trainer Resources

Get Insights - Read Guides and Books - Attend Courses

Learn Training Delivery


There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.

Post Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)


Enter the code shown above:

Rate = 2.7 out of 5 :::: 64 Ratings.


Full Index of Training Exercises

Collection of 500+

Browse the exercises divided into 7 main groups. 

Course Design Book

Course Design Strategy - Book Front Cover

Course Design Strategy

Available as paperback and ebook

Join 30,000+ Readers.

Download Free Exclusive Training Resources and Join Our Mailing List:

Online Course

Train the Trainer Core Skils Course

Online Train the Trainer Course:
Core Skills

CPD Accredited

Learn How to Become the Best Trainer in Your Field


Full Course Details

Train the Trainer Book

Train the Trainer - Book Front Cover

Available as paperback and ebook

Train the Trainer Courses

Attend Our 2-Day Instructor-Led Train the Trainer Course

Book Early to Get Discounts.


We Offer Fixed-Price In-House Courses Too.


Train the Trainer Self Study Course

Body Language Guide

Free Giveaway Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Download Free Training Marterials