Whether you work in an office, at home, or a hybrid of the two, there’s a lot to be said for teamwork. Regardless of the industry you work in, collaborating with your colleagues helps encourage active listening, communication and teamwork skills, as well as empathy. In turn, these vital soft skills help raise productivity, boost morale and spark inspiration in the workplace.

One way teams often come together at work is in your typical brainstorming session. Whether you're meeting online or working out the nuts and bolts of a big project with your colleagues in the office, knowing how to work effectively with a team is essential. Improve your teamwork skills and get the most out of your team with these clever tips.

Team Building Tips #1: For Optimum Collaboration, Plan Ahead

Not only can brainstorming sessions be an effective way of bringing employees together to tackle a shared problem or kickstart a project, they can also build cohesion and strengthen working relationships. Giving people enough time to individually prepare for brainstorming sessions will reap far better quality ideas. Flagging your workshop at least a day before it takes place means your team can pull together research and references that will strengthen their pitches. 

POST-IT® TIP: Give each team member a “brainstorming pack” – new writing tools, highlighters and different-sized Post-it® notes for jotting down ideas. Getting people to write ideas down privately and then bring them into the meeting is a great way to spark conversation and get the ball rolling.

Team Building Tips #2: Make Use of Visual Aids

In addition to doodling, don’t underestimate the power of a visual aid. Using sticky notes, for example, is an easy and effective way to record and organise ideas. You can even colour code them to categorise topics as you work through a solution with your team. 

Post-it® Super Sticky Notes help make light work of all those lightbulb moments. With twice the sticking power, they’ll keep all your ideas secure in the one place, even on vertical surfaces. And, since they come in a rainbow-bright variety of hues, it’s easy to jot down thoughts and group them into themes. 

When big ideas need an even bigger space for scribbling on, try the super-sized Wall Pads, or a Post-it® Dry Erase Surface. The wall-mountable pad has 20 adhesive sheets, so you can sketch and scribble your ideas on them, then peel off and reposition them individually. To use the adhesive surface you simply unroll, peel, then stick it almost anywhere, and you have your very own dry erase board wherever you need it. 

Team Building Tips #3: Shake Things Up

Finding your brainstorming sessions are getting a little… stale? It happens! If the same team is always collaborating, why not make an effort to add new people with different backgrounds and perspectives to the group who can challenge the status quo. This can be a helpful way to gain a unique perspective and constructive feedback from other parts of the business, plus help employees expand their working relationships.

The benefits of mixing things up also speak for themselves. Research by Atlassian suggests 80% of employees are more likely to report higher emotional wellbeing when working in a team that encourages cross-functional collaboration, openness and inclusion.

POST-IT® TIP: Have each member of your brainstorming crew spend five minutes at the start of the session writing down their key ideas on a Post-it® Super Sticky Note. Then, at the end of the allotted time, have them pass their note to another team member, who fleshes out the first idea with suggestions of their own. It’s an easy way to foster collaboration, and further understand how other people think.

SEE ALSO: Ask an Expert: How to Lead a Team – No Matter How Small

Team Building Tips #4: Put Pen to Paper

Whether you’re getting together virtually on Zoom or sitting in the same meeting room at work, consider incorporating handwriting sessions and scribbling time into your brainstorming session. Putting pen to paper can help unlock creativity and get you thinking differently about things. 

In fact, braindrawing (or brainsketching) – where participants doodle down their ideas – can encourage people to think more visually, which might work in your favour. According to experts, sketching and interpreting drawings ignites the part of your brain responsible for idea generation

POST-IT® TIP: Have each team member take a turn at assuming responsibility for writing ideas discussed in a group on a Post-it® Dry Erase Surface at the front of the room. Seeing their thoughts down in writing will encourage different ideas.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Affinity Diagrams for Productivity

Team Building Tips #5: Set Time Limits for Brainstorming Sessions

 Keeping watch of the time with a countdown timer can help to keep your team on track during brainstorming sessions.‍

Keeping collaborative sessions shorter helps everyone stay engaged. For maximum efficiency, try limiting sessions to 30 minutes to keep attention spans razor sharp and prevent minds from wandering. Set a countdown on either your smartphone or use a kitchen timer and get down to business.

The best ideas come from open and supportive environments, so encourage your team to share their thoughts without fear of criticism. And remember to consider everything – even the most seemingly outlandish ideas can inspire!

POST-IT® TIP: Help direct conversation by creating a process flow diagram. Write each step of the process on a separate Post-it® note, stick them to an accessible surface in the order they need to be done and assign each task to a team member with a sticky page marker.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: The Best Ways to Keep Employees Happy, Healthy and Productive