Better mental health? Try brainstorming for questions

Better mental health? Try brainstorming for questions

At Let’s Get Healthy we are massive fans of positive psychology and its ability to help people flourish in a fast paced, busy and at times, tough world.

Many of our clients feel that they are in back to back meetings, saying the same thing over and over again, listening to the same voices and going home tired with their heads just buzzing with information overload and on some days a tad bruised.

As part of the resilience campaigns we design to help mental health and performance, we ask learners to try new tools and techniques, many from the world of positive psychology which looks at the world slightly differently.

Brainstorming for questions rather than answers is an example. Doing this makes it easier to push past cognitive biases and venture into uncharted territory. By looking at a different way of gathering ideas, peoples will adopt a more creative habit of thinking and when they’re looking for breakthroughs, gives them a sense of control.

If you make it a regular practice in your meetings, it can foster a stronger culture of collective problem solving and truth seeking.

Remember to have great mental health at work we want all environments including meetings to be non-threatening and leave everybody in control so providing an overview of questions to ask in advance can help your first session.

There are great authors such as New Hallowell and Hal Gregersen who share brilliant research on which techniques work best and why:

  • Questions are most productive when they are open versus closed, short versus long, and simple versus complex
  • Descriptive questions (what’s working? what’s not? why?) best precede speculative ones (what if? what might be? why not?)
  • Shifting from simple questions that require only recall to more cognitively complex ones that demand creative synthesis produces better breakthrough thinking
  • Questions are annoying and distracting when they don’t spring from a deeply held conviction about what the group wants to achieve

For more information of how to improve mental health in the workplace check out