“In his excellent brainstorming book, Five Star Mind, author Tom Wujec includes a page on the benefits of thinking aloud. Many of us are deeply scripted in the mindset of the lone entrepreneur, dreaming up breakthrough ideas. But the fact is that having a conversation with someone else is a terrific way to bring new thoughts to life:
‘Conversations give us a chance to refine ideas of which we previously had only a vague concept … We clarify ideas by putting them into words. When we pass ideas back and forth (in a conversation), we create a rhythm in which one remark stimulates another. An off-hand comment prompts a distant memory. Conversations divide and unite unrelated concepts into relevant thoughts. Dialogues become collaborations, a concert of thought, the creation of a common understanding.’
Wujec also cautions that conversations can kill ideas, especially when a lack of symmetry exists between you and another person – such as if the other person is more powerful or is carrying a hidden agenda. He also points out that when we stop listening, we lose the ability to learn.
So the next time you’re trying to come up with some new ideas, why not find a kindred soul to kick some thoughts around? You might be surprised at the results!”