You’ve probably heard that when you’re brainstorming, criticizing others’ ideas will kill creativity and enthusiasm. But the truth is, when done right, criticism can encourage collaboration and help your team get to better ideas. Here’s how. If you see a weakness in something a colleague has proposed, don’t simply say, “This will never work.” Acknowledge their idea, explain the problem with it, and then propose an improvement. Someone else should do the same for your suggestion, and then another colleague should do the same for theirs. Similarly, when you like someone’s idea, don’t just say, “Great suggestion!” and take it as-is. Look for ways to collectively build on the idea and make it even better. This kind of constructive interaction can create a deep cycle of critical feedback that leads to breakthroughs. That’s why you’re brainstorming, after all — to get to great ideas together.

This tip is adapted from “Why Criticism Is Good for Creativity,” by Roberto Verganti and Don Norman

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