What\u2019s the best warm-up to kick off a productive brainstorming session? A recent Harvard Business Review article \u201cResearch: For Better Brainstorming, Tell an Embarrassing Story\u201d reveals a trick to generating more ideas with your compatriots at work. (A warning: depending on your temperament, you may find yourself blushing uncontrollably when you read it.)\n\nIt appears that telling an embarrassing story before brainstorming with colleagues results in more ideas, and ones that are especially creative. How do we know? Researchers Leigh Thompson, Elizabeth Ruth Wilson and Brian Lucas considered whether it is possible to prime people in advance for better brainstorming sessions. In their first experiment, they asked a set of participants to describe a recent time they felt embarrassed; a second group was asked to describe a time when they felt proud. Participants were then asked to spend 10 minutes coming up with unexpected uses for a paper clip.