I came across this interesting article today, “The Power of Divergent and Convergent Thinking Guide Your Group’s Thinking Process to New Heights of Productivity,” from SmartStorming. It discusses two types of thinking that are equally important in brainstorming and collaboration.
The first, divergent thinking is considered “thinking out the box” where the imagination runs wild and possibilities are endless. This allows for fresh and innovative ideas to come into play. The second, convergent thinking is more of a narrowing or filtering process of analyzing and judging the ideas to find the best ones to use in relation to the task at hand. This is considered “in the box thinking.”
When mind mapping, both divergent and convergent thinking are used as well in creating maps. Mind mapping allows you to brain dump all your ideas on the map initially and then, after, be able to evaluate and organize which ideas to use.
One suggestion would be to start with a central topic and then add floating topics around the central topic with whatever thoughts come to mind even if they seem random. Then, you can decide which subtopics to keep and begin to draw branches, group topics, and create subtopics. This way you make sure to use divergent brainstorming by not drawing branches right at first, since that would lead you into convergent thinking.