Facilitator’s ABC: how to think

Cord Oliver Molthan attitude, creativity, facilitation

T = Lateral Thinking

Rightness is what matters in vertical thinking. Richness is what matters in lateral thinking. Vertical thinking selects a pathway by excluding other pathways. Lateral thinking does not select but seeks to open up other pathways. With vertical thinking one selects the most promising approach to a problem, the best way of looking at a situation. With lateral thinking one generates as many alternative approaches as one can. …….. Edward de Bono, Lateral Thinking p. 38 Penguin Books 1970

A good description of what it is and what it is not. But how do you do it? How do you train yourself at generating as many approaches as possible? How do you train yourself at opening up instead of selecting? John Cleese says, that amongst others, creating a clearly defined space in time and space helps to facilitate the brain’s ability to think laterally. At the beginning this takes some logistic effort to setup. As time goes by, interestingly enough, this space can be an imagined space, no logistics needed, and beautifully fulfills it’s purpose within the fraction of a second. Experience & insight: repetition eases the exercise & lateral thinking is a habit!