Lateral Thinking

edward de Bono NLP

Edward de Bono gave rise to the thinking around Lateral thinking. He never actually mentions how you do it though. That’s where NLP comes in so beautifully and adds to his tremendous work. Lateral thinking will be the process of chunking up and then looking for other examples: For example “for what intentions cars?”, “transportation”, “what are other examples of transportation?” “Buses!” Chunking in NLP is Changing a perception by moving a “chunk”, or a group of bits of information, in the direction of a Deductive or Inductive conclusion through the use of language.

Chunking up or down allows the speaker to use certain language patterns, to utilise the natural internal process through language, to reach for higher meanings or search for more specific bits/portions of missing information.When we “Chunk Up” the language gets more abstract and there are more chances for agreement, and when we “Chunk Down” we tend to be looking for the specific details that may have been missing in the chunk up.

As an example if you ask the question “for what purpose cars?” you may get the answer “transport”, which is a higher chunk and more toward abstract. If you asked “what specifically about a car”? you will start to get smaller pieces of information about a car.

Lateral thinking will be the process of chunking up and then looking for other examples: For example “for what intentions cars?”, “transportation”, “what are other examples of transportation?” “Buses!”

Chunking up

We can chunk up by asking:

What is a chair an example of? (seating)

What sort of thing is a chair? (a type of comfort device)

Chunking down

We can chunk down by asking:

What is an example of a chair?

For instance?

What is a chair made of?

Chunking across (Lateral Thinking)

We can chunk across by asking (after chunking up):

What’s is another example of a chair? A milk crate – a shooting stick – a stump of a tree – the place where the pituitary gland sits