Sunday, June 6, 2010

Is Women's Lateral Thinking Illogical? What Do You Think?

OOPS! I promised last week that I’d blog this week about women and parallel thinking. Soon after, I realized the term that Dorner (author of The Logic of Failure) had used was lateral thinking. Then I realized I know nothing about either topic, but that didn’t discourage me. I ‘m hoping some intelligent readers out there know more than I do and can contribute some enlightened comments.

I have to say that reading the following information, from a web site discussing Edward de Bono’s theory and books and putting it together with Dorner’s opinion that women’s lateral think may well be better for the new world than men’s parallel thinking, I’m wondering if this is a strange back-handed compliment —  particularly the first definition about “illogical”.

 Here’s the definition from Edward de Bono’s authorized web site.

“Lateral Thinking is:
    seeking to solve problems by apparently illogical means
    a process and willingness to look at things in a different way
    a relatively new type of thinking that complements analytical and critical thinking not part of our mainstream education - yet
    a fast, effective tool used to help individuals, companies and teams solve tough problems and create new ideas, new products, new processes and new services.
    a term that is used interchangeably with creativity"

Yes, I am perhaps a more defensive woman than many, but because we often think differently than men doesn’t mean our thinking is illogical. It’s just different.  Because men generally are invested in the status quo, or, their historical ways of thinking, women’s way of thinking can be perceived by them as “less than". I have to say I find that seriously bothersome.

Then again, when I think of the techniques that I suggest for getting rid of negative thinking, such as detachment, there's a certain counter-intuitive, maybe illogical thinking that's in effect after all. H-m-m-m.

 What do you think?
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