What is Lateral Thinking?

Lateral thinking involves looking at a problem from many different angles rather than just tackling the problem head on. It involves thinking outside of the box and being creative when coming up with the answers and discarding the obvious and any preconceptions you may have. This is a skill that can be continually worked on at all ages.


Lateral thinking can be incorporated into many parts of our lives. When we were children it was so easy to be creative and use our imagination, but as we age it becomes increasingly more difficult so it seems. It is important though to continue using the right side of our brain as we age and keep the creative juices going.

Lateral thinking is beneficial for jobhunting as well as everyday life situations. When you are looking for a job, lateral thinking can help you think more originally making you stand out to potential employers. Rather than going the traditional way of dropping of CV's, try and come up with unique ways of presenting it. One jobseeker used his CV as a chocolate bar wrapper and was offered a job from 2 of the employers.

Here are a few examples of problems that involve lateral thinking. The answers are at the bottom of the article.

Random situations:

Problem 1: Unsticking a car lock on a cold night. (See answer below)

Problem 2:How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live?

Problem 3:There are six eggs in the basket. Six people each take one of the eggs. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

These are a few ways of working on your lateral thinking if you get a chance.

Practice Makes Perfect

Lateral thinking involves looking at a situation in a new and creative way. In order to become more efficient at it is through practice. Simply look online for various exercises that you can practice and try and come up with solutions to. Better yet, find a friend to work through different problems with you and see what you can work out. Here are a few websites to get you started.



Solution 1: Heat the key or unfreeze the lock with alcohol.

Solution 2:The baby fell out of a ground floor window.

Solution 3: The last person took the basket with the last egg still inside.

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