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Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats is a powerful decision-checking technique in group situations, as everyone explores the situation from each perspective at the same time. This technique was created by Edward de Bono in 1985.

The Six Thinking Hats is a powerful decision-checking technique in group situations, as everyone explores the situation from each perspective at the same time. This technique was created by Edward de Bono in 1985.

It forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style and to look at things from a number of different perspectives. This allows you to get a more rounded view of your situation.

Six Thinking Hats – Six Styles of Thinking

As you can see, each ‘Thinking Hat’ is a different style of thinking:

When you wear the White Hat: you focus on the available data. Looking at the information that you have, analyzing past trends, and seeing what you can learn from it.

When you wear a Red Hat: you are looking at problems using your intuition and emotions.

When you wear a Black Hat: you are looking at a decision’s potentially negative outcomes. This hat allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.

When you wear the Yellow Hat: you need to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

The Green Hat represents creativity. This is where you develop creative solutions to a problem.

Finally, with the Blue Hat you are directing the process, you have the control to move from one hat to another.

Six Thinking Hats: How to Use It

When teaching a group, explain to the group members, what the Six Thinking Hats technique is. Make sure you choose someone to coordinate the session. The members of the group will choose a hat and discuss the problem-solving idea taking into account the hat they are wearing. After each of the members of the group has participated, ask the members to change hats and continue until all the members have had the opportunity to wear several hats.

As a conclusion, make a final wrap up session with the main ideas develop during the session.

Try this activity, you will be surprised!

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