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The Six Thinking Hats

Overview of the Six Thinking Hats Training

Six Thinking Hats is the proven technique from Edward de Bono, the creative thinking guru. Sometimes referred to as ‘6 hats’ or 'the six hats of thinking', these techniques focus on enhancing the structure of thinking so that group decision making and idea evaluation can be dramatically improved.

The Six Thinking Hats use parallel thinking as an alternative to (and not a replacement for) traditional ways of thinking. However, this way of thinking is often much more productive than adversarial thinking, discussion or debate. There are six different coloured hats that can be put on or taken off to indicate a mode or strand of thinking. Only one hat is worn at any one time by the individual or group (in parallel) allowing more thorough, expansive thinking, increased creativity, and decision-making.

Six Thinking Hats is a time-tested, proven, and practical thinking tool. It provides a framework to help people think clearly and thoroughly by directing their thinking attention in one direction at a time - white hat facts, green hat creativity, yellow hat benefits, black cautions, red hat feelings, and blue hat process.

It's a simple mental metaphor. Hats are easy to put on and to take off. Each hat is a different colour which signals the mode of thinking. In a group setting each member thinks using the same thinking hat, at the same time, on the same thinking challenge—we call this focused parallel thinking.

The Six Thinking Hats

Creativity

Benefits of The Six Thinking Hats:

  • Better, more productive thinking and ideas
  • Improved communication, collaboration and understanding
  • Increased levels of creative thinking and fresh ideas
  • Shorter, more productive and effective meetings

Process

Blue Hat

  1. The Blue Hat focuses on managing the thinking process
  2. Symbolises the Thinking about Thinking
  3. What thinking is needed?
  4. Planning for action.

White Hat

Facts

White Hat

  1. White hat thinking focuses on data, facts, information known or needed
  2. Neutral and objective
  3. What do I know? What do I need to find out?
  4. How will I get the information I need?

Green Hat

Creativity

Green Hat

  1. Green Hat thinking focuses on creativity
  2. Symbolises Creativity
  3. Ideas, Alternatives, Possibilities.
  4. Solutions to 'Black Hat' problems

Red Hat

Feelings

Red Hat

  1. Red Hat thinking focuses on feelings, hunches, gut instict and intuition
  2. My feelings right now
  3. Feelings can change
  4. No reasons are given

Yellow Hat

Benefits

Yellow Hat

  1. Yellow Hat thinking focuses on values and benefits
  2. Symbolises Positives, Plus Points
  3. Logical reasons are given
  4. Why an idea is useful

Black Hat

Cautions

Black Hat

  1. Black Hat thinking focuses on difficulties, potential problems, weakness
  2. Why something may not work
  3. Logical reasons are given
  4. Spotting the risks and dangers
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