The Six Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats is a simple but powerful method for decision making and improving communication.

It is typically used in groups. However, it can be equally powerful when used by an individual properly.

Usually decisions are made in a soup of jumbled feelings, facts and data, negative and positive effects and alternatives.

Edward De Bono explains that the thinking hats are about looking at issues from different perspectives—one at a time. This helps put each aspect of decision making into a nice little compartment.

Once each of the aspects has been put into a compartment, the resistances and reasoning can be dissected, analyzed and understood.

The premise is that ones thinking becomes clearer when the different “hats” are brought into the open. This promotes better understanding of what is really driving a decision.

In other words it is separating the right brain left brain components of decision making for inspection and improvement.

    Each of the thinking hats is used as follows:

* The white hat only look at the facts and data of the decision.
* Under the red hat feelings are expressed about the issue.
* The black hat is for looking at the negative effects of the decision.
* The yellow hat is for looking at the positive effects of the decision.
* The green hat is for thinking about alternatives.
* The blue hat is for clarifying which kind of thinking is going on.

A Shift in Thinking

The thinking hats are a significant shift in thinking about issues.  It is a way of reviewing ideas and concepts from multiple view points.

It can be used to get out of the box and see the world from different perspectives.


“The biggest enemy of thinking is complexity, for that leads to confusion. When thinking is clear and simple, it becomes more enjoyable and more effective. The Six Thinking Hats concept is very simple to understand. It is also very simple to use.” ~ Edward De Bono

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