The Six Thinking Hats framework provides a structured and comprehensive approach to solving problems and making decisions by using different ways of thinking, represented by different colored hats.
The Six Thinking Hats is a powerful analyzing and decision-making framework that utilizes several mindsets, represented by different colored hats, while approaching a problem or idea. By using this technique, individuals and groups can explore different perspectives, consider a wide range of possibilities and ultimately come up with more creative and effective solutions.
Edward De Bono, a Maltese doctor, psychologist and author, developed this technique. He is renowned for his work on creative thinking and problem-solving. Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats technique has been widely adopted in various fields, including business, education, healthcare and government, helping to facilitate productive and organized thinking.
The Six Thinking Hats technique is a versatile framework used in brainstorming sessions, team meetings, conflict resolution, strategic planning, and innovation, leading to comprehensive thinking and effective solutions.
How to use it
The Six Thinking Hats technique consists of different colored “thinking hats” that represent various types of thinking. Each hat represents its own perspective, allowing individuals to explore a problem or idea from multiple angles. These hats are:
|White Hat||The white hat represents objective and neutral thinking, where you focus on facts and information, in order to be impartial and consider all available data.|
|Red Hat||The red hat is all about emotional thinking. When you put this hat on, it’s time to explore your feelings and intuition without the need to justify them. Let your emotions and gut reactions guide you, and express your thoughts freely. It’s like stepping back and focusing on your emotional response to the problem or situation.|
|Black Hat||The black hat is responsible for critical thinking. When you wear this hat, you will be identifying potential problems and challenges. You’ll want to consider all the potential risks and obstacles that could be on your way to achieving the goal.|
|Yellow Hat||The yellow hat brings optimistic thinking, where the focus is on exploring opportunities and possibilities and identifying potential benefits and advantages. It’s like always looking for the good things in any situation and finding the silver lining in every cloud. With the yellow hat, you’ll approach the problem or situation with a positive mindset and an eye for potential opportunities.|
|Green Hat||The green hat is all about creative thinking. It means that it is time to generate new ideas and solutions. With this hat on, you’ll explore possibilities and alternatives, looking for fresh perspectives and ways to approach the problem or situation at hand. It’s like being an artist, letting your imagination run wild and free, in order to come up with innovative solutions. So put on your green hat and get ready to unleash your creativity.|
|Blue Hat||Think of the blue hat as your strategic thinking cap. When you put it on, you’ll be focusing on the big picture and figuring out how to organize and optimize the overall process.|
Here’s an example of how a company may use the Six Thinking Hats technique:
A company is experiencing declining sales and wants to find a solution to increase revenue. They use the Six Thinking Hats technique to approach the problem in different ways.
|White Hat||The team gathers all the data about the company’s sales figures, market trends, customer feedback, and competition.|
|Red Hat||In this step, they examine their feelings and hunches about why sales are down. They share their personal opinions and concerns about what might be causing the problem.|
|Black Hat||The team thinks critically about potential obstacles and risks that could prevent the company from increasing sales. They consider factors such as production costs, market saturation, and economic conditions.|
|Yellow Hat||The team focuses on the opportunities and benefits of increasing sales. They brainstorm ways to improve customer satisfaction, expand the client base, and increase sales through new channels.|
|Green Hat||The team generates creative ideas and solutions to increase revenue. They try to think outside the box and explore innovative ways to market the company’s products, such as using social media or collaborating with influencers.|
|Blue Hat||The team plans and organizes the best ideas into a strategic action plan. They consider the feasibility of each idea, potential costs, and expected results. The team leader ensures that the plan is practical and realistic, and assigns tasks to team members in order to execute the plan.|
If you want to make the most out of the Six Thinking Hats technique, it’s important to approach problems with an open mind and be willing to consider different views. Good listening is also crucial, as it helps you understand what is behind every person’s thoughts. Collaboration skills play a big role, as you want to work well with others and build on each other’s ideas. And definitely, having a creative mindset is essential to develop new and innovative solutions.
Do you want to improve these skills? The good news is that you can train them with Storist interactive book summaries! Engage in exploring the best business books and improve your skills together with Storist.