Dr. Edward de Bono pioneered the framework of Six Thinking Hats where a team can use the same thinking style for a period of time, then rotates through a series of thinking styles to capture diverse style but doing so in parallel to avoid creative conflict.
Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. It is a powerful tool set, which once learned can be applied immediately!
How it works?
You and your team members can learn how to separate thinking into six clear functions and roles. Each thinking role is identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat”. By mentally wearing and switching the “hats”, you can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversion, or the meeting.
The White Hat calls for information known or needed. It covers listening, questioning, and defining the information related to the project or question at hand. Under this hat, you can analyze existing information and past trends and see what you can learn from it.
The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. It helps you to think positively about potential outcomes, seek the merits of an idea, and reach an optimistic assessment of how it can work. Under this hat, you will explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
The Black Hat, also known as risk management hat that signifies risks, difficulties, and problems. It makes us consider the reasons why something may not work, why it may be illegal, why it may go wrong, or why it’s not worth doing but the reason must be logical, inherently an action hat with the intent to point out issues of risk with intent to overcome them.
The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches, and intuition. It gives permission to forward hunches without needing to justify them. When using this hat, you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. Under this hat, you can express new concepts and new perceptions as it provide a safe space for you to think creatively.
The Blue Hat is used to build, manage, and conclude the thinking process. It’s the control mechanism that ensures the Six Thinking Hats guidelines are observed.
Click the link below to read Part #2 of this article.