Six Thinking Hats

Background: The Six Thinking Hats method was invented by Dr. Edward de Bono in the early 1980s as a parallel thinking process aimed at making its users more productive, focused, and mindfully involved as a group. De Bono has organized a network of authorized trainers qualified to teach the Six Thinking Hats method.

Six Thinking Hats

Description: The Six Thinking Hats method identifies six modes of thinking, which are meant to be directed in parallel at the problem at hand. This parallel thinking approach proactively discourages and replaces the argumentative approach in which members of a group advocate for opposing solutions.

Each thinking mode is identified by a color and defined by the role it plays in the process of problem solving. Once the participants understand and can perform the required thinking functions, they proceed to address the problem at hand, all working cooperatively toward the same objective, performing their thinking roles as required.

The hats or thinking modes, when used proactively separate ego from performance, so that everyone works toward a goal rather than in defense of a position.

The White Hat presses the need to gather information that is known and to find facts that are needed.

The Yellow Hat probes for and illuminates the value and benefits of ideas under consideration.

The Black Hat acts as devil's advocate, looking for and introducing reasons why an idea may not work.

The Red Hat expresses the feelings and emotions associated with the ideas on the table.

The Green Hat generates new possibilities, better alternatives, and new ideas, as they arise spontaneously or in response to other ideas.

The Blue Hat manages the thinking process toward the objective, assuring that the Six Thinking Hats guidelines are observed.

Where to Learn Six Thinking Hats

The de Bono Group

De Bono Thinking Systems Distributors

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