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Six thinking hats

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“Thinking is the ultimate human resource. Yet we can never be satisfied with our most important skill. No matter how good we become, we should always want to be better”
Edward de Bono
In his book "Six Thinking Hats" Edward de Bono presents a simple but effective way to become a better thinker. He separates thinking into six distinct modes, identified with six coloured "thinking hats"
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Six thinking hats

  1. 1. The six thinking hats of Edward de Bono
  2. 2. Edward de Bono “Thinking is the ultimate human resource. Yet we can never be satisfied with our most important skill. No matter how good we become, we should always want to be better”
  3. 3. Six thinking hats In his book "Six Thinking Hats" Edward de Bono presents a simple but effective way to become a better thinker. He separates thinking into six distinct modes, identified with six coloured "thinking hats"
  4. 4. Control Thinking
  5. 5. The blue hat stands for process, control, or taking an overview. Think of the blue sky over us. Wearing the blue hat means taking a wider, higher perspective to ensure you are addressing the right issue.
  6. 6. What is our focus? What thinking is needed? What have we done so far? What do we do next?
  7. 7. Information Facts
  8. 8. The white hat is neutral, objective and non- emotional. White is effectively colourless. Focus instead on the facts and figures, on the data and information available. You try to extrapolate trends from historical data and search for gaps in the knowledge
  9. 9. What information do we have? What information do we need?
  10. 10. BENEFITS HARMONY
  11. 11. Black hat thinking The black hat is gloomy and negative. You take time to look at the risks and why a proposed solution will fail. Black hat thinking helps to make plans tougher, more resilient. It can help you to spot fatal flaws. It can be over-used.
  12. 12. What problems could we face? What are the potential risks? What might go wrong with this? What are the weaknesses?
  13. 13. Exercise Look at the picture on the following page and then using each of the different hats, complete the exercise Use post-it notes, working first silently, then as a group
  14. 14. Remember • White hat: factual, describes what is there • Red hat: intuitive, expresses how one feels when one sees the object • Green hat: creative, comes up with ideas • Black hat: negative, sees what is wrong with everything • Yellow hat: positive, sees what is good in everything • Blue hat: controls the process, runs the discussion, decides which hat to put on when
  15. 15. 2 minutes…
  16. 16. Blue hat: In which order should the group “wear” the other 5 hats? ______________ White hat: Whose car is in the picture?_________________________ How fast can it go?________________________ How many different vehicles does this character have? __________ Green hat: List 3 ways that you could get such a car assuming that you cannot buy it. ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ Yellow hat: What are the potential benefits to each of the green hat ideas? __________________________________________________ Black hat: Of the 3 ways mentioned above, which is the least likely to succeed? Why?_______________________________________________ What problems could you encounter with this plan? ____________________________ Red hat: Would you like to own such a car?________________________ Which plan should your group go with?___________________

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