Six Thinking Hats – Effective Way of Conducting Meetings

six thinking hats

The Six Thinking Hats method may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past twenty three hundred years

I’ve just quoted the first line of the preface of the book “Six Thinking Hats” by Edward de Bono. The Six Hats method is an amazingly simple technique based on the brain’s distinct ways of thinking.

Brainstorming sessions or meetings are unavoidable part of our life. However, mostly these produce no results and waste lot of time. This technique, named as Six Thinking Hats by its founder Edward de Bon, is thinking from different perspectives about a decision to be made. This forces you to think outside your habitual way of thinking and helps you to get an overall view of a situation.

Lot of people mostly think from a critical or negative point of view. On the other hand, many successful individuals think from a very positive viewpoint. However, it becomes difficult for them to analyze the issue from various angles like intuition, emotion, creativity, etc. This may result in unnecessary attachment to a plan and thus underestimating the opposition, if you’re too positive about it. Similarly, cynics may be excessively defensive and emotional individuals may fail to look at the problem rationally with peace of mind.

How to use the method and what each hat denotes?

White Hat – Everyone in the meeting just thinks and analyses data, information, past trends, facts and figures.

Red Hat – You look at the problem using gut feeling, emotions and intuition without caring about logical reasoning

Black Hat – looks at the negative points, possible flaws, risks and thus helps in creating a contingency plan and helps in eliminating the week points of a plan.

Yellow Hat – it talks about good things and thus presents an optimistic point of view. It helps in gloomy situation when no one is ready to think about positive outcomes.

Green Hat – it signifies creativity, hence coming up with out of box solutions to a problem.

Blue Hat – person wearing blue hat directs the group on usage of various hats. Normally, the chairman of a meeting assumes this role.

The book Six Thinking Hats (flipkart affiliate link) is worth reading to understand proper way of using this powerful technique. I’ve given the affiliate link of flipkart, in case you would like to order it online.

Edward de Bono has written many books but according to me some of his amazingly superb and game changing books are –

Do you like reading such lateral thinking books? Have you read any such book? What’s your take on such books?

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