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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Vineet Patawari

Hi, I'm Vineet Patawari. I fell in love with numbers after being scared of them for quite some time. Now, I'm here to make you feel comfortable with numbers and help you get rid of Math Phobia!

One thought to “Six Thinking Hats – Effective Way of Conducting Meetings”

  1. I dont know why people are afraid to think differently. Its because I myself dont have the courage to do so.
    We are taught so well and so repeatedle to follow one path from childhood that
    our PARENT is so strong we suppress the CHILD to try different paths and fail repeatedly.
    It is like our ancestors are afraid of darkness. We still carry that fear out of instinct.
    Even thought we have so many ways of creating light, we still are afaid of darkness!
    We are accustomed to fear! As I make this statement my hair is standing on their head..
    Even the great philosopher J. Krishnamurthi asked to confront fear as it exists. Realise the existence of fear. Experience it as it is. Then you can learn to live with it, rather than trying to get away from it, running away from it.
    It is a true gift if anyone can wear more than two hats at a time. He must be a genius or..

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