The Six Thinking Hats method was created by Edward de Bono to help people improve their creative thinking

. In de Bono’s model there are six metaphorical hats and the thinker can put on or take off any of these hats to indicate the type of thinking he or she is using. By putting on different hats, everyone is able to contribute to a discussion without damaging egos as they are just using one of the hats.

White Hat Thinking: This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. If someone says “You need some white hat thinking”, that means “Stop the arguments and look at the facts, see what information you have and what you need.”
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Information people know Information people need How are they going to get that information?

Red Hat Thinking: This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. The red hat allows the thinker to put forward an intuition (a gut feeling – good or bad) without any need for justification.
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Permission to express feelings No need to justify

Black Hat Thinking: This is the hat of judgment and caution. The black hat is used to point out why a suggestion does not fit the facts, the systems, or the process. Black hat is always logical.
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The skeptical view Points out potential problems Points out what doesn’t fit the facts, systems, process

Yellow Hat Thinking: This is the logical positive thinking. Why something will work and what benefits it will bring. It can be used to see the future value of a proposed action, or the value of something that has already happened.
• • The optimistic view Looks for benefits and values

Green Hat Thinking: hat of creativity, alternatives, proposals, new ideas & changes.
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Creative thinking Seeks alternatives Generates new concepts

Blue Hat Thinking: This is the overview or process control hat - thinking about the subject. This is the hat typically worn by meeting facilitators or chairpersons. When reviewing how things are progressing, they would suggest that “more green thinking is needed”, for example.
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Overview of the process Suggest areas the group needs to focus more on

Early in the 1980s Dr. de Bono invented the Six Thinking Hats method. The method is a framework for thinking and can incorporate lateral thinking. Valuable judgmental thinking has its place in the system but is not allowed to dominate as in normal thinking.

Organizations such as Prudential Insurance, IBM, Federal Express, British Airways, Polaroid, Pepsico, DuPont, and Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, possibly the world's largest company, use Six Thinking Hats. The six hats represent six modes of thinking and are directions to think rather than labels for thinking. That is, the hats are used proactively rather than reactively. The method promotes fuller input from more people. In de Bono's words it "separates ego from performance". Everyone is able to contribute to the exploration without denting egos as they are just using the yellow hat or whatever hat. The six hats system encourages performance rather than ego defense. People can contribute under any hat even though they initially support the opposite view. The key point is that a hat is a direction to think rather than a label for thinking. The key theoretical reasons to use the Six Thinking Hats are to:
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encourage Parallel Thinking encourage full-spectrum thinking separate ego from performance

There are six metaphorical hats and the thinker can put on or take off one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking being used. This putting on and taking off is essential. The hats must never be used to categorize individuals, even though their behavior may seem to invite this. When done in group, everybody wear the same hat at the same time. White Hat thinking :This covers facts, figures, information needs and gaps. "I think we need some white hat thinking at this point..." means Let's drop the arguments and proposals, and look at the data base." Red Hat thinking : This covers intuition, feelings and emotions. The red hat allows the thinker to put forward an intuition without any ned to justify it. "Putting on my red hat, I think this is a terrible proposal." Ususally feelings and intuition can only be introduced into a discussion if they are supported by logic. Usually the feeling is genuine but the logic is spurious.The red hat gives full permission to a thinker to put forward his or her feelings on the subject at the moment. Black Hat thinking : This is the hat of judgment and caution. It is a most valuable hat. It is not in any sense an inferior or negative hat. The rior or negative hat. The black hat is used to point out why a suggestion does not fit the facts, the available experience, the system in use, or the policy that is being followed. The black hat must always be logical. Yellow Hat thinking : This is the logical positive. Why something will work and why it will offer benefits. It can be used in looking forward to the results of some proposed action, but can also be used to find something of value in what has already happened. Green Hat thinking :This is the hat of creativity, alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and changes. Blue Hat thinking: This is the overview or process control hat. It looks not at the subject itself but at the 'thinking' about the subject. "Putting on my blue hat, I feel we should do some more green hat thinking at this point." In technical terms, the blue hat is concerned with meta-cognition.

How to Use the Tool
One can use the Six Thinking Hats in group meetings or on their own. In meetings, this method has the benefit of reducing or even eliminating the confrontations that arise when people with different thinking styles discuss the same topic. When done in a group setting, everybody must wear the same hat at the same time, and the hats must never be used to categorize or judge people.

When used for self-development, this tool will help people assess a topic from various perspectives, allowing them to be more thorough and less inclined towards one thinking style only. Who Needs Six Thinking Hats? Anyone who wants:
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A A A A meeting facilitation tool that surfaces hidden agendas and achieves objectives without conflict way to make sure that all sides of an issue are addressed tool that works well in different cultures around the world sharpened ability to think clearly, objectively, systematically, and creatively

HR Professionals Project Managers Meeting Facilitators Engineers New Product Developers

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Team Leaders & Members Trainers & Consultants Sales & Marketing Professionals Advertising & PR Professionals Patent Attorneys

How Might You Use The Six Thinking Hats?
Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective technique your team may use in a variety of applications.
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Facilitation of meetings Preparing for discussions Continuous process improvement New products / new designs Conflict resolution Ethical Decision-Making

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Problem Solving Customer focus groups / interviews Leadership development Presentations Virtual meetings Individual thinking

Six Thinking Hats Training Course Objectives and Outcomes
Six Thinking Hats training participants will show evidence of the following: A marked tendency to identify themselves as thinkers and confidence that they have the ability to cope with and improve their environments Competencies enabling them to solve problems including the ability to:
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identify a problem propose alternative solutions predict the consequences of each alternative assess the usefulness of each set of consequences select the best alternative implement it evaluate it

Competencies enabling them to identify and pursue opportunities including the ability to:
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develop a habit of perceiving events and situations as opportunities identify the benefits/desired outcomes of pursuing each opportunity identify the risks/dangers of pursuing each opportunity design ways to minimize risks and dangers select opportunities based on weighing the benefits against remaining risks design plans for pursuing a selected opportunity

assess and reevaluate plans in progress

Competencies enabling them to think cooperatively including the ability to:
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understand and take on the facilitator role in a group meeting identify and articulate other people's points of view

devise an agenda and demonstrate the necessary discipline to follow it provide for equal participation among group members.

The Six Thinking Hats
White Hat Thinking White Hat thinking focuses on data, facts, information known or needed. Red Hat Thinking Red Hat thinking focuses on feelings, hunches, gut instinct, and intuition. Black Hat Thinking Black Hat thinking focuses on difficulties, potential problems. Why something may not work. Green Hat Thinking Green Hat thinking focuses on creativity: possibilities, alternatives, solutions, new ideas.

Yellow Hat Thinking Yellow Hat thinking focuses on values and benefits. Why something may work.

Blue Hat Thinking Blue Hat thinking focuses on manage the thinking process, focus, next steps, action plans.

By Olivier Serrat Introduction Routinely, many people think from analytical, critical, logical perspectives, and rarely view the world from emotional, intuitive, creative, or even purposely negative viewpoints. As a result, their arguments do not make leaps of imagination, they underestimate resistance to change, or they fail to draw contingency plans. Lateral thinking is reasoning that offers new ways of looking at problems—coming at them from the side rather than from the front—to foster change, creativity, and innovation. One tool of lateral thinking, the Six Thinking Hats technique, was devised by de Bono in1985 to give groups a means to reflect together more effectively, one thing at a time. Six Hats, Six Colors: The Six Thinking Hats technique involves the use of metaphorical hats in discussions. Participants put on hats in turn, possibly more than once but not necessarily all of them, to indicate directions (not descriptions) of thinking. The color of each is related to a function: White hat thinking—neutral, objective—focuses on the data and information that are available/needed. Red hat thinking—emotional—looks at a topic from the point of view of emotions, feelings, and hunches, without having to qualify or justify them. Black hat thinking—somber, serious—uses experience, logic, judgment, and caution to examine the difficulties and problems associated with a topic and the feasibility of ideas. Yellow hat thinking—sunny, positive—is concerned with benefits and values. Applications; Pertinent applications for the Six Thinking Hats technique include team productivity and communication; product and process improvement, as well as project management; critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; and creativity training, meeting facilitation, and meeting management.

Wearing Six Thinking Hats