6 Thinking Hats (de Bono’s)
Brief Description (including a definition if possible)
This method was designed by Edward de Bono and is a group discussion tool which helps to plan thinking processes in a coherent and effective way. It uses the idea that there are six distinct directions in which the brain can think and be challenged, represented by six imaginary coloured hats. Naturally, when we think, we use a mix of these, but the six thinking hats method asks us to artificially adopt a single direction at a time, as a means of fostering productive discussion. By encouraging parallel thinking, it minimizes conflict that can occur when individuals with different thinking styles enter into discussion.
The six hats, and directions of thinking are:
| || Type of thinking|| Focus on
| White|| Objective, neutral thinking in terms of facts, numbers and information.|| The data available.
| Red|| Emotional thinking, with judgements, suspicions and intuitions.|| Looks at problems using intuition, gut reaction and emotion.
| Black hat|| Negative thinking, sees risks and thinks about why something won’t work. Cautious, conservative.|| Tries to see why things might not work.
| Yellow|| Optimistic thinking, sees the bright side of the situation. Seeks to identify benefits and create harmony.|| Sees the benefits of the decision and the value in it.
| Green|| Creative, freewheeling thinking, seeks alternatives. Little criticism of ideas.|| Develops creative solutions to a problem.
| Blue|| Meta ‘manager’ thinking. Looks at the big picture.|| Keeps an overview of what is necessary. What are we thinking? What is the goal?
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