Analysing DeBono's Hats


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  • Hello everybody, My name is Ben Stack, and today’s presentation will be on the six thinking hats, that was created by Doctor Edward De Bono.
  • The six thinking hats is a method in where the thinker can act, and play out different roles, while brainstorming new approaches on a problem. This acting out of different motions can be done as a group, or the individual thinker can wear each different hat at separate , to explore new motions in thinking. This presentation will provide a little more background on the creator of the six thinking hats, why people use the six thinking hats and how is it effective.
  • According to the thinking curriculum (2005), Doctor Edward De Bono is regarded by many to have had a major impact in the way we think. He is the originator of the term ‘Lateral Thinking’. Lateral thinking challenges the traditional, habitual ways of thinking and finding solutions, with questions of a more imaginative, creative approach, which can change one’s perceptions and conception of a problem. This new method of thinking has been successfully implemented into a wide spectrum of learning, from the year one classroom at school, right up to our worlds leader’s, and world leading business corporations. De Bono has written numerous books with translations into 34 languages, and has been invited to lecture in 52 countries around the world (De Bono 1995). Published in 1985, De Bono wrote a book which provided tools for constructive and creative thinking, called ‘The Six Thinking Hats’. These tools simplify the complexity of thinking.
  • According to De Bono (1985), the problems encountered with thinking is trying to do too much at once, hence creating confusion. By allowing our emotions, logic, hope, creativity, prior beliefs, and knowledge all come in to our thinking at once, scrambles the mind and makes problem solving more difficult. The six thinking hats are designed to separate these factors, by individually thinking about one concept at a time, without being interfered by other motions of thinking. The six thinking hats technique, promotes and understands the full complexity of a decision, as each hat explores different directions of thinking concepts and encourages practical thinking. Edward De Bono used hats to simplify the thinking process, as it aides in the direction of thinking. Once a coloured hat is on, that role must be played in this thinking technique. Each of the six thinking hats is a different colour, the colour is related to the hats function or motion to think.
  • Starting with the white hat. The colour white is neutral, an absence of colour. Therefore, when the white hat is used in thinking, only facts in a neutral, and objective manner are provided without any opinions or emotions, strictly facts. As described by the Department of Education, in Tasmania’s School Education Division (2007), u sing the white hat is similar to thinking like a computer for instance, computers only provide facts and figures without interpretations or opinions. White hat thinkers, may provide all the true facts to map the direction of a problem and may need to ask questions like; What information do we have? What information do we need? What’s missing? What questions do we need to ask? How are we going to get the information?
  • The red hat. The colour red is anger, or known as the emotion ‘seeing red’, according to De Bono (1985). Therefore emotional views can be used when wearing a red hat. The red hat is opposite to the white hat, there is no need to provide facts or justify any reasoning. Gut feelings, hunches, intuition and emotions can be expressed. The role of the red thinking hat is to review feelings about the project or problem. These emotions need to be spoken out and identified, to assist in making the right decision, when finding solutions to problems or project (The Thinking Curriculum, 2005).
  • The black hat. The colour black is gloomy, dark, and stormy (De Bono, 1985). The black thinking hat is negative. Pessimistic points of view, are used while acting out the role of the black hat. Logical negative thinking is used, without the emotions of the red hat interfering. Dave Waller (2007) implies, that Black hat thinking identifies risks, obstacles, weaknesses and can raise valuable issues that may need addressing .
  • The yellow hat. The colour yellow is bright and sunny, which provides a positive, and optimistic thinking hat (De Bono, 1985). While wearing a yellow thinking hat, the focus should be on the benefits, and creativity when mapping ideas. Therefore, the thinker wearing a yellow hat must act out the role of being optimistic, and have positive approaches. Yellow hat thinkers must also make a full effort in justifying their positive reasoning, or creative ideas.
  • The green Hat. The colour green is related to growth (De Bono, 1985), similar to green grass growing, or trees growing. When the role of the green thinking hat is worn, creative and lateral thinking is used, which raises new ideas and ways of looking at a problem or mind map. Green hat thinkers should listen and feed off each others ideas. This will fertile the creativity, and further branch out new levels of thinking.
  • The blue hat. De Bono (1985) says, the colour blue is cool, and like the sky it is above everything else. Therefore, when the blue hat is worn in the thinking process, concerns with control, and organization of all the other hats is used. The blue hat thinker will overview and summarize the entire problem or subject, while keeping things in a defined sequence. The blue hat thinker controls the other hats and remains disciplined and focused on the task.
  • On this slide I have used the six thinking hats to evaluate the six thinking hats. The Six Thinking Hats technique, is structured, and effective in improving communication and decision making. In addition to this, the style is accessible, succinct, and easy to follow. De Bono (1985) explains that, western style thinking tends to strongly focus on black hat thinking, or a confrontational style. He says, using the other hats will create open, positive, creative and playful thinking. If the thinking hats are not used properly, then problems will not be identified, or people may abuse their power over other peoples opinions, causing a loss in the purpose, and productivity, therefore it is important to keep within the guidelines of wearing a hat to speak, and acting only in the emotion of that coloured hat.
  • Analysing DeBono's Hats

    1. 1. The 6 Thinking Hats Ben Stack s0182724
    2. 2. <ul><li>Dr Edward De Bono, the creator of The 6 Thinking Hats </li></ul><ul><li>Summary of The 6 Thinking Hats </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring The 6 Thinking Hats </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Doctor Edward De Bono invented the term ‘lateral thinking’ (De Bono 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes different approaches to thinking </li></ul><ul><li>This method of thinking can be used by all ages and organisations, world wide. </li></ul><ul><li>De Bono has written numerous books on thinking, with translations into 34 languages. (De Bono 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Six Thinking Hats’ is a tool for lateral thinking, De Bono wrote this book. </li></ul>
    4. 4. The 6 Thinking Hats <ul><li>&quot;Six Thinking Hats&quot; is a powerful technique that helps you separate, and individually look at each important perspective when making a decision. It helps you make better decisions by pushing you to move outside your habitual ways of thinking. As such, it helps you understand the full complexity of a decision, and spot issues and opportunities which you might otherwise not notice. (De Bono 1985) </li></ul>
    5. 5. White Hat <ul><li>The colour white is neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Only facts, in a neutral and objective manner </li></ul><ul><li>Use computer-like, curiosity (Department of Education, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Map out the problem, such as; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What information do we have? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What information do we need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s missing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What questions do we need to ask? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are we going to get the information? </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Red hat <ul><li>Seeing Red, anger (De Bono 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>About emotions </li></ul><ul><li>• How do you feel about it? </li></ul><ul><li>• All emotions are legitimate and don’t require a logical basis or justification. </li></ul><ul><li>• Expressing emotions is valued in deciding which direction the problem solving map may end up. </li></ul><ul><li>• Don’t analyze the feelings </li></ul>
    7. 7. Black Hat <ul><li>Black is gloomy, dark and stormy (De Bono, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>The Black thinking hat is negative </li></ul><ul><li>Pessimistic, cautious and critical </li></ul><ul><li>This will not work because….. </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies logical problems </li></ul><ul><li>Identifies risks, obstacles, weaknesses to </li></ul><ul><li>be overcome (Waller, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>• Points out problems, not solutions </li></ul>
    8. 8. Yellow Hat <ul><li>Yellow is bright and sunny </li></ul><ul><li>Positive, bright side, optimism. (De Bono 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>What are the positive aspects? </li></ul><ul><li>How we’re going to make it happen </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Visions </li></ul>
    9. 9. Green Hat <ul><li>Green relates to growth (De Bono, 1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity, lateral thinking </li></ul><ul><li>• New ideas and approaches </li></ul><ul><li>• New concepts and perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>• Alternative ideas without judgment, to step further and find new alternative ideas </li></ul>
    10. 10. Blue hat <ul><li>Blue is cool, in control, disciplined (De Bono, 1985). </li></ul><ul><li>Organize the conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Observation, summarize and overview </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and define the problem or mind map </li></ul><ul><li>The Blue Hat often starts and finishes the process and reports. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Evaluation <ul><li>White </li></ul><ul><li>Provides lateral and creative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Allows all thinking to be brought to the table for discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Red </li></ul><ul><li>I think this could be a fun way to learn and think </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow </li></ul><ul><li>Can improve communication </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Black </li></ul><ul><li>Have to be open minded </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be confident when speaking up to someone of authority </li></ul><ul><li>Green </li></ul><ul><li>set a time limit for each hat to ensure roles are rotated evenly, </li></ul><ul><li>possibly add another hat (healthy eating, environment awareness) </li></ul><ul><li>Blue </li></ul><ul><li>The hats don’t have to be used in any particular order </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>De Bono, E 1985, Six thinking hats, Key Porter Books Limited, Toronto, Ontario. </li></ul><ul><li>De Bono, E 1995, ‘Serious creativity’, The Journal for Quality and Participation, vol.18, no.5, pg.12, 7pgs, (online proquest). </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Education, Tasmania, School Education Division 2007, Teaching strategies: six thinking hats , viewed 30 January 2010, </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The thinking curriculum 2005, DVD recording, Video Education Australasia, Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Waller, D 2007, ‘ Management today ’, The Gospel According to Edward De Bono, pg 48, 4pgs, (online proquest) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>