Six Thinking Hats
'Six Thinking Hats' is an'Six Thinking Hats' is an
important Thinking Tool.important Thinking Tool.
It is used to look at decisionsIt is used to look at decisions
from a number of importantfrom a number of important
This forces you to moveThis forces you to move
outside your habitual thinkingoutside your habitual thinking
style, and helps you to get astyle, and helps you to get a
more rounded view of amore rounded view of a
situationsituation.. –– mindtools.commindtools.com
Many successful people thinkMany successful people think
from a very rational, positivefrom a very rational, positive
This is part of the reason thatThis is part of the reason that
they are successful.they are successful.
Often, though, they may fail toOften, though, they may fail to
look at a problem from anlook at a problem from an
emotional, intuitive, creativeemotional, intuitive, creative
or negative viewpointor negative viewpoint..
This can mean that theyThis can mean that they
underestimate resistance tounderestimate resistance to
plansplans, fail to make, fail to make creativecreative
leapsleaps and do not makeand do not make
essential contingency plansessential contingency plans..
Similarly, pessimists may beSimilarly, pessimists may be
excessively defensive.excessively defensive.
Emotional people may fail toEmotional people may fail to
look at decisions calmly andlook at decisions calmly and
rationally.rationally. –– mindtools.commindtools.com
Six Thinking Hats Advantages
Your decisions and plans willYour decisions and plans will
mix ambition, skill inmix ambition, skill in
execution, public sensitivity,execution, public sensitivity,
creativity and goodcreativity and good
contingency planningcontingency planning..
White HatWhite Hat
With this thinking hat youWith this thinking hat you
focus on the data availablefocus on the data available..
WhatWhat information do we haveinformation do we have??
How valid is it?How valid is it?
How relevant is it?How relevant is it?
What can we learn from it?What can we learn from it?
What information is missing?What information is missing?
The Green Hat stands forThe Green Hat stands for
It is a freewheeling way ofIt is a freewheeling way of
thinking, in which there is littlethinking, in which there is little
criticism of ideas.criticism of ideas.
What are the different ways toWhat are the different ways to
solve the problem?solve the problem?
What could the other ways?What could the other ways?
It is theIt is the optimistic viewpointoptimistic viewpoint thatthat
helps you to see all thehelps you to see all the benefits ofbenefits of
the decisionthe decision and theand the value in itvalue in it..
What are the good points andWhat are the good points and
How it will help us?How it will help us?
Yellow Hat thinking helps you toYellow Hat thinking helps you to
keep going when everything lookskeep going when everything looks
gloomy and difficult.gloomy and difficult.
Black HatBlack Hat
Using black hat thinking, look atUsing black hat thinking, look at
all theall the bad pointsbad points of the decision.of the decision.
Is it true? Will it work?Is it true? Will it work?
What is wrong with?What is wrong with?
What are the weaknesses?What are the weaknesses?
This is important because itThis is important because it
highlights the weak points.highlights the weak points.
So, you can eliminate them, alterSo, you can eliminate them, alter
them, or prepare contingencythem, or prepare contingency
plans to counter them.plans to counter them.
Why is the black hat important?
Black Hat thinking helps to makeBlack Hat thinking helps to make
your plans 'tougher' and moreyour plans 'tougher' and more
It can also help you toIt can also help you to spot fatalspot fatal
flawsflaws and risks before you embarkand risks before you embark
on a course of action.on a course of action.
Black Hat thinking is one of theBlack Hat thinking is one of the
real benefits of this technique, asreal benefits of this technique, as
many successful people get somany successful people get so
used to thinking positively thatused to thinking positively that
often they cannot see problems inoften they cannot see problems in
This leaves them underThis leaves them under--preparedprepared
for difficulties.for difficulties. –– mindtools.commindtools.com
Red HatRed Hat
'Wearing' the red hat, you look'Wearing' the red hat, you look
at problems usingat problems using intuition,intuition,
gut reaction, and emotiongut reaction, and emotion..
How warm or cold I feel aboutHow warm or cold I feel about
Also try to think how otherAlso try to think how other
people will react emotionallypeople will react emotionally..
Especially responses ofEspecially responses of
people who do not fully knowpeople who do not fully know
your reasoningyour reasoning..
Blue HatBlue Hat
The Blue Hat stands forThe Blue Hat stands for
process controlprocess control..
This is the hat worn by peopleThis is the hat worn by people
chairing meetings.chairing meetings.
What have we done so far?What have we done so far?
What decisions have weWhat decisions have we
What next?What next?
The Unique Blue HatThe Unique Blue Hat
TheThe blue hatblue hat is different from theis different from the
other hats because it is involvedother hats because it is involved
with directing the thinkingwith directing the thinking
process itself.process itself.
We are actually using the blueWe are actually using the blue
hat whenever we suggest thehat whenever we suggest the
next hat to be used.next hat to be used.
Attributes & Analogy
1.1. WhiteWhite hathat (Blank sheet):(Blank sheet):
Information & reports, factsInformation & reports, facts
and figures (and figures (objectiveobjective))
2.2. GreenGreen hathat (Plant):(Plant):
Alternatives, new approachesAlternatives, new approaches
& 'everything goes', idea& 'everything goes', idea
generation & provocationsgeneration & provocations
3.3. YellowYellow hathat (Sun): Praise,(Sun): Praise,
positive aspects, why it willpositive aspects, why it will
work (work (objectiveobjective))
Situations & Hats
When running into difficultiesWhen running into difficulties
becausebecause ideas are running dryideas are running dry, you, you
may usemay use Green HatGreen Hat thinking.thinking.
WhenWhen contingency planscontingency plans areare
needed, go for Black Hat thinking,needed, go for Black Hat thinking,
Hats sequence in meetings
Present the facts of the casePresent the facts of the case
(White Hat).(White Hat).
Generate ideas on how the caseGenerate ideas on how the case
could be handled (Green Hat).could be handled (Green Hat).
Evaluate the merits of the ideasEvaluate the merits of the ideas --
List benefits (Yellow Hat).List benefits (Yellow Hat).
List drawbacks (Black Hat).List drawbacks (Black Hat).
Get everybody's gut feeling aboutGet everybody's gut feeling about
the alternatives (Red Hat).the alternatives (Red Hat).
Summarize (Blue Hat).Summarize (Blue Hat).
4. Minuses or
3. Benefits or
2. New Ideas or
Assess an ideaAssess an idea -- YYellow hatellow hat
followed by thefollowed by the Black Hat.Black Hat. ((YY--BB))
Improve a designImprove a design -- Black HatBlack Hat
followed by thefollowed by the Green HatGreen Hat. (. (BB--GG))
Alternatively you could use Blue,Alternatively you could use Blue,
Green and Red Hats. (BGreen and Red Hats. (B--GG--RR))
Caution SequenceCaution Sequence –– White, BlackWhite, Black
and then Blue/Red.and then Blue/Red.
Comparing Facts and OpinionComparing Facts and Opinion -- RedRed
and White. (and White. (RR--WW))
Edward de Bono
Six Thinking Hats or six thinkingSix Thinking Hats or six thinking
strategies, were identifiedstrategies, were identified
identified byidentified by Edward de BonoEdward de Bono..
He championed the cause whichHe championed the cause which
drove the creative processes indrove the creative processes in
These Thinking Hats have recentlyThese Thinking Hats have recently
been incorporated in schoolbeen incorporated in school
business programs such as thebusiness programs such as the IBTIBT
(International Business and(International Business and
Technology) program.Technology) program. -- WikipediaWikipedia
Meetings and 6 Hats
Experience has shown that Six HatExperience has shown that Six Hat
thinking is much more powerfulthinking is much more powerful
and constructive than argument orand constructive than argument or
discussion. It is also very muchdiscussion. It is also very much
The Six Hats method gets rid ofThe Six Hats method gets rid of
egos, which are such a problem inegos, which are such a problem in
traditional thinking.traditional thinking.
It is no longer a matter ofIt is no longer a matter of
defending an idea or attacking andefending an idea or attacking an
If you want to show off you do soIf you want to show off you do so
performing very well under eachperforming very well under each
hat.hat. –– Edward De BonoEdward De Bono