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Edward de Bono - The Six Thinking Hats

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Devon Hancock

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of Edward de Bono - The Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono - The Six Thinking Hats
Session objectives:

To provide information on the theory, benefits, and applications of the Six Thinking Hats

To practise using the Six Thinking Hats to develop your own understanding

We are going to use this method to help us to:
Respond positively to change
Handle uncertainty
Take responsibility for your own actions
Create new ideas, new solutions
Develop autonomy to problem solve
Evaluate/assess risks/rewards

Edward de Bono
Medical and Psychological background
60 books
Collects islands

Each hat is used independently, or in a systematic sequence:

Parallel thinking involves the thinkers focusing in the same direction, wearing the same hat at the same time.

de Bono argues that using the Six Hat method results in thinking laterally.

The Six Hats

White hat -information and data
Red hat -emotion and intuition
Yellow hat -benefits and positive
Black hat -gravity and caution
Green hat -possibilities & alternatives
Blue hat -overview and process

The White Hat

Think of white paper and computer printouts.
The white hat, like paper, is concerned directly with data and information.

White Hat Questions

What information is available?
What information would we like to have?
How are we going to get the missing information?
What don't we know?

Can you think of any others?

Examples of White Hat Thinking

‘This is what we know right now about the event.’
‘We have your timetable, but we need to know more about how your classes are going.’
‘Jo told me she doesn’t like sport.’

Can you think of any others?

Think of a red rose as a symbol of romance. The Red Hat is concerned with feelings, emotions, and intuition.
Red Hat Questions

What are my feelings right now?
What does my intuition tell me?
What is my gut reaction?

Can you think of any others?
The Red Hat is about tapping into the feeling centre of our brain to help us make complex decisions.

Key Red Hat Points

Use the hat for 30 seconds max.
The Red Hat gives you permission to express feelings, hunches, and intuitions.
No justification is needed.
Part of the thinking that leads to a decision.
Can be used after a decision has been made.

Try it out; give Red Hat responses to the following words. Say the first thing that pops into your head. Remember to focus on your emotions.
Thunder and lightening
Bare Feet
Think of sunshine and optimism with the Yellow Hat. The Yellow Hat represents the logical, positive aspects of thinking. The Yellow Hat looks for benefits, value, and feasibility.

Yellow Hat Questions

What are the values of this idea?
What are the good things about this?
What will make this work?

Can you think of any others?
Key Yellow Hat Points

Requires deliberate effort.
Reinforces creative ideas and new directions.
Requires reasons why an idea is valuable or might work.
You can use this on ideas even if your original reaction to them is negative (or if you don`t like the idea very much).
Try it out...
The Black Hat

Think of dark clouds on the horizon: of possible problems approaching. The Black Hat is powerful, effective and an essential ingredient in the thinking process. It highlights the points of caution, existing and potential downsides, and concerns. This is one of the most useful hats, as it helps us make good decisions. It is not about negative or destructive thinking but improvement and development.

Black Hat Questions

What could be the possible problems?
What could some of the difficulties be?
What are the points for caution?
What could prevent success?
What are the risks?

Can you think of any others?

Key Black Hat Points

Explores why something may not work.
Must give logical reasons for concerns.
Requires an explanation.
Is a powerful assessment tool when used after the Yellow Hat.
Review the work you did on the Yellow Hat task using the Black Hat.
Think of vegetation and growth. Think of natural energy. Think of sprouting and branching. The Green Hat is the creativity hat.

Green Hat Questions
Are there other ways to do this?
What else could we do here?
What are the possibilities?
What will overcome our difficulties?

Can you think of any others?

Try it out!

How can we improve the look of our school?
The Blue Hat

Think of blue as the blue sky or overview.
The blue hat is concerned with “process control”.
The Blue Hat manages the thinking process itself. With the Blue Hat, the thinker stands back and looks at the thinking that needs to take place or is taking place. In psychological terms, the Blue Hat is concerned with “metacognition” (thinking about thinking).

Blue Hat Questions

What is our agenda?
Which hats shall we use?
What is our next step?
Which Hat are we using now?
How can we summarise the discussion so far?
What do we think about the decision?

Can you think of any others?
Now let's try it. Using the following thinking hats, carry out the task below.
Should St Bart’s school be relocated
to the John O’Gaunt site?
Red 15 seconds
White 1 min 20
Yellow 60 seconds
Black 40 seconds
Green 1 min 30
Red 15 seconds

Summing Up

Take a moment to try to remember what you know about each hat. What do each of them represent?
White Hat: what you have, what you need, and where to get it.
Red Hat: feelings, hunches, emotions, intuition, and instincts.
Black Hat: caution, weaknesses, difficulties, dangers, and potential problems.
Yellow Hat: benefits, values, good points, likelihood.
Green Hat: creativity, alternatives, possibilities, new ideas, options, new concepts.
Blue Hat: Organisation of process, thinking about thinking, next steps.
The Red Hat
The Yellow Hat
The Green Hat
Full transcript