Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. Once learned, the tools can be applied immediately!
Meeting participants separate their thinking into six clear functions and roles. Each thinking role is identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” individuals can easily focus or redirect their thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting.
The White Hat calls for information (known or needed). “The facts, just the facts.”
The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process. It’s the control mechanism that ensures the Six Thinking Hats® guidelines are observed.
One big difference between mediocre and highly effective teams lies not so much in their collective mental equipment, but in how well they use their abilities to think and how well they work together.
Six Thinking Hats helps realise the full thinking potential of teams. When used as a meeting management tool, the Six Hats method provides the disciplined process for individuals to be focused and to the point.
Possibly most important, it requires each individual to look at all sides of an issue.
Employees like the way the Six Hats method neutralizes employee rank in a meeting where several levels of employees are present. It also puts people who are quiet and reserved on an equal playing field with those who are more talkative and might monopolize a meeting.
Some applications for the Parallel Thinking Process of Six Thinking Hats:
- Creativity Training, Meeting Facilitation and Meeting Management
- Team Productivity and Communication
- Product and Process Improvement, and Project Management
- Critical and Analytical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making
- Wherever High Performance Thinking is needed