The six thinking hats

The six thinking hats

The 6 thinking hats were developed by Edward de Bono. The model was published in 1985.  It helps groups think more effectively and is rooted in psychology. The idea is that you can challenge group thinking in certain directions by using the hats. It helps to make decisions qualitatively better.


6 thinking hats

The 6 thinking hats

BlueProcess thinking, brings structure, makes sure that the six thinking hats are followed
RedThat first response, but feeling you and the people around you get about a certain idea.
YellowThis is optimism, find the strong points of a idea. How can it help you or people around it? What do you like about it?
BlackThe pessimist. How can it go wrong? What risks are there? This hat helps in strengthening an idea.
GreenCreativity. Add ideas or features. Expand on the idea at hand.
WhiteFacts and nothing but the facts. Analyze, understand and spot gaps in knowledge.

The six thinking hats explained

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When do you use them?

  • Initial Ideas – Blue, White, Green, Blue
  • Choosing between alternatives – Blue, White, (Green), Yellow, Black, Red, Blue
  • Identifying Solutions – Blue, White, Black, Green, Blue
  • Quick Feedback – Blue, Black, Green, Blue
  • Strategic Planning – Blue, Yellow, Black, White, Blue, Green, Blue
  • Process Improvement – Blue, White, White (Other peoples views), Yellow, Black, Green, Red, Blue
  • Solving Problems – Blue, White, Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue
  • Performance Review – Blue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue


You can also listen to my podcast on this subject

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Want to know more?

There is a lot more to the six thinking hats than can be covered in a single blog. If you want to know more about each hat in-depth, or how to use them, you can follow my course.

These are the sources for my podcast and blog:

Book by Edward de Bono the six thinking hats

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