Six Thinking Hats – A Study

Open Your Mind Concept


Six Thinking Hats is a useful way to look at decisions from many perspectives. The Six Thinking Hats helps a manager move outside her usual perspective and make better decisions. She gets a wholesome view of the situation. In this article, we will discuss about the Six Thinking Hats and its role in decision making process.


The tool was created in the book '6 Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono.


  • There are many successful people who have a positive perspective. This is one of the reasons that make them successful. These people often do not look at things from a negative perspective. This means that they underestimate limitations to plans, do not make necessary plans and cannot participate in creative actions.
  • Similarly, those who think in a negative way are defensive and emotional. They lack the capacity to think rationally and make decisions in a calm way.

If a professional observes a problem by using the technique of 'Six Thinking Hats' she will be able to find a solution by using all approaches. The decisions made by the professional combine skill, ambition, pre-planning and creativity.

Six Thinking Hats

Using the Tool

By using Six Thinking Hats in meetings the professional can bring a stop to the limitations that occur when different thought processes sit to discuss the same issue. The team leader and her team members can gain knowledge about the manner of thinking separately into six different roles. Each of the thinking roles are attributed by colored thinking hats. If the team leader wears the hats in her imagination and switches them as per need, she can redirect her thoughts or the meeting she is conducting.

# White Hat

  • This hat helps a professional to emphasize on the information she has. She needs to look at the data at her disposal and see what knowledge she can gain from it.
  • She should then search for obvious gaps and try to fill them up.
  • If she cannot fill the up the gap, she should keep in mind that the gaps exist.
  • This is the place where past trends are analyzed.

# Black Hat

  • Black Thinking Hat helps in looking at the negative points in the decision made.
  • She should observe it in a defensive way.
  • It is important that she sees the weak points in the plan, so that she can remove them when required. She can also change them and prepare plans to face those weak points.
  • Black Thinking Hat contributes in making plans more resilient. It aids in spotting dangerous mistakes before the decision maker starts acting on the plan.
  • Black Hat technique has its benefits as it helps in finding out flaws and brings people out of an all positive thinking process. If decision makers are not aware of dangers and risks, they will not be prepared for problems in future.
  • Black Hat thinking is required in contingency plans.

# Red Hat

  • The Red Thinking Hat helps in looking at problems by using emotions, intuition and gut reaction.
  • She should try to understand how others can react emotionally. The decision maker should endeavor to realize the reactions of people who are not completely aware of her reasoning.

# Green Hat

  • Green Thinking Hat indicates creativity.
  • This is the place where she can build creative answers to the issues faced by her.
  • Being an indicator of creativity, there is hardly any criticism of ideas and the decision maker can think freely.

# Blue Hat

  • The Blue Thinking Hat indicates control of process.
  • The blue hat is usually used by those who preside over meetings.
  • When a decision maker faces problems because of lack of ideas, she may direct her attention to Green Hat thinking.

#Yellow Hat

  • The Yellow Hat assists the decision maker to think in a positive way.
  • The positive perspective that grows in her helps her to see the advantages of the decision she takes and the values attached to it.
  • The Yellow Hat thinking contributes in thinking ahead when things appear difficult.

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Benefits of the Six Thinking Hats

For a team leader, the use of The Six Thinking Hats is very useful. It helps in bringing discipline to a process in the following ways.

  • They look at difficulties, chances and decisions in a systematic manner.
  • They increase interaction that is productive in nature and reduces interaction that is counterproductive in nature.
  • They make meetings more productive and shorter in duration.
  • They help in generating more solutions by using parallel thinking.
  • The Six Thinking Hats help in bringing out innovative skills
  • They decrease tiff among participants in a meeting or among team members.
  • They discover useful solutions by thinking beyond the obvious.
  • The Six Thinking Hats assists managers to conduct result oriented meetings, so that team members want to attend them.
  • They help in thinking in an objective manner.
  • They make the team leader find out opportunities in problems.
  • They make detailed evaluations
  • They look at problems from unique angles.
  • The Six Thinking Hats do not let ego intervene in performance.
  • They help in accomplishing meaningful outcome in a short period of time.
  • They make team leaders look at all sides and angles of a situation.

Implementation of the Six Thinking Hats

  • They are used in communication, productivity of team and alignment.
  • They are implemented in developing leadership.
  • They are used to bring together decision making process with leadership.
  • They are implemented to think in an innovative style.
  • The Six Thinking Hats are used for solving problems and thinking in an analytical as well as critical way.
  • They are used during the time of project management, improvement of process and product.
  • They are applied in places where high profile thinking and activities are needed.
  • The Six Thinking Hats are used during the time of change in performance or alterations in the organization.

To Sum Up

From this article, it can be said that by donning the Six Thinking Hats, a team leader and her team members can make better decisions in meetings. They can go beyond the obvious and think in a creative manner.

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