SIX THINKING HATS

Edward Charles Francis Publius de Bono, a Maltese physician, psychologist, philosopher and consultant, scripted the book ‘ Six Thinking Hats’. The conceptualization of this book has helped many organizations to boost their firm’s productivity by dividing the job profiles of the employees based on their styles of thinking. Each person takes up the role of a hat ensuring that all viewpoints and styles are covered efficiently. Accordingly, people can cohesively pool in their thoughts based on their area of interpretation. Often, firms arrange for activities wherein employees are divided into teams of different hat colours and are asked to speak about the firm’s newly launched product or idea based on the colour of their hat. This provides stimulus for gathering opinions.

WHITE HAT – It is also called as the Factual Hat. The white hat is associated with facts and information. It represents gathering of information. Discussions related to information available, information needed, missing facts, source of information are conducted. It deals with knowledge and insights at the beginning or end of a session.

GREEN HAT – It is also known as the Creative Thinking Hat. It represents growth and movement in an organisation. Lateral thinkers metaphorically wear this hat to show that they are looking for new ideas and solutions. It deals with openness to ideas, proposals, suggestions, ways to solve difficulties, and other alternative opinions.

BLUE HAT – It is also known as the Director’s Hat. It symbolizes limitless performance, calmness and control over oneself. It is generally worn by the facilitators during a discussion. It deals with management and organization. The blue hat wearers ask for summaries, decisions, conclusions and are the ideal people to set the agenda of thinking. Therefore, analyzing the information and reaching a logical conclusion is the central idea of this hat.

RED HAT – It is also known as the Hat for the Heart. It represents feelings, emotions, and instincts rather than logical reasoning. When one is involved in this arena of though process, he may express his feelings without having to give a logical reason behind it. It is a complete opposite of the White Hat which is entirely fact based. While working, employees do experience intuitions about another colleague as disloyal to the firm. The red hat allows a person to voice such sixth sense emotions with an appropriate label.

YELLOW HAT – It is also known as the Optimist’s Hat. Yellow hat thinkers reflect positive attitudes and scope for new opportunities. Such thinkers assess a plan and notice the benefits in it. Entrepreneurs and risk taking employees are involved in the group of yellow hat thinkers. The hat focuses on value, benefits and the positive speculation of why a venture may work.

BLACK HAT – It is also known as The Hat of Caution. It prevents an individual from indulging into immoral, illegal or unprofitable ventures. Employing a critical judgement to assess the risks involved in a plan is the task of black hat holders. It is often regarded as the most powerful hat because it assists in spotting shortcomings, giving reasons as to why a plan may not workout and giving out suggestions to overcome the drawbacks.

The concept of Six Thinking Hats developed by Edward de Bono, can be used as a powerful tool for inculcating the ideas of being more productive, focused and mindfully involved in the working of an organization. This tool can help an organization, to develop leadership skills, creative thinking, critical analysis and improve the overall performance of the establishment.

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