Communication & de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono has contributed much to business with his research into creative thinking and teaching thinking as a skill. One of his books, “Six Thinking Hats” is about effective communication.

De Bono created these 6 thinking hats as a means to shift from your standard argumentative style to parallel thinking – taking all sides of an argument one at a time, and looking at them together in the same direction.

With the six thinking hats, there is a hat for each direction. And everyone is expected to contribute for each direction. It’s not about wining an argument, but designed to increase the power of decision making, save time, remove the ego, and to achieve clarity by focusing on one thing at a time.

The six thinking hats are:

  • White Hat: neutral & objective – facts & figures
  • Red Hat: rage & emotions – the emotional view
  • Black Hat: cautious & careful – the weakness in an idea
  • Yellow Hat: optimistic & hopeful – positive thinking
  • Green Hat: creativity & new ideas
  • Blue Hat: control & organization of other hats