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Six colors that can change all your meetings

maurer profile image Daniel Maurer ・5 min read

Have you ever been in a meeting that looked like it would never end? Or in a room where there was no way for people to reach some kind of consensus because their opinions were very different? Have you ever attended a meeting where you were literally in the middle of a war camp where participants were confronted? Then the method of the Six Thinking Hats might be a solution. By reading this article you will get a complete summary of the Six Thinking Hats method.

Difficulty in communicating during the analysis of a situation will certainly make the moment exhaustive and disorganized. This method was created in 1985 by Edward de Bono to avoid long meetings where there were only discussions and that led nowhere and will help you to:

  1. Develop ideas;
  2. Making decisions
  3. Understand something;
  4. Solve something;
  5. Enhance the capacity of your mind;

The six hats

The method consists of wearing six types of hats, one each time they give you super powers to see the situation from a perspective you wouldn't see, below is a short list of the hats.

  • White Hat - Logical Analysis
  • Black Hat - Negative Logic
  • Yellow Hat - Positive Logic
  • Green Hat - Creativity
  • Red Hat - Intuition and Emotion
  • Blue Hat - Reflection

Each hat has a color to distinguish its type from the others and all participants in the meeting always wear the hat of a certain color at the same time. This way, instead of the participants confronting each other, everyone always looks in the same direction, so this is a method that will organize the whole dynamic of thinking.

Below is a brief explanation of each hat and I hope you remember that these six colors can change all your meetings. So pay attention and let's go to the methods of the six thinking hats.

White Hat

First of all, I need you to remember that these hats give you super powers. At the same moment that, in your mind, you wear the white hat you will notice the magic happening and you will see all the facts. You will analyze every detail of forming a calculator by looking at all the facts in a logical way.

At this moment no interpretation is accepted, only current or past facts and figures. These facts can be separated into proven and unproven facts, but it must be questioned whether or not the fact should be proven through research. Also note that you can express your opinion but the opinion of another person is a fact.

Black Hat

By wearing this hat you will have the power to see everything on the negative side, so that you know everything that can go wrong. We are very prone to the negative side because we have naturally evolved to predict the negative and this is the time to take advantage of it so that we can be cautious and careful.

Yellow Hat

This hat will open your mind to see the positive points of what is under discussion. We need to develop value sensitivity to points so that we are as sensitive to value as we are to danger, this is a matter of evolution. This hat has a logical basis and seeks the reasons to increase the value of an idea, so it is not based on fantasy but on finding out what the values are, for whom and in what circumstances. The creation of proposals and their valorization is summarized with a positive logic to see all the chances of succeeding and all that is viable.

Man's progress depends on his desire to make things happen and history is full of little practical visions and dreams that have come true. So if we limit this hat to what is solid and known, progress will be minimal but remember that we can never be as sure of the future as we are of the past.

Now we have many facts and details but not everything is possible to solve in a logical way.

Green Hat

With this hat you will gain powers to plant new ideas, options and alternatives that include the most obvious and unpublished. You will also be able to suggest modifications to an idea to avoid difficulties in a fantastic way. As you improve your creative thinking, you will find that the production of ideas will increase. The green hat benefits us by making creative thinking a formal part of the thought process.

Creativity implies provocation, exploration, risk, and thought experiments. Often, the most creative people are just people who spend more time trying to be creative because they are motivated by creativity. And when the idea arouses enthusiasm, it is very likely to succeed.

With the powers of this hat you will have miraculous and often pointless ideas, but they will be creative ideas, and you will be able to make the seeds of ideas come true because this hat is not logical, you will use the other hats for logic.

Red Hat

By wearing this, you have the time to express your feelings, sensations, emotions and intuitions without the need to explain or justify to the group. In this way we can discover in a discussion when someone's thoughts are dominated by emotion or when someone is fighting for their own interests and not those of the group. Emotions are present in humanity and we have a lot to learn from our intuition, something very complicated but necessary and with this hat we can be more complete.

Blue Hat

With the hat you will be able to be as reflective as ever, it is not about intuition and analysis but it is reflective and with it you will arrive at the results that can take the form of a summary, a conclusion, a decision, a solution, etc. With this hat, beyond the conclusion, you plant the purpose of the section and what you want to achieve with it and organize the sequences of the use of the other hats.

This hat can be used at any given time to provide a summary of the achievements to date and can define a new focus of thought that will become the task of a new section of thought. It is often also used at the beginning and end of meetings.

How to wear the hats?

There is no set order to wear the hats and each hat can be worn more than once as well. There are infinite possibilities of sequence of use and each one can be used for a different problem, like raising ideas or solving a problem. Experimenting I am sure that you will find the best order for each given purpose.

You can use the six thought hats method for both group and individual use, but of course, being in a group is always better.

I hope you enjoyed it, this article was written carefully for you.

Grateful,

Discussion (1)

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jamesdengel profile image
James dengel

I like this just wondering how you get them applied in a meeting format ?

But it does remind me of the triz problem solving principals.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIZ

have a look at them.