The Six Thinking Hats

Solve problems by supporting parallel thinking and cross pollination of thought

The Six Thinking Hats is a well researched, practiced, creative, parallel thinking technique used for effective problem solving by considering deliberate directions from a number of different points of view. It guides participants to move outside of their legacy thinking style, and helps in building empathy, inclusive, consensus based decision-making processes.

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What's it about?

The Six Thinking Hats is a simple and effective parallel thinking technique introduced by Dr Edward de Bono. It is used to analyze decisions from a number of different perspectives. It moves participants to place empathy and inclusive thinking style to get a balanced view of any problem or event.  The canvas outlines different thinking processes associated with a different coloured hat. It opens up the opportunity for creativity within Decision Making, allowing for sounder and more resilient choices to be made.  There are six different color imaginary hats that you can put on or take off. These identify the type or direction of thinking of a group at a particular time. The main idea is to have the group “wear only one hat at a time” and equitably engage the different parallel thinking style represented by each coloured hat:

  1. Managing Blue
  2. Information White
  3. Emotions Red
  4. Discernment Black
  5. Optimistic response Yellow
  6. Creativity Green

Coloured hats are used as metaphors for each direction. Switching to a direction is symbolized by the act of putting on a coloured hat, either literally or metaphorically. These metaphors allow for a more complete and elaborate segregation of the thinking directions. The six thinking hats indicate problems and solutions about an idea the thinker may come up with.

Who should use it

The Six Thinking Hats is for all empathy driven managers and decision makers who value holistic, inclusive and consensus based decisions.

Who made it?

Edward De Bono

As a master trainer, teacher, and author, Dr. De Bono leads the global movement in the field of creative and conceptual thinking. His theories, concepts and tools are used as a driver of organizational innovation, strategic leadership and problem solving.

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