Monday, October 17, 2005

Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

Recently I have read Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. Let me share few words about it. Six Thinking Hats method is primarily based on the concept of parallel thinking, which is straight opposite to the conventional individual thinking in a meeting.
According to Edward, individual thinking in a meeting will lead to argument that result in waste of time. On the other hand, parallel thinking provides a framework that allows everyone to think in the same direction and to get the full advantage in all directions. Simple example mentioned in the book is Review of a house. Imagine there are four people viewing the house from different directions (N, S, W, and E). Obviously they all get different opinions about the house, which might conflict each other, that results in an argument. On the other hand, in parallel thinking, everyone view the house from one direction at a time so that everyone applies their thoughts in one direction at a time and everyone agrees with each other. Then move on to the next direction.

Now I’ll brief a bit about the hats. Edward selected the color hats to give different thinking directions.

White – Information and Facts
On wearing White hat, you have to put forward the facts without any emotions.
Basically Neutral Thinking

Black – Cautious
On wearing Black hat, you have to be cautious. Try to figure out all the negative aspects. Basically Negative thinking

Red – Emotion, Feelings, etc.
On wearing Red hat, you can put forward your feelings and emotions formally in the meeting. You don’t have to support the feeling. Basically Emotions

Yellow – Support
On wearing Yellow hat, you can support the proposal with the existing methods.
Basically Positive Thinking

Green – Ideas, Innovation
On wearing green hat, you apply your creativity and bring new innovative ideas.
Basically Creative / Lateral Thinking

Blue – Thinking about thinking, Organization of Thinking
On wearing blue hat, you have to think about the thinking process. Basically Organize the thinking process

I haven’t applied this method anywhere yet, will apply soon and post the experience. Meanwhile if anyone of you has applied this method anywhere, please let me know the effectiveness. Feel free to drop a mail….

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