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Six Thinking Hats


  • Edward De Bono developed a tool called the 6 Thinking Hats to help you look at a problem from 6 different perspectives.

  • People are usually overwhelmed by information in decision-making

  • By the time you've tried out all six hats, you should have a rich collection of insights that will help you to decide your next steps.


Pick a problem or decision you need to make and apply the technique. Start by imagining you have 6 hats in front of you, putting on one hat at a time.


1. The white hat is the hat of logic

  • Ask yourself: what is the information available? What are the facts? How can I look at this objectively?

  • To remember the white hat as the logical one, imagine a scientist in a white coat.

2. The red hat is the hat of emotions

  • Ask yourself: how do I feel? What emotions come up? What is my intuition telling me?

  • To remember the red hat as the emotional one, imagine a fire.

3. The black hat is the critics

  • Ask yourself: what could go wrong? Why won’t this work? Why do I need to be cautious?

  • It's often overused, so make sure this mode of thinking doesn't dominate your decision making

  • To remember the black hat as the critic, imagine the robes of a judge.

4. The yellow hat is the hat of optimism

  • Ask yourself: what could go right? What are the benefits? What is the upside?

  • To remember the yellow hat as the optimist, imagine the sun.

5. The green hat is the hat of creativity

  • Ask yourself: how can I be creative? What are the possibilities? Is there a different alternative I’m not considering?

  • To remember the green hat as the creative one, imagine green grass.

6. The blue hat is the manager

  • Listen to the other hats, think about the big picture, and make your final decision.

  • To remember the blue hat as the manager, think about the sky.


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