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Six Thinking Hats Cheat Sheet by

Differing Types of Thought Processing
color     thinking     processing     bono     hats     thought

Introd­uction

Edward de Bono introduced the idea of the six thinking hats to help people to control their thinking and improve their decisi­on-­making (either indivi­dually or as a group). The main concept is there are different types of thinking and that we can think more effect­ively by concen­trating on only one type of thinking at a time.

Six hats

Blue Hat: Thinking about Thinking

The Blue Hat controls all the other hats and is the one that we should begin and end with. Often we just jump into the thinking process without paying attention to what we're doing. The goal of the six hats is to get us to slow down and think in a orderly manner. In a meeting, the blue hat will often be worn by the facili­tator. They will begin the discussion by clearly stating the topic and then going through the other hats one by one.
Like the view from the sky

White Hat: Just the Facts

After a topic has been introd­uced, start with the White Hat. Often people begin by sharing their opinions but this can cause things to get emotional very quickly. Instead start with the facts. That way, there's a better chance that the group will stay on target and not waste time discussing things that may be useless in the end.
Like a blank sheet of paper

Red Hat: Emotional reactions

Emotions are not logical, but they're still important. A decision might make sense on paper, but if everybody feels horrible about it, it's probably not a good idea. The Red Hat is good to wear near the end of a discussion to make sure that everybody feels comfor­table with the pending decision. If they don't, it may be necessary to return to some of the other hats for rethin­king.
Like fire
 

Six Hats Mind Map

Green Hat: New ideas

So often we get stuck debating between two different options that we forget that there might be a third possib­ility. When putting on the green hat, we should be creative and try to come up with new solutions or at least a compromise between old ones. Sometimes the green hat is necessary early on in a meeting in order to get people to brainstorm for ideas but often it is also needed near the end when a discussion becomes stuck or keeps going around in circles.
Like growing plants

Yellow Hat: Optimism

When consid­ering an option, it's good to spend some time looking at the positive side of the plan such as the potential benefits and possible advant­ages. Even if, on the surface, an idea seems mostly to be a bad one, it is a good idea to spend at least some time trying to see the potential good in it before ripping it to shreds or throwing it away for good.
Like a sunny day

Black Hat: Caution

It's always good to try to see the Positives, but it's also important to search for Negatives, even if there doesn't appear to be none. Wearing the Black Hat, we proceed cautio­usly, consid­ering any possible disadv­antages to the idea. It's important not to jump between the Yellow and Black Hats, which often leads to fighting between the sides. Better to have everyone wearing Yellow hat until all comments are finished and then switch to the Black Hat for further analysis..
Like the Robes of a Judge

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