De Bono's Hats

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Six Coloured Hats

A technique to explore ideas by consciously focusing of different aspects of the overall concept. Originally described by Edward De Bono and fully explored in his book "Six Thinking Hats".

The idea is that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can be identified and deliberately adopted. A mode is selected, either randomly by rolling a die or in turn, then the topic is discussed exploring the key aspects that can be uncovered within that mode. After a certain time an alternate mode is selected and so on.

The six modes are each associated with a different coloured hat:

  • Neutrality (White): What are the facts?
  • Feeling (Red): Gut emotional reaction (without any justification)
  • Negative judgement (Black): Identify the flaws
  • Positive Judgement (Yellow): Identify the benefits
  • Creative thinking (Green): Where can we leap to?
  • Process control (Blue): Thinking about thinking, how can we improve the process

Often to facilitate the process real coloured hats are used (either worn or placed near the speaker). Alternately pictures of coloured hats can be printed on cards.

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The following pages link to here: Workshop

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