Workshop on “Six Thinking Hats” by Edward De Bono
Dr. Reni Francis and Ms. Jaya Cherian
Asst. Professor, PCER
Date: 18th December, 2015
The Six Thinking Hats is a method devised by Edward De Bono and meant to improve the results of thinking and discussion. It may be used either by oneself or in a group. De Bono claims that by separating six different types of thinking we can make our thinking clearer and more thorough. We should “wear” each hat in turn, and analyze the issue at hand from six different aspects separately. In a group setting, the entire group is encouraged to use just one hat at a time, thus contributing to an organized and comprehensive discussion, rather than a confused and mixed-up argument. Each hat is marked with a different color and represents the following type of thinking.
- Define parallel thinking
- Encourage critical thinking
- Explore ideas from a variety of viewpoints
The Workshop highlighted on the features of the Six Thinking hats and how each Hat helps in decision making.
The White Hat represents facts, information, and statistical data, as well as identifying missing information and from which sources it may be collected.
The Red Hat symbolizes emotions and feelings. While wearing this hat, people are “allowed” to express their feelings about the subject or to share their general mood, which might be affecting their participation or lack of it. This hat does not require logical reasoning or justification, as feelings are almost always subjective rather then rational.
The Yellow Hat signifies positive rationality, and is used to look at the positive aspects of a situation or idea, on the potential benefits of the suggested course of action, and on the parties who are expected to profit from it. It is emphasized that support for the idea should be logically justified and not simply stated without explanation.
The Black Hat is in a way the opposite of the Yellow Hat. It is used for discussing the negative repercussions of the plan, the potential dangers, and any criticism on the logic of arguments made in its support. As in the case of the positive hat, logical justification is expected when presenting the reservations rather than opposition for the mere sake of opposition.
The Green Hat stands for creativity and unconventional thinking. When wearing this hat, people are encouraged to think creatively (although in this case De Bono does not specify how). Brainstorming, creative thinking tools, lateral thinking and other such methods are to be used in order to search for unexpected developments of the idea or the discussion.
The Blue Hat – this hat is used for directing the discussion, for switching hats when necessary, for summarizing the major points of the discussion, as well as for making decisions.
The student teachers were asked to form through an interactive ice breaker, followed by creating an Advertisement of a product given to each group. The student teachers very creatively enacted the advertisement. Then the groups were introduced to Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono and the characteristics of each hat was explained well. The student teachers were asked to prepare hats and direct their thoughts on the object given to them, these helped them have a deeper understanding of the six thinking process. The student teachers thoroughly enjoyed the session as it made them think differently using their 6 Thinking Hats.