Six Thinking Hats Edward De Bono (Little, Brown and Company, 1985) Thinking with Hats Six Thinking Hats offers an original way to think. The author, Edward De Bono, has created an idiom to make decisions making, communication, and thinking more effective. De Bono believes thinking is the ultimate human resource and that we should want to improve upon it. He suggests that the main difficulty of thinking is confusion and that we try to do too much at once. In his book he puts forward a simple concept that allows a thinker to do one thing at a time. The concept is the Six Thinking Hats.
Putting on one of these hats defines a certain type of thinking. It is in the convenience of the Six Thinking Hats that is the main value of the concept. The concept of the hats is that when you have one on you think in only that nature and then move on to the next hat. When you get to the last hat your answers or goal should be clear. Today, hats seem to define a role such as part of a uniform. De Bono believes that when you are in a defined role, or role playing, one can allow there ego to go beyond its normal restrictive self-image which can give someone the freedom to be foolish, wrong, or outsmarted without damage to their ego.
The broad thinking hat role is broken down into six different character roles, represented by six differently colored thinking hats. When you change hats you have to change roles. De Bono describes a symbolism that one might picture the laying down of colors in layers when printing a map and at the end the colors come together to give the completed map. Each of the hats colors; white, red, black, yellow, green, and blue, are their names and the symbolism of its nature. The white hat is neutral and objective.
It is concerned with objective facts and figures. The red hat gives the emotional view. The black hat covers the negative aspects. The yellow hat is optimistic and covers hope and positive thinking.
The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas. The blue hat is concerned with control and the organization of the thinking process. The more widespread De Bono's Six Thinking Hats idiom is the more efficient it will be in use. At first people might feel awkward about using the different hats, but this awkwardness should pass as the convenience of the system becomes apparent.
The first use of the hats will be in the form of a request to use one hat or to switch from the black hat to another. He says that eventually one should be able to sit down at any discussion table and switch in and out of "hats" with ease. The two main purposes to the Six Thinking Hats concept are to simplify thinking by allowing a thinker to deal with one thing at a time and to allow a switch in thinking. I think the concept of the Six Thinking Hats is valid. Edward De Bono has created an effective way to develop our thinking habits. The concept is most useful when used in management settings at a firm or in schools and when all participants except of embrace it.
I think the most useful aspect of the concept is when someone is using the black or red hat and is misconstruing the facts someone else could request them to think or speak with the white hat and get the most factual information. But in most situations I believe the Six Thinking Hats could be no more useful than weighing the pros and cons. Also, most people might find using the hats to be too simple and childish and not participate. Edward De Bono's book Six Thinking Hats is very well written and understandable. The structure is very organized and all information seems accurate.
De Bono upholds each of his points with very persuading real-life examples that even non-managers can agree with. I would recommend he book to others if they seemed interested in the concept. Today companies like DuPont, Prudential Life, IBM, British Airways, and Siemens use the Six Thinking Hats. Also, teachers are using the Six Thinking Hats in their classrooms. There are even Six Thinking Hats seminars for teachers, youth, and parents. De Bono has effected more than the business world with his book Six Thinking Hats..