During the PMC Alumni Season’s Get Together in December, PMC founder Professor Conchita Tan-Willman spoke to alumni about employing Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” before making major decisions in our lives and in meeting personal and professional challenges.
In this post, Tan-Willman provides a brief introduction to the topic.
One of the best ways to maximize our thinking prowess in meeting challenges is to learn some tools to be able to direct the different thinking modes in different directions at will. The fullest use of our intelligence, experience and knowledge is made possible by sensitizing it in various aspects of an issue at different times. When we try to do many things at the same time, the result is suboptimal. Confusion is the biggest result when our focus is divided into many facets of a challenge simultaneously.
Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats provides a simple, constructive, creative and practical guide to parallel thinking that guides in harnessing specific, concrete and practical results as we explore the various angles of any issue/challenge clearly one aspect at a time. The thinker is guided to think about “what can be” not just about “what is”.
Each of the thinking mode is represented by a colored hat for easy visualization and imaging of the actual thinking hats. Each is related to specific functions.
- White Hat: Neutral and objective. Concerned with objective facts and figures.
- Red Hat: Gives the emotional viewpoint. Subjective.
- Yellow Hat: Sunny and optimistic. Positive and covers hope.
- Black Hat: Somber, cautious and careful. Points out the danger, weaknesses in an idea.
- Green Hat: Indicates creativity … new ideas, possibilities and alternatives.
- Blue Hat: Provides an overview/summary of the issue at hand and plans the layout of what should be happening. Controls process sequencing like a music conductor. Calls on particular hats for inputs on the subject.
The method could be used by a person by her/himself or by a group in formal or informal setting.