The 6 Thinking Hats is a simple and effective method developed to encourage creative problem-solving in teams. It was developed in the 1990s by Edward de Bono and it is still used in organizations worldwide.Business

If you and your team are struggling to come up with new solutions to your problems, you definitely should try out The 6 Thinking Hats and see if you come up with something new. The method can help you to look at a problem from different perspectives, at the same time avoiding confusion and increasing creativity.

The 6 Thinking Hats Explained

In The 6 Thinking Hats method, each member of the team assumes a role identified with a symbolic thinking hat. Each thinking hat has a different style of thinking associated to it, and the person wearing the hat can only view the problem from the corresponding perspective. Each of the hats is described in more detail below.

White Hat

While wearing the white thinking hat, you are emotionally neutral and focus only on the available data and objective facts. You need to look for any missing information and how it can be obtained.

Red Hat

While wearing the red hat, you need to follow your emotions and intuition. Any genuine feelings are acceptable. You should also think about how others could react emotionally.

Black Hat

The wearer of the black hat is very cautious and tries to look for reasons why the plan being discussed might not work. This can help the team to notice any flaws in the plan an prepare for any possible problems.

Yellow Hat

While wearing the yellow hat, you are in charge of positive thinking. You need to look for anything positive in the current plan and keep the mood in the team up.

Green Hat

The wearer of the green hat is in charge of creativity and coming up with new ideas, even if they seem a bit crazy. These ideas are then discussed together with other team members.

Blue hat

The blue hat represents the organization of the process. You oversee the discussion and sums up what everyone has said to make sure no one is misunderstood. While you are wearing the black hat, you also need to make sure the discussion doesn’t get out of hand and everyone has a chance to state their opinion.


The 6 Thinking Hats method is used mostly in a business setting. It can speed up the meeting significantly and help you come up new and creative solutions you might not have thought of otherwise.

In case your team consists of less than 6 team members, some people can wear multiple hats and express the views from multiple perspectives. And don’t just pretend to be wearing the hats. This method is said to be even more effective if you are wearing actual party hats. 🙂

six thinking hats cover

All in all, this is a great method to use in your next team meeting. It can be difficult at first not to express your own opinion and assume the perspective of the hat you are assigned. However, with a little practice, your team will get the hang of it, and this method will become very effective.

If you are interested in learning more about The 6 Thinking Hats, I can suggest reading the book Six Thinking Hats by the author of this method himself. In the book, he describes this method in detail and how exactly to implement this in your life.

Have you ever tried this method? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!

Because meetings involve people, things can and will go wrong. Provide first aid when necessary.


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1 Comment

Joel · December 17, 2019 at 15:40

Nice breakdown Peter. Will look into the book recommendation and potentially give this a go in an upcoming meeting 🙂

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