Six Thinking Hats

Have you participated in group discussions or spent time with yourself on self-reflection?

Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono presents a powerful tool for group discussion and individual thinking.

De Bono, a renowned expert in creative thinking, introduces a method for refining and enhancing the thinking process.

The book provides a structured way to explore different perspectives on a complex situation or challenge.

Key Concepts:

  1. The Six Hats: Each hat represents a different style of thinking:
    • White Hat: Focuses on data and facts.
    • Red Hat: Signifies emotions and feelings.
    • Black Hat: Cautious and conservative, looking at risks and potential problems.
    • Yellow Hat: Optimistic and positive, exploring benefits and value.
    • Green Hat: Creative and innovative thinking.
    • Blue Hat: Controls and organizes the thinking process.
  2. Parallel Thinking: The concept encourages multiple people to think in parallel along the same line. This approach contrasts with the argumentative style where different people take opposing views.
  3. Simplifying Complex Discussions: By categorizing thoughts, the Six Hats method simplifies and clarifies complex discussions, ensuring that all aspects of an issue are considered.
  4. Emotional Intelligence: The Red Hat acknowledges the importance of emotions in decision-making, often overlooked in traditional, logic-driven environments.
  5. Risk Assessment and Opportunity Recognition: The Black and Yellow Hats balance caution with optimism, enabling better risk assessment and the recognition of potential opportunities.
  6. Idea Generation: The Green Hat symbolizes creative thinking and the generation of new ideas, essential for innovation and problem-solving.
  7. Process Control: The Blue Hat represents process control, guiding and focusing the thinking process.

Lessons and Applications:

  • Enhanced Group Discussions: The method can transform group discussions, making them more structured, focused, and inclusive of different viewpoints.
  • Individual Decision-Making: For individual thinking, the hats offer a way to explore different perspectives, leading to more well-rounded decision-making.
  • Conflict Resolution: The method helps in resolving conflicts by separating ego from performance and focusing on the issue at hand.
  • Boosting Creativity: Encourages creativity and innovation by providing a space for out-of-the-box thinking (Green Hat).
  • Emotional Awareness: Acknowledges the role of emotions and intuition in making decisions.


Six Thinking Hats is a versatile and practical tool for enhancing thinking and communication effectiveness in both personal and professional contexts.

By adopting this method, individuals and groups can improve their problem-solving, decision-making, and creative abilities.

Read the book, elevate your thinking processes and collaborate effectively.