6 thinking hats by Edward de Bono

date Sep 11, 2007
authors Edward de Bono
reading time 1 min
  • Book Title: 6 Thinking Hats
  • Author: Edward de Bono
  • Year written/published: 1985
  • Summary: 6 thinking hats - White, Red, Black, Yellow, Green, Blue defines the 6 ways humans think.
  • My Comments: Interesting outlook! So say in a discussion, we can always steer the thinking towards a particular direction - instead of saying you need to think differently, we can say let’s put on the yellow hat! i’ll definitely remember this in group work times! A must read for all meeting coordinators and team leader… or just anybody!!
  • Some extracts:

6 hats and their functions…

  • White Hat: White is neutral and objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.
  • Red Hat: Red suggests anger, rage emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view.
  • Black Hat: Black is somber and serious. The back hat is cautious and careful. It points out the weaknesses in an idea.
  • Yellow Hat: Yellow is sunny and positive. The Yellow hat is optimistic and covers hope and positive thinking.
  • Green Hat: Green is grass, vegetation, and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.
  • Blue Hat: Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky, which is above everything else. The blue hat is concerned with control, the organisation of the thinking process and the use of other hats.

use of the ‘hat’ symbolism…

In practise the hats are always referred to by their colour and never by their function. There is a good reason for this. If you ask someone to give his or her emotional reaction to something, you are unlikely to get an honest answer because people think it is wrong to be emotional. But the term red hat is natural. You can ask someone to “take off the black hat” for a moment…. … The neutrality of the colours allows the hats to be used without embarrassment. Thinking becomes a game with defined rules rather than a matter of exhortation and condemnation.