Six Thinking Hats
Book

Six Thinking Hats

Little, Brown US, 1985
First Edition: 1981

Rating

7

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

People of all ages and from every walk of life have used Edward de Bono’s “Thinking Hats method.” It provides a convenient, easy way to cut through confusion and process information clearly. De Bono’s “Six Hats” are visualization tools that help sidestep the ego, providing a path to nonjudgmental decision making. Each chapter in his book includes a detailed description of a different hat color and its applications. De Bono offers plenty of example dialogues to suggest how to use the hats in conversation. getAbstract recommends his approach to managers, teachers, group leaders or anyone involved in group decision making.

Summary

How People Think

When striving to think clearly about a situation or a problem, human beings face two major challenges.

The first obstacle is their ego. A desire to get their way, antagonize someone or show others how smart they are may cloud their judgment.

Second, people are prone to confusion. They constantly try to “juggle” such factors as “emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity.”

The “Thinking Hats method” helps you make better decisions by allowing you to focus on one of these at a time. The hats are visualization tools that relate to each of the brain’s functions.

The Purpose of the “Thinking Hats”

The Thinking Hats method has two main purposes:

  1. Simplify your thinking – This approach allows you to focus on one thing at a time, instead of juggling thoughts, emotions and intuitions along with facts and figures.
  2. “Switch” your thinking (or others’) – If people at a meeting are making negative comments, you can ask them to remove their “black thinking hats,” which symbolize caution and risk analysis, and put on “yellow hats,” which signify optimism. If you ask in this way, they ...

About the Author

Edward de Bono holds degrees in medicine and psychology. He was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and has taught at Oxford, Cambridge, London and Harvard universities. He has written more than forty books, including Lateral Thinking, De Bono’s Thinking Course and Teach Your Child How to Think.


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