The 6 thinking hats is one method used to enhance creative conversations. This method ensures that a wide variety of views and ways of thinking are represented. Using the 6 roles or else what hats represent, the framework allows teams to structure abstract thinking for productive results. But what does each hat represent?
The blue hat
The blue hat is designated as the hat of control, used for management and organization. More precisely, the one who owns it transmits calmness and balance and possesses self-control. Its role is to control the whole process and is used at its beginning and end. At first, one uses it to choose which hats to choose and in what order. In the end, it is what helps to make the final decision. The blue color here represents structured thinking, alternatives, and new strategies that one can propose for gaining control of the process.
The green hat
The green hat is considered to be the hat of creativity. It represents creative thinking, and whoever holds this role is exploring a range of new ideas and possible ways to progress the process. The green hat still focuses on possibilities and alternatives and is an excellent opportunity to express fresh perceptions and concepts. This role requires originality and transcending the limits of any anachronistic perception.
The red hat
The red hat is, one would say, the most intense of all 6 hats. It’s a passionate role that represents emotion and not at all logic. The steps of this perspective lead to the unknown, to a vivid subjectivity that accepts all freedom. It is therefore given the possibility of free expression for any preference or dislike. Intuition is what decides here. The red hat helps anyone who owns it to gain a good knowledge of their feelings and instincts.
The yellow hat
The yellow hat represents optimism. The perspective of thinking here passes through the most positive and optimistic view. The benefits and added value that each idea could have are highlighted. In other words, the yellow hat enhances chances that only the one who owns it can see. Things are becoming more constructive with an optimistic logic.
The black hat
Doubtlessly the black hat represents the negative side of a situation. Always using logic, the black hat is the one that shows that maybe some things go wrong or do not work. It shows the risks, difficulties, and problems that one will face in the process of making a decision. Although this hat helps the person become more realistic, it should not be used often as it can lead to extreme criticality and negativism.
The white hat
The white hat represents the collection of true information. It is the hat of truth and reality. Here one can think of information that one already knows or collect new ones that are missing. It shows things from an objective, impartial and neutral point of view. The style of thinking applied here is based on the analysis of facts and the comparison of information that exists without any subjective judgments at all. No interpretations nor opinions are given except purely the facts.
The use of the 6 hats
By using the 6 hats, a team can learn to separate thoughts into 6 clear roles. Each thought role is identified by a different colored hat and falls into clear separate meanings. Wearing the symbolic hats, one can easily focus on new thoughts, events or redirect thoughts depending on the conversation. It is believed that the key to the successful use of this methodology is the focus of the discussion on a specific approach as required during the discussion.
The benefits of the 6 thinking hats
In addition to improving the quality of decisions in any case this method offers many advantages. In particular, it structures a more organized thought as everyone can be sure that they have looked at the issue from every angle. Also, an important benefit of the 6-hat method is to practice the sociability of the people who use it. The members of a group practice listening, communicating emotions, logical thinking with arguments as well as many other useful skills. A person who will follow these threads can be sure that they will do better, from now on, in resolving conflicts. However, this technique of thinking requires people belonging to a group to put aside their prejudices and differences and focus on understanding things for a common purpose.
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