Six hats map

Six thinking hats framework by Dr. Edward de Bono helps you stay focused and productive during meetings and discussions. Hats framework allows you to detach your ego from your discussions and focus on results.

Hats are used symbolically and there is no need to actually wear a particular hat. You just state that you are going to wear a particular hat. Hats are used to simulate the role playing. Six hats framework is extremely easy to learn and can be taught in 5-10 minutes to anybody including children. (who love role playing)

To use the hats during a meeting or discussion, you explain the six hats metaphor to everybody. During the discussion, everybody explicitly states the hat he or she is wearing and makes a statement according to his or her hat’s color. Hats can be changed as many times as you like.

For example if you want to make an emotional statement, you will put on your red hat and put forward your statement. Similarly to say anything negative, you will tell the participants that you are now going to make black hat statement.

Blue hat is normally used by someone who is conducting the discussion (the controller) and allows him or her to keep everyone stay focused on the subject of the discussions. If the discussion drifts to off-topics, he can wear his blue hat and ask everyone to stay on the topic.

Some people are always positive, some find satisfaction in findings faults. Some others are creative. Six hats framework forces you to recognize your favorite hat and expects you to use all the hats in a balanced way. For example if you are too much critical (black hat) or emotional (red hat), it is expected from you that you use the yellow hat (positive) and white hat (facts) too.

To use the hats effectively you need to use the correct hat for each statement. For example you cannot say something emotional and make it look like a white hat statement. White hat is reserved for pure facts and you are expected to be asked for a reference which can prove that your statement is a pure fact.

Here is a mind map of six thinking hats which you can print and distribute before meetings/discussions or use as your computer desktop background for easy reference.

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