Having trouble deciding on something in your personal life? Or do you have a hard time agreeing on something within your team? Then this method is for you.
Other ways of decision making
When faced with an important decision to make, I usually weigh the pros against the cons. But is this really the right strategy to look at things you find important as positive and negative? There must be an alternative. Below only the context of decision-making regarding a team will be discussed.
The six thinking hats was created by Edward de Bono. He used this technique in his work advising government agencies. The idea of this method is that there is no right or wrong comment and when used in teams you can separate your own opinion from what is best for the company. Putting on a hat makes you less likely to be criticized within a team.
Meaning of the hats
Let’s dive deeper into the meaning of the hats. For further explanation of this method I will also incorporate Jim Kwik’s view on the six thinking hats.
- Green hat – creative thinking
Here you get the opportunity to think creatively about the problem. Another way of creative thinking is finding a solution outside the box.
- Red hat – heart
Here you can ask yourself what emotions come up. What is my gut telling me?
- Yellow hat – optimism
Questions that arise when wearing the yellow hat are what is the upside? What are the benefits?
- Black hat – judge or critic
This hat contains the risk assessment. You can consider questions like what could go wrong? Why do I need to be cautious?
- White hat – logic
This hat is about information gathering. What are the facts? How can I look at this objectively?
- Blue hat – helicopter
When wearing this hat you can look at all the information of the other hats. Think about the big picture.
It is recommended by Jim Kwik to end with the blue hat because it contains all the sentiments of the other hats.
How to use this method
When working in a team you can choose to all put on the same hat and discuss your different views. However, it is also interesting to choose two hats and divide the team to see what conversation arises when two hats are worn at the same time. The latter allows different perspectives. I’ll be using this method the next time a decision needs to be made. Would you put this method into practice? Let us know on our socials.
Image: Unsplash, by Deji Akinyele