Do you ever find that you are stuck in one way of thinking? Perhaps you are always optimistic. Perhaps you are always too careful. What is your first instinct?

When you think about an issue, consider another side.

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Sometimes, it takes a really simple change to look at a problem in a new way.

By taking different viewpoints, we can make better decisions. Get ready to put on the Six Thinking Hats!

What is Six Thinking Hats?

The Six Thinking Hats is a technique to help you look at decisions from a number of perspectives. We can challenge the way we think!

Quiz

How can you use the Six Thinking Hats?

The different styles of thinking

Each hat focuses on a different way to think. This is a “parallel thinking process” considering all points of view.

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The hats in action

Try the hats on your own, or give everyone in a group a different hat.

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In groups, people agree how they will think, then they do the thinking.

Discussions begin and end with a blue hat. Each hat is used for about two minutes. It is fine to use the hats in a way that works best for you or your group.

Benefits of Six Thinking Hats

This technique helps:

  • see all sides of a situation

  • use a systematic approach

  • consider new or unusual angles

  • spot opportunities, not problems

  • think clearly and objectively

In meetings, the six hats help:

  • minimize conflicts

  • promote collaboration

  • improve meetings

  • generate better ideas

  • save time and energy

How you can use this technique

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The Six Thinking Hats help with:

  • problem-solving

  • creative thinking

  • decision-making

  • team communication

  • project management 

Take Action

Work and life are full of issues, problems, decisions, and opportunities. How we look at them makes all the difference.

Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash

You can learn, practice and apply the Six Thinking Hats in any area of your life. They can help you see all sides of an issue with more focus. Each perspective helps.

The next time you are faced with a problem, reach for a different thinking hat!

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This Byte has been authored by

JD

JK DAINA

learning design + communications