Six Thinking Hats – Productive Thinking Approach

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six thinking hats

Table of contents:-


What are the six thinking hats? 

Thinking hats are a concept that is popularly used as a technique to enhance creative thinking in a group. This is especially needed in product development to bring about a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to the product or service that is being created. 

There are six hats with different colors that are allotted particular roles in order to give structure to the abstract thinking. The six hatsare: 

  • The White Hat: This is the hat of objectivity that concerns data, facts, and information. 
  • The Red Hat: This is the hat of intuition and passion that aids individuals to put forward their feelings without judgments. 
  • The Black Hat: This hat represents pessimism and caution. It promotes vigilance and gives critical judgment. 
  • The Yellow Hat: This hat represents positivism. It considers the positive side of any given circumstance even if it’s negative. 
  • The Green Hat: This hat denotes creativity and innovation. It encourages new ideas and unique approaches towards mundane things. 
  • The Blue Hat: This hat represents organization and direction. It encourages analysis of information, controls the process, and asks for final decisions or conclusions. 

During the product development process, each thinking hat constitutes a small group of team members who view and work on the idea from the perspective of the hat. For instance: Objectivity, caution, innovation, direction, etc. This helps to bring in varied perspectives to the developmental process. This creates a room for healthy collaboration and brings in powerful ideas. 

How was the concept of six thinking hats created? 

The concept of the six thinking hats was developed in the year 1985 by a famous Psychologist Dr. Edward de Bono who published his book titled with the phrase. The idea behind this concept is to promote parallel thinking so that thinking processes can be detailed, cohesive, and collaborative at the same time. 

The aim of the book was to structure abstract thinking, which is often welcomed with skepticism and doubt. However, this concept facilitates forming an effective way of brainstorming any idea that comes up, by passing it through different hats. 


Q: What do the six thinking hats mean? 

A: The six thinking hats stand for objectivity, intuition, caution, positivity, creativity, and organization. 

Q: Who created the six thinking hats?

A: The six thinking hats were created by a famous psychologist Dr. Edward de Bono in 1985.

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