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Six Thinking Hats Template

Foster diverse perspectives, analyze comprehensively, and pave the way for effective problem-solving.

About the Six Thinking Hats Template

The Six Thinking Hats Template is a tool that facilitates structured and creative thinking by assigning specific thinking roles or perspectives, each represented by a different "hat." These hats guide individuals or teams through various ways of approaching a problem or decision, encouraging a well-rounded exploration of ideas and solutions. It's a versatile technique often used in brainstorming sessions, problem-solving, and decision-making processes.

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What is the Six Thinking Hats Template?

The Six Thinking Hats Template is a visual framework for structured thinking and decision-making developed by Edward de Bono. It uses six different "hats," each representing a specific perspective or thinking mode. These hats guide individuals or teams in considering problems, decisions, or ideas from various angles, fostering a more comprehensive and well-rounded analysis. The six hats include White (factual information), Red (emotions and intuition), Black (caution and critical judgment), Yellow (optimism and benefits), Green (creative and alternative ideas), and Blue (process control and organization). This technique encourages more effective and balanced discussions and problem-solving.

How to use the Six Thinking Hats template?

Using the Six Thinking Hats Template involves a structured process to guide thinking and decision-making from different perspectives. Here's how to use it:

  • Set up your session: Start by creating a digital whiteboard or document with six distinct sections, each corresponding to one of the six thinking hats.
  • Assign roles or perspectives: Assign each participant or team member a specific thinking hat. They will adopt the perspective associated with that hat during the session.
  • White Hat (Facts and Information): Participants wearing the White Hat focus on presenting objective facts, data, and information relevant to the topic or problem. They should provide clear, unbiased details to establish a factual foundation for discussion.
  • Red Hat (Emotions and Intuition): Those with the Red Hat share their emotional reactions, intuitions, and gut feelings about the subject. This allows for the expression of personal feelings without the need for justification.
  • Black Hat (Caution and Critical Judgment): The Black Hat thinkers play the devil's advocate. They critically assess potential risks, drawbacks, and weaknesses of ideas or decisions. This hat is about cautious, pessimistic thinking.
  • Yellow Hat (Optimism and Benefits): Yellow Hat thinkers emphasize the positive aspects, benefits, and opportunities associated with the topic. They explore the advantages and possibilities.
  • Green Hat (Creativity and New Ideas): The Green Hat encourages creative and innovative thinking. Participants in this role should generate new ideas, alternative solutions, and out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Blue Hat (Process Control and Organization): The Blue Hat is responsible for facilitating the session. They manage the thinking process, maintain order, and ensure that each hat is used effectively. The Blue Hat may also guide the session's agenda and structure.
  • Rotate or combine hats: Depending on the complexity of the discussion or problem, you can rotate the hats so that everyone takes on different perspectives. Alternatively, you can have individuals wear multiple hats during a session to encourage a more comprehensive analysis.
  • Structured discussion: Encourage participants to share their thoughts from their assigned thinking hat's perspective. Keep the discussion focused on that particular mode of thinking. Rotate through the hats as needed to thoroughly explore the topic or problem.
  • Reach a conclusion: After exploring the subject from different angles, the group can collectively reach a more balanced and informed conclusion or decision.

The history behind the Six Thinking Hats

The Six Thinking Hats, developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, have been widely embraced by organizations worldwide in their training programs since 1991. The de Bono network spans 72 countries and comprises 18 training partners serving as Authorised Distributors. We offer both in-person and virtual training and facilitation, enhanced by interactive digital courses and applications, enabling you to apply these methods to topics of significance. To learn more, please reach out to us at This summary has been shared with permission from de Bono.

Please note that "Six Thinking Hats" is a registered trademark. Copyright Edward de Bono Ltd 2021.

FAQ about the Six Thinking Hats Template

What do the six thinking hats mean?

The Six Thinking Hats is a structured thinking method developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, where individuals or groups use different "hats" to represent various thinking styles or perspectives. Each hat represents a unique way of approaching a problem or decision, such as logical thinking (white hat), emotions and intuitions (red hat), critical thinking (black hat), creativity (green hat), optimism (yellow hat), and process control (blue hat). This method helps facilitate productive discussions and well-rounded decision-making.

What are the benefits of six thinking hats?

The Six Thinking Hats method offers several benefits, including improved decision-making, enhanced creativity, structured problem-solving, more effective communication, and the ability to view issues from multiple angles. It encourages a holistic approach to thinking and problem-solving, leading to better outcomes and more efficient meetings.

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