The Six Hats of Thinking Technique can be termed as a way of researching a subject from a variety of perspectives, with clear and non-conflicting views. The technique, which can be applied individually or in groups, aims to go beyond the usual ways of thinking. It is used to think constructively about how to reach a solution by considering problems from different aspects.
The Six-Hat Thinking Technique, the most common area of use of which is education, can be preferred by managers to enliven and make interesting meetings that are static and monotonous in the business environment, where only certain people participate.
The Six Hats of Thinking Technique was first created by Edward de Bono, a doctor, psychologist, and philosopher. The scientist, who used this technique in the matters he consulted in government institutions, wanted Six Hats of Thinking to be a tool for solving daily problems as well. The thinking technique with 6 hats, which he put forward for the first time in his book of the same name in 1985, has reached the present day by being revised several times. De Bono, who passed away in 2021, is also the inventor of Lateral Thinking, a method of solving problems indirectly, often in creative and astonishing ways.
In this content, we will examine how decision-making and problem-solving skills can be developed by addressing the principles and subtleties of the 6 thinking hats technique. Here are the 6 Hats thinking technique and application details…
What is the 6 Hats Thinking Technique?
The Six Hats of Thinking Technique is a problem-solving skill that has entered our education literature with a constructivist education approach and aims to reveal the instinctive approaches of people with different characters in decision making. Although the most common application area is education, the six hat thinking technique can be easily applied in solving problems encountered in business life.
This technique, which includes different perspectives, is an effective decision-making method in terms of showing several ways to reach a solution. By evaluating all ideas and ways, sudden decision making is prevented.
It takes the person (or groups) beyond any instinctive situation and enables to look at the issue from different perspectives. Once one experiences each hat, they gain a wealth of insight to help them decide on the next step.
The Six Thinking Hats and their meanings are as follows:
Blue hat: Process Management
The blue hat sees the problem holistically by looking at the problem from above, from a general point of view. The person wearing the blue hat focuses on controlling their thoughts and directing the decision making process. Summarizes the problem on the agenda, presents it clearly, asks for a status statement and reaches the conclusion. He is the moderator in problem solving.
Green Hat: Creativity
Inspired by the color of nature, the green hat represents creative thinking. It includes lots of brainstorming and associative insights. The person who wears this hat realizes that there can be new ideas and differences. He acquires a set of reasoning by exploring possible ways forward.
Red hat : Emotions
The red hat represents emotions and instincts. The person wearing this hat does not have to justify their feelings with logical explanations while focusing on the problem and looking for solutions. He simply tells how he feels about the issue and follows the path of his emotions to the conclusion that awaits him.
Yellow Hat: Optimism
The person wearing the yellow hat looks at the problem in the most positive way possible, with the optimism he is in. Expresses himself by emphasizing the benefits his ideas can provide and the added value of situations.
Black Hat: Risks – Challenges
Critical thinking skills are top notch in this hat. The person wearing the black hat is cautious and always considers the risks that may arise. Making critical judgments, she explains exactly why she is worried, what her reservations are, and identifies problems.
The black hat is very often preferred because it is one of the hats that expresses the most powerful way of thinking. Since a general judgment is made, it should be taken into account that other hats may affect the decision-making process.
White Hat: Real Knowledge
The white hat, which was included in the event based on calmness and purity, represents information gathering. With an emphasis on analytical thinking and applicability, the wearer reviews their already existing knowledge and insights. When faced with a problem, he knows where to go to reach information and is aware of which paths to follow. He is also conscious of the information he has overlooked.
Some colors may have different effects that are generally accepted and represented in different cultures. In this case, the color of the hats can be changed, provided that there are six different colors and six different characters suitable for these colors, depending on the region. The teacher and students can decide on this together and determine the character trait of the hat. Hat color and character loading can also be considered as an activity that students can enjoy in the lesson. For example,
- 6 tables are placed in the middle of the classroom or 6 hats can be hung on the classroom board.
- A blank sheet of paper is pasted next to each hat.
- Everyone writes a feature on the papers, just one sentence, and moves on to the other hat.
- His friend, who comes after him, continues to add features.
- At the end, all the posts are read and the most liked features are selected.
- With this application, known as the station technique, a fun lesson activity was realized and the colors of the hats and the character traits suitable for the colors were determined.
Examples of Six Hats Thinking Activity:
- For this technique, which can be applied individually or in groups, first people who represent 6 hat colors are selected. It is useful to determine the hat colors in accordance with the character traits of the people.
- A problem to be evaluated from different aspects is determined.
- The problem is examined and initiates the blue hat process to generate suggestions for solutions. Briefly explain the situation.
- He states how he will manage the process and what expectations he has from other hats.
- The fact that the red hat presents research ideas is a key point in reaching the real solution.
- The solution is approached with the creative ideas of the green hat.
- The debate continues between the white hat presenting the available data and the critical black hat.
- After everyone has spoken their mind and used the data they have, the word comes back to the blue hat. The blue hat is the person who collects all the data and documents the solution and notifies the decision reached.
Subject: The Effect of Virtual Books on Reading Habits
|HAT COLOR||FEATURE||PROBLING APPROACH|
|BLUE||PROCESS MANAGEMENT||WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF E-BOOKS ON READING?|
|GREEN||CREATIVITY||E-BOOKS CAN OFFER NEW TECHNOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITIES.|
|RED||EMOTIONAL APPROACH||E-BOOKS CAN ALSO BRING A READING HABIT.|
|YELLOW||OPTIMISM||MORE BOOKS CAN BE ACCESSED IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT.|
|BLACK||RISKS||RISKS, LOSSES OF THE INTERNET ENVIRONMENT.|
|WHITE||FACT INFORMATION||RESULTS OF RESEARCHES, READING RATES IN OUR COUNTRY.|
In an event where the effects of electronic books on reading habits and reading comprehension are discussed, the sentences that are likely to be said by those representing the hats are as follows:
- What is an e-book?
- Since when in our lives?
- How can we access e-books?
- How often can e-books be read?
- If we use technology correctly, e-books can be instrumental in the realization of brand new projects.
- How can we turn the time spent reading books on the internet into an opportunity?
- It is also a great gain for us to have instant access to unknown words and to learn the curious subjects immediately with the technology at their disposal.
- Everyone spends their time on the internet now. I think spending some of that time reading is a great way to pass the time.
- Someone who has not acquired the habit of reading books may also like to read thanks to e-books.
- I can research the concentration times of e-book readers.
- E-books can increase access and diversity. In this way, more types of reading can be achieved with less expense.
- Reading rates will increase in the near future.
- As the reader becomes more and more accustomed to e-books, their focus and comprehension levels will change positively.
- Reading should be done in a calm, recreational setting. A reading activity embedded in technology does not rest the person, on the contrary, it can negatively affect his concentration.
- People, especially children, who are immersed in the vast ocean of the Internet can acquire undesirable behaviors from this process.
- The length of time spent on the screen can adversely affect eye health.
- In a study, children who read print books are more likely to understand what they read and focus on the book than children who read e-books.
- Again, in this study, it was seen that children who read printed books gave more correct answers to the questions asked about the book they read.
Subject: Sales status of the newly used organic natural-looking packaging and the black 500 ml thermos.
|HAT COLOR||FEATURE||PROBLING APPROACH|
|BLUE||PROCESS MANAGEMENT||WHAT SHOULD BE OUR NEW MARKETING STRATEGIES?|
|GREEN||CREATIVITY||NATURAL LOOK CAN GIVE US NEW MARKETS!|
|RED||EMOTIONAL APPROACH||A NEW STYLE MEANS NEW CUSTOMERS!|
|YELLOW||OPTIMISM||INNOVATION AND CHANGE IS GOOD, OPENS NEW DOORS.|
|BLACK||RISKS||EVERYONE IS USING THE SAME PACKAGING ALREADY.|
|WHITE||FACT INFORMATION||OUR SALES INCREASED 10%!|
In a meeting where the sales of the newly introduced organic natural-looking packaging and the black 500 ml thermos were discussed, the possible sentences of those representing the hats would be as follows:
- What should our new marketing and advertising strategies be like?
- Who are our target audience?
- Would black color be useful?
- Being organic is very trendy. If we can use this icon correctly, we can reach a whole new audience.
- A 500 ml thermos will be very useful for those who work and spend most of their time on the road, for those who carry their tea or coffee with them, for students, to fit in a bag.
- The stylish and durable packaging of the product will please our customers who care about the packaging and safe delivery of the product.
- When product quality is added, it can be a good way of advertising to promote the product both in social media environments and in its physical environment.
- It’s a popular habit to buy personal items and carry your drink with you.
- This new thermos can increase our product variety and increase our revenue diversification rate.
- We can start to get better feedback from our customers and if we can make good use of it, it can be a good promotional opportunity for us.
- Thermoses are generally used in large family organizations such as picnics. This small size is enough for only one, maximum two people.
- Since the new product we use for packaging is organic, it is too costly and we may not be able to make a profit if it is not added to the price of the product.
- Our survey conducted last month shows that 30% of those who buy thermos prefer a small, personal thermos.
- Since the launch of the new packaging, return rates have dropped 60% due to shipping and delivery issues.
What are the Benefits of the Six-Hat Thinking Technique?
- A quality decision is obtained as every way is evaluated to reach the result. Since comprehensive assessments were made, all aspects of the situation were presented. In addition, unnecessary information and time-wasting traps are eliminated in this respect.
- Because it is based on a holistic perspective, the data obtained is flexible, efficient and accurate.
- It develops creative thinking with the discussion environment it provides and applied brainstorming methods.
- It inspires generating new ideas by developing different perspectives.
- It increases productivity by advancing the ability of analysis and synthesis.
- It helps to channel curiosity and critical thinking.
- It allows to be able to empathize by getting away from being stuck on the existing and taking different roles.
- Discussion strengthens interpersonal communication and in-group interaction with comprehension-based listening, asking questions and answering questions.
- It increases the self-confidence and persuasion ability of the participant who tries to put forward his idea and get the other person to accept it.
- It ensures that different characters are together and no one is left out.
- Since everyone can participate in discussion and problem solving, it is important for the person to gain a sense of belonging to the group he is in and to feel responsible by owning the problem.