Showing posts with label Self Improvement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self Improvement. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2023

How to Think Better? - Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono


Rene Descartes's observation "Cogito, ergo, sum" in Latin which translates into English as "I Think, therefore, I am", is one of the most famous sayings in modern Western philosophy.

The ability to Think is a unique quality of a human being and possibly it makes us humans, distinctively different from other animals.

However, Thinking can be a daunting task especially when we have to make a big decision in life, when we are dealing with a complex problem, or when we are dealing with an unprecedented event or situation in life. Thinking becomes stressful, and confusing because we get overwhelmed by dealing with too many things - emotions, information, logic, self-interest vs collective interests, weight of the consequences (what if?) etc.

Edward de Bono, the famous Psychologist was a strong advocate for teaching How to Think? to children in their school curriculum. He had devised a methodology for improving the quality of thinking. This Thinking Model is known as Six Thinking Hats.

Six Thinking Hats is a simple yet powerful concept. Each hat colour represents a particular dimension of thinking. All one needs to do (individual or group brainstorming) is to imagine putting on the Hat one at a time and focus on a particular aspect of thinking. 

There is no one right sequence to follow. Just that a blue hat should always be used both at the beginning and the end of the thinking session - like two bookends.

The process culminates by putting together this singular aspect of thinking (one thing at a time) just like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, to generate the final, complete picture.

The chart below summarizes the key concepts of 6 Thinking Hats:

As mentioned above the sequence of hats can be any, just that the Blue Hat needs to be used in the beginning and at the end of the Thinking process.

The first blue hat indicates:
Why and what we are thinking, define the problem statement, what we want to achieve (outcomes).

The final blue hat indicates:
What we have achieved (outcomes), final conclusion, solutions and plan of actions. 

Pun intended - with Edward de Bono's 6 Thinking Hats methodology, we can reframe "I think therefore, I am" to I Think Better therefore, I am better". 

Hope you found it useful and you add 6 Thinking Hats in your tool kit and solve your problems more effectively and efficiently.

For a detailed reading, you can pick up the book Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono (Penguin publications).