Six hats to help you make that decision!
I would love to take credit for this but, alas, this is the work of Edward de Bono in his book '6 Thinking Hats'. What I have done here is illustrate the basis behind what he writes and will give you my thoughts as to how this style of thought process is great for helping make those decisions.
Often we think from a logical or rational thought process but so many other factors need to be considered and this tool brings them to the fore.
Now I’m a fan of wearing hats and have many different styles and colours. I’m not going to grab them all to carry out this exercise, besides which, the only white one I can think of is my wife’s garden one with a floral ribbon… not quite my style. So, let us look at this metaphorically.
- White Hat: (Data)
This is all about looking at the information available to you, what logical things can you recall from past trends? Make deductions from these and what information do you require to complete your knowledge base? Assess, analyse and learn.
- Red Hat: (Intuition)
Time to use your gut feelings with a good dose of non-logical emotion. How will your decision ‘emotionally’ affect others? How will they asses your reasoning for taking such action?
- Black Hat: (Defensive)
Well, come on, it’s obvious why it isn’t going to work! And this is the voice in our head that normally wins over and we stop. However, this is a great way to look at potential weak points. Develop a plan to overcome them, ignore them for what they are or simply fix them.
- Yellow Hat: (Optimism)
Positive thought process is the energy behind any decision. The benefit finder that sees the value in what you’re planning. It’s bright, like sunshine, helps lift you when other things may not quite be going as expected.
- Green Hat: (Creativity)
Imagine sticking this one on your bonce to develop creative solutions to a tricky situation. A carefree way of open-minded thinking, void of criticism. Brain dump all yours and other people’s ideas and sift through even the wackiest ones.
- Blue Hat: (Process)
Take control of the situation. If things are starting to look glum, order the Yellow hat brigade and their ideas to come forward, if contingency is the name of the game, grab the black hat etc. Blue Hat thinking is the over-view process and insures the idea remains on track.
All too often, we start an idea with ‘Yellow Hat’ optimism yet allow ‘Black’ gloom squash it rather than taking ‘Blue’ approach of listening to what both have to say then introducing White, Red and Green to the discussion!
Coaching to success use this and another similar tool to really explore decision outcomes and will dig much deeper into you or your teams pyche and deliver some amazing thoughts to give that edge over competition or just the betterment of your organisation.
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Caroline Wellingham - Accredited Career and Life Coach, NLP PractitionerJuly 12th, 2017