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Six Thinking Hats

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  9,224 ratings  ·  629 reviews
The multi million-copy bestseller Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono, author of Lateral Thinking and I Am Right You Are Wrong, teaches you how to run better meetings and make better decisions. Meetings are a crucial part of all our lives, but too often they go nowhere and waste valuable time. In Six Thinking Hats, Edward de Bono shows how meetings can be transformed to pr ...more
Paperback, Revised Edition, 177 pages
Published October 31st 2000 by Penguin Canada (first published 1981)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  9,224 ratings  ·  629 reviews

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Lukas Vermeer
Starting off wearing my white hat, this book has only 173 pages and did not take me long to read at all.

Switching to the red hat, I can't say I'm very excited about the collaborative thinking methodology described.

If I were forced into a yellow hat, I'd say there may be some opportunity to use the hats as symbols in regular communication to indicate a certain thinking style is desired.

However, my black hat thinking immediately suggests that mentioning any colour hat to the uninitiated will only
Cassandra Kay Silva
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
So annoying! If anyone in an actual business meeting told me to pause and put my green thinking hat on I would literally immediately take it off done my red hat and lash into them with a tirade of the stupidity of it all. What are we kindergarteners? Are we so bad at thinking and creative collectivity that we need to label hats to make sense of one another and listen to one another? Can't we use our own ability as coordinating social creatures to approach problems on our own from different angle ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a strange book to review and the reason I say that is because, in theory, it sounds like a great process and methodology, but in reality, it is difficult to manage and can be a disaster. The core reason to employ the “Six Thinking Hats” is to comprehensively explore a problem or develop a solution by considering six defined perspectives and giving each appropriate and focused attention to generating decisions/actions/outputs.

The theory and application are such that we put on dif
Simon Gianoutsos
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, psychology
This is a very easy read and provides a good simple approach for exploring ideas and problems through thinking from different perspectives in a structured manner. There are six hats, each of which have different characteristics:
- White Hat: facts, figures, information
- Red Hat: emotions and feelings, hunch and intuition
- Black Hat: devil's advocate, negative judgement
- Yellow Hat: optimism, positivity
- Green Hat: creativity
- Blue Hat: controlling of the hats and thinking, orchestration

The idea
Graeme Rodaughan
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking improvement.
The best value for this book is to apply it to your own thinking. Swap hats and look at a problem or an opportunity from multiple angles to improve your own decision making.
Karen ⊰✿
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookiam
Well, de Bono does rather like himself continually reminding us of his creations including the term "lateral thinking", but don't let that stop you from reading and understanding the six thinking hats directly from him.
I've seen the concept used in ways it was not designed to be (calling someone a "yellow hat thinker" for example. The idea is that we ALL use all the hats) and the concept is easy to understand although does take practice to administer.
If it has been a while since you have read th
Nadin Adel
The Six Thinking Hats is a technique that can be utilized in both business meetings and day-to-day decision making. It is claimed to organize meetings to best reach an agreeable decision. The ideas can be summarized as follows.

First, contributors should adhere to the rules of the game, which is usually organized by the lead or chairperson. This approach of planning out how the meeting should be conducted is done under the blue hat thinking. This is where the person in charge (metaphorically a ch
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
A good concept which could be captured in 4-5 pages, but converted into full blown book!!
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I slogged my way through this book with much effort despite its abbreviated length. The core concept is an interesting one, and it involves a process to make meetings, brainstorming, and all sorts of collaborative efforts more organized and productive by helping the participants better organize the way they think so as not to get bogged down with unrelated minutia while trying to focus on another specific segment of the issue at hand.

Instead of anyone bringing up any sort of argument (logical, e
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Six Thinking Hats is a good read if One is interested in improving ones thinking skills, both at work and outside. De Bono has tried to guide in a,common sense approach ad to how to fine tune and cultivate thinking skills by donning the six Colored hats just as an actor will play different roles at different situations. These hats are by White (one looks at information, data) , Red ( intuition, emotional /feeling part ) Black ( cautious, looking at issues /challenges, negative assessment) , yell ...more
Syed Misbahuddin
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Thinking is a skill and can be improved, this is what our book under review teaches us and says,

these are not idle words, but they are said by a consultant to many international corporations like IBM, EXXON, DUPONT, PROCTOR AND GAMBLE, SHELL, BP, FORD. ETC.,

Enough of bombarding you with Billion Dollar earning company names, let me climb down to common man, that is me, I wont sell my title of common man for a Billion Dollar, I
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction, pdf
Have you heard of ‘Six Thinking Hats” before?
First time when I heard that was in one of meet-up gatherings. I did not have a clue about it. The meet-up finished and I awaked full of knowledge.
Six Thinking Hats is a system designed as a tool to describe the group discussion and individual thinking involving the six colored hats. Now these six colors are:

1. Green : Creative thinking, represents the creativity, concerning alternative options, new ideas and giving a different understanding and conc
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Edward De Bono offers an interesting manual on the process of thinking. He suggests and persuasively argues that keeping our thoughts ordered and divided between the "Six Thinking Hats" allows us to be more effective with our decision making.

Each hat has a time and a place during the decision making process, the white hat is neutral, red is for our passionate and sometimes irrational emotions, etc etc.


"The difference between a good thinker and a poor thinker often lies int he ability to f
BuenoBomb aka Andre Bueno
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Six Thinking Hats is a decision making technique that forces you to adopt multiple perspectives of a situation.

The goal is to take in consideration each of the six hats, for a determined amount of time (e.g. 1 minute), and exploring its respective vantage point. Each 'Thinking Hat' is a different style of thinking:

White Hat: This thinking hat focuses on the facts, looks for gaps in your knowledge, and either tries to fill them in or take account of them.

Red Hat: This hat uses intuition, gut rea
Doc Norton
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a simple process that works quite well. I've run a number of parallel thinking sessions using the Six Thinking Hats. It has worked quite well in almost all instances.

If the participants are not familiar with the process, it can be difficult to facilitate. I recommend sharing the process with people prior to the meeting and then reviewing the process again before you get started.

If the participants are not genuinely committed, it can be a challenge. In one case, a "participant" declared t
Mohammed Agbawi
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-on-shelve

I applied this technique in a workshop with managerial level to evaluate new strategic approach In project implementation. Workshop agenda as follow:

1slide for definition and get opinion and fist impression from management about applying new strategy. Red hat
2-8 slide: present how to implement
1 slide : explain one senior of implementation and ask management for more idea to improve idea. Green hat.
1 slide: advantages/added values and disadvantages and ask management for more. Yellow
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
As a teacher, I found this model of thinking helpful for organizing classroom meetings. Kids have difficulty planning and problem-solving, just as adults do. The six hats method is something that can be explicitly taught. It's simple, concrete, and the kids enjoy the role-playing aspect of it.

I personally like the way it helps people to step back from their own thoughts and ego -- and to reflect on the process of thinking. In a way, it's a bit Buddhist.

I also appreciate the acknowledgement giv
June Ding
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The biggest enemy of thinking is complexity. We tend to confuse ourselves when we jam logic, emotions, information, hope and creativity all at once into our decision making. The six thinking hats method is very simple to understand. It simplifies thinking by allowing thinkers to think one thing at a time. It is the opposite of typical western style of thinking which tends to defend a conclusion with arguments. Here Dr De Bono put forward an eastern way of thinking: everyone contributes to draw u ...more
Adam Casto
Good concept, bad conveyance. De Bono seemed to think he had discovered a Holy Grail of sorts that will revolutionize, well, basically everything if only people would implement it. Each section takes a basic concept, a colored hat, and drones on and on about it in an almost manic salesman-like fashion. I think the concept of "Six Thinking Hats" would be much better conveyed with a brief description of the concept, followed by short and simple definitions of each color hat, then concluded with ju ...more
Chris Marr
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: consulting
Almost everyone is terrible at making decisions, why? No one has ever taught people how to make decisions. This is especially true at work. Whether it’s the guy that’s always telling you why something can’t be done, or they guy that’s always got great ideas, or the other guy who’s afraid to make a decision. The lack of structure for decision making holds us back from our own success. We can get out of our own way with the six thinking hats. Not only has this book helped me to think differently a ...more
Spencer Fancutt
I cannot imagine ever saying, "I want some ideas to do with television sets. The random word is cheese, so television po cheese." or "I'm going to put on my green hat and treat that as a provocation. We can black hat it later." or "Ok everyone, give me your red hat thinking on this proposal." Come to think of it, I cannot imagine saying any sentence in this book. Nevertheless, the basic idea is interesting. Discussing one approach at a time (pros, cons, feelings, facts, new ideas) in a meeting, ...more
Neha Gupta
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
It is a pretty simple book, all the thoughts articulated nicely.
This book need to be applied and the methodology will only work when all members of meeting have knowledge of the process.

It will have to be taught and practised to see the results.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A clear precise approach on how to analyze and provide details from 6 different perspectives on a single matter, in an objective manner.
Good approach for meetings, debates and quick decision making.
Pongsak Sarapukdee
white: facts and figures
red: emotional
black: careful
yellow: positive
green: creative
blue: organizing
I would say the book is about learning how to reduce meeting times.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-unsorted
rating: 3.5

I read this a good many years ago at the suggestion of a friend. At the time, de Bono's ideas were new to me. Different ways of thinking. The need for educators to teach for all learners, not just the ones that matched their own thinking styles.
Vaidant Jain
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book to understand some tricks of team skill building and management.
Nare Ghapantsyan
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting concept. Book is easy to read and instructions are quite clear. I wouldn't necessarily suggest to use this approach during a meeting, but some points can be derived for management of personal projects... or maybe this is just an introvert in me is taking a stand...
Sassa Mifrass
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
My PEAC teacher first introduced the Six Thinking Hats Theory to me, and I've been meaning to read up on it ever since.

Clear, instructional and methodical - I can see why adopting the six thinking hat methodology would halve some organisation's meeting times and greatly increase their decision making processes! I'm not sure, however, that I can picture myself saying "Okay, that's enough white hat Bob, can I get your red hat thinking on this?"

As De Bono explains, it's a contrived way of asking f
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the best technique I know about for collaborative decision making and problem solving. It is very effective in a group setting, allowing the group to focus in a particular way without generating conflict. It is also probably the most generative process I've come across... it sparks a great deal of creativity and thinking out of the box.

I think it is also very useful when considering a challenge from an individual point of view. It forces you to think about things from points of view you
Laura Noble
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have an early edition of this (so some references are but have passed it onto a young woman who works for me & really needs to discard her black hat & start with a yellow or green hat. I know it will help her to get where she needs to be, she has already got another part time job she really wants by approaching her thinking in a more positive structured way. It is good when you have a go to way of thinking to approach problems form new angles with great results. We go to school, college, uni & ...more
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Edward de Bono is a Maltese physician, author, inventor, and consultant. He is best known as the originator of the term lateral thinking (structured creativity) and the leading proponent of the deliberate teaching of thinking in schools.

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“We may have a perfectly adequate way of doing something, but that does not mean there cannot be a better way. So we set out to find an alternative way. This is the basis of any improvement that is not fault correction or problem solving.” 28 likes
“Creativity involves provocation, exploration and risk taking. Creativity involves "thought experiments." You cannot tell in advance how the experiment is going to turn out. But you want to be able to carry out the experiment.” 8 likes
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