SIX THINKING HATS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A review of the book, Six Thinking Hats, by Edward De Bono.

Submitted: February 06, 2012

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Submitted: February 06, 2012

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BOOK REVIEW

SIX THINKING HATS – EDWARD DE BONO

A MAJOR PART OF OUR LIVES ARE SPENT ATTENDING MEETINGS AND HENCE THEY FORM AN IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL PART OF OUR LIVES. HOWEVER, AFTER WE COME OUT OF A MEETING, WE OFTEN REALISE THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO VALUABLE CONCLUSION REACHED AND IT HAD BEEN A WASTE OF VAUABLE TIME. BY USING THE SIX THINKING HATS METHOD, EDWARD DE BONO TEACHES US HOW MUNDANE AND TIME CONSUMING MEETINGS CAN BE CONVERTED AND TRANSFORMED TO PROVIDE QUICK AND DECISIVE RESULTS.

EDWARD DE BONO’S CONCEPTS ARE VERY SIMPLE AND EASY TO ADOPT, YET IT PRESENTS A VERY EFFECTIVE WAY TO BECOME A BETTER THINKER. IDENTIFYING THE PROCESS OF THINKING INTO SIX DISTINCT MODES, HE IDENTIFIES THE SAME WITH SIX THINKING HATS OF DIFFERENT COLOURS.

ACCORDING TO DE BONO, WEARING A HAT OF A PARTICULAR COLOUR FOCUSSES AND REDIRECTS OUR THINKING IN THAT PARTICULAR DIRECTION. THUS, WITH THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE THINKING PROCESS CLEARLY DEFINED, THE DISCUSSIONS CAN BE BETTER FOCUSSED AND HENCE MORE PRODUCTIVE.

THE SIX COLOURS THAT DE BONO USES FOR THE HATS TO DESCRIBE THE DIFFERENT THINKING PROCESSES HAS ITS OWN IDENTITY.

  1. THE WHITE HAT REPRESENTS NEUTRAL AND OBJECTIVE FACTS AND FIGURES.
  2. THE RED HAT REPRESENTS EMOTIONS AND FEELINGS AND THUS PROVIDES THE EMOTIONAL VEIW.
  3. THE BLACK HAT REPRESENTS CAUSIOUSNESS AND CAREFULNESS AND THUS PROVIDES THE INSIGHT INTO THE WEAKNESSES IN ANY IDEA.
  4. THE YELLOW HAT REPRESENTS OPTIMISM AND POSITIVENESS AND HENCE PROVIDES HOPE AND POSITIVE THINKING.
  5. THE GREEN HAT REPRESENTS ABUNDANCE, VEGETATION AND FERTILE GROWTH AND HENCE INDICATES CREATIVITY AND NEW IDEAS.
  6. THE BLUE HAT REPRESENTS COOLNESS AND BEING THE COLOUR OF SKY REMINDS US OF BEING ABOVE ALL ELSE, AND THUS IS CONCERNED WITH ORGANISING THE THINKING PROCESS AND THE CONTROL AND USE OF THE OTHER HATS.

DE BONO SUGGESTS THAT IN ANY MEETING WHICH MAY BE CALLED TO REVIEW A PARTICULAR PROBLEM, THE SIX THINKING HATS METHOD CAN BE ADOPTED TO FOCUS OF THE DISCUSSION. ACCORDING TO HIM, THE DIFFERENT COLOURED HATS AS THE DIFFERENT FOCUSSED THINKING PROCESS CAN BE USED IN A SEQUENCE AS PER THE NEED OF THE SITUATION, WHICH WOULD ENABLE THE PARTICIPANTS TO FIRST EXPLORE THE PROBLEM FROM ALL ANGLES OPTIMISTICALLY, PESSIMISTICALLY AND EMOTIONALY, THEN DEVELOP OF SET OF POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THE SAID PROBLEM, AND FINALLY CRITICALLY EXAMINE THE SOLUTION SET TO CHOOSE A FINAL SOLUTION.

 

DE BONO USES REAL LIFE EXAMPLES TO CREATE SITUATIONS TO HIGHLIGHT THE FACT AS TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE USE OF THE THINKING HATS TO ENABLE US TO FOCUS OUR THINKING, DEVELOP CREATIVE THINKING, IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AMONGST THE MEMBERS IN A MEETING AND THUS SPEED UP THE PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING. HIS CASE STUDIES AND REAL LIFE EXAMPLES REVEAL HOW THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DELIBERATE ROLE PLAYING CAN SUPRISINGLY MAKE ONE A BETTER THINKER.

ACCORDING TO THE BOOK, THE BLUE HAT BEING THE SUPREME COMMANDER AND CONDUCTOR, SHALL DECIDE THE METHOD OF CONDUCTING THE MEETING AND HOW THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES SHALL BE DEVELOPED. THEN THE BLUE HAT CONDUCTOR, CAN ASK THE PARTICIPANTS TO WEAR THE PARTICULAR COLOURED HAT IN PRE-DETERMINED SEQUENCE OR AS PER THE NEED OF THE SITUATION. FOR EXAMPLE THE WHITE HAT APPROACH MAY BE ADOPTED FIRST AS PART OF DEVELOPING INFORMATION, FOLLOWED BY THE RED HAT IN ORDER TO OBTAIN HONEST INDIVIDUAL OPINIONS AND REACTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. THE YELLOW AND THE BLACK HAT APPROACH MAY THEN BE USED TO DEVELOP POSITIVE THINKING AND CRITICISMS OF THE SOLUTION SET RESPECTIVELY. THE DISCUSSION MAY THEN TRANSFORM TO THE GREEN HAT APPROACH TO GENERATE NEW IDEAS AND POSSIBLE NEW SOLUTIONS.

HIS POWERFULLY SIMPLE TOOL CAN BE USED BY ANY ORGANISATIONS, WHETHER IT’S A START-UP OR A MAJOR CORPORATION TO CREATE A CLIMATE OF BETTER THINKING, EXPLORING NEW IDEAS, GREATER CREATIVITY, IMPROVED COMMUNICATION AND HENCE QUICKENED AND EFFECTIVE DECISION MAKING. DE BONO ALSO CLAIMS THAT HIS CONCEPTS HAVE BEEN PUT TO TEST AND APPLICATION WITH GREAT SUCCESS BY SOME OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST CORPORTIONS AS WELL AS THOUSANDS OF BUSINESS MANAGERS, EDUCATORS AND LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD TO ACHIEVE EFFECTIVE RESULTS.

BY USING DE BONO’S TECHNIQUES, SINCE EVERYONE IS FOCUSSED ON ONE PARTICULAR APPROACH AT ANY ONE GIVEN POINT OF TIME, RATHER THAN BEING ARGUMENTATIVE, THE GROUP TENDS TO BE MORE COLLABORATIVE.  SUCH FOCUSSED THIKING ENABLES THE ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED FROM A VARIETY OF ANGLES, SATISFYING THE EMOTIONS OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS AND THUS ALLOWING THEM TO RECOGNISE ANY DEFECIENCIES IN THEIR APPROACH AND ENABLING THEM TO RECTIFY SUCH LAPSES.

SIX THINKING HATS IS AN INSTRUCTIVE AND INSPIRING BOOK TO ENABLE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT COLLECTIVE DECISION MAKING.

 

CA. SANJAY THAMPY


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