Six Thinking Hats


  • Helps look at decisions from a number of important perspectives.
  • Forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style.
  • Helps brings diverse perspectives to decision making.
  • Helps to depersonalize team-dynamic feedback.


‘Six Thinking Hats’ is an important and powerful technique by Edward De Bono. If you look at a problem with the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ technique, then you will solve it using all approaches. Your decisions and plans will mix ambition, skill in execution, public sensitivity, creativity and good contingency planning.

Each colour/hat represents a different perspective or point-of-view.

THE WHITE HAT: concerned with objective facts and figures.

THE RED HAT: gives the emotional view

THE BLACK HAT: negative aspects; why it cannot be done.

THE YELLOW HAT: optimistic, hope, positive thinking.

THE GREEN HAT: creativity and new ideas

THE BLUE HAT: control and organization of the thinking processes.


Edward De Bono writes that the idea of a thinking hat or thinking cap is well established: I’ll have to put on my thinking hat and consider that proposal…put on your thinking cap and phone me tomorrow.

  • The mental picture of someone wearing a real thinking hat helps focus thinking.

[1] Bono, Edward De. Six Thinking Hats. London: Penguin, 2000. Print.