🎩 Six Thinking Hats | Toolbox #9

3 min readJun 29, 2021


Changing hats to think differently

In our thinking, we are all subconsciously influenced by our emotions, beliefs or judgments. But to solve a problem, we sometimes need to step back and analyze the situation from a different angle.

The “Six Thinking Hats” or “Bono 6 Hats Method” is a thinking method that pushes us out of our usual way of thinking.

You will take on different roles, symbolized by different colored hats, and observe a given situation from different angles and without judgment.

Free your mind and let out all possible alternatives!

🧠 Who: in a group (including 1 facilitator) or alone :)
When: when you encounter a problem or to help with decision making
Duration: 1-2h depending on the number of participants
Objective: take a step back to find new and innovative ideas

The course of the meeting

1️⃣ Workshop presentation 👨‍🏫 (10 min)

To begin, explain the problem to the participants and how the workshop will be conducted.

The purpose of the exercise is to use the 6 hats to successively project oneself into the skin of a person functioning according to a specific way of thinking. The group takes turns wearing each hat (disguise is not mandatory 🤠).

💡 All participants wear the same hat at the same time to draw out the most ideas and allow everyone to play each role.

2️⃣ The Role play 🎩 (50+ min)

For each role, participants will write their ideas on different colored post-its. Allow the same amount of time for each hat.

🔵 Blue Hat: Organization and stepping back
This role is primarily assigned to the facilitator: setting the context, establishing the objectives of the reflection, ensuring the smooth running of the workshop, and synthesizing the ideas selected.

White hat: Neutrality
State the facts in a neutral manner. Stick to information and data, without judgment or interpretation.
— What information do we have about the situation?
— What do we know about the situation?
— What information are we missing?
— What can we do to get it?

🟡 Yellow hat: Optimism
Focus on the positive aspects. Let hope and dreams carry you through, while remaining realistic!
— What is working?
— What are the benefits?
— Why can it succeed?

⚫ Black hat: Pessimism
Think about the risks that could cause your project to fail or the problems that would prevent your idea from growing.
— What are the risks?
— What impact might they have?
— Why might it not work?

🔴 Red hat: Emotions
Let your emotions speak for themselves. Express your feelings and sentiments, without justification.
— What are our fears?
— How do I feel about the problem?
— What does it inspire in me?

🟢 Green hat: Creativity
Tap into your imagination. Look for new ideas without censoring yourself. Dare to be original and innovative in your proposals.
— What are the possible solutions and alternatives?
— What if we tried …?

Good reasons to use Six Thinking Hats 👍

  • Engage everyone with a user-friendly exercise
  • Analyze a situation from new angles
  • Generate new ideas
  • Stimulate creativity

The Six Thinking Hats is a simple to set up workshop that will allow you to unleash your team’s creativity to find innovative solutions! So, hats off to you? 🎩

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