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edward de bono critical thinking pdf

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Six Thinking Hats®

Looking at a decision in different ways.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

edward de bono critical thinking pdf

What's your instinctive approach to decision making? If you're naturally optimistic, then chances are you don't always consider the potential downsides to a decision. Similarly, if you're very cautious, you might not focus on opportunities that could open up.

Whatever your gut tells you, the best decisions usually come after you've explored several ways of viewing a problem.

However, it's easy to feel confused if you try to consider multiple angles at once. And things can get even more complicated – even combative – if your whole team weighs in with different points of view.

"Six Thinking Hats" is a way of investigating an issue from a variety of perspectives, but in a clear, conflict-free way. It can be used by individuals or groups to move outside habitual ways of thinking, try out different approaches, and then think constructively about how to move forward.

In this article, we'll explain the principles behind the Six Thinking Hats technique and examine how it could improve decision making for you and your team.

Who Invented "Six Thinking Hats"?

The Six Thinking Hats approach was created by Edward de Bono , a Maltese physician, psychologist and philosopher. He used it in his work advising government agencies, but he also wanted it to be a practical tool for everyday problem solving. It first appeared in his 1985 book of the same name, which has since been revised several times. [1]

De Bono – who died in 2021 – was also the inventor of "lateral thinking," a method of solving problems indirectly, often in creative and surprising ways. Similarly, Six Thinking Hats is a way to understand and explore different types of thinking.

Six Thinking Hats for Decision Making

The Six Thinking Hats technique gets you to look at a problem in six different ways. It takes you and your team beyond any instinctive positions, so that you explore a range of perspectives. That way, you can carefully consider each one, without having to argue your case or make snap decisions about what's "right" or "wrong."

By the time you've tried out all six hats, you should have a rich collection of insights that will help you to decide your next steps.

Here's what each of the Six Thinking Hats represents:

Blue Hat: "the Conductor's Hat"

When you or your team are in blue hat mode, you focus on controlling your thinking and managing the decision-making process. You have an agenda, ask for summaries, and reach conclusions.

Green Hat: "the Creative Hat"

The green hat represents creative thinking. When you're "wearing" this hat, you explore a range of ideas and possible ways forward.

Red Hat: "the Hat for the Heart"

This hat represents feelings and instincts. When you're engaged in this type of thinking, you can express your feelings without having to justify them logically.

Yellow Hat: "the Optimist's Hat"

With yellow hat thinking, you look at issues in the most positive light possible. You accentuate the benefits and the added value that could come from your ideas.

Black Hat: "the Judge's Hat"

This hat is about being cautious and assessing risks. You employ critical judgment and explain exactly why you have concerns.

The black hat is one of the most powerful hats, but it's often overused. Make sure that you and your team can justify any critical or cautionary comments, so that this mode of thinking doesn't dominate your decision making.

White Hat: "the Factual Hat"

The white hat represents information gathering. Think about the knowledge and insights that you've collected already – but also the information you're missing, and where you can go to get it.

Reproduced with the permission of Penguin Random House U.K and the trademark and copyright holder deBono.com. To find out how to use the Six Thinking Hats®️ in teams please contact debono.com .

Some colors have cultural implications, so you may have to pick new colors for one or more of your hats. In China, for example, a green hat can mean an unfaithful spouse. And you might decide to change the black hat to grey, so as not to associate black with faultfinding.

It's fine to use any colors that are appropriate for you and your team – just as long as all six are different, and you stick with the same colors each time you use this technique.

There are several other decision-making techniques that explore problems from different angles.

The Reframing Matrix encourages you to try out a range of perspectives when you're designing a product or service. What are the key considerations from a marketing perspective, say, or from the point of view of your manufacturing team?

Constructive Controversy involves pitting different approaches against each other. This means that it's more combative than Six Thinking Hats. But it can also generate energy, help people to reconsider their positions, and result in well-tested decisions.

And Empathy Mapping is a useful tool when you want to understand the perspectives of key stakeholders, in order to incorporate them in your plans.

The Benefits of Six Thinking Hats

As well as improving the quality of your decisions, the Six Thinking Hats technique has some other benefits to offer:

More organized thinking. You can be confident that you've considered every angle, and it helps you to weigh up the information you obtain efficiently and accurately.

Improved creativity. It gets you to step away from your default positions and approaches. And comparing or combining different perspectives can sometimes spark novel thoughts .

Better thinking skills. It's a great way to strengthen important skills such as curiosity and critical thinking.

Stronger interpersonal skills. It encourages you to practice listening , questioning and answering . So it can also make you more persuasive, better at spotting when others need support, and more confident to resolve conflicts when they arise.

Greater inclusivity in teams. It requires people to set aside any preconceptions and to focus on seeing things from the same perspective for a while. Debate still happens, but it's based on shared understanding – which can help everyone to feel included.

It's important to remember that some members of your team might find some types of thinking challenging – possibly due to neurodivergence – and need reassurance or support. However, they may also excel while wearing particular hats! So use this technique as a chance to play to everyone's strengths.

De Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for looking at decision making from different perspectives.

It involves six distinct types of thinking, which you can do on your own or with your team. Each thinking style is represented by a different hat:

Blue Hat: organization and planning

Green Hat: creative thinking

Red Hat: feelings and instincts

Yellow Hat: benefits and values

Black Hat: risk assessment

White Hat: information gathering

By "wearing" each of the Six Thinking Hats in turn, you can gain a rich understanding of the issues you face – and the best ways forward. You also encourage everyone to be fully involved in the decision-making process.

[1] De Bono, E. (1999). “Six Thinking Hats: revised ed.,” New York: Back Bay Books.

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Dr. Edward de Bono , the originator of the term Lateral Thinking, dedicated his life to inspiring, encouraging and enabling us to be better and more creative thinkers.  He created The Six Thinking Hats® method to enable individuals and teams to be more receptive to new ideas and to develop them constructively.

The de Bono methods are a means of breaking old patterns and creating new ones. We don't tell you what to think but we show you how to think for yourself, both creatively and inclusively.

de Bono  is the organisation established to develop, promote, licence and protect the work of Dr. Edward de Bono in teaching thinking as a skill. 

The de Bono methods are available to learn in books , via our training partners for use in organisations as a practical way to improve collaboration, communication, and creativity and in thinking lessons for  schools and families,

Edward de Bono

Lateral Thinking

Lateral Thinking is a structured approach for thinking differently.

Edward de Bono developed his methods from an understanding of how the mind works as a self-organising pattern recognition system. While this Mechanism of Mind helps us develop routines for dealing with a complex world, it also locks in our views and makes it hard to change perception at will. He explains how to structure your thinking so that you can create alternatives at will.

Learn more at  LateralThinking.com  - try some Lateral Thinking challenges for free. 

Courses in Lateral Thinking are provided by our training partners .

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Parallel Thinking® with the Six Thinking Hats® 

Lateral Thinking is for creating ideas and The Six Thinking Hats are for exploring, developing and implementing them.

The Six Thinking Hats are used by individuals and groups to separate out conflicting styles of thinking. They enable and encourage a group of people to think constructively together in exploring and implementing change, rather than using argument to fight over who is right and who is wrong.

Summary of The Six Thinking Hats

Learn more at Six-Thinking-Hats.com - find out how to improve the effectiveness of your meetings with this free, anonymous assessment .

Watch this video on inclusive meetings .

Courses in The Six Thinking Hats are provided by our training partners .

"Why have a mind if you can't change it?"

These methods are for you if you are:

Curious and open to learning how to become a better practical thinker, creating useful outcomes

Looking for a structured approach and are willing to practice

Getting stuck in a thinking loop, revisiting the same ideas or issues and wanting to break out

Someone who needs to produce results and needs better alternatives than currently exist

Motivated to explore and develop alternatives

Open to  c hanging your perspective and considering more than one right answer

In your personal life or at work, the purpose of this approach is to enable you to:

Create new solutions to stubborn problems

Realise opportunities that were previously neglected

Recognise and change the nature of your own thinking, so you become better at generating and exploring possibilities, not just accepting or defending what already exists

Improve conflict resolution and collaboration

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edward de bono critical thinking pdf

"If you wait for opportunities to occur, you will be one of the crowd."

edward de bono critical thinking pdf

Developing critical thinking skills: Using Edward de Bono’s six thinking hats in formative peer assessment & feedback

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edward de bono critical thinking pdf

Increasingly, management students are required to demonstrate their critical thinking and problem-solving skills upon entering the workforce. This prompts educators to ask how can students be taught to think critically and what kind of exercises can be built into undergraduate learning to ensure critical thinking and problem-solving are practiced? As such, peer assessment as learning promotes active critical thinking and problem-solving via collaborative assessment and exchange of feedback amongst peers. This classroom exercise is designed for students on any management undergraduate course to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through a peer assessment and feedback task. Adopting Edward de Bono’s approach to thinking encourages students to think in a focused, deep and critical way about the piece of work they are assessing. Through this exercise they obtain the benefits of developing critical thinking skills and further learn to develop a collaborative approach to problemsolving in the provision of feedback and feedforward.

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edward de bono critical thinking pdf

Six Thinking Hats

Simple & effective..

Used with well-defined and explicit Return On Investment success in corporations worldwide, Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. A powerful tool set, which once learned can be applied immediately!

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How It Works

You and your team members can learn how to separate thinking into six clear functions and roles. Each thinking role is identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting.

Using Six Thinking Hats®, you and your team will learn how to use a disciplined process which will…

  • Maximize  productive collaboration and minimize counterproductive interaction/behavior
  • Consider  issues, problems, decisions, and opportunities systematically
  • Use  Parallel Thinking as a group or team to generate more, better ideas and solutions
  • Make  meetings much shorter and more productive
  • Reduce  conflict among team members or meeting participants
  • Stimulate  innovation by generating more and better ideas quickly
  • Create  dynamic, results oriented meetings that make people want to participate
  • Go  beyond the obvious to discover effective alternate solutions
  • Spot  opportunities where others see only problems
  • Think  clearly and objectively
  • View  problems from new and unusual angles
  • Make  thorough evaluations
  • See  all sides of a situation
  • Keep  egos and “turf protection” in check
  • Achieve  significant and meaningful results in a less time

Significant Applications for the Parallel Thinking Process of Six Thinking Hats

  • Leadership Development
  • Team Productivity, Alignment and Communication
  • Creative and innovative thinking
  • Meeting leadership and decision making
  • Product and Process Improvement, and Project Management
  • Critical, Analytical Thinking and Problem-Solving
  • Organizational Change/Performance
  • Wherever High Performance Thinking and Action is needed
  • Our Faculty
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  2. (PDF) Using De Bono's Six Thinking Hats Model to Teach Critical

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  3. The six thinking hats by Edward de Bono

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  4. (PDF) Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

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  1. DEF presents at the Foundation for Critical Thinking Conference

  2. An Exercise In Design Thinking // Six Thinking Hats Techniques By Edward De Bono // #mba #aktu

  3. Edward de Bono quote about Business And Marketing

  4. 2. Critical Thinking: Section 1: Contraries, Contradictories, Subcontraries and Subalternation

  5. The L Game (Edward De Bono)

  6. Edward de Bono

COMMENTS

  1. PDF Six Thinking Hats

    While the black hat can be the most useful of the six hats, de Bono warns against its overuse, as this can kill creative ideas and positive thinking. 4. Yellow Hat. Thought process: Benefits and feasibility The yellow hat is the optimistic but logical hat. It allows the group to consider the benefits of a new idea or a particular decision, and ...

  2. Edward De Bono

    Learn how to use six different hats to improve your thinking and decision making skills from Edward De Bono's classic book. Download the pdf now.

  3. PDF Edward de Bono's 6 Thinking Hats

    The notion of six thinking hats comes from Edward De Bono (Read Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono, 1985) It is a simple and effective system that increases productivity. There are six metaphorical hats and each defines a certain type of thinking. You can put on or take off one of these hats to indicate the type of thinking you are using.

  4. PDF Six Thinking Hats

    SIX THINKING HATS. 'Six Thinking Hats' is an important and powerful technique. It is used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives. This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style, and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation. This tool was created by Edward de Bono in his book '6 Thinking Hats'.

  5. (PDF) Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

    Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats. March 2017. The National Teaching & Learning Forum 26 (3):8-10. DOI: 10.1002/ntlf.30110. Authors: Patty Payette. University of ...

  6. Six Thinking Hats®

    Key Points. De Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for looking at decision making from different perspectives. It involves six distinct types of thinking, which you can do on your own or with your team. Each thinking style is represented by a different hat: Blue Hat: organization and planning. Green Hat: creative thinking.

  7. PDF C reat i v e an d Lat eral Th i n k i n g : E d ward d e B on o

    De Bono (1994) draws attention to traditional critical thinking as a judgmental and adversarial process and compares it with parallel thinking, which he claims emphasizes cooperative and coordinated thinking. Critical thinking, he says, has its foundations in a method of philosophizing, known as the Socratic method, first used by the ancient

  8. Six Thinking Hats Summary

    Generating ideas. The green hat is for creative thinking and generating new ideas, alternatives, possibilities and new concepts. Red Hat: The Hat For The Heart. Intuition and feelings. The red hat is about feelings, intuitions and instincts. The red hat invites feelings without justification. Yellow Hat: The Optimist's Hat.

  9. PDF Edward De Bono'S Six Hats of Thinking

    SIX HATS OF THINKING. Teaching students to brainstorm, formulate. arguments, and make sound decisions. Who is Edward. International authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation, and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and has held faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London ...

  10. Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

    Critical Thinking. Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats. Patty Payette, Patty Payette. University of Louisville. Search for more papers by this author. Brian Barnes, ... PDF. Tools. Request permission; Export citation; Add to favorites; Track citation; Share Share.

  11. De Bono's Thinking course : De Bono, Edward, 1933- : Free Download

    De Bono's Thinking course by De Bono, Edward, 1933-Publication date 1982 Topics Thought and thinking, Creative thinking, Reasoning, Pensée, Cognition, Denken Publisher London : British Broadcasting Corp. Collection ... EPUB and PDF access not available for this item. IN COLLECTIONS

  12. PDF Wearing Six Thinking Hats

    Routinely, many people think from analytical, critical, logical perspectives, and rarely view the world from emotional, intuitive, creative, or even purposely negative viewpoints. As ... solutions/drawing-mind-maps.pdf Edward De Bono. 1999. Six Thinking Hats. Back Bay Books. For further information Contact Olivier Serrat, Head of the Knowledge ...

  13. (PDF) Writing by Putting on Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats

    (2018). Writing by putting on Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats: Critical thinking in writing. RumeliDE Dil ve Edebiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi, (13), 138-149. DOI: 10.29000/rumelide.504926 Abstract Edward de Bono's six thinking hats is a standout amongst the most popular current ways to deal with critical thinking.

  14. Thinking as a skill

    Lateral Thinking is a structured approach for thinking differently. Edward de Bono developed his methods from an understanding of how the mind works as a self-organising pattern recognition system. While this Mechanism of Mind helps us develop routines for dealing with a complex world, it also locks in our views and makes it hard to change ...

  15. Developing critical thinking skills: Using Edward de Bono's six

    Adopting Edward de Bono's approach to thinking encourages students to think in a focused, deep and critical way about the piece of work they are assessing. Through this exercise they obtain the benefits of developing critical thinking skills and further learn to develop a collaborative approach to problemsolving in the provision of feedback ...

  16. (PDF) Six Thinking Hats

    Unregulated thinking leads to unorganized actions, decisions and outcomes. The paper highlights the process of thinking that can happen at various levels. It also attempts to suggest the ways to bring Critical thinking at school and university level. Download Free PDF.

  17. Six Thinking Hats

    'Six Thinking Hats' is an important and powerful technique. It is used to look at decisions from a number of important perspectives. This forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style, and helps you to get a more rounded view of a situation. This tool was created by Edward de Bono in his book '6 Thinking Hats'. Using a variety of approaches within thinking and problem solving allows ...

  18. Six Thinking Hats

    Each thinking role is identified with a colored symbolic "thinking hat.". By mentally wearing and switching "hats," you can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting. The White Hat calls for information known or needed. "The facts, just the facts.". The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism.

  19. (PDF) Creative and Lateral Thinking: Edward de Bono

    Abstract. Edward de Bono's efforts as an advocate for lateral thinking and creative thinking as an essential skill for creativity and innovation have not gone without criticism. Robert Weisberg ...

  20. Six Thinking Hats

    The Six Thinking Hats is a role-playing model developed by Edward de Bono in 1986. Each hat represents a different lens or perspective on a particular issue and is an insightful activity that prevents narrow thinking. It serves as a team-based problem solving and brainstorming technique that can be used to explore problems through various perspectives in order to uncover options that might ...

  21. Edward de Bono

    Edward de Bono - Parallel Thinking.pdf - Free ebook download as PDF File (.pdf) or read book online for free.

  22. Simplicity : De Bono, Edward, 1933- : Free Download, Borrow, and

    English. 304 pages ; 21 cm. Edward de Bono is the bestselling author of 'Teach Yourself to Think', 'Six Thinking Hats', and 'Water Logic'. With this book, he aims to show how a lateral thinking approach can simplify a complex matter.

  23. PDF Summary of 'Serious Creativity' by Edward De Bono

    Serious creativity is a rational and logical approach to creative thinking. The basic lateral thinki ng tools and techniques can be applied to generate new ideas. The successful individuals and companies of the future will need to think differ ently from their competition. Serious creative thinking can and does generate a sustainable ...