Conducting Meetings with 6 Hats


Thinking Creatively Using De Bono’s 6 Hats Method

Some meetings are less productive than others. You know how these meetings go: people cannot seem to stay on the same page. In this course you will learn how to conduct productive team meetings, utilizing each member’s creativity and minimizing dissension.

With Edward de Bono’s famous 6 Hats Method, we cover every aspect of decision-making. From Idea Generation all the way to Idea Attacking and every step in between, the 6 Hats Method has helped thousands of companies save time, money and energy to come up with solutions that are clearly developed and readily executed.

In just one day, we will go through all the necessary dynamics for you to be ready for all your future in-house meetings. You will learn how and why the hats work, how to decide which hat to wear, when to change hats, when to put on the green creativity had, and when to don the dreaded black hat.

Hundreds of companies large and small have adopted this method for all their difficult meetings from corporate change to creating strategy to coming up with the right offers for clients.

De Bono originally devised his six metaphorical hats, each of a different color, to represents a particular perspective:

White Hat – Neutral, white paper

Neutral information: focus on available information, objective facts, what is needed, how it can be obtained

Red  Hat -Red fire, feelings

Fire, warmth: emotions, feelings, intuition, brainstorming, presenting views without explanation or justification

Black – Judge’s black robe

Judgmental criticism: why something is wrong, risk assessment, logical negative view

Yellow Hat – Sunshine, optimism

Sunshine: optimism, logical positive view, look for benefits, what is good

Green Hat – Vegetation, leaves, growth

Creative thinking: possibilities and hypotheses, new ideas

Blue Hat – Cool blue sky

Overview: control of process, discussing steps and other hats, chairperson, organizer, thinking about thinking, managing thinking processes

The 6 Hat method can be highly effective in developing an awareness of group dynamics.

The group agrees to “wear” a particular colored hat, for example, when the white hat is in use, everyone in the group focuses on laying out the information in parallel. There is no attempt to disagree, challenge or dispute a point. Everyone is thus focused in the same ‘direction’ and is thinking co-operatively.

Once all the information is laid out, the group might decide that it is time to use the green hat and to all be as creative as possible, again not censoring any ideas, but simply viewing them alongside each other.

The hats may be used when one or more group member is ‘being difficult’ in some way and impeding the progress of the group. For example, if someone is being negative, instead of being confrontational and saying: “stop being so negative” or “why do you always point out the negative things!” you can simply ask if s/he could now change from the black hat and put on a yellow or green hat. This makes the situation more objective and avoids confrontations. Being cautious and discussing risks is an important role in a group, but if someone wears the black hat for too long, the group can really get sick of it. That’s why the facilitator has to be aware of the dynamics of the meeting and the group, in order to empower the members to wear the proper hat at the proper moment.

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