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Six hats and why you should avoid them

We had an interesting session today in class on Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats technique. It seems this model can be used for exploring different perspectives towards a complex situation or challenge. You get to wear one of six different colored hats: White, Red, Black, Yellow, Green, or Blue. By wearing a particular colored hat you automatically–oops! forcibly–convince yourself to see things from a different perspective.

Each color stands for a particular perspective and behavior. For example, if you convince yourself that you are wearing a Green colored hat, then you would also need to convince yourself that you can now throw up creative ideas by the dozen, because Green stands for a creative perspective. It doesn’t matter if you have never come up with a creative idea so far in your life. The pseudo Green hat will make you feel like you are an expert at voodoo.

I am too lazy to type about the other colors in gory detail. A quick lookup on Google should throw up more than you would ever want to digest. You could use this technique at your workplace during meetings or in other group contexts. It’s a great way to make a complete nuisance of yourself at a meeting.

My personal opinion is that once you are through with the hats, there is a very high probability (extremely close to 1) that you will end up with a split personality. Unless you have always wished for a split personality in you, it’s better to avoid the Six Hats like you would the plague.

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