Use The Tried And Tested Six Thinking Hats For More Successful Business Meetings

The bestselling book and system Six Thinking Hats will help make your business meetings productive and successful.

Meetings and group discussions are the life sources of businesses and collaborations. Today, they can be in conference rooms or held online. You, your team, and clients can brainstorm, come up with ideas, and make important decisions during meetings.

Thanks to the digital age, meetings are easier and more convenient to organize. You can virtually get together anywhere and any time with internet, messaging apps, and social media.

But are your meetings productive? Do your employees and clients feel it’s a waste of time? Because let’s face it, we’ve been to unproductive ones. We’ve felt that we can be somewhere else actually working and hitting the targets.

So how do you measure a meeting or group discussion’s success? In a nutshell, it’s when you arrive at the right plans or decisions that everyone agrees upon. It’s unsuccessful if:

When you face these, it’s time to wear the Six Thinking Hats.

What Are The Six Thinking Hats?

We have Edward de Bono to thank for this international bestseller he published in 1985. The doctor, psychologist, professor, author, and inventor highly believes in the importance of language and styles of thinking. He is also the father of ‘lateral thinking,’ or a way we solve problems indirectly and creatively through reasoning. It’s quite effective for brainstorming and coming up with new inspirations.

Through the years, de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats has helped create better discussions in the business rooms, and even homes. It’s still relevant in today’s age. Even when we can communicate better through technology, people have trouble listening and understanding. Often, logic is thrown out the window.

Our perception plays a big role in decision making. De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats stresses the importance of using these thinking perceptions or points of view. You can shift your perception by changing a ‘hat’. This helps you see all sides of an issue. Then, you and your team can address the problems and make the right decisions.

Six colored figurative hats (blue, white, green, red, black, and yellow) represent different manners of thinking. You and your meeting mates must wear all the hats to arrive at new inspirations and fresh perspectives.

The Blue Hat: Process and Organization

The White Hat: Information

The Green Hat: Creativity

The Red Hat: Emotions, Feelings, and Intuitions 

The Black Hat: Judgment or Devil’s Advocate

The Yellow Hat: Optimism or Positive Thinking

How Do I Apply This To My Business?

When using the Six Thinking Hats approach, your group does not have to wear the Hats in a specific order. What’s critical is wearing the Blue Hat first to lay down the outline and process. Also avoid wearing the Black Hat at the early stages of a meeting or brainstorming session.

Here’s a good strategy to follow:

  1. After the Blue Hat, use the White Hat. Pinpoint facts and information.
  2. Put on the Green Hat to come up with creative ideas and solutions.
  3. The Red Hat follows. Use this to hash out thoughts and feelings about these ideas.
  4. The Yellow Hat then comes in to support and encourage solutions.
  5. Just remember that if the Black Hat is used too early, there will be no opportunity for ideas and inspiration to flow. This usually leads to an unproductive meeting.

This suggested strategy is very effective in making more friendly, productive, and creative meetings.

Also take note that the Six Thinking Hats approach is focused on thinking styles. It’s not about the individuals’ characters. Results are usually reliable and safe from drawbacks this way.

Today, we suffer from information overload. Sources can be unreliable. Biases take over facts. It’s important to use the logical methods in Six Thinking Hats for better collaboration efforts, online or offline.

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