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Six Thinking Hats Stockton College – Day of Leadership November 19 th, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Six Thinking Hats Stockton College – Day of Leadership November 19 th, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Six Thinking Hats Stockton College – Day of Leadership November 19 th, 2011

2 Leadership What is one of the most important responsibilities of a leader?

3 Leadership To make decisions that require other people to take action.

4 Leadership A common tool that helps leaders make their decisions is “the meeting” – a gathering of his/her team to discuss an issue & determine options. But: there can be “good” meetings and there can be “bad” meetings.

5 Six Thinking Hats “The main difficulty of thinking is confusion. We try to do too much at once. Emotions, information, logic, hope, and creativity all crowd in on us. It’s like juggling with too many balls” (De Bono, 1985, p. xi).

6 Six Thinking Hats In a typical meeting, ideas are considered blocks of marble to be shaped using the “hammer and chisel” style of argument, debate, and confrontation.  Fragmented (“I want to talk about X, not Y”)  Competitive (“Let’s talk over each other”)  Ego-driven (“My idea is better than yours”) The result? Interactions that are “aggressive, personal, and non-constructive” (DeBono, 1985, p.3).

7 Six Thinking Hats With Six Thinking Hats, ideas are seedlings to be nurtured through cooperation, open dialogue, and creative group thinking. Eventually, some ideas will win out over others (as it should be), but everyone will have an opportunity to contribute and speak their mind.

8 Six Thinking Hats Six Thinking Hats promotes “parallel thinking.” At any one time, the group concentrates their thinking on a single aspect of a problem or issue. Instead of jumping back and forth, the group stays cooperatively focused on the same topic. Think: single laser beam vs. multiple flashlights







15 Black Hat The Caution Hat












27 Helpful Hints 1. Always keep the discussion focused on the hat currently in use. Don’t jump off topic. Example: when the group is discussing new ideas (Green Hat), don’t interrupt the flow by moving to White Hat facts and figures. By focusing on one hat at a time, ideas that are complimentary will stack on top of each other, creating even more ideas and possibilities.

28 Helpful Hints 2. There is no censorship or suppression of ideas. All comments are legitimate as long as they are discussed during the correct hat session. Don’t stifle yourself, don’t edit others. Example: if you disagree with an idea or comment, say so -- but do it in the Red or Black Hat session.

29 Helpful Hints 3. Six Thinking Hats is about analyzing ideas, not criticizing the people who suggest them. This takes the ego out of the process. If one of your ideas or comments faces criticism, don’t take it personally. This is exactly the point of the Six Thinking Hats format!

30 Helpful Hints 4. Six Thinking Hats requires a strong moderator the first time it is used. This will likely be you! This person acts as a referee to ensure the spirit of Six Thinking Hats remains intact. The moderator helps the group maintain “parallel thinking” and not to slip back into old habits – argument, confrontation, personal criticism, lack of focus, etc.

31 Reference De Bono, E. (1985). Six Thinking Hats. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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