Six Thinking Hats is an activity thought for looking at decision-making from different points of view. It introduces a structured parallel thinking process that helps people to be more focused and mindfully involved in a discussion.
This activity is based on a further elaboration by JO Education’s staff of a resource curated by the partnership of the Erasmus+ Project FAVILLE
One of the aims of the project FAVILLE was that of developing a digital application containing several resources that could be used both faceto-face and online by groups of people andlearners, under the direction of a learning facilitator.
Guiding brainstorming processes, making them more effective, improving the exploitation of ideas and the group creativity. The aim of the activity is also that of positively affecting teamworking.
Structure of the process:
Procedure: Explain at the beginning of the activity that in order to examine the current topic of discussion from every perspective will be used Six Thinking Hats framework, which helps to separate thinking into six clear perspectives and roles. Each thinking perspective is identified with
a symbolic, colored “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” the group can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversation, or the event.
Briefly explain the six hats and their meaning:
WHITE HAT – when wearing this hat, the group focuses on facts and data in order to identify all information needed.
RED HAT – when wearing this hat, focus is on feelings, intuition and hunches. Group members can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
BLACK HAT – when wearing this hat, focus is on why a solution might not work or possible negative outcomes. Often the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem when overused.
YELLOW HAT – here, everyone focuses on positive outcomes and benefits of potential solutions.
GREEN HAT – wearing this hat, focus is on creative solutions, possibilities, and new concepts. This is an opportunity to express new ideas and new perceptions
BLUE HAT – worn by facilitators or event leaders, it is used to manage the process of the Six Thinking Hats
Set up each participant a nametag note and images for each of the six thinking hats. Have multiple copies of each hat. Invite participants to drag the relevant thinking hat to their name tag when using it.
Prepare a section to collect feedback for each hat, e.g.: all red hat feedback is recorded in one place. Have your participants add sticky notes to each section as they go.
Facilitate the conversation (wearing the blue hat): You may decide which sequence of hat use fits best for your purpose.
In general, it is recommended that each hat is worn at some point, however, there are some sensible sub-sequences, too. Encourage each person to contribute to each of the perspectives.
Avoid putting people into categories – Everyone can and should use all the hats.
Facilitators of Virtual Learning (FAVILLE)’s partnership, JO Education, Italy