The Six Thinking Hats® method (aka Parallel Thinking) has four specific uses:
- meeting facilitation tool
- team productivity/communication tool
- creativity enhancer
- control mechanism used to maximize and organize a person’s thoughts (helps with critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.)
Dr. Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats® will provides employees with skills and tools that they can apply immediately! It is a simple, effective system that helps them become more productive.
You and your team members learn to separate thinking into six distinct categories.Each category is identified with its own metaphorical “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus or redirect thoughts, the conversation, or the meeting.
The difference between brilliant and mediocre teams lies not so much in their collective mental equipment, but in how well they use it and how well they work together. It’s fact that meeting productivity depends on how well the facilitator runs the meeting, not who attends. When used as a meeting management tool, the Six Hat method forces all individuals to be focused and to-the-point. But possibly most important, it requires all individuals to look at all sides of an issue.
Employees like the way it neutralizes employee rank in a meeting where several levels of employees are present. It also puts people who are quiet and reserved on an equal playing field with those who monopolize a meeting.
Who Is Using the Six Thinking Hats?
The method is widely used at Prudential Insurance (the largest insurance group in the world), and the former president of Prudential, Rob Barbaro, used the Six Hats framework every day with his staff. Siemens has over 35 certified Six Hats instructors working with employees throughout its European offices. Boeing is just now taking up the hats in the United States.
The hats are also in use at Honeywell, Motorola, Eli Lilly, Cargill, Fidelity Investments, National Semiconductor, and in many other companies. Healthcare groups, financial institutions, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, and utilities are just a few of the industries using Six Hats.
At the time this revision was published, over 100,000 people had been trained in the hats in 35 countries.
Below are some of the key benefits clients find in using the Six Thinking Hats®
- Works-they see results immediately
- Simple to learn, use, and implement
- Not dependent on others (you can use it by yourself)
- Modifies behavior without attacking it
- Can be used at all levels
- Improves cross-cultural interaction
- Reduces conflict
- Encourages cooperation
- Enhances quality of thinking
- Supports other change initiatives
- Is available worldwide