Edward De Bono is famous in the area of thinking skills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5DK8XPUEaUhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVgXBtkdaPs
There is NOTHING magical about his method. His ideas are actually quite simple.
- The old way of thinking is based on ARGUMENTS. It works ok but tends to be negative as people argue and there will be winners and losers and as the result, bad feelings among people in a team (or family).
- In the old way, people tend to think in different ways all at the same time and become confused. The mind is overloaded and becomes inefficient in thinking.
So he invented a way of thinking that is more efficient and positive. So his ideas of 6 hats for thinking is a "tool" for thinking. It is like a bicycle that helps us to move better and faster using the exact same energy from our own muscles.
It becomes a system of thinking that is more efficient than the old way. The 6 hats (modes of thinking) allow the following benefits
- Get all people thinking in parallel together in the same mode (same direction) to generate lost of ideas
- By doing one mode of thinking each time, the mind is more efficient in doing the job
- Members of the team is not fighting one another. They all contribute at the same time even though the ideas may be in conflict (and the conflict will be dealt with LATER by arguments if necessary). No one is out to attack another.
He claims that the old argument style is very good at solving a particular problem but not good at creating new ideas for a changing world. His better "tool" for thinking encourage creative ideas, cooperation and add values to team work. He compares his system of thinking (6 hats) to a software for the human mind just like we design software for a computer. This system promises to make our thinking more efficient than using the old argument style. There has been a nig following of his system across many countries. He also set up a De Bono Institute in Australia.
Certainly, this makes sense for English, General Problem Solving and Science. It is probably less beneficial for logic and maths. However teh creative hat could be of benefit for maths too.
Summary from the videos (every one should watch them) for those who just want to know what his ideas are without watching the videos.
WHITE: What information is available, required, missing, how to get them? All accepted at this stage.
RED: Feeling, intuition, emotion, experience, gut feelings, …
BLACK: Caution, risk assessment, critical, … (often overused)
YELLOW: Logical thinking, positive thinking, look for benefits, values sensitive, how to make things work (difficult to do)
GREEN: Creative thinking, looking for new ideas, alternatives, possibilities, lateral thinking, …
BLUE: Overview, Looking at the thinking itself, processes of thinking, decision, summary, outcomes
The key strategy is the separation of thinking into different ways and do one at a time. This helps avoiding confusion in the case people think in all possible ways at the same time. More like devide and conquer strategy in thinking. This seems to allow the brain to specialise into different thinking mode at different times rather than get it to try to do all modes at the same time (overload)
In team work, everyone is wearing same hat colour each time so they think in same mode to generate ideas in the same categories.
Often people start with BLUE. It is easier to PRESET the sequence of hats to systematically go through the process of decision making.
the six hats are not 6 different categories of people. They are modes of thinking that EVERY ONE should try together as a team.