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on 24 April 2018
This is a strange book to review and the reason I say that is because, in theory, it sounds like a great process and methodology, but in reality, it is difficult to manage and can be a disaster. The core reason to employ the “Six Thinking Hats” is in meetings to resolve problems or agree on a way forward while bringing everyone along on a shared vision. It should also make sure that we have been comprehensive in our considerations and approach. The problem is that the Six Thinking Hats, in my experience, has created more polarisation, endless debate, and been unable to perform as a shared methodology. I have been in meetings where a trained “Six Thinking Hats” consultant has been destroyed and the meeting has ended a shambles. Not only because of the actual framework but because of those that can buy into it and those that cannot.

The theory and application are such that we put on different coloured hats where each relates to a specific characteristic of thinking. This will enable us to consider any problem comprehensively from multiple perspectives. The six thinking hats are:

White Hat: Neutral and Objective – facts and figures
Red Hat: Emotional, often anger
Black Hat: Sombre and Serious. Point out weakness, negative
Yellow Hat: Sunny and Positive. Optimistic and hopeful
Green Hat: Creativity
Blue Hat: Control and organisation of all the hats

Even if we argue that it requires focus, strong management and open-mindedness, the fact that it takes so much effort to get right, is in itself cause for major concern. I would be more inclined to suggest learning this as a leader/manager knowing that they must consider multiple points of view and encourage different perspectives from their team. The notion of role-playing with different hats may work in some environments, but none that I’ve been in.
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on 6 February 2013
I've always had mixed feelings about Edward de Bono's books, ever since he spun so much mileage out of "lateral thinking", which to me, was just an everyday thinking skill, to which de Bono had coined a new label. I find hiss writing style rather tedious; his books seem devoid of humour. A lot of his explanations are badly phrased and thus awkward to follow. He often takes a simple idea (such as 'lateral thinking' and 'six thinking hats') and spins it out into a whole book, where it could have been adequately described in just one succinct chapter. You could probably distil all of his useful ideas into one good book. However, he has chosen to write as many different books as possible based on his few, mostly-not-very-original ideas. So, his various books tend to cover a lot of common ground. Indeed, I consider deBono to be more of a book-writing machine than a gifted innovator.

"Thinking Course" does, at least, pack a lot of different concepts into one worthwhile manual. When I first looked at this book, about 20 years ago, I thought the concepts covered in this book were rather elementary, but cooked up to look cleverer than they really were. However, on re-reading this book, more carefully in 2013, I find that my cognitive skills were improved by reading it with increased focus and reflection. Perhaps I was due for a thinking refresher-course!

De Bono was born into aristocracy, in Malta, which may explain why his writing seems just a little alien at times. There is no doubt that he's well-educated. The amount of benefit you gain from his books will probably be largely down to how well you can find ways to utilize the ideas therein. Even if you already know the ideas covered in this book, it may benefit you to revisit them - especially if some time has passed since you last explored a book of creative-thinking tools.
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on 24 November 2011
I need to declare that I am a Six Thinking Hats Certified Trainer. Edward de Bono has in my opinion taken the obvious and added a perspective that adds significant value. The obvious being our ability as humans to think. What we have not been particularly good at is recognising that thinking can be effective or ineffective.
The six thinking hats introduces our minds to a new of way of organising our thinking so as to improve the output. In the years that I have taught the skill, I have witnessed vast improvements in the way people make decisions. Additionally the system that Edward proposes benefits meetings by preventing individuals to wonder off and lose sight of the focus.
In essence Edward proposes that thinking is divided into 6 categories representing the focus for thinking, information, constructive, cautionary and creative thinking as well as considering emotions. All this artfully connected to coloured hats to add connectively to the type of thinking in progress.
A simple yet very effective set of tools that will enhance the quality of your decision making.
This book has been such a life changer for me that I included the values in a book I wrote with Edward de Bono writing the foreword. Change Directions: Perceive It - Believe It - Achieve It
Georges Philips
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on 26 April 2010
First published in 1985, Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a management book whose suggestions are as relevant for successful thinking and decision-making today as they were when the book was first published. De Bono describes a structured method that provides a way to be more impartial as we evaluate ideas, whether doing so as an individual or as a team. The labels he gives to each way of thinking provide a useful code for people to work together effectively in decision scenarios.

I recently worked with a couple of organisations where managers were enthusiastic about the "six thinking hats" - and I felt compelled to read the book, so that I was better-versed with the various "hats". Having read the book, I now understand why organisations find this way of encouraging structured thinking to be useful.

For me though, having come to this book after using neurolinguistic programming (NLP) for several years, I didn't really learn any new methodology: de Bono's method is strikingly similar to the NLP method of looking at issues from different perspectives; the difference being that de Bono defines and labels the perspectives from which problems should be considered. I would be surprised if the founders of NLP didn't refer to de Bono's work during their search for excellence.

This is a short, easy-to-read book which could help you to open up your own or your team's thinking - and give you an easy-to-understand common thinking styles vocabulary. However, if you are already well-versed in NLP, you are likely to already be familiar with much of what this book has to offer.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2009
This is simply a "must buy". Other books (even by the great man himself) often contain only one idea and use pages to justify it and show examples and research. This, on the other hand, is a manual for improving one's thinking skills; it contains so much.
If you are a teacher, you MUST buy this and improve your classes - guaranteed (from my personal experience) especially the PMI technique. I have revolutionised class discussion and debate by employing PMI.
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on 27 January 2014
With my management team I did the one day course in Six Thinking Hats and bought this book later on to read it again and again. Now, 6 years later, I still use the techniques of parallel thinking which shows the power of it.

Are you having never ending discussions in your team, then this way of structuring your meeting is highly recommended and it will surely lead to better results.
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on 15 February 2018
excellent if you need to remind yourself about the hats
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on 17 April 2018
Still reading
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on 26 February 2018
Great help
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on 24 February 2018
Very good
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