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Six Thinking Hats Paperback – August 18, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 2 edition (August 18, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316178310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316178310
  • ASIN: 0316178314
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The book is very well structured and is an overall easy read.
jeffr265
How to manage you own and your team's thinking in a highly imaginative and practical way that will produce excellent results.
Rod Matthews
Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono expands on the very simple concept of thinking.
samara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

219 of 222 people found the following review helpful By Boris Bangemann on January 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Edward de Bono does not suffer from a small ego. The first sentence of the preface to his book is: "The Six Thinking Hats method may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past twenty-three hundred years." Digest this and two more pages of obnoxious self-advertisement that follows. Then put the book down. After an hour continue to read the rest of the book. It is worth while.
Essentially, "Six Thinking Hats" is about improving communication and decision-making in groups. De Bono's style is accessible, succinct, well-structured and easy to follow. It is not with a certain justification that he claims that "his work is in use equally in board-rooms of some of the world's largest corporations and with four-year-olds in school." Well, where is the difference, anyway?
What de Bono wants to achieve is to structure thinking and make it more effective. "Thinking often proceeds as drift and waffle and reaction to what turns up from moment to moment. [...] Suggestions, judgements, criticism, information and plain emotions are all mixed together in a sort of thinking stew," he writes. The six "thinking hats" are different ways of looking at an issue that has to be decided: under the white hat one presents the facts, under the red hat one says how one feels about the issue, under the black hat one looks at the negative effects of the decision, under the yellow hat one looks at the positive effects of the decision, under the green hat one thinks of alternatives, and under the blue hat one clarifies which kind of thinking is going on. Overall, thinking becomes clearer when the different parts that go into it are brought into the open.
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127 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I presume to suggest that you read this book before you read de Bono's Six Action Shoes and strongly urge you to read both. As he explains in Chapter 6, "The first value of the six thinking hats is that of defined role-playing....[the second] is that of attention directing....[the third] is that of convenience....[and the fourth] is the possible basis in brain chemistry" which de Bono outlines in the previous chapter.
What about the hats? The conceit is brilliant. Each hat is of a different color: white, red, black, yellow, green, and blue. De Bono assigns to each a quite specific combination of qualities and characteristics. Since childhood, my favorite color has always been green. Here is what de Bono says about it: "Green is grass, vegetation, and abundant., fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas." De Bono also briefly characterizes the other colors and then devotes an entire chapter to discussing each of them in depth.
According to the subtitle, de Bono provides "an essential approach to business management." That is true. He helps his reader to increase various reasoning skills through carefully defined and structured role-playing, and, by directing and then focusing attention where it is needed most. How? By understanding and then developing entirely different perspectives which the various hats represent: White (neutral and objective), Red (powerful emotions), Black (gloomy and negative), Yellow (sunny and positive), Green (fertile and creative), and Blue (logical and in control). You get the idea. De Bono urges his reader to SEE all of the hats while associating with each its own defining qualities and characteristics.
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Format: Paperback
Seldom do I find a legitimate improvement on existing thinking processes, but there certainly is one in Six Thinking Hats. De Bono reports that this process reduces time spent in meetings by 20 to 90 percent, based on experiences reported to him since the book was first published. It also seems that many people feel that the evaluations that emerge are more useful ones, as well.
De Bono himself makes this statement: "The Six Thinking Hats method may well be the most important change in human thinking for the past twenty-three hundred years." You'll have to decide for yourself, if the book lives up to that claim.
De Bono diagnoses the fundamental problem of decision-making as being muddled thinking. Groups are simply not well equipped to deal with a wide range of data and perspectives simultaneously. The meeting often bogs down into conflicts of personalities and over focus on inimportant points. By creating a simpler way to think about issues, de Bono claims to eliminate many of these problems.
The process is not one that I have used, but it makes sense to me as an improvement over less structured evaluation methods. It can be used by an individual or a group working together. The amount of structure you use can be high, or you can be more ad hoc.
People learn best when they are playing, and the six hat approach clearly encourages a spirit of play. By giving each person a role (and each person eventually playing all of the roles), the method reduces the amount of personality-based conflict, encourages more participation, and gives validation to many different ways to present the question at hand. This should make each person feel more affirmed and invested in the process.
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