How Parallel Thinking Helps To Improve Creativity

When you are asked to present your best thinking hat, and you proceed to inquire: “Which one”? Then you are by no means an absolute stranger to what is commonly known as the Six Thinking Hats. This unique technique, popularly used as parallel thinking to improve creativity, was first introduced by Edward de Bono, for initiating and sustaining creative thinking both in individuals as well as groups meetings.

So, are you interested in figuring out how this fancy named Six Thinking Hats technique can be implemented at work? Well, here are some easy to pursue tips in simple and plain language for everyone to follow. In the US, people often use a particular figure of speech that goes: “putting on your thinking cap.” In literal terms, this effectively implies that you must stop wiggling your thumbs and start doing a bit of serious thinking for a change.

In my opinion, Edward de Bono bases his technique of ‘Six Hats’ on a thinking cap principal. In this method, he says any type of technique used for problem solving needs six types of thinking processes, and each of these six processes is necessary when to choose to think in an efficient manner to come at a workable result.

To add style and color to this method, De Bono says for each one of his proposed thinking types, participants of a meeting can don a specific colored hat, which you can pile up in a neat and tidy manner on the center of your meeting room conference table.

When a participant puts on a specific colored hat, he starts thinking in a manner that reflects the color represented by that specific hat and acts accordingly. So, what is it that each one of these colored hats stands for?

White Hat: This hat stands for information. It implies that when a participant wears this hat, he starts thinking in facts and data terms, which also implies stops thinking at all. He ‘reflects’ on information only.

Red Hat: This hat stands for feelings and intuition. Participant who adorns this hat has to simply keep his mind open and let his feelings freely flow. Hence, one must be careful who is around when wearing this hat.

Black Hat: This hat stands for caution. Participant who adorns this hat has to look underneath everything that is discussed.

Yellow Hat: This hat stands for positivism. Participant who adorns this hat has to look at the positive side of everything discussed.

Green Hat: This hat stands for creativity. Participant who adorns this hat must think creatively as well as innovatively. He has to produce never before kind of ideas about everything discussed.

Blue Hat: This hat is used by the facilitator or moderator. Participant who adorns this hat has to look at the picture as a whole.

Hence, you must select the hats which are required for a particular part of your thinking process. For instance, a group that is asked to think about some new ideas for an advertisement campaign would obviously make use of the Blue, Green, Red and White hats, in their visualization process, while a group engaged in designing the process for a course would have to wear all six hats.