The Six Thinking Hats

Blue Hat: Thinking about and managing the thinking process

The blue hat is the control hat. It is used for thinking about thinking. The blue hat sets the agenda, focus and sequence, ensures the guidelines are observed and asks for summaries, conclusions, decisions and plans action.

Green Hat: Generating ideas

The green hat is for creative thinking and generating new ideas, alternatives, possibilities and new concepts.

Red Hat: Intuition and feelings

The red hat is about feelings, intuitions and instincts. The red hat invites feelings without justification.

Yellow Hat: Benefits and values

The yellow hat is for a positive view of things. It looks for the benefits and values.

Black Hat: Caution

The black hat relates to caution, dangers, difficulties, weaknesses and potential problems. It is used for critical judgement and spotting risks; where things might go wrong.

White Hat: Information

The white hat is all about information. What information you have, what information you need and where to get it.

Important points to note


The hats can be used on your own or in a group.


In group discussions, it is essential that everyone uses the same hat (style of thinking) at the same time. This is to avoid personal preferences and conflicts between styles of thinking.

The black hat is essential. It is a necessary part of thinking but often overused.

Training in the use of the hats includes how to structure the hats into sequences to address different situations.

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