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The Six Thinking Hats®

Blue Hat

Blue Hat: The Conductor's 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

Green Hat: The Creative Hat

Generating ideas

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

Red Hat

Red Hat: The Hat For The Heart

Intuition and feelings

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

Yellow Hat

Yellow Hat: The Optimist's Hat

Benefits and values

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

Black Hat

Black Hat: The Judge's Hat


The black hat identifies risk. It is used for critical judgment and must give the logical reasons for concerns. It is one of the most powerful hats.

White Hat

White Hat: The Factual Hat


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 (mode of thinking) at the same time. This is to avoid personal preferences and conflicts between modes 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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