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Edward de Bono wrote a great book back in 1985 which was his process for inspiring creativity and controlling meetings called the Six Thinking Hats.  
The meeting is divided up into six (really seven) phases. In each phase you can only talk about the meeting focus from one perspective and you are said to be wearing that colour hat.  The red hat is emotions for example.

An identical time is set for each phase. One iteration of the six hats will produce results but two (or more) faster cycles may be better.
In applying this process Cabre has found that no voice at the meeting dominates.  New ideas always come up in the Green Hat and surprise the attendees.  It is as useful with a large group as it is with a one to one coaching session.

The template below shows the Six Thinking Hats and has the branches in those colours.  (White text does not work because when you export to Word you can't see it).  For each hat there are some guiding words but these are no substitute for reading the book.  At some stage in your meeting you may wish to hide these.  Just select the topics and then Filter > Hide.

As the meeting progresses you can add topics to each of the hats.  If an off-hat issue comes up add to the appropriate hat for later discussion.  The same issue can appear in more than one hat.

Each hat also has a map marker associated with it.  You can use these in the meeting or more likely you could use them to mark up meeting maps that is not being run under the Six thinking Hats process.  You could then sort and filter by these markers.

Click here to go to a large Six Thinking Hats map about Social Networking which is the combination of three meetings with different networking groups.


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Page last updated on 10 September, 2007
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