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P=2S+O…and Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

by Rick Baker
On May 6, 2010
I have written about P=2S+O©,..a philosophy and a template to help create good habits for problem solving:
P=2S+O presents ideas about a mindset for problem solving and it provides a simple template, which can be carried in a binder or briefcase…as a daily reminder and a daily tool for problem solving. P=2S+O provides an introduction of How To solve problems.
Many experts have provided education on the topic of problem solving. One of my favourite authors for this topic is Dr Edward de Bono. www.edwdebono.com
Below is an excellent example of the calibre of help Dr de Bono can provide.
Before providing a quick introduction to de Bono’s idea, I want to mention my son, Jack, recently purchased for me an original signed edition of de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’, (1985).
de Bono suggests we should approach problems from 6 different directions. He suggests we use a mind picture - putting on six thinking hats [like our teachers used to say…except six of them]. Each hat represents a different way of approaching the decision.
A summary of those six de Bono thinking hats…I have copied these directly from pages 31 and 32 of the book:
White Hat    White is neutral and objective. The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.
Red Hat   Red suggests anger [seeing red], rage and emotions. The red hat gives the emotional view.
Black Hat   Black is gloomy and negative. The black hat covers the negative aspects - why it cannot be done.
Yellow Hat   Yellow is sunny and positive. The yellow hat is positive and covers hope and positive thinking.
Green Hat   Green is grass, vegetation and abundant, fertile growth. The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.
Blue Hat   Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky, which is above everything else.  The blue hat is concerned with control and the organization of the thinking process. Also the use of the other hats.
There are some interesting consequences of putting on 6 different hats when we make decisions and solve problems. If nothing else, the six-thinking-hat mind exercise allows us to better understand others’ perspectives. And that, on its own, is a rather important skill.
More on Six Thinking Hats later…

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