Solve any given problem with the six thinking hats

Goals of Living


1 minute read

The Six Thinking Hats is a problem-solving and decision-making technique developed in 1985. The idea is to tackle a problem from six different perspectives, metaphorically speaking by six thinking hats.

To start this technique first clearly define the challenge or problem that you want to address. Now apply the six hats to the problem.

  1. White Hat (Information)
  2. Red Hat (Emotion)
  3. Black Hat (Critical Thinking)
  4. Yellow Hat (Optimism)
  5. Green Hat (Creativity)
  6. Blue Hat (Process Control)

1. White Hat

When you take on this hat your task is to focus on gathering, analyzing, and presenting objective data and facts about your issue. Consider what information is available and what additional data is needed.

2. Red Hat

Then you take on the red hat your goal is to express your gut feeling and emotional reaction to your issue without any justification. This approach is good for considering emotional aspects that may influence your decisions and actions.

3. Black Hat

When you wear this hat your goal is to use critical thinking and be cautious. Identify potential risks and weaknesses. Evaluate the feasibility of solutions and anticipate negative outcomes.

4. Yellow Hat

This hat represents positive thinking and optimism. Explore the benefits, advantages, and opportunities associated with the issue and potential solutions. Focus on the best-case scenarios.

5. Green Hat

This hat is for encouraging creativity. Brainstorm new ideas, explore new approaches, and challenge conventional thinking. Look for alternative solutions or ways to improve existing ones.

6. Blue Hat

This hat is about the big picture. Focus on organizing, and summarizing. Evaluate the effectiveness of the solution, and that all of the perspectives have been considered.

What now?

Now that you’ve gone through all of the hats you can analyze the insights of each hat and develop an actionable plan, perhaps through the S.M.A.R.T model.



The Six Hats method is an effective approach for problem-solving and decision-making. By applying each metaphorical hat you can gain new insights to the problem at hand, which will help you solve a given problem.

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