What colour is your thinking? A colour for every style of thinking

ER-colour thinking

What colour is your thinking? A colour for every style of thinking

Colour and thinking: Edward de Bono's 6-hat technique 

Eduard de Bono is a Maltese psychologist who theorised lateral and creative thinking in 1985, visually explaining his technique of reasoning with hats and colours. Each hat indicates a style of thinking, with which a different colour is associated. This method is usually applied to critically approach problems, seek creative solutions and produce original content. 

Lateral thinking is an alternative of the automatisms of our brain and is important as it helps to make decisions by considering a topic from different angles.

Colour, thought, and hats

Each hat corresponds to a different style of thinking, mental attitude, and consequently, of communication. The starting assumption is that each of us has a predominant style of thinking and when faced with a topic, event, or problem we tend to use our own dominant style (hat) to process them. Aware of this unique automatism, it is important to make the effort to assume the gaze of other perspectives (the other 5 colours) and "wear", one at a time, other colour hats. In doing so, we are able to reach broader perspectives, managing to see even what does not immediately appear evident.

The different ways of thinking in the 6 hats

These are the thinking styles and colours assigned to each of the 6 hats: 

White Hat:
communicates in a neutral and objective way, considers the facts without interpretations (analyses the available data, also referring to the past).

Red Hat:
expresses feelings and emotions without the need for justification ('gut' intuitions)

Black Hat:
logical negative, highlights the problematic aspects, what is not working (weaknesses)

Yellow Hat:
logical positive, highlights what works, expresses optimism and positivity (strengths).

Green Hat:
expresses creativity and new ideas without criticism, looking for alternatives (free flow). 

Blue Hat:
mediator, controls the process, acts as a guide for other thoughts and helps to draw broader conclusions.

The colour of coaching and different thoughts

Thinking, mental attitude and communication are key and testing elements in a coaching process.

The questions that the coach asks to accompany the reasoning with the client aim precisely at identifying new perspectives and encourage continuous experimentation.

As the client's way of thinking evolves, his experience also takes on a whole new perspective.

We can imagine the Coach in colour Blue colour that, with their questions helps to assume other points of view, to change perspective and open up new possibilities, to move from a thought of "I can't..." to one of "...I can try to ..." 

 Here is how thoughts can change, thinking in different colours:

Wearing the different hats requires effort and expenditure of energy, and this is why it is important to ask for support and get to use one’s personal resources faster, in order to give life to new meanings in the personal life path.

What colour are your thoughts right now?

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