Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for exploring and analysing different perspectives on problems and situations. The technique involves assigning different coloured ‘hats’ to represent different modes of thinking.
These coloured hats are:
· ‘White Hat’ for objective and neutral information
· ‘Red Hat’ for emotional and intuitive responses
· ‘Black Hat’ for critical and cautious thinking
· ‘Yellow Hat’ for positive and optimistic thinking
· ‘Green Hat’ for creative and exploratory thinking
· ‘Blue Hat’ for reflective and process-oriented thinking
Whilst exploring the problem at hand, take turns “wearing” each hat and taking on its persona, using the associated thinking mode. As you go round each hat, adjusting your thinking each time, you’ll develop a more comprehensive and balanced understanding which leads to more effective solutions and strategies.
The Six Thinking Hats can be a valuable tool for analysing and understanding complex problems and situations but for some, it can be hard to get into each thinking mode. This can be made easier to play out if you can take on the persona of a character you know well. You'll be more familiar with how each character approaches problems and challenges, and how their unique modes of thinking contribute to the overall story.
In honour of Star Wars Day 2023, I thought it would be fun to apply the six thinking hats to characters from the Star Wars series*.
White Hat - C-3PO
C-3PO is a protocol droid designed to provide neutral and objective information, which makes him a perfect representative of White Hat thinking. He is programmed to analyse data and communicate it in a clear and concise manner, often acting as a translator between different species and cultures.
Red Hat - Darth Vader
As a Sith Lord, Darth Vader is known for his emotional and impulsive behaviour. He often acts on his anger and desires, especially when dealing with his enemies or his own family. This makes him a fitting representative of Red Hat thinking, characterised by intuition and emotion.
Black Hat - Han Solo
Han Solo is a streetwise and sceptical smuggler who is always on the lookout for potential dangers and risks. He is quick to identify potential problems and challenges, and is willing to take calculated risks in order to achieve his goals. This aligns with the critical and cautious thinking of Black Hat thinking, which looks for potential problems and risks.
Yellow Hat - Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is a hopeful and optimistic character who always sees the good in people and strives to bring about positive change. He believes in the power of the Force and the potential of every individual to make a difference, which reflects the optimistic and positive thinking of the Yellow Hat.
Green Hat - Yoda
Yoda is a wise and creative Jedi Master who often thinks outside the box and comes up with innovative solutions to difficult problems. He is a master of the Force and a skilled teacher, always seeking to unlock the potential of his students and push them beyond their limits. This aligns with the creative and exploratory thinking of the Green Hat.
Blue Hat - Princess Leia
Princess Leia is a natural leader who is skilled at organising and coordinating others to achieve a goal. She is a master of diplomacy and strategy, always thinking several steps ahead and anticipating the actions of her enemies. This fits nicely with the reflective and process-oriented thinking of the Blue Hat.
Whether you are a fan of the Star Wars movies or simply interested in exploring new ways of thinking, the Six Thinking Hats can provide a valuable framework for analysis and reflection.
*It's important to note that these are complex characters and therefore can’t really be constrained to only one ‘hat’ as they also displays traits and modes of thinking associated with the other thinking hats. It all depends on the way you think about things, the traits you consider, and even which movie in the series you’re watching.