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Posted by Jeff Scott on October 4, 2010
I want to introduce you to a book that will change the way you manage meetings and make collaborative decisions: Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. One of my CIO clients told me about this book, and I bought it used on Amazon for $0.01 (plus shipping and handling of course) – now that is a deal. Though I can’t see sitting in a room of business executives and saying “Now everyone put on your white thinking hat,” this book presents a very clear explanation of why our typical “everyone present their viewpoint” type of discussion is so dysfunctional. The problem is that people come from different perspectives, so we end up arguing apples and oranges. Six Thinking Hats lays out a process where everyone can get their position on the table in a way that encourages a more holistic look at the issue and results in fewer arguments and more discussion. Here is how it works:
During a problem-solving session, the facilitator solicits input from six different perspectives. The key is that while the group is thinking in a particular perspective, only comments that fit that perspective are allowed. The six perspectives are:
The six hats model provides not only a great way to manage discussions of complex issues but also a framework to challenge our own thinking. The six hats methodology should be a tool in every leader’s tool kit.
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