Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Genre: Non-fiction, business, psychology.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company.

Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

If you have ever attended a team building event, a motivational psychology course or some kind of HR mandated business workshop then you will have encountered the ideas of Six Thinking Hats. This is a classic book that came out in the 80’s and provides a framework for people to break free out of their biases and close-minded thinking and to playfully embrace other ways of tackling problems by putting on metaphorical hats to analyse the challenge and come out with creative solutions.

Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Six Thinking Hats was so successful it is still a common framework used in many workplaces with which to resolve workplace problems. It gave rise to the term β€˜blue sky thinking’ a (now) cliched catchphrase for an all-ecompassing and expansive mode of problem-solving.

This book (I have first edition) is sort of quaint in that it relates to various ideas of workplace dynamics and technologies of the time like filofaxes and rolodexes….what the flippin hell is that?

There are a few nuggets of wisdom to glean from it. And it’s all stuff that you may already understand simply by being a part of the western world, as these ideas are now so deeply ingrained.

Here are the various hats, which you may recognise.

Blue Hat: The Conductor’s Hat

Thinking about and managing the thinking process

The blue hat is the control hat. It is used for thinking about thinking. The blue hat sets the agenda, focus and sequence, ensures the guidelines are observed and asks for summaries, conclusions, decisions and plans action.

Green Hat: The Creative Hat

Generating ideas

The green hat is for creative thinking and generating new ideas, alternatives, possibilities and new concepts.

Red Hat: The Hat For The Heart

Intuition and feelings

The red hat is about feelings, intuitions and instincts. The red hat invites feelings without justification.

Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

Yellow Hat: The Optimist’s Hat

Benefits and values

The yellow hat is for a positive view of things. It looks for the benefits and values.

Black Hat: The Judge’s Hat


The black hat identifies risk. It is used for critical judgment and must give the logical reasons for concerns. It is one of the most powerful hats.

White Hat: The Factual Hat

Objective facts

The white hat is impartial, objective and fact-based. For example the laws of physics, thermodynamics, photosynthesis etc. The white hat is all about information. What information you have, what information you need and where to get it.

Read more

Edward De Bono

A Lecture Summary

Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

    1. Hi Reindeer Shermaine, I love the name it’s cool, what is the meaning behind that name? I have now followed you back thanks for following πŸ™‚ There’s a lot to get out of this book yeah, definitely worth getting. If it wasn’t so expensive and lengthy to post I would send you my copy! It is really common though and it would be available in any bookshop or second hand book shop. Worth getting!


  1. While this book and it’s theory of the Six Thinking Hats reminds me of all those hideous staff meetings and team bonding exercises πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ … it’s quite a little gem when you delve into it a little deeper. Much love for the share – I’d forgotten about it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yeah I know what you mean with these team-building exercises, is there anything in the world more cringe-inducing than these exercises hahaha
      There are some good takeaways from it though. Understanding the hat someone is wearing in a negotiation or conflict can mean you know how to respond to them better. Thank you for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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