First, let me say that I love hats and I wish I had more opportunities to where fun, glamorous hats. Hats can definitely inspire creativity in more ways than one but the hats I am talking about today are the virtual kind. I invite you to visualize putting on and taking off each of the 6 hats described below when you want boost your creativity or simply make a decision.
When you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with a new idea, there are many different perspectives for looking at the situation. Our natural tendency is to settle with just one comfortable hat or maybe stretch to too. I challenge you today to play with three or more hats and see what comes up.
One of the ways I love to do a creative visualization like this is to actually draw the 6 hats on a large sheet of paper first. What kind of hats would you like to wear? Baseball caps? Party hats? Kentucky Derby hats? Have fun with this part of the exercise as it will help you to tap into your creative ability to “wear” each of the hats.
Then close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and put on one hat. Ask a question from the perspective of the hat, once you get an answer, write it down before moving onto the next hat.
This exercise will create a fresh perspective and will also show you where you may not be in alignment with the decision you are trying to make.
A great way to consider every point of view is the ‘Six Hats’ technique.
With this method, you put on six different hats for thinking about the problem. The hats are:
The Red Hat â This is your emotional hat and it tells you what your feelings are saying about the problem.
The White Hat â The white hat is objective. This perspective looks at things considering facts only.
The Yellow Hat â This hat deals with the problem positively. What about it will definitely work? What are the good outcomes if it works the way it should?
The Black Hat â Conversely, the black hat looks at things negatively. It considers what elements may not work and takes into account risks that the yellow hat would miss.
The Green Hat â The green hat is your creative hat, and it keeps looking for alternative ideas that may solve the problem better.
The Blue Hat â The blue hat offers the broad perspective. What is the best overall solution to the problem?
Most of us wear just one or two of these hats at all times. When you put each of the six differently colored hats on, you gain valuable perspectives that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Which hat are you most comfortable with and wear often? Which hat would you like to challenge yourself to wear?
This technique is based on the work of creativity and innovation guru Edward de Bono.
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