Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats can help you strengthen your personal brand as a valued team member and potential leader, playing an important role during meetings.

Although originally published in 1985, Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats continues to play an important role in creative thinking for leading businesses and governments around the world. It remains a frequently-recommended book, a consistent Amazon Top 100 book in the creativity and entrepreneurship categories.

It’s a book with serious implications for all who want to build their personal brand, whether they’re working for others or building their own businesses.

Putting Six Thinking Hats to work building your brand

There are two ways you can put Edward de Bono’s book to work:

  • Personal thinking style. You can use the Six Thinking Hats approach as a personal development tool to improve your ability to come up with new ideas and effectively present them during the meeting.
  • Developing a leadership role. If your goal is to strengthen your brand as leadership material, consider introducing the Six Thinking Hats process to your coworkers, facilitating meetings and expediting group decision-making.

Edward deBono’s Six Thinking Hats

You’ll probably recognize de Bono’s six basic thinking styles among your coworkers and participants in meetings and problem-solving sessions:

  1. White Hat. This type of thinking is neutral and objective, primarily concerned with facts and figures.
  2. Red Hat. These individuals are more subjective and engaged; the emotions influence their actions.
  3. Black Hat. These are the careful and cautious members of your group. They often play the role of Devil’s Advocate roles.
  4. Yellow Hat. These are the optimists in your group, sunny and positive, anticipating successful outcomes.
  5. Green Hat. Green is associated with fertility; these individuals frequently originate creative approaches and new ideas.
  6. Blue Hat. The blue hat is concerned with control and the big picture, interested in facilitating the thinking process and organizing the contributions of the other hats.

Direction-oriented, not categories

The power of Six Thinking Hats is that it is process-oriented; it’s not just another system to categorize how people think.

Categorizing people by the way they think doesn’t help the search for creative ideas and the search for solutions to pressing problems. This is especially true if the goal is to develop manipulative strategies for persuading different kinds of thinkers to agree with you.

Instead, the thrust of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats is to help individuals and groups rise above the limitations of their preferred thinking styles, and view problems from multiple perspectives.

In other words, the process encourages individuals and groups to temporarily change their normal thinking styles and view situations from a different perspectives.

Thus, the Six Hats are not strait jackets; instead, they’re the starting points for more efficient ways to approach problems and contribute to group problem solving.

Rethinking your rethinking

For a book that has been an evergreen bestseller for over 30 years, and one that can make a major contribution to strengthening your personal brand as a source of creative ideas and as a facilitator of meetings, Six Thinking Hats is an amazingly easy book to read.

It’s short and to the point; no clutter, no fluff. The chapters are short, ideal for reading at breaks and during commutes or on business trips. The paperback is available for under ten dollars at Amazon.com.

If you’ve read Six Thinking Hats, I’d like to know what you think about it. More important, do you agree this book could help you enhance your personal brand, either as a creative thinking or as a facilitator who brings Six Hats thinking to meetings? Share your comments below, as comments.


Roger C. Parker, Published & Profitable, is a 40-book author and executive book coach. Contact Roger, when you have a writing question or need help finding your voice as an expert in your field.

Read more: