Natalie Myers

Office Politics During Meetings: Implement the “Six Thinking Hats”

December 17th, 2008

This tip came from Franke James, editor and founder of When holding a meeting with your team, try using the “six thinking hats” model. It’s meant to build consensus and get people thinking in the same direction.

It also allows for optimistic ideas to grow, while letting negative ideas be aired, she says. It can control the naysayers in a group.

The idea is to structure a meeting into six parts. Each part is identified by a color or a colored metaphorical “thinking hat.”

Yellow signifies positive, constructive thinking. That means only positive ideas can be discussed during the yellow part of the meeting. (You don’t have to make your team pretend they are wearing the “yellow hat” if you don’t want to.)

Green signifies creativity and new ideas. Black signifies logical and negative thinking. That’s when naysayers are allowed to voice their concerns and criticism.

This meeting structure was created by Edward de Bono. Franke calls it a “fantastic system” because it ecourages your team to share ideas that might have been missed during a conventional meeting.

Other useful links:

Natalie Myers

About Natalie Myers

Natalie Myers writes for MarketingSherpa’s Great Minds and Content Biz newsletters. She covers a broad array of topics for Great Minds, regularly interviewing thought leaders and experienced marketers about innovative or highly successful marketing strategies. For Content Biz she focuses specifically on online subscriptions models, including anything you pay for to read, listen to, watch, rent (as in Software as a Service models), etc.

She writes blog posts about topics relating to her beats, including useful information from interviews that doesn’t make it into an article.

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