6 Thinkings Hats for Human Resource Management - Kounselly
6 thinking hats for Human Resource Managment

Apply the 6 thinking hats method to human resource management

Six Thinking Hats method of Dr. Edward de Bono is a simple yet effective parallel thinking method that helps people work more efficiently, more focused, and more responsibly. This method is a useful tool that helps improve thinking and decision-making processes through the use of different colored “hats” to represent different aspects of the problem. Each hat has its own color and meaning, helping users think from different angles. Find out what is each hat about and how to apply it to HRM with Kounselly!

The 6 thinking hats method of Dr. Edward de Bono

6 hats thinking
6 thinking hats meaning

White Hat – Fact (Truth)

White hats in the 6 thinking hats focus on gathering information, relying on specific data, facts and figures. People wearing this hat focus on analyzing available information and making decisions from sound facts.

Red Hat – Emotions (Emotions)

The red hat represents emotions and intuition. When wearing this hat, the user will think from an emotional perspective, focusing on personal feelings, subjective opinions and perception of situations.

Black Hat – Risk (Risk)

The black hat focuses on recognizing risks, downsides, and potential consequences. The wearer of this hat focuses on analyzing negative aspects, weaknesses and risks that may arise.

Yellow Hat – Positive (Positive)

The yellow hat represents positive thinking. Users of this hat focus on finding opportunities, benefits and strengths, creating momentum to build positive solutions.

Green hat – Creativity (Creativity)

Green hats encourage creative thinking and imagination. People wearing this hat need to expand their horizons, seek new creative solutions, and not be constrained by current rules or limitations.

Blue Hat – Control

The blue hat focuses on controlling the thinking process, deliberation and adjustment in decision making. Users of this hat pay attention to managing their thinking process when solving problems so that they can achieve the best results.

Principles of 6 thinking hats method

To apply the 6 thinking hats method to human resource management, flexibility is needed and through specific steps:

  • Identify the problem: Clearly identify the problem that needs to be solved in human resource management.
  • Apply each hat: Use each hat to look at the problem from different angles.
  • Group focus: When working in groups, each person takes on a specific hat to evaluate and contribute ideas.
  • Combine and evaluate: Synthesize opinions and perspectives from different hats to create a complete and comprehensive decision.

Apply the 6 thinking hats method to human resource management

When applied to the field of human resource management in particular or corporate governance in general, the 6 thinking hats method can effectively solve problems such as:

Build a positive working environment

Encourage understanding: Use the red hat to listen and better understand your employees’ feelings and opinions. This helps build a friendlier working environment, creating opportunities for everyone to share and feel more comfortable.

Focus on common goals: Each group can use one or several different hats to focus on specific goals. The combination of yellow and green hats can help build an HR strategy that focuses on both finding opportunities and developing innovation.

Resolve conflicts effectively: Use black hat and white hat to look at problems from different angles. This helps identify risks and opportunities more clearly, thereby creating opportunities to resolve conflicts more effectively.

Human resource development and management

Encourage creativity: By harnessing the green hat, employees are encouraged to express creativity at work. This can promote innovation, generate new ideas and increase productivity.

Risk management: Use black hat to assess the risks and weaknesses of your HR plan. Thereby, management can come up with strategies to minimize risks and enhance the ability to cope when incidents occur.

Create consideration in the decision: An important step is to use the blue hat to control and weigh the decision process. This helps ensure that decisions are made after careful consideration from many different perspectives.

Encourage collaboration and diversity of opinions

Create space for all opinions: By using the 6 thinking hats model, managers can encourage people to express their opinions freely and without being bound by traditional views or thinking.

Increase diversity: Workgroups can use each hat to represent a different perspective, thereby creating diversity in thinking and decisions.

By applying the Six Thinking Hats method to human resource management, organizations can create a positive work environment that encourages creativity and diversity of perspectives, thereby enhancing performance and engagement. employee satisfaction.

For example: Resolving conflicts in the organization

In a software development company, the product development team is experiencing conflict over work priorities and how projects should be implemented. Management decided to apply the 6 thinking hats method to solve this situation.

Red Hat (Emotions): A meeting held to give people the opportunity to share their personal feelings and opinions about the issue. Employees are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings about prioritizing work and its impact on the project.

Yellow Hat (Active): A small team is formed to focus on finding opportunities from different work priorities. They recommend flexible options to use resources more efficiently and optimize project plans.

Black Hat (Risk): Another group formed to evaluate potential risks from prioritizing work. They analyze negative aspects, such as increased costs or stress for employees due to increased work pressure.

White Hat (Fact): This group focuses on gathering information and data about the effectiveness of work priorities. They use statistical data and specific metrics to determine optimization.

Green Hat (Creativity): A brainstorming meeting is held to find innovative and creative solutions to deal with problems. This team is not constrained by current limitations and seeks to approach the project innovatively.

Blue Hat (Control): Finally, a final group is formed to synthesize all the information from the other groups and ensure the decision-making process is controlled and well thought out.

As a result, the product development team has a more comprehensive view of the problem and makes decisions more clearly. They choose a flexible option that the whole team agrees on and feels comfortable with ensuring efficiency in the project and avoiding potential risks. Thereby, the 6 thinking hats method helped them resolve conflicts effectively and create consensus in decisions.

See more: The important of middle manager in business

Advantages and disadvantages of 6 thinking hats method


  • Diversity of perspectives: Helps collect and consider every possible perspective, from many different angles.
  • Decision Optimization: Enables decision making through consideration of diverse aspects.
  • Encourage creativity: Create conditions for creative thinking to be explored and developed.


  • Complexity: Can complicate the decision-making process by having to consider many different perspectives.
  • Difficulty in agreeing opinions: Can cause conflicts in opinions and make it difficult to make a final decision.

See also: 7 strategies to managing Gen Z

The 6 thinking hats method of Dr. Edward de Bono is a useful tool to help expand thinking, make inclusive decisions and encourage diversity in human resource management. However, using this method requires consideration to take advantage of the advantages without getting stuck in the complexity of looking from many different angles.


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