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Why You Should Wear The 6 Thinking Hats On Your Blog

This guest post is by Nischala Murthy Kaushik.

Wearing the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog helps in generating valuable, interesting and diverse content.

What are the 6 Thinking Hats?

Dr. Edward de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. And once they’re learned, the tools can be applied immediately!

The 6 Thinking Hats

Image copyright Lisa F. Young - Fotolia.com

The premise of this concept is that the human brain thinks in a number of distinct ways which can be identified, deliberately accessed and hence used in a structured way to develop strategies for thinking about particular issues.

De Bono identifies six distinct states in which the brain can be “sensitized”. In each of these states, the brain will identify and bring into conscious thought certain aspects of issues being considered.

His 6 Thinking Hats are:

  1. the White Hat, which calls for information that’s known or needed: “The facts, just the facts.”
  2. the Yellow Hat, which symbolizes brightness and optimism; under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit
  3. the Black Hat, which is judgment—the devil’s advocate that spots the difficulties and dangers, and where things might go wrong; this is probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused
  4. the Red Hat, which signifies feelings, hunches and intuition; when using this hat, you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates
  5. the Green Hat, which focuses on creativity, the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas; it’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions
  6. the Blue Hat, which is used to manage the thinking process; it’s the control mechanism that ensures the Six Thinking Hats guidelines are observed.

How to wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog

Blogging is a testimonial of an individual’s thoughts, creativity, and literary expressions. And the quality of the content you create on your blogs is directly linked to the quality of your thoughts. Given that de Bono’s principles focus on mindful thinking, the Thinking Hats concept is highly relevant to blogging.

In my journey as a blogger for more than two years, I have published 1000+ blogs and have been featured in several forums, communities, and reputable sites. And when I look at the body of work that I have created, I realize today that I have consciously and unconsciously worn these many hats in my blogging.

The Six Thinking Hats can help you create diverse content on your blog, keep it vibrant, enjoy blogging, and create a meaningful relationship with your readers. Here’s how.

The White Hat

Ensure that some content in your blogs are based on hard data and facts. This can be information that you personally know, or links to articles, research, and literature available in published sources.

This is important because:

  • You tend to read and learn about key data and facts before you can blog about them
  • Sometimes the data itself can alter your and others views, comprehension, opinions, judgments, perceptions, and conclusions on a subject
  • you have logged this data for your future reference, and also the reference of your readers
  • you build credibility when you support your views and opinions with hard facts and data
  • readers place more value on the content you generate, since your blog is not purely based on your thoughts and feelings
  • the chance that you’ll be quoted or referenced in other places is significantly higher than if you never wore the White Hat.

The Yellow Hat

Ensure that some content in your blogs gives a positive, bright and optimistic view. This is important because:

  • when you write positive stuff, you tend to think and feel positively
  • when anyone reads your blog, they take-away a positive thought, message or emotion
  • readers are more likely to share a positive post in their sphere of influence—the positivity just spreads and magnifies along the way! And it all started with your blog!

The Black Hat

Ensure that some content in your blogs highlights the difficulties, challenges, risks, dangers, and negatives of your topic. This is important because:

  • this is the reality of life and it needs to be reflected in your blogs; otherwise, you may appear to be in your own dream world, far from reality
  • having all positive, data-driven content does not give the real holistic picture for any topic, hence it is imperative to wear this hat.

The Red Hat

Ensure that some content in your blogs articulates your feelings, hunches, and intuitions. This is important because:

  • it makes you think, introspect, and feel
  • it also gets your readers to think, introspect, and feel
  • it makes you connect within—to draw from your creative imagination
  • it makes you acknowledge, recognize, and appreciate the power of your sixth sense.

The Green Hat

Ensure that some content in your blog is creative, innovative, novel, and radical. This could present your own views or thoughts or something you’ve read and would like to share with your readers. It’s important because:

  • when you read and hear such things, they transport you to a different plane—a different world in which you are able to view the world through a very different lens; this usually gives you a radically different perspective on any topic, and on life itself
  • when you immerse yourself in creative, innovative, novel and radical readings, thoughts and ideas, you tend to dream and visualize beyond the realm of the known.

The Blue Hat

Ensure that some content in your blogs is about processes. This is important because:

  • it makes you clear in your own mind about processes that should be followed
  • it gives you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and understanding on subjects which you are aware of and strengthens your own personal brand.

Do you wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog?

You can wear the 6 Thinking Hats on your blog for many purposes:

  • to choose a topic that you will blog about
  • to write the title of your post
  • to create the actual blog content itself

You can wear one or many hats in a single blog post. But ensure that over a period of time—a month, for example—you wear at least four of the hats in your blog. We all wear the different thinking hats at some point, so the more you wear, the more likely you’ll be to meet the varying needs of your readers.

Do you wear all six thinking hats in your blog? Tell us in the comments.

Nischala Murthy Kaushik currently works at Wipro. She blogs at VERVE: The Quintessence of my Life, Nischala’s Space, Thoughts & Expressions, 12Most.com, PaulWriter, Wipro & Mindblogs. She has completed her MBA from IIMB, one of the premier Business schools in India. She takes pride in being a mother, philosopher, writer, scholar and guru of life for life. You can follow her on Twitter @ nimu9.

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Comments

  1. Having been an educator for 19 years, I know DeBono’s 6 Thinking Hats well and used it in my classroom when I taught. I never thought of using that same idea as part of my blog. However, I will be more mindful of it as I write new posts. Thank you for reminding us that our words and content need to appeal to many and what we write should be diverse as well.

    • Nischala says:

      Hi Jeanette – Thanks your comment… Yes focusing on diversity in your blog enables you to enjoy blogging and also makes it enjoyable for your readers
      Nischala

  2. Really loved the post. I never heard about those thinking hats, but it immediately made very much sense. I am going to read it more closely later to see if I use all those hats, and if so, how many of them I use in one post.

    • Nischala says:

      Thanks Anne.. Good Luck. Trust me – You will be able to generate better content if you apply this consciously
      Nischala

  3. retro says:

    I don’t wear all the hats in one blog. For me every blog has its own hat. White hat for my finance blog, red hat for my eye wear blog etc.

    • Nischala says:

      A suggestion | Try wearing more than 1 hat in your blog.. It will compel you to think in multiple ways and hence generate diverse content
      Nischala

  4. This is just silly. All you need to do: think. If you are a good writer and a good thinker, the rest just comes. If you wish to become a better writer and better thinker, write and think harder, then relax. Repeat. It is just like building strength in anything else. No need for six confusing hats.

    • Nischala says:

      Delwin – Thinking comes easily and naturally to some.. As does writing.. For for many, its not so easy.. If you are blogging for a long time and are in it for the long haul – such tools and techniques definitely help in generating diverse content..
      Nischala

  5. Brayant says:

    Great post that has changed my way of thinking because the idea of hats is great and encouraging especially us who are upcoming bloggers I thank problogger for the post and God bless

    • Nischala says:

      Thanks Brayant.. Glad you found it useful. And hope you enjoy applying the technique

      Nischala

  6. I think I need to work on wearing a larger variety of hats–I think I use a few too often and need to spice up my blog/s with different types.

    • Nischala says:

      The more hats you wear, the more enjoyable it is for you and your readers.. Good Luck

  7. Reminds me of the old Merle Haggard song: “I wear my own kind of hat.” I try to follow that most important advice … and no one can tell you where to find your chapeau.

  8. Joseph says:

    Great Post. Never knew of anything like the 6 thinking hats, I love this Post.

  9. Philos Mudis says:

    Looks like so many hats but like every blogger who wants to build a dream I got to do my best…to balance the hats on my head because if one falls, my dream blog would get scared and hide somewhere in the year 2014.

  10. Hooker says:

    I felt really stressed out reading this, wondering how I would ever keep all these hats straight and make sure I gave each its due attention. I think first and foremost, we need to write about topics that are interesting to us or keeping up with a blog would get really monotonous. Perhaps these are good points to check after I have written an article, but to focus on them first would be confusing to me. Perhaps that is just an effect of each person’s mind working differently.

    • Nischala says:

      Yes.. You need to be passionate about the topics.. And such tools facilitate and expedite the thought process

  11. Raquel says:

    Thank you, I found this post really helpful. The 6 thinking hats method would be really good to use when writing new blog posts. Quite often I have a great idea in my head for a post but struggle to write this into a post, the 6 thinking hats will be a great way to use as a guideline.

    • Nischala says:

      Yes.. You can use it very effectively to generate rich, well-rounded and meaningful content

  12. I guess I am wearing a huge rainbow hat in running my blog. Doing all the above based on intuition. But it is very good to have it broken down and separated. When things go wrong, it makes it easier to analyze which hat has the hole. Interesting metaphors.

    • Nischala says:

      Thanks Chanuka.. Also it enables you to look at a some topic with different lens, And sometimes more than the quality of the blog itself.. You learn a lot about different things

  13. Justin Mazza says:

    This is a very creative post and I do agree with the different types of hats that we wear. I wear the black hat a little more than the other ones.

    Take care…

  14. Drewry says:

    when it comes to creating content and blogging, I always wear the white hat, because I always strive to maintain a good reputation in connecting with people through my content, as well as always having the green light in search engine results pages, in being unique and genuine with my search engine optimization efforts :-)

  15. I don’t know which hat I am using for blogging on my blog since it provides blogger tips for all the people. But I am using white hat for seo purposes.

    Anyway this is a nice share with great info. I am feeling that I need to learn on this bit deeply. Thanks for the nice share.

  16. Ann Khee says:

    I’m wearing Yellow + Red + Green Hats for my motivate blog !

  17. Josh Sarz says:

    I wear a multi-colored hat then, but I just didn’t know it. What an unique and interesting way to apply good habits in blogging. I admire you a lot for this post Nischala. This post was definitely well-thought of and really admirable. Thanks for the really good read.

    • Nischala says:

      Thanks Josh. Glad you found it useful.. Yes! The co-relation is something which even I have found fascinating in theory and enjoyable in practice.. Hope you are able to effectively use it

  18. I couldnt agree anymore. Was aware of the six hats but never thought of applying it in blogging!
    ~Subodh

  19. Praveen says:

    Never had an idea of using these hats in blog! Thanks for sharing a well written post :)

  20. What a great idea. Although, I think for my karate blog I would have to think of it as different color Gi!

  21. I have learnt about DeBono’s 6 Thinking Hats but I never thought about it as something that can be effectively used in blogging…Thanks for bringing this to my attention…This shows that, nothing should be learnt in isolation…Even when something seems useless in your current field, you can find a way to make it applicable and fruitful. Great post!

    • Nischala says:

      Thanks.. Yes.. You need to be able to think through and apply concepts from different fields in your sphere of work.. While this is just in the context of individual blogging, this can be applied very well even in the corporate context

  22. Taline says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of these hats. I think to apply them all in any article can be overwhelming, however, to apply a few relevant ones would prove to benefit the content. Great article! :)

    • Nischala says:

      Sure..Start with 1 hat for a blog. And then you can increase the number of hats you wear in 1 blog.. Its just a matter of consciously using them.. Good Luck

  23. Ling says:

    Great ideas! Some of the hats can also be applied to implementing SEO methods:)

  24. Ray Higdon says:

    This is brilliant, always looking for different angles when it comes to content creation

  25. Dean Saliba says:

    I think that guy looks very cool with his hats. :P

    I was aware of white hat and black hat but I was not aware there were other variations of it.

  26. Matt Gooch says:

    Great Post! I love “The Six Thinking Hats” and have introduced it to people I work with on a non-profit board. I had never thought about using them in my blogging. After reading your post I started thinking about which hats I’m usually wearing, and realized that I’m not being as diverse as I should be. Thank you for your post!

  27. Drewry says:

    when it comes to thinking on the Internet, I strive to stay creative 100% :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZESEDOd8y6w

  28. Misafir says:

    looking for different angles when it comes to content creation

  29. adsabry says:

    I didn’t really understand the 6th point
    would u explain it to me please,
    And if can give me an example

  30. I usually change hats depending on my mood and the amount of time I have for each post. I like to diversify, but personally I like ready white hat posts the most, I like to get facts and make my own opinion, but there are always exceptions.