The Decision Technique I chose to write about is the “Six Thinking Hats – Looking at a Decision from all Points of View.” This technique was created by Dr. Edward de Bono. Dr. Bono is regarded as the leading international authority in conceptual and creative thinking and in the teaching of thinking as a skill.
Of all the decision making technique I researched, this is the one that I agreed with the most in regards to the situation that I had in mind when researching decision making skills.
This technique was very interesting to me because it made you look at a problem from all points of view. You could not be biased on one opinion or force of influence. It forced you to think outside the box.
When making a decision, I feel that you must look at the issue from all points of view and not just your own biases or emotions. At times making a decision can be very hard, especially when you are the supervisor and responsible for your department. When both the decision and outcome it may have will ultimately affect you and your department and add the fact that you are the one that has to answer to higher authority.
This is why I really think this technique is great because you incorporate how it will affect everyone around you from the employee to higher management. How this decision making technique works is that there are literally six hat you wear and each hat has a different way of thinking. For example: the first hat you wear is the “White Hat.” This hat allows you to focus on data and/or information. This is where you identify the problem or issue with the information you have by researching the information.
The second hat you wear once you have the problem is the “Red Hat.” This is where you bring in the human in yourself and others. By realizing your intuition, reflex reaction and/or emotions. You also allow others to come in by realizing how they will react to the issue, how they will feel, how they will want to handle it, etc.
This is a very important step in decision making because no matter what you chose to do this is the step that will make you or break you, in my opinion. This is where you will get your decision across to others by considering their reaction/emotions as well.
The next hat that will be worn will be the “Black Hat.” Just as the color is stereo typed as “bad” this is where you think of all the negative reactions and how your decision will not work. This is where you analyze the issue and your decision and see where the mistakes are in your decision. This is also an important step as you consider the impact of your decision and the “what ifs.”
The next hat is the “Yellow Hat.” Like a beautiful day when the sun is out and the weather is great to be outdoors and it is your day off. This is where you think optimistically and you see the good in your decision, which is a great step from coming out of the “Black Hat.”
The next hat is the “Green Hat.” This is the step that you take off on. Your have already looked at the bad side and good side of your decision. This is where you get to be creative and brainstorm your decision and/or ideas. You are free at this point to write down all your ideas with no one to stop you.
Finally, the last hat is the “Blue Hat.” Not because you are blue as in sad, because the ideas are not coming out as freely or when there is a back up plan needed. Those you are presenting the decision to usually wear this hat. Blue is neither good nor bad but can lead you back to the green hat or when you need a back-up plan which will send you back to the Black Hat.
Because the organization I work for deals a lot with the public investigating, the dress code is an important issue. Recently in our organization this topic came up and it was addressed in a more formal way than usual. What was sent to everyone via the email was an explanation of why a Dress Code was being presented along with a List of What is permissible and not permissible to wear.
The reason I feel that the “Six Hat” Technique would have been very useful in this situation is because I do not think that whomever made the decision of what was allowed to be worn or not considered other’s opinions or forces of influence. The list of what is allowed to be worn or not could be based on a person’s perception, depending on which side of the fence you were on. They left it open for scrutiny and conflict among employees and supervisors.
By using the “Six Hats Technique, it would of allowed those in command to bring into the decisions making the employees that this issue will affect as well as their perception or biases in regards to the list of clothes. It would of allowed them to think the process more thoroughly as it is very hard to have a dress code with a diverse culture in our organization.
To speak on behalf of the Dress Code Committee, it is very hard to try to please everyone. I feel that neither this decision making technique or any other technique used would of produced the perfect Dress Code List that would please everyone. This is one of those situations that you acknowledge you will be open to a lot of criticism. Because there is such diversity in culture, age, religious backgrounds etc., the perfect Dress Code List does not exist.
Whatever technique was used in this decision making issue I feel was the best that they could do. Perhaps they should sign up for this course and learn how to frame the problem and learn to use better decision making techniques when making such an important decision that affects so many employees.