Great Meetings

How to Streamline Visionary Thinking in Meetings
Off to another meeting? Change the way this one turns out. When using the methodology of the Six Hats of Thinking (Edward de Bono, 1982), each member of the meeting wears the same hat at the same time, which focuses the group to discuss outcomes in a nondebate format. When the figurative white hat is on, the group is instructed to list the facts—just the facts—of the challenge ahead without emotions and opinions. (The team will have plenty of time later in the meeting to wear the red hat—the hat that allows team members to share emotions and gut feelings.) When the team dons the yellow hat of thinking, the group discusses the positives that can come about from the ideas. The black hat allows for the naysaying and negatives that might result. But it’s the green hat every leader likes to see his or her team member put on. This hat is considered the outside of the box hat, which allows the meeting participants to dare to explore the scenarios of “What if we do something we’ve never done before?” All six hats, each taking a turn in the meeting, keep meetings focused, and participants driving toward one parallel idea at a time, resulting in more creative and organized outcomes. So at your next meeting, put the blue hat on the leader; to keep meeting participants focused on one thought at a time, and promote united thinking versus debate-style thinking. You might just start looking forward to meetings.


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