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Home » Methods » 6 Hats

6 Hats

Different institutional structures, logics and norms
Min. 6 Project managers or project partners or citizens
1 hour
  • Digital whiteboard: Miro or Mural
  • Video conferencing: Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.
Best Practices

Explanation of the method

  1. In a short introduction, a project leader introduces the method. It is important that all participants understand the meaning of the six hats. The number of participants is variable. The hats are placed for all to see on a shared digital whiteboard.
  2. Each participant chooses one of the hats and represents his or her position.
    • White hat: Analytical, this hat focuses exclusively on data and facts.
    • Red hat: Emotional, this hat is guided by feelings and intuitions. Positive or negative statements are not explained.
    • Green Hat: Creative, this hat considers alternatives and seeks new ideas.
    • Black hat: Critical, this hat objectively considers the negative aspects of the problem or issue.
    • Yellow hat: Optimistic, this hat is meant to represent opportunities and advantages.
    • Blue Hat: Overviewing, this hat does not directly participate in the discussion, but introduces and summarizes the discussion sessions.
  1. Now discuss the question from the different points of view in an open discussion group.
  2. Alternatively, the participants can choose all the hats at the same time and adopt different perspectives. Digital sticky notes are well suited for this, on which the thoughts are written down and assigned to the corresponding hats. The thoughts are only discussed together afterwards.
  3. Finally, the discussion rounds or the ideas and thoughts are reflected together. For a better overview, the thoughts are categorized.


  • Since the method is usually applied by all persons simultaneously and together, positive effects of collaborative thinking often arise.
  • Existing, entrenched ways of thinking can be broken through the assumption of different roles in each case. This can lead to openness towards a topic or a project.
  • The method can help to bring out hidden aspects that, without the cover of the respective hat, might not have been brought out in this way.


  • If the topic is not yet mature, it is difficult at first to serve the different points of view. But even then the method can be used to gain thought-provoking impulses and to specify the topic thereupon.
  • Detachment from one's own point of view can lead to excessive reaction; in this case, care should be taken to ensure that the discussion is objective or otherwise the discussion group is closed.

Advice from practice

  • As a facilitator, try to document and categorize the topics mentioned regarding the different points of view already during the meeting. This will give you and the participants a better overview.
  • If you first want to understand different points of view and/or there is no large discussion group, pinboards on which the different hats are displayed are advantageous. This way, each participant can think about each perspective and everyone gets a chance to speak.
  • Work with moderation cards on which the participants can write down arguments from the respective perspectives/thinking directions. This makes the documentation easier.
  • A good guidance of the method is necessary. In this way, the participants can more quickly empathize with the perspectives.
Please note that the tools and methods were created as of August 2024 and all Miro Boards are editable.
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