Would you like to improve the effectiveness of your meetings?
Could your meetings be more enjoyable, inclusive and creative?
Could you make more effective decisions and reach agreement more productively?
Please reflect on your meetings at work and respond to these eight statements. Then review the recommendations that follow. Your results will not be recorded.
1. Everyone knows what the purpose of the meeting is.
Openly discussing and exploring the purpose of the meeting is a Blue Hat skill.
2. A few people dominate the discussion (or many people are included).
Inviting a diversity of inputs is a Blue Hat skill.
3. People use their intelligence and experience to argue for the idea they favour and against the alternatives (rather than explore).
In the Adversarial approach, each side only presents information and arguments that support their point of view.
Parallel Thinking is an alternative to the "I am right, you are wrong" approach. With Parallel Thinking all participants use the same mode of thinking at the same time to explore the topic.
4. There is a search for certainty. There is very little discussion of possibilities and a paralysis of analysis results.
Facts and experience are valuable inputs (White Hat) but they only confirm what is, not what could be.
You can analyse the past but you have to design the future. Encouraging and generating ideas is a Green Hat skill. There may be more than one right answer.
5. Personal opinions dominate and how people feel determines the outcome (or opinions and feelings are a valuable contribution).
Opinion and feelings (Red Hat) have an important role in thinking as they are closely tied into values. However feelings can overpower other factors in a discussion if they are allowed to rule exclusively.
6. Only the benefits of the situation are considered. There is denial about the risks or issues.
Evaluating the benefits (Yellow Hat) is vital to ensure the motivation to pursue an idea.
It is important to balance the positive points with a review of the risks as well (Black Hat).
7. If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. The focus is only on the issues, risks and problems.
Identifying the risks (Black Hat) is the first step in managing them.
It is important to balance risk assessment with an appreciation of the value in an idea (Yellow Hat). This value can then be built on.
8. The discussion meanders and we get lost (or we are focused).
Openly reviewing the purpose and direction of the meeting is a Blue Hat skill.
Possible range from - 8 to + 8
If you would like to improve the quality of your meetings by learning about Parallel Thinking and the Six Thinking Hats then contact one of our training partners to implement inclusive thinking in your organisation.
If your organisation has signed up for the Six Thinking Hats course, you can start here.
Watch the 2 minute video or read the transcript.