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.

X

point

Blue Hat 89.144.png

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).

X

point

Blue Hat 89.144.png

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).

X

point

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. 

Adversarial to Parallel.png

4. There is a search for certainty. There is very little discussion of possibilities and a paralysis of analysis results.

X

point

White Hat 89.144.png

Facts and experience are valuable inputs (White Hat) but they only confirm what is, not what could be.

Green Hat 89.144.png

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).

X

point

Red Hat 89.144.png

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.

X

point

Yellow Hat 89.144.png

Evaluating the benefits (Yellow Hat) is vital to ensure the motivation to pursue an idea.

Grey Hat 89.144.png

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.

X

point

Grey Hat 89.144.png

Identifying the risks (Black Hat) is the first step in managing them.

Yellow Hat 89.144.png

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).

X

point

Blue Hat 89.144.png

Openly reviewing the purpose and direction of the meeting is a Blue Hat skill.

Your Score:

0

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.

Further Recommendations

Watch the 2 minute video or read the transcript.

Inclusive Meetings Recommendations

Inclusive Meetings Recommendations

Play Video

Transcript of recommendations in video:

 

It does not have to be this way. Better decision-making depends on how people discover, discuss, and develop ideas together. Inclusive meetings use Parallel Thinking as the mechanism to encourage diversity of ideas and this makes for better decision-making as those ideas are more fully explored.

There is a diversity of experience, points of view and ideas expressed. Participants use their intelligence and experience to contribute to the development of all ideas not just the ones they favour.

There is a balance between using evidence to reduce uncertainty and creativity to generate new possibilities. Opinions and feelings are recognised as both valuable and subjective points of view that are likely to be different based on different experiences. They are balanced with objective evidence where possible.

The benefits and risks are evaluated in equal measure. Creativity is given a specific focus and ideas are evaluated and developed in a structured way.

Parallel Thinking is a language that empowers participants to be responsible for the meeting. Meetings are more enjoyable due to more constructive contributions. Meetings are more productive, the outcomes achieved are greater for the time invested. This often means shorter meetings. This method is called the Six Thinking Hats. It was created by Dr. Edward De Bono. It is a simple language for organising and enabling inclusive meetings and better decision-making.

Teams use this to solve complex, contentious issues, effectively and quickly. It is achieved without defeating ideas or people. The approach is not about compromise but about a genuine exploration of the topic without taking sides. It is a method for creating value and encouraging people to change their own minds.

The de Bono methods have been adopted by organisations around the world since 1991. Our global network includes certified trainers and facilitators in 72 countries through 18 training partners. We provide in-person and virtual training and facilitation, supported by interactive digital courses and applications. We help you apply the methods to topics that are important to you.

 

Contact one of our training partners to implement inclusive thinking in your organisation.