Here are six thinking caps that will make you look at a decision from several points of view.

How to think isn’t as easy as how to make a decision. That awkward moment when you just can’t choose between peanut butter or jelly, so you decide on using them both. Enter PB’nJ, y’all. Whatever you’re thinking about right now could influence your decisions later, and there’s the need to think good and make better decisions later. Dear friends, here are the six thinking caps by creativity expert Edward de Bono. Spoiler: he’s not behind the term “Pro-Bono.”



#1. White Thinking Cap

This is having a collective mindset for gathering information about whatever subject matter you want to think about. Here’s where you solicit for information you’ll need before you make a decision. Get the right information, and see what you can learn from it. Check for loopholes in your ideas, and try as much as possible to make sense out of it. For instance, this is how you think when you decide to cook dinner for your family. You gather all necessary options your family might want, and even how to choose the ingredients.



#2. Black Thinking Cap

This is having a pessimistic mindset about whatever that could go wrong. Here’s where you analyze all the negative outcomes of what you want to do. Critically evaluate your ideas and see which approach might not turnout good. Highlight all the weaknesses in every possible course of action that you need to address. This lets you envision what lies ahead, and eliminate them once detected. For instance, when you’re starting a business, think of all the ways that could fail your startup. This is also known as inversion thinking by entrepreneurs.



#3. Red Thinking Cap

This is having the ability to make decisions based on your intuition, gut reaction, feelings and emotions. Here’s where you decide based on how you actually feel might go right or wrong. Ask yourself, “What do I feel I should do?” “Why do I feel this way?” “What are my feelings telling me?” You can also ask yourself what would be the feelings of others if you made the choice based on what you’re contemplating. For instance, this is how you feel when you decide to breakup from a relationship simply because you feel somewhat wrong.



#4. Yellow Thinking Cap

This is having an optimistic mindset about whatever that could go right. Here’s where you make a positively informed decision. This helps you frame your thinking to see all the benefits of your decision, and also spot any opportunities that may arise as a result. This allows you to have a clear and positive insight about your actions based on your decisions. For instance, this is how you think when you focus on the benefits of your startup, or the positive traits in your relationship before you either invest more or even breakup, respectively.



#5. Green Thinking Cap

This is having a creative mindset about whatever course of action you want to undertake. Here’s where you get to develop creative solutions to the problems you’re trying to solve. Having a creative mindset lets you think straight out of the box by developing clever strategies when it comes to choosing the right course of action. There are a wide range of creativity tools at your disposal when you’re thinking with the green cap. For instance, this is when you come up with an idea that eventually creates a solution that solves a problem.



#6. Blue Thinking Cap

This is having an open-minded mindset that lets you analyze all the other thinking caps. Here’s where you process and control your frame of thinking, making sure that you give adequate time and attention to each of the five other thinking caps. This is where you sum up everything that you’ve learn with all the other caps before you finally make a decision. For instance, this is the moment you decide if breaking up or moving on with your relationship is a good idea, because you’ve made a rational decision rather than how you feel.

Which of these thinking caps are you wearing?


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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Tue, Nov 16, 2021.

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