Monday, 6 June 2011

Questions, 6 Thinking Hats and MindGenius

Most techniques or workshop tools that involve creativity or lateral thinking are driven by questions.  There is the overall focus question that scopes the problem to be considered - and there are detailed questions that help bring out the ideas. 

A set of questions for use with De Bono's "6 Thinking Hats" will reinforce the differing perspective of each "Thinking Hat". 


This helps you and the audience stay with the theme of the hat, as well as providing stimulation of thoughts and ideas. 


Summary level questions for each hat might look like this:

  • White hat: What are the facts?
  • Red hat: How do you feel about this?
  • Black hat: What are the challenges and risks?
  • Yellow hat: What are the advantages?
  • Green hat: What new things might be possible?
  • Blue hat: What process shall we follow?

As part of the workshop design or as just part of the process that is followed, additional supporting questions can be asked that keep the thinking going and ensure the full scope is covered.


Q set 1 One way to approach this is to use a MindGenius Question Set.  The questions are displayed in a window alongside the map being worked on and help the process as described above.  We'll use the "Edit Question Sets" feature to create on for "6 Thinking Hats".


Q set 2

From the "Tools" menu, select "Edit Question Sets".  Click on the left-most icon in the dialogue window, which will highlight as "New Question Set".




Q set 3

Enter the name of the new question set, "6 Thinking Hats" in "Question Set Name" and click "Create".




Q set 4 Now, working in the right hand pane of the dialogue window, under "Manage Question Set", highlight the question set title and click the "Add New Question" icon.  In this example, we've created the "Thinking Hats" as level one questions .


Q set 5Next, highlight each level one "Thinking Hat" and add questions relevant to that hat. If you make a mistake, you can edit the question, delete it or change it's sequence.



A completed question set looks like this.Q set 6

Q set 7 Click "OK" to save the "6 Thinking Hats" question set.  Open a new map, click the "Home" tab and then click "Question Sets".  The "6 Thinking Hats" set appears under "Custom Question Sets". 


Click this and the question set is loaded into the question set window, normally at the bottom left of your MindGenius workspace.



Q set 8

You are now ready to go and can use the question set to prompt the development of a map or it can be used in conjunction with the "Brainstorm" mode.

imageTo download a free trial of MindGenius 4 to try these features for yourself, click on this link or the image (right).



To find out more about 6 Thinking Hats try De Bono's original book.


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