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Tricia Jones > Tricia  > Creative Coaching: Hats off to de Bono’s way of thinking

Creative Coaching: Hats off to de Bono’s way of thinking

We have all been there: Overthinking, overanalysing, overworking, and overcomplicating situations with our thoughts. And if it’s an emotionally-charged situation, our brains go into overdrive mode and constantly run on repeat. Although we are constantly thinking about the situation, it only adds to the stress as it only embeds the problem, without identifying a productive solution. The other irony is also that, when we need logic the most, our emotions take the upper hand and we struggle to look at the problem objectively.

Many of you may be familiar with Edward de Bono’s famous thinking hats, which tackles this problem regarding our thought process. De Bono’s thinking hats-methodology can be a valuable tool if you use it correctly. The trick is that it’s not telling you what to think, but rather allowing you to change how you think about a situation. By putting on six different hats, you are guiding your brain to think about a problem in six different ways. Instead of simply overthinking a problem with the same type of thought pattern, you are thinking smartly about a problem in six different ways.

A rainbow of potential answers

Before you can pull a problem-solving rabbit out of a hat, it’s important that we recap first what each hat represents:

·        White: With this hat, it’s all about information. What is the objective and what are the facts? An easy way to remember this hat is that white equals a blank slate and thus, neutral thinking.

·        Red: Here it’s all about heart. The red hat is all about emotions and your intuitive or instinctive gut reactions.

·        Black: Visualise a chess board. The black hat is all about applying logic and being careful, cautious, and conservative.

·        Yellow: This colour is associated with a sunny disposition. With the yellow hat, you must identify benefits and use a positive, optimistic viewpoint.

·        Green: Nature and growth – that is what this hat represents. Here you should give yourself creative freedom and freedom of thought to inspire new ideas.

·        Blue: When you think in a calm and controlled way, you’re a blue-hat thinker. The blue hat is all about managing the thinking process, which is why it controls the other hats by accomplishing a set of predefined objectives.

A new way of thinking

A big part of creative coaching is about gaining control over emotions and thoughts because emotional intelligence can be the key to both personal and professional success. Looking at the different ways people think can, therefore, be invaluable: Thoughts lead to actions, and actions lead to results.

This is why a new way of thinking can lead to new, amazing possibilities. Sadly, most people have been taught to only focus on what is rational, thinking only with blue, black or white hats, and completely discarding their inherent ability to use emotions in a positive way to solve problems.

Problem-solving with Pop-up Coaching

Just like a rainbow wouldn’t be nearly as beautiful with only three colours, the thinking process isn’t nearly as powerful with only a blue, black, or white hat approach.

This is where creative coaching comes in. Creative coaching can help you to unlock new ways of thinking that your brain has either been trained not to use or isn’t use to using. This allows you to unlock new solutions to your problem, which are tailored to your specific industry, business, and situation.

De Bono’s 6 thinking hats is just one of the amazing ways that can be used in a coaching situation to get remarkable results. During my years as a coaching consultant, I saw the potential to go one step further and created a solution that I call Pop-up Coaching. This type of coaching can help you with a myriad of struggles: Gaining self-awareness so that you can live your life with intention and purpose; improving the quality of your life; assisting with conquering stress and anxiety; and reconnecting with others and improve your relationships.

If expanding your problem-solving skills and using your emotions to find creative solutions sounds like something you need, pop me an e-mail at aha@triciajones.co.za to find out more.

Tricia Jones

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