Six Thinking Hats is a well known brainstorming method designed by Dr. Edward de Bono. Six Hats aims to help a group to think more effectively. The idea is to use different hats symbolically, in order to take different productive points of view to a conversation such as positive thinking, information & fact driven argumentation and critical judgment.
But what would be the opposite of Six Thinking Hats, points of view to a conversation that would be damaging and non-productive from the group effort point of view. Something that would eventually bring the conversation to a halt, a dead-end or even a fight? On a long lunch today with my colleagues we designed just that.
Six Non-Thinking Socks
How to destroy a potentially fruitful conversation and brainstorming session by just being present.
1. White Socks – Direct Interruption
What ever is being said is being interrupted by speaking over and loud. If someone starts to interrupt you too, just rise your voice and continue.
2. Red Socks – Getting Personal
Every point that is provided is cleverly turned into a personal assault targeting the character and personality of the fellow team player.
3. Black Socks – Unthinking
Use every logical fallacy in the book to confuse the conversation with arguments that first sound reasonable but turn out to be totally flawed in the very details.
4. Yellow Socks – Blatant Ignorance
When someone is speaking, just pretend that you are not listening. Look at the walls, at your clock and knock your fingers on the table. Moan.
5. Green Socks – Extreme Pessimism
It is the worst possible day of your life. Everything that is being said is viewed through lenses of absolute negativity and likelihood for failure. Cast a dark shadow on the whole conversation and start speculating what could most possibly go wrong.
6. Blue Socks – Unreasonable Haste
You are in such a hurry that there is no point in thinking about anything longer than a second – maybe two on a good day. No time to think – decisions are made based on intuition alone.
So, there you have it. Not too far away from your typical meeting.
Now go on and use this method in your next meeting and report back the results!