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Some problems or opportunities require team-work. Work better as a team with these techniques!



  • Helps look at decisions from a number of important perspectives.

  • Forces you to move outside your habitual thinking style.

  • Helps brings diverse perspectives to decision making.

  • Helps to depersonalize team-dynamic feedback.



‘Six Thinking Hats’ is an important and powerful technique by Edward De Bono. If you look at a problem with the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ technique, then you will solve it using all approaches. Your decisions and plans will mix ambition, skill in execution, public sensitivity, creativity and good contingency planning.

Each colour/hat represents a different perspective or point-of-view.

THE WHITE HAT: concerned with objective facts and figures.

THE RED HAT: gives the emotional view

THE BLACK HAT: negative aspects; why it cannot be done.

THE YELLOW HAT: optimistic, hope, positive thinking.

THE GREEN HAT: creativity and new ideas

THE BLUE HAT: control and organization of the thinking processes.


Edward De Bono writes that the idea of a thinking hat or thinking cap is well established: I’ll have to put on my thinking hat and consider that proposal…put on your thinking cap and phone me tomorrow.

  • The mental picture of someone wearing a real thinking hat helps focus thinking.

[1] Bono, Edward De. Six Thinking Hats. London: Penguin, 2000. Print.



  • Identify personal strengths and weaknesses.

  • Explore personal opportunities and threats.

  • Simple self-assessment techniques.


SWOT Analysis is a useful technique for understanding Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities available and the existing Threats. It is a useful tool for understanding and decision-making for all sorts of situations in business and organizations.

Strengths: characteristics of the business, or project team that give it an advantage over others.

Weaknesses (or Limitations): are characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others.

Opportunities: external chances to improve performance (e.g. make greater profits) in the environment.

Threats: external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project. [1]


1. Assess your skills, knowledge and aptitutes. Map these to your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


2. Identify and record your internal strengths and weaknesses. Identify and record the external threats and opportunities.


3. What knowledge do you possess? What skills are missing?

What opportunities can you pursue? Reflect on gaps and strengths. ​

[1] “SWOT Analysis.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 July 2012. Web. 19 July 2012. <>.



  • Helps identify team strengths and weaknesses.

  • Helps to pick appropriate project topics for success.

  • Creates an increased awareness of personal/professional characteristics as

       viewed by team members.


At the outset of a team project, assess the assets of the team members including expertise, experience, passions, and what they would like to learn. Record these. Then using the SWOT technique, look at the whole team composition and identify strengths, weaknesses (i.e. what skills are missing?), opportunities that are presented by the team as a whole, and potential threats and how they could be addressed.

1. Use at the start of a team project. Assess the team members assets. Map to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

2. Discuss expertise, experience, passions, and what they would like to learn. Record these.

3. What skills are missing? What opportunities can be pursued as a whole? Reflect on gaps and strengths.



  • Be honest with your evaluations.

  • Manage team expectations concerning SWOT results.

  • Listen carefully.

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