Let this be the simple question you ask yourself anything you are faced with issues and you have important decisions to make. The general cliché is that you should put on your "thinking hat". It is pertinent to look into situations very well, access whatever information and facts that are available, before making decisions.
Making hasty decisions can lead to regrettable outcomes. Often, success is not achieved, by accident. Thorough planning and concrete decisions are made before good results are realized. Many great successful people had to make decisions about their lives at one crucial point or another in life.
Thinking rationally and positively involve more than applying sentiments. The reason for many failures is traceable to bad decisions. Such, are based on subjective links which would provide little or no solid base for implementations. This is not only restricted to individuals, but also to groups, societies and countries. Researches have often revealed what crises and conflicts emerge when decisions are not taken objectively. That had led, in the past, to many avoidable wars and battles.
How then do you think before making your own decisions? Let us try to apply the theory of thinking as propounded by Edward de Bono in his book "Six Thinking Hats". In the theory. de Bono stated that, there are six different ways human beings think about problems in order to find solutions to them. Each of these ways is assigned one particular colour out of six coloured hats, namely: white, red, black, yellow, green and blue hats.
The "Six Thinking Hats" is a good technique for looking at the effects of a decision from a number of different points of view. It allows necessary emotion and skepticism to be brought into what would otherwise be purely rational decisions. It opens up the opportunity for creativity within decision making. The technique also helps people that are persistently pessimistic to be positive and creative.
Plans developed using the "Six Thinking Hats" technique will be sounder and more resilient than would otherwise be the case. It may also help you to avoid public relations mistakes and spot good reasons not to follow a course of action before you get committed to it.
With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from them. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them. This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.
Putting on this thinking hat indicates that you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also you try to think about how other people will react emotionally. You try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.
Using this type of hat, you look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at them cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.
This method of thinking helps to make your plans 'tougher' and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you embark on a course of action. "Black-Coloured Hat" thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique, as many successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance. This leaves them under-prepared for difficulties.
This hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. "Yellow-Coloured Hat" thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.
The "Green-Coloured Hat" stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas. A whole range of creativity tools can help you here.
It is a hat that stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into "Green-Coloured Hat" thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for "Black-Coloured Hat" thinking and so on. A variant of this technique is to look at problems from the point of view of different professionals (e.g. doctors, architects, sales directors, etc) or different customers.