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Reimbursement and Practice Management

Problem Solving with Six Thinking Hats

Within your staff are six different thinking styles. While these distinct styles contribute to creative solutions, they also invite chaos.

A parallel thinking process called Six Thinking Hats, by Edward de Bono, can help your medical practice team:

  • Improve day-to-day decision-making
  • Conduct productive, focused team meetings
  • Reduce conflict
  • Identify alternative solutions

The disciplined Six Thinking Hats process separates thinking into six clear functions and roles. Each thinking hat is associated with a colored hat. Each hat can be shared, sequenced or focused on for the various needs of the group.

  • Blue – process
  • White – facts
  • Green – creativity
  • Yellow – benefits
  • Black – cautions
  • Red – feelings

Staff usually quickly self-identify with a specific thinking style. Validation by other group members’ perspectives can be helpful as well.

Six Thinking Hats by de Bono has been proven to be easily understood by several different medical practice staffs. The simple sharing of hats and sequencing of hat colors has also garnered effective and efficient understanding and respect among team members. And, finally, the “group think” has led to robust solutions with “buy in” from providers, front office, back office and clinical staff.

United States