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The Six Thinking Hats

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Donna Coulson, PCC, president of Donna Coulson & Associates LLC (, presented "The Six Thinking Hats.”  Based on Edward de Bono’s book by the same name, this interactive presentation focuses on improving communications and decision making in groups.
The six “hats” that we explored, and their characteristic thinking, are:

1. The Black Hat: Concerned specifically with negative assessment.  What's wrong? Incorrect?  In error in the thinking?

2. The Yellow Hat: Thinking that is positive and constructive.  Positive assessment from logical and practical to dreams, visions and hopes at the other end.                                  

3. The Green Hat: For creative thinking. Output is creative.  Green symbolizes fertility, growth, and the value of seeds. Search for alternatives.

4 The White Hat: Pure facts, figures, information. Be like a computer--spew forth facts. First tier: actual facts; Second Tier: believed to be facts

5. The Red Hat: "This is how I feel about it." Legitimizes emotions and feelings as an important part of thinking. Intuition.

6.  The Blue Hat: The Control hat. The blue hat thinker organizes thinking about thinking needed to explore the topic. Sets the focus, summarizes, concludes. A facilitator.

I attended a “Six Thinking Hats” workshop that Donna conducted several years ago and I found her insights invaluable for understanding group dynamics and applying these fundamentals to coach clients in transforming their effectiveness in groups and relationships.

Donna Coulson wears the hats of Career Coach, Team Facilitator, Trainer and Adjunct Professor.  She is comfortable in the Board Room, the Field or in a classroom.  Donna is passionate about Career Development, Career Transition, Leadership, Self Care—and Walking. She coaches and facilitates the WOMEN Unlimited 6-month TEAM program which cultivates leadership in high potential new managers and team leaders in Fortune 1000 companies. Donna serves on the virtual faculties of CoachVille and Corporate Coach University using Internet technology and a telephone bridge to facilitate.  

Donna is also on the faculties of the Center for Management Development at Rutgers University and for Corporate College Services, an accelerated BA/MBA degree completion program held on site at organizations like PSEG and Prudential Financial. A former United Way Board Member, she has trained non-profits in Communications, Leadership and Management.

She has been an Editor, published Writer, Manager, Learning Consultant and Business Owner—each requiring an Exit and Entry strategy. Donna held management positions with Prudential Financial and a natural gas utility. She also worked for the late AT&T and interned at Johnson & Johnson Baby Products. She has extensive experience in Change/Transition Management, Employee Development, Team Dynamics, and Diversity.  Donna holds a BA in Communications from Douglass College and an MS in Labor Relations/Human Resources from Rutgers University. She was awarded her Professional Certified Coach designation (PCC) from the International Coach Federation in 2004.

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