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Increase and improve collaboration

Two heads may be better than one, but too many cooks spoil the broth…

How do we make collaboration work?

Collaboration needs a framework. Beyond thinking about the project we’re working on – we also need to be thinking about the thinking. Dr Edward de Bono’s work is all about providing that framework, whether we’re alone or working with colleagues.

A conflict-free group for thinking and discussion

The Six Thinking Hats® approach allows us to move away from “I am right and you are wrong”, which invites conflict, turf-protection and ego-driven debates – and makes true collaboration possible.

It’s a parallel thinking approach – so colleagues see all of the information, benefits and risks of something before making a judgement on it. We consider what our instincts are, and we generate ideas without making any decisions about which are ‘good’ and which should be discarded.

Consider and move forward

Only when everyone has contributed at every stage do we start to consider how to move forward.

Often, the Six Thinking Hats® approach helps groups to reach consensus. But even when there isn’t clear agreement, the people who don’t agree with the group’s decision report that they feel they’ve been heard, and can abide by the group’s decision.

Of course, the knock-on effect of a good collaboration is that people are keen to regularly collaborate – and having already done it successfully, they enter the next collaboration with confidence and enthusiasm.

Learning which hat to wear…

Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats® is the internationally renowned decision-making, idea evaluation and meeting management workshop. It transforms thinking and communication, as well as halving meeting times and doubling their effectiveness. More…


Stephanie ButlandMore about Stephanie Butland
Stephanie Butland specialises in creativity, thinking skills, team development and communication. Stephanie is a Master Trainer in Dr de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats®, Lateral Thinking™ and Focus On Facilitation™ techniques. She also delivers workshops in Think on Your Feet®, Writing Dynamics™ and The Skilled Presenter™ and is a Belbin accredited and CIPD qualified trainer.