Decision Making And Six Thinking Hats

Posted under Decision Making on Wednesday 25 July 2012 at 12:48 am

Decision MakingGenerally, decision making is the action of choosing from a number of alternatives.  Some tools and techniques of decision making are easy and popular, so we commonly use them in our daily life when doing shopping, choosing education establishment, etc. For example, we can record and consider advantages and disadvantages of an option, or look for somebody else’s opinion, or use random methods, like tossing up a coin.

But there are situations, when decision making becomes very responsible and key procedure for future profit or successful accomplishment of the mission. In such cases some advanced and sophisticated methods of decision making must be used. Modern theorists developed many different techniques, which may help to systematize, analyze and estimate the options when making decision, and finally to select the most suitable and advantageous one. Such methods, like Grid Analysis, Decision trees, Comparison analysis, Paerto analysis, SWOT analysis, and many others, are among the most effective decision making tools.

So called Method of Six Thinking Hats was offered in early 80th by Edward de Bono, a famous psychologist and writer from Malta, who was the first to introduce the term of lateral thinking.  In 1985 a book of de Bono Six Thinking Hats was published. The book presented a new method of thinking, based on principles of lateral thinking concept, and recommended it as a helping technique for decision making and problem solving. This method is very simple and effective. It makes people to look at their decisions from different points of view and can be performed both individually and during group sessions.

De Bono’s method offers to examine a problem, option or its possible effects from six different perspectives, which are represented by six hats of different colors: white, yellow, green, red, blue and black. These hats symbolize six different types of thinking, or six different directions of analyzing a problem or solution. Sometimes it is effective to use real hats, but mostly they are imaginable. So, in order to start thinking over the problem, a person (or everybody in the group) must “wear” the hat of particular color.

Wearing White Hat means concentration on all available data and information, figures and facts. As a rule, it is initial procedure of the whole method. White Hat symbolizes objective and impartial thinking. Under White Hat we have to analyze, what kind of information is known and what other information we may need to obtain in order to make a good sufficient decision. Six Thinking HatsSometimes it may lead to making analysis of past tendencies and attempts to extrapolate some information from it.

Putting on Red Hat means looking at the problem or solution from the perspective of intuitive and emotional component, using own feelings and perception. Red color of this hat symbolizes fire or anger, it calls for real spiritual reactions. After wearing this hat we have to listen to our inner feelings, instincts and to the hints, given by our intuition. Also, it gives opportunity to see different reactions of different people in the group. Red Hat in decision making represents subjective thinking, based on individual personal opinion.

Thinking under Black Hat is connected with analyzing negative aspects, looking at all possible weak and problematic points of the solution or decision. Black color of the hat symbolizes Judge’s robe, so this hat involves very important critical objective thinking. Under Black Hat we have to follow critical approach in order to estimate all probable risks, to get prepared for them and to find possible ways of elimination of possible bad effects. Black Hat is the most valuable stage of this method, because it helps to find out and understand why the decision or solution can fail, and how to avoid this failure.

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The Pygmalion Effect As A Great Motivator

Posted under Motivation on Monday 9 July 2012 at 9:47 pm

The Pygmalion Effect As it is well-known, a lack of motivation can cause serious consequences. Those people who have no spark will never move ahead and achieve results, will not make every effort to become something or make own life happier. A lack of motivation causes us being lazy, disappointed, apathetic, pointless, and always late. Motivation is something that sets us to the way to success, and learning more about what can motivate and give us a good impulse is a great strategy for those who really want to achieve the goals in this life. Did you know that there is actually a great deal of hidden motivators which we even do not think about? The Pygmalion effects explains one of those.

The Pygmalion Effect, which is also called “the self-fulfilling prophecy”, is a phenomenon discovered by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. After a number of practical researches and studies, these specialists put forward a new theory about the influence of personal expectations from people on their performance. In other words, if a person or a group of people are aware about high expectations from them, they will demonstrate much better performance and achieve better results. According to this theory, we all can considerably improve the outcomes and effectiveness of ours by understanding that some people believe in us and expect our success. This effect works perfectly well for any person, in any environment and any conditions.

The Pygmalion effect plays a role in management science, and there were a great deal of experimental studies proving its effectiveness. An IQ test was offered to the students, but randomly chosen children were reported to their teachers as winners. After being treated as bright and talented students, those “fake winners” considerably improved their results in the second test. At the same time, those children, who were real winners of the first test, but were not stimulated by the teachers, did not exhibit any improvements. The name of this interesting phenomenon takes origin from a character of Ovid’s story, Pygmalion, who was a Prince of Cyprus. He constructed a statue with beautiful appearance, fell in love with it and asked Gods to bring it to life. Famous play-writer Bernard Show borrowed this story for his play, Pygmalion, which became popular as the musical My Fairy Lady and helped Rosenthal and Jacobson to find a name for their new theory.

The Pygmalion effect is an important instrument and can turn into one more absolutely great motivator for all of us, both at the workplace and in our real life. It can assist us in understanding that our success depends not only on our qualification, personal qualities or working environment, but also on expectations and the value we have among the people of our circle. In order to support our friends and co-workers, we always have to believe in other people and expect them to achieve the best results stimulating them for a better performance. Similarly, if a boss or a manager believes in his employees and expect great results from them, the subordinates will always feel this trust and demonstrate their best skills and abilities in their work. Keep in mind this interesting theory if you want to help the people around you achieve success and attain their goals.