According to de Bono, the brain is wired to think in a predictable pattern based on our experiences and preconceptions. The Thinking Hats tool challenges the brain to think outside of these patterns and forces it to analyze issues from an entirely different perspective. This represents an unnatural way of thinking, and gives a workout to parts of the brain that are normally not exercised.
Each of the Six Thinking Hats has a different color and each color represents a unique way to look at an issue. Each individual in a group discussion is assigned a certain color hat and must discuss the issue from that hat’s perspective. The hat metaphor works nicely because it easy to take off or put on a hat, thereby allowing that person to change hats and think about the issue from yet a different perspective. The color of the hat represents the mode of thinking.