They don’t teach that in business analyst school.
When it comes to brainstorming sessions especially, it’s best to know which way your mind works best. According to the authors at Mind Tools, knowing which “thinking hat” you wear will help your career.
This is especially important for business analysts. To break it down, there are 6 “thinking hats” that dictate your mental MO. Keep in mind that every now and again it’s important to break protocol on how you think.
When you know the way you think, you’ll be better prepared for everything you’ll face in any given project.
Are You a White Hat Thinker?
If you wear the White Hat, you focus primarily on the information you have in front of you. As a BA, you’ll definitely be put in a situation where all you have are documents, and few honest reports from stakeholders. The danger here is that you may rely on past data that’s no longer relevant.
Are You a Red Hat Thinker?
Red Hat Thinkers rely on their emotional compass. Usually they consider the emotions of others when considering a solution. As a BA, there will be emotional elements at stake, so it’s good to think this way, but since there are “feelings” at play, there may be more than one person who doesn’t fully understand the reasoning behind your decisions.
Are You a Black Hat Thinker?
Black Hat Thinkers use “negative” thought processes—i.e. they look at all the possible bad outcomes that could stem from a project. It’s a matter of caution and pointing out structural weaknesses within a company. That in and of itself is not a bad idea, but do consider the certain positives along with the possible negatives.
Are You a Yellow Hat Thinker?
Yellow Hat Thinking is the exact opposite of Black Hat Thinking—this mode of thinking keeps you rooted only in optimism about the solutions you provide. But you can be “too light” when you fail to spot leaks in the integrity of your proposals and overall solutions.
Are You Green Hat Thinker?
The Green Hat thinking mode reflects creativity—particularly how ingenuity is applied to the solutions you develop. The problem with Green Hat Thinking is that there is a lack of criticism. In your creative-drive the voice of reason hushes itself, so look out for that.
Are You a Blue Hat Thinker?
Blue Hats are usually worn by those who conduct meetings, as that thinking mode pertains mostly to control of processes. Actually, this is the best hat to wear, because when you need a back-up plan, you switch to Black Hat thinking. When you need a new angle in your proposals, you switch to Green Hat thinking. And so on.