Seventh Thinking Hat: Grey for Wisdom

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Seventh Thinking Hat: Grey for Wisdom
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada

Educator Michael Hewitt-Gleeson has suggested to add a 7th thinking hat: the Grey Hat for Wisdom.
Why the colour grey? Grey-haired seniors due to their time on earth gather a lot of wisdom, a combination of knowledge and experience. The brain is often referred to as "grey matter". Grey denotes a fuzziness, not crystal clear, but somehow you know it's the right thing to do.
It is different than White Hat thinking which is about data and information. Grey Hat thinking is meta-cognition with context.
It's different than Black Hat thinking which is about judgment and risk. Grey hat thinking is the ability to look back over history and to see forward into the future. To understand cycles, passages of time, the passing of fashions, eras, eons and the many possible futures including extinction, the possibility of no future at all. The long-term wisdom of Grey Hat Thinking may also be useful in raising one’s consciousness of Black Swans.
Grey Hat Thinking means the wisdom to want to see and ask for other points of view. It also means the wisdom to be patient, the willingness to listen to others first before expressing one’s own immediate viewpoint.
What do you think? How might you make use of the Grey Hat in your thinking process?

Seventh Thinking Hat? What is 'Wisdom' Anyway?
John Waters, Director, United Kingdom
A convenient definition of "wisdom" can be found on Wikipedia: "a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding.
It often requires control of one's emotional reactions (the "passions") so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions. Wisdom is also "the comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action."
This seems to me what the 6 thinking hats are there to guide participants towards - assuming that the blue hat can be applied effectively to manage the other modes.
Introduction of the grey hat (as described above) seems to me to add nothing useful to help a group of minds, each built from very different experience and conditioning, to achieve an acceptable shared conclusion or solution. Indeed, it might re-inject some of the uncertainty identified and removed by the other hats.



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