How to Facilitate Mutual Understanding and Conflict Resolution

Six Thinking Hats > Forum Log in

How to Facilitate Mutual Understanding and Conflict Resolution
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada

Conflict resolution means the reduction, elimination, or termination of opposing views. Interest-based negotiation and mutual bargaining are win-win conflict resolution methods.
Donít feel that a conflict must be necessarily resolved. Not all conflict is bad. It can be a healthy divergent action, exploring a wide range of thinking as long as the conversation is focused on ideas and not people.
Six Thinking Hats sequences can be effectively used by a facilitator to put the participants into the right frame of mind using the power of Parallel Thinking.

A suggested hat sequence is: Blue, White, Yellow, Black, Red, Blue:
  • [Blue hat]: Set the goal to gain understanding of different perspectives and the amount of time allotted for the session.
  • [White hat]: Share as much relevant information as needed to define the conflict. The opposing views may be an either/or situation or a few identified with a range.
  • [Yellow hat]: Identify the positives in each view. Surface and appreciate the paradigms that underpin each view.
  • [Black hat]: Raise objections and the impacts of negative consequences. Confirm that each person understands the concerns expressed. Go beyond simple head nodding; ask advocates to state in their own words what are the negatives. The aim is understanding, not agreement. Itís okay to agree to disagree.
  • [Red hat]: At this stage invite each person to express emotional feelings about the thinking. Do a quick vote on any process improvements suggested.
  • [Blue hat]: Map out the next steps as a hat sequence.
Depending on the outcomes, the next hat sequence may include a Green hat to explore new views and possibilities that emerged. One indicator of progress is a readiness to converge and move into win-win resolution. A request for third party mediation or arbitration is a signal more parallel thinking work is required.



    Do you wish to study further? You can learn more from the summary, forum, discussions, lessons, courses, training, instructions, expert tips, best practices and education sources. Register.  

Special Interest Group Leader
Gary Wong

More on Six Thinking Hats
Best Practices

Expert Tips


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us | Privacy | Terms of Service
Copyright 2016 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V14.1 - Last updated: 26-10-2016. All names tm by their owners.