Women Making the Most of Being Smart- that’s intelligent!

Thinking is the ultimate human resource.  However when thinking we try to do too much – emotions, information, logic, hope, and creativity all crowd in on us.  To help us sort through all these aspects involved with our thinking, let’s us De Bono’s Thinking Hats.

As a refresher or an intro here is a summary of the point of view for each hat:

De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats

White Hat White is neutral and objective.  The white hat is concerned with objective facts and figures.
Red Hat Red suggests anger (seeing red), rage and emotions.  The red hat gives the emotional view.
Black Hat Black is somber and serious.  The black hat is cautious and careful.  It points out the weaknesses in an idea.
Yellow Hat Yellow is sunny and positive.  The yellow hat is optimistic and covers hope and positive thinking.
Green Hat Green is grass, vegetation, and abundant, fertile growth.  The green hat indicates creativity and new ideas.
Blue Hat Blue is cool, and it is also the color of the sky, which is above everything else.  The blue hat is concerned with control, the organization of the thinking process, and the use of other hats.


So we are women and smart, that is a more acceptable and expected combination today.  However, there are still the mixed messages about science, math, having a family, being too smart for your own good, not being as smart as everyone thinks you are, not making mistakes, who do you think you are this is a man’s world, and so forth and so on …..

White HatWow – does that create a response within you?  Did you recall different situations?  Take a moment – Vividly recall one of those situations – do you have it in mind?    Assess that moment in time – first with the White Hat – what are the facts?   Who was involved?  What exactly was said (be careful – not just what you heard)?  What was the context of the moment?  Got the facts?

Red HatNow switch to the Red Hat – what emotional response did you have?  What were the emotions of the others involved?  What was your gut saying to you – protection, fight, flight?



Black HatSwitch to the Black Hat – Caution – Did you interact in your best interest to maintain the necessary hierarchy of interactions for keeping the job, the peace, the relationship?



Yellow HatWhat about the Yellow Hat?  What was the bright side of this interaction?  What possibility did it present?



Green HatNow having recalled that situation put the Green Hat on and what new ideas can come from that situation?  What could develop new?  What can be added to the relationship or the focus of the interaction?  What can be created?


Blue HatPutting on the Blue Hat – looking at the situation you have recalled – what is the big picture?  How can you approach it with each of the perspectives and evolve the communication process, the focus / purpose of the interaction?



That is an example of the six thinking hats method.  We will return to the use of the hats.

Let’s take a look at what are abilities are, how to develop them, how to deal with challenges of being smart and putting it out there for ourselves and the world to see.

Do we understand our abilities? 

Do we realize and accept our own brilliance?  Do we respect our abilities?

We have lots of ideas, expansive visions, solutions to problems and we can do the job and do it well!  However, we are very sensitive – to remarks made to or about us; to the injustices in the world; to lights, noises, aromas.  Many times we feel different and that we don’t fit in.  We have an insatiable curiosity and childlike playfulness.  We seek out the ultimate truths.  We are smart women.

We are driven by our passions and our values.  We need to consciously recognize and acknowledge both.  However, we have beliefs about ourselves and the world around us that can be beneficial and can be a hindrance.   We need to believe it is ok to be smart and have magnificent abilities.  Our needs to be accepted, recognized, respected are inherent.  We have choice no matter what messages we have received throughout the years.  We are smart women.

How are we smart?  – is it math, science, engineering, music, art, problem solving, visionary, business…..?  Do we know where our talents lie?  Yes, what comes easy to us?  Then the next question is what do we enjoy – where does our passion lie?  We need to make a conscious choice which talents to use and develop.  Mastery takes time, discipline, practice, persistence, overcoming challenges, deliberate learning and this is all in area that comes naturally to us.  Mastery is a process toward excellence not perfection.  Just because we made a choice for mastery does not mean we have to let go or neglect all our other talents and abilities.  We can find a common thread and weave them together; we can focus on one and then another in series; we can do one vocationally and indulge in others avocationally; some can be for serious times and some for play.  It is our choice, we are smart women.

Time for the six hats again. 

White Hat:  Factually list what are you good at?  What does come easy to you?  In what areas do you excel without even trying?  The facts! 

Red Hat:  How do you feel about being smart?  Probably a full spectrum of emotions:  proud, delighted, sophisticated; questioning, shameful, doubting, afraid; defensive, ready to fight; self-assured, matter of fact; well smart of course.

 Black Hat:  Cautious, checking all the details, weighing each aspect, being sure all the ducks are in a row. 

Yellow Hat:  This is fun, so much more to explore, I can do anything. 

Green Hat:  What can I learn next, what else can I do, look at all the possibilities, so many places I can contribute. 

Blue Hat:  How can I put all this together, how can I use my talents to make the greatest contribution, what do I have that can make a difference?

Expressing our abilities every day

Expressing who we are on a daily basis is healthy.  This can be in the setting of home, family, work, hobbies, or play.  It is necessary to feed our souls by developing and expressing our abilities – art, dance, music, math, science, problem solving, interpersonal relations, nurturing, crafts, writing, athletic pursuits, whatever they are.

It is important to put in your schedule “me” time – time for creativity, time for reflection, time for renewal.  The expressing your talents is filling your reservoirs.  A full reservoir provides the means to give to others and contribute where you choose.

Expressing daily does not mean expressing all your talents or abilities daily.  You have different phases in life and thus different priorities.  However, committing to expressing on a daily basis with priority for self-expression is important.  Different interests or talents can be done in series with blocks of time (month, year, decade); family, work or avocationally; narrowed down to just the part you really like; or spinning several at once.  Be aware of your talents and choices.  Feed your soul regularly with expression – for just yourself or for others.

Know yourself – be yourself.  Make the most of being a Smart Woman.

Tell us about your experiences of being a smart woman.  What perspective are you approaching your intelligence from today?  Make a comment.  Join in the conversation.

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