The Grey Thinking CAP is the Metacognition Cap.

At a leadership convention in Melbourne I was asked to add one more cap (or hat) to the original 6 thinking caps developed by SOT in 1983.

I added  the 7th Cap  for Metacognition which is the Grey Thinking Cap/Hat. The Metacognition Cap is the Wisdom Cap.

Of all the Thinking Hats–White, Black, Yellow, Red, Green, Bluethe Grey Hat (or Cap) is also the Senior Hat.

(Master Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Grey Hat, Paris, 1887)



wisdom n. experience and knowledge together
with the power of applying them critically or practically
Oxford English Dictionary



is all about the escape

from judgmental thinking to wisdom.


Survival is clever and requires intelligence. Long term survival endows wisdom and this is a very clever thing, indeed

From the hard-won accomplishment of longevity emerges broad experience and special knowledge. It cannot be taught. It also offers a deep appreciation of the role that sheer random luck plays in long term survival.

I am dedicating this hat to my father who was one of the wisest people I have ever known. He had a great deal of life experience. In WWII he had served and survived in two theatres of war in the Middle East and in New Guinea.

Before the war, in Melbourne, he received a classical education. He was widely read, had a great deal of knowledge and common sense and was known for his generosity, his cheerful demeanour and lively sense of humour. He was also very lucky. He survived bowel cancer, completely, and other narrow escapes.

Dad used to always say, “Nobody’s perfect”. How wise he was!


Martin Joseph Hewitt-Gleeson   –   15.11.1919 — 09.08.2003



The Grey Thinking Hat is for Wisdom.

The Grey Thinking Hat is for Metacognition.

4 thoughts on “METACOGNITION: THE 7th CAP

  1. My so called wisdom tooth on the left side had to be yanked out in 2003 when I was 40 years old. Half my wisdom out? Ha! Ha! Ha!

  2. Wisdom is a beautiful quality it implies experience and knowledge and also learning from experience. I don’t know if there is quick way to get this .

  3. i also love the idea that “everyone is perfect” and that it is at least as useful a starting as cvstobvs. helps me to remember rule # 6.[ don’t takes things too damn seriously]. also frequently want to remember your way of rating claims for the “a lie to a truth” greyscale i.e. claim/ who? what? when? where? how? and sometimes why?

  4. According to Richard Hanson in his book, the “Buddha’s Brain”, the three main cornerstones of happiness are Virtue, Mindfulness and Wisdom. Thses are suporred by the brain’s Regulating, Learning snd Selecting functions of the brain. Since Michael has identified Wisdom as the seventh hat, perhaps Virtue and Mindfulness are the eighth and ninth hats?

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