Individuals who are Black Hats seem to always have their ‘black hats’ on, or have them on the majority of the time. Sometimes, their very identity or ego is bound up in their role of being ‘the critic’. If they never change their hat, or are not challenged to consciously put on another hat, they can:
- stifle new ideas before they get started, short-circuiting what could be a potentially excellent initiative
- keep attention and focus on avoiding ‘problems’ rather than looking for innovative ways to address challenges
- drain the energy out of others around them, affecting group morale
In a worst-case scenario, this dynamic can become so restrictive and maddening that it causes people to leave the group or organisation.