We all know that person. The one who loves playing the devil’s advocate. This individual tends to shut down every new idea by immediately pointing out something negative about it. The thing is, an idea can have so many good things about it and might just need some adjusting to make it truly helpful.
This type of devil’s advocate response can reduce creativity and innovation in teams, as well as destroy psychological safety and trust. If you have this problem, I recommend appointing an angel’s advocate, or try taking on the role yourself.
Angel’s advocates respond to each new idea with something good about it. They may mention a unique problem it could solve or a reason it would work well. One initial supporting statement can change the rest of the conversation by encouraging people to focus on possibility instead of obstacles. It can also build team cohesion.
What other positive consequences can you envision from using this type of approach?
Do you know someone I should interview for the blog? Let me know!
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