Boss's Tip of the Day: Devil's Advocate

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If you're a boss, you know that every day is a challenge to do better. This tip is based on the same research I used to develop my programs and the Working Supervisor's Support Kit .

Devil's Advocate

When the Roman Catholic Church considers a person for sainthood, they appoint a Promoter of the Faith, popularly called the Devil's Advocate, to argue against sainthood. When you're considering a major change you should appoint a Devil's Advocate to argue against it.

Your team members may develop counterarguments, too. But appointing a Devil's Advocate gives you three important benefits.

You have one person on the team whose job is to take the contrary position.

A Devil's Advocate breaks the shackles of groupthink and gives others permission to oppose an idea.

A Devil's Advocate is likely to come up with facts, examples, and arguments that should be considered.

If you have a copy of the Working Supervisor's Support Kit , you'll find more on this in the chapter titled "Some Basic Principles."

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.



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  • 5/10/2013 10:28 AM Cathy Goodwin wrote:
    The devil's advocate role is greatly underestimated! Just read Tina Seeling's book INGenius. She talks about the different team roles, including devil's advocate.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/10/2013 1:41 PM Wally Bock wrote:

      Thanks, Cathy. I haven't read that book, so I don't know if she would agree with me, but I imagine Devil's Advocate as a temporary and rotating role.

      Reply to this
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