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Thoughts on Leadership » Blog Archive » Playing Devils Advocate
Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

Playing Devils Advocate

Posted: May 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Leadership, Management | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Hi & Welcome to this months TOL.

This is something that really interests me because I see it with some people that behave in a certain way, everyone gets upset and they backtrack and say “I’m just playing devils advocate” as a way to reduce the negativity.  Now hang on a minute, if your Playing Devils Advocate then people need to know, either that is who you are, that’s the type of thing you normally do or you’re telling them upfront that that’s what you’re doing.  Just suddenly coming out of the blue and then passing it off because you were rude or too confrontational but now need an exit, that’s not professional!

So what do we mean by “Playing Devils Advocate”?  It’s when I’m going to take a stance on this, I’m going to take a position on this subject but not necessarily one I agree with, but one I can challenge respectfully.  It’s used as a way to challenge thinking, to test the robustness and make sure it’s the direction that we need to take.  If you’re having a conversation and trying to bounce around ideas, it’s always a difficulty when someone is stuck in an idea.  So now if they can answer your questions and thoughts due to you purposely taking the opposite opinion then maybe this is the way forward.  It’s a great way to test and challenge, and also promotes more thinking and maybe even more ideas.

Questions for this month:

1. How good are you at “playing devils advocate”?

2. Who’s doing it?

3. Are they doing it properly?


If it’s not you then someone needs to take that position!

So there’s my thought for this month, I hope you enjoyed this and please remember there is much more over at http://bridleinfocus.com


Have a great month

– Paul

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