Complicated high achieving projects require momentum and sustained energy to keep things moving forward. As a leader, one of the hardest issues to handle is a seemingly large percentage of people that can find a problem in every solution.
As a rule, I stay clear of negative people and try to keep my eye on the prize while making progress. I don't find it helpful to have constant attempts to refocus on problems instead of solutions.
A barrage of negativity can become tiresome. Negativity can cause friction while hindering your goal of keeping the team moving in the right direction.
I recently read The Academy of Management Article "Agreement and thinking alike: Ingredients for poor decisions" and since then have gained a new perspective on the role of a Devil's Advocate. (Excerpt below)
In the past, I could only see negativity as something to avoid. I would be quick to belittle the negatively focused energy and find a way to look at the positive. I've been using this Devil's Advocate concept as a positive in recent months. A reframing if you will. I've been finding ways to structure this type of negative energy as an asset to the process. This type of planned conflict has gained new valuable information to use in promoting my projects that would have otherwise been lost due to avoidance.
You're the boss(decision maker)... you do not need to come to a compromise when working with other individuals or groups.
Learning that you are not required to find some compromise with this Devil's Advocate is a new mindset that anyone in charge of a project should embrace. Find ways to use additional information and perspectives while keeping the overall project vibe positive.
Craig Ball - The Spinwit Blog
Local HS Football Coach
Business and Technology Teacher
Executive Director of Colorado's 8-Man All-State Game
Early Colorado Gaming Industry Organizer and License holder.
Black Hawk, Colorado is an old gambling town just west of Golden on North Clear Creek at 8,000 feet of elevation. Legalized Casino Gambling was reinstated on October 1st, 1991.
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Craig Ball is an MBA student at the University of Illinois, a football coach, teacher, and former casino owner in the Gaming District. This site is used for sharing information about what I'm reading /writing on topics like education, coaching, and casino gambling.