Playing Devil’s Advocate

The role of the devil’s advocate is important in any organization and with any project as it helps everyone to see another side to a situation or problem. Intentionally playing the role of the devil’s advocate can be a great problem solving technique for every team. Sometimes people are hired because of their different way of thinking and for having a different opinion.

Playing devil’s advocate allows us a more candid response on a project or proposal we are working on that we might typically get from a donor or someone else. This can help us refine our work and make it better. Have you played the role of devil’s advocate? How did that turn out? It can sometimes be a scary place to put yourself, how did it go?

Being a devil’s advocate does not mean that you have to “know it all” or that your opinion should carry any less respect than if you were presenting a more agreeable idea. Acknowledging to the team that you are intentionally playing that role is helpful to everyone as it gives them an opportunity to separate a statement from you personally. But be nice about it.

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One Response to Playing Devil’s Advocate

  1. Christ says:

    I completely agree with this, but to play devil’s advocate to your blog piece-What happens when you are in an organization that goes by the old models of fundraising that are not very strategic. Then they hire a person to bring in new ideas. This person plays devil’s advocate, but the organization is not ready for those ideas? I believe in building credibility and not playing devil’s advocate too soon. Then once you are acquianted with the culture and others trust you, it is ok to play devil’s advocate. But what if the organization or your boss never let’s you implement your ideas?

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