“It’s important for teams to have a devil’s advocate who is constructive and careful in communication, who carefully and artfully facilitates discussion,” says Lindred Greer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford GSB.
Greer and her research colleagues examined a dynamic in teams, which they call skewed conflict. In it, one person — or a small minority group acting together — carefully and constructively points out the differences and weaknesses in a team’s approach to a problem.
When this divergent opinion is presented in a nuanced way in which other members don’t even see the difference of opinion as a conflict, it can provide for a healthy disagreement, the research shows.
Read more: Do You Have a Contrarian on Your Team? [Standford Business]
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