Last week, I had a business meeting with a group of three colleagues to discuss a project that we’re preparing to present to the French government. Two of us are optimistic to idealistic in our approach, one of us is neutral (often referred to as “objective”), and one of us is prone to pointing out potential problems. She is our devil’s advocate and we find her input invaluable – even if we sometimes bristle at the inevitable bursting of our “anything is possible” bubble!
Devil’s Advocate (noun): a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments
You may take the definition of devil’s advocate at face value and assume that anyone playing this role in your business should pick apart your ideas to point out their weaknesses, thus saving you from making bad choices.
There’s no doubt that this can be a good thing!
But what if you also have your devil’s advocate pick apart the real and imagined roadblocks that prevent you from implementing good ideas and plans? What if she were able to help you quiet the little voices in your head that keep telling you why you can’t do something?
Maybe we should call this person an angel’s advocate!
Whatever the moniker, if you’re used to “going it alone” in your business and do not have someone who can play devil’s (angel’s) advocate for you, I highly recommend that you find someone to fill this role. While it would be great if that person had a good working knowledge of your business, it is more important that she (or he) understand why you as a business owner might shy away from making decisions, overlook potential obstacles, or downplay your own skills and intuition.
What your devil’s or angel’s advocate can help you achieve is clarity. As I’ve stated in previous writings, CLARITY IS CRITICAL for being your most productive business self!
If you’d like my help in getting you to clarity, whether for a particular project or for your business in general, write to me at email@example.com and tell me about it! We can then set up a discovery session to move things forward.
UNSELFIE OF THE WEEK
Here’s another UNselfie taken by a participant at the LCC Workshop for the L³ Alliance in Paris:
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I support WIF because they help women business owners get CLARITY!
I love WIF because they love women in business!
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