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Poking Holes and Encouraging Devil’s Advocates

Most of us don't like it when people poke holes in our ideas. We want people to agree with us. But disagreement is important. It prevents us from letting our own cognitive biases get in the way.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Kingshuk that I thought How to Build an Audience of 1000 True Fans would make a good course. I thought it would be successful as a course because the article resonated with so many people. He poked lots of holes in my idea. He questioned whether there was anything to teach that I didn't already say in the other article.

After going back and forth, we arrived at another idea, which had the potential to be far more valuable to our customers and more profitable for us.

When we allow other people to poke holes in our ideas, we see what we might have otherwise overlooked. We recognize where our thinking might be flawed. Listening to a devil's advocate in the right circumstances can be more profitable and productive.

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