It’s great to work with people who share your opinions. It feels so wonderful and easy when everyone on a team gets along, and when everyone is always in agreement about what course of action to take. But is this really the ideal type of work situation to be in? Author Ali Donaldson would argue that it’s not.

According to Donaldson, it’s important to have “troublemakers” on a team. Now, these aren’t people who are rude, mean, or abrasive. They’re just people who are willing to question the decisions that are being made by the group, and disagree with the majority’s opinion when they think it might be problematic. They’re not afraid of “rocking the boat” if it means that the final product will be more valuable and effective.

Can a “troublemaker” sometimes be frustrating to other group members? The answer is probably “yes.” But are they also essential members of the team? The answer to that question is also “yes.” Troublemakers can identify potential problems that others may not want to consider for the sake of group harmony. Their input is important. And every effort should be made to ensure that they feel free to share their honest thoughts and opinions.

Donaldson, A. (n.d.). Why you want to cultivate a team of professional troublemakers at work. Inc. Retrieved from: