One of my closest colleagues told me the story of how the devil’s advocate came to be. When the Vatican proposed someone to sainthood, they also chose a devil’s advocate to poke holes in the candidate’s life and accomplishments, to ensure that his or her sainthood was deserved and accurately portrayed.
I never considered that when I speak about some people it sounds like I’m proposing their sainthood, but I do extol their virtues, praise their achievements, and may not look closely enough at their shortcomings.
It’s a way of being I enjoy … optimism, kindness, and love. On the other hand when you’re developing a person, team or organization, virtues need to be balanced with truth, facts, and relevance to winning the game.