When a disagreement or point of conflict is in the air, you want someone on your side who is comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
Bankers can be good at it. Military officers, lawyers, successful entrepreneurs, etc.
Most often, I think that an easiness with the conflict that others find so awkward is a learned skill.
Good-grief I wish I were better at this. But honestly, I’m out of practice.
This passage is getting at the same idea.
Disagreeable managers are typically the last people we seek when we’re going to go out on a limb, but they are sometimes our best advocates. As much as agreeable people may love us, they often hate conflict even more. Their desire to please others and preserve harmony makes them prone to backing down instead of sticking up for us. “Because agreeable people value cooperation and conform to norms, they should not be inclined to make waves and upset interpersonal relationships,” management researchers Jeff LePine and Linn Van Dyne wrote after studying voice. It is often the prickly people who are more comfortable taking a stand against others and against convention. As a Google employee put it, disagreeable managers may have a bad user interface but a great operating system.
-Adam Grant, Originals