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Why Every Office Needs an Outsider Screenshot-sm 81

Research has shown that having an oddball team member not only gives you someone to make fun of, but also leads to better decision making. Researcher Katie Liljenquist, says having "socially distinct newcomers" on a team can help it perform at a higher level. Team tension is crucial, and shaking up the same old crowd is the way to create it. "You can imagine if you work in an office and you've got this outsider like Dwight Schrute who walks in and a lot of his ideas resonate with you. Your fellow in-group members are hearing this and thinking, 'Wait, you agree with Dwight?' That can be really uncomfortable and socially threatening," she says.

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