Add or Subtract

My friend Mark Levy sees the world in strange ways, a helpful trait for a marketer. For example, when brainstorming ideas for blog posts he said, “You should write about how blogging isn’t about perfection. Make sure your post is flawless.”

We also enjoy a fair amount of banter, generally centering around his genius and my comparative lack thereof. It is all good natured. Recently he characterized his banter efforts as geared towards giving me a confisectomy – i.e., he sought to remove my confidence.

Now Mark gives me lots of confidence. He seeks me out for advice and praises the work that I do. I’ve never felt hurt or threatened by our joking around. But it got me thinking about the idea of a confisectomy.

Who gives them? How are they delivered? I realize they are actually quite common, sometimes intentional, sometimes not. Consider the following ways to boost or diminish confidence.

We can micro-manage or give stretch assignments (as always, this applies to managers and parents). We can focus on errors or achievements. We can emphasize possibility or risk. We can simply hug the people we love and tell them we believe in them.

On a broader scale marketers and politicians can play to our fears or our egos. Unfortunately, they seem to believe (and maybe they are right) that our fears are stronger than our egos.

We all hold the scalpel every day. We can either perform confidence enhancements or confisectomies. Which surgery will you perform today?

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One response to “Add or Subtract

  1. I love it! Plus I am glad I was present at the creation– there for the birth of the confisectomy idea!

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