Tag Archives: making mistakes on purpose

Doubling Down on Your Dubitatio

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your trustworthiness. Reading time: 3:12

      “Fishing Tickle.”  The sign in the fishing bait store window was misspelled. On purpose.

       campbell'sLikewise the print ad for the Campbell Soup Company headlined a factual error. On purpose.

       What’s going on here? Incompetence? No, dubitatio.

       Rhetoricians define dubitatio as a personal form of aporia which is doubt or ignorance – feigned or real—used as a rhetorical device to make the speaker/leader seem more human, more real and ultimately more honest.

       The most effective leaders double down on their dubitatio.

       The more vulnerable a leader the more venerable they can become in the hearts and minds of followers (a.k.a. customers).

      Large corporate entities seem more human when they make easily-discovered mistakes in public. Then followers (a.k.a. customers) parlay that vulnerability into building a more intimate relationship with that big conglomerate. And sales soar.

     That’s what happened when Campbell Soups  listed 22 different soups in a print ad. But the headline screamed “21 kinds of soup.” Continue reading