Here’s how this scenario plays out in a business setting, say at a brainstorm for the marketing of a new product.
Good Marketer: OK, everybody, our client has introduced a new craft beer. It’s aimed at men ages 25 to 35, living in urban markets, and with disposable income.
A clear initiative to start the brainstorm — naming the product and its audience.
Fear Marketer: Well, who would actually buy that beer?
Good Marketer has already established the audience for the beer. With this question, Fear Marketer undermines the validity of the information already put on the table.
Good Marketer: The demographic is pretty specific: young men who live in the city. But you’re right, we don’t need to pigeonhole our creative ideas to sell the product this early in the brainstorm. Any idea is a good idea at this point.
The Good Marketer has restored order to the meeting without challenging the negativity of the Fear Marketer, and the room has been reopened to all ideas.
Fear Marketer: Really? I only want to hear great ideas.
And all paths to open and honest creativity are shut down. Fear Marketer is usually using questions to hide his fear of not being creative enough and being unable to provide the idea.
2015. Yes, And. Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton, Harper Business.