When I heard that John Hughes died, I thought, "Never heard of him." Then it came to light (for me) that he was the director of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, etc. I still don't know that much about him or his life--he apparently became pretty reclusive--but it's been interesting reading the reaction from those who knew him.
One such reaction was captured in a NYT Op-Ed by Molly Ringwald. It's a great read, and captures a hint of the man that was John Hughes. (The best, however, was this piece by a former pen pal of his.) One paragraph in Ringwald's piece caught my eye, however:
John saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. He had complete confidence in me as an actor, which was an extraordinary and heady sensation for anyone, let alone a 16-year-old girl. I did some of my best work with him. How could I not? He continually told me that I was the best, and because of my undying respect for him and his judgment, how could I have not believed him?
This is probably the best description of the power of "Social Persuasion" to affect an individual's self-efficacy that I've ever read. As I wrote in my last article Belief and Breakthroughs, there are four ways to increase a person's self-efficacy (aka Belief), and one of them is being told you can do something by someone you trust and respect.
Belief is an important, almost essential aspect of success. The fact that it can be so easily influenced by feedback from others is both a blessing and a curse. Choose who you receive feedback from wisely, and when you think someone can use a positive boost, don't be afraid to tell them you believe in them.