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If we are primarily emotion-based, business leaders attempting to persuade their employees to follow them through one more change in how the company functions have a practical decision to make.
A great question. We like to add projects, tasks, and features to our team or to our product but so much of leadership is knowing how and when to simply what we do. Trying to do too much leaves people as well as an organization tired and worn out. Plus, sometimes you just have to let things go because they don’t work or aren’t effective any more.
What can you do to stop excessive activities in your own organization? Here are three things from the Harvard Business Review blog to help:
- Separate cost-reduction from work-reduction. Since people are naturally (and understandably) protective of their livelihoods and careers, it’s difficult to ask them to do things that will result in the loss of their own job. So if cost-reduction is a key driver, try your best to eliminate jobs first. Only then should you work with the “survivors” to eliminate the unnecessary work.
- Make work elimination a group activity. While managers are hesitant to point out stoppage possibilities in their own areas, they often can see opportunities elsewhere. By bringing teams together across different business units and functions, you stand a better chance of surfacing activities that can be brought to a halt.
- Insert a “sunset clause” in the charter of all new committees, teams, and projects. Instead of swimming against the tide in trying to stop ongoing endeavors, make the shut-down process a natural event in the life cycle of organizational activities. If people know from the start that there is a beginning and an end, then managers will start to expect that things will be turned off at a specific time and can plan accordingly.
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Aristotle’s three appeals – logos, pathos, and ethos – are effective tools in the rhetorical framework, or the art of persuasion. Using all three as part of a rhetorical strategy, in fact, is one of the most effective methods of persuading others, and as a result, changing how others view reality.
Many people, however, have elevated the appeal to logic, or logos, over the other two, despite Aristotle’s belief that ethos is the most effective of the three. The emergence of contemporary brain research, however, demonstrates that emotion (pathos) is the primary driver of thinking and behavior. As such, strategies may need to change regarding the method communicators use to effectively lead others, persuade others and motivate them to action.
In this first post, let’s look at a brief summary of Aristotle’s appeals.
Considered one of the most important people in the development of Western philosophy, Aristotle developed one of, if not the most important works on persuasion ever written. In it he defined rhetoric as “the art to see or identify in any given circumstance the available means of persuasion” (as cited in Smith, p. 67). According to Aristotle, persuasion is made up of three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. Each of these three rhetorical appeals can, or at least should, be found in any persuasive process.
Logos, as used by Aristotle, attempts to persuade using rational arguments. When a communicator employs statistics, what they deem to be credible sources, or reasoned arguments, they are utilizing logos in their persuasion (Wright, n.d., para 6).
When a communicator uses pathos as a persuasive strategy, they are making an emotional appeal. When the rhetorician appeals to the needs, values, or emotions of an audience, this constitutes an argument based on pathos (Wright, para. 7).
Ethos references the character or credibility of the communicator. Ethos is conveyed through reputation, credentials, tone, or style. Seeking to establish the trustworthiness, expertise and …read more