Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All Day, Every Day

One of the things that is extremely important to our existence is our ability to persuade folk around us that we are:
1) worth having as friends and associates,
2) worth hiring and retaining,
3) able to setup and defend processes that will protect us, our families, communities indeed the planet itself.

The ability to do that is wrapped up in three ideas handed to us from Aristotle and they are the effective use of the following:
1) logos, or logical appeal,
2) ethos, or ethical appeal, and
3) pathos, or emotional appeal.

Making careful use of these three elements will make us a force to reckon with. The first, logos, implies that we will take the time inform ourselves in a world where we are tempted to think that job belongs to someone else. We are not to simply reinforce what we already believe, but search for elements we may disagree with from folk we don't even like that might solve real problems. This is simply not a "natural act" in our culture today.

Having informed ourselves we need to apply rigorously apply reason. We must think about the data we now have and how we can use that data to solve problems. Again this in not a "natural act." It will pit us against the masses at times, but if the data says this is the way, move ahead using every bit of reasoning power you have.

The second, ethos, implies that you have lived your life is such as way as to create trust in what you do and say. Your greatest power will come from ethos. Folk who are not willing to reason carefully on a regular basis will trust your abilities and may even change their attitudes, belief or behavior. One of the biggest challenges any of us face is the scarcity of data on the ethos of our leaders. What are they really like. We learn more about what they want us to know than what we need to know. They tend not to live next door, so it is difficult to see "what they are really like."

The third, pathos, implies that you understand the importance of what you are advocating and can share that with us, because you have taken the time to think about us. You know how we feel about our homes and children and the plans we have for the future and you can tie the ideas you have to those futures.

Now you are in a power position. Taking care to be honest and ethical you can enhance my future and the future of all the folk I love. . .and of course your future will be tied in as well.

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