The art of influencing others… persuasion

So today I was interviewed by a potential client that kept asking me why she should hire me as a coach, and how different would I be from other coaches. She realizes that I am International Certified Coach and I gave her all kinds of reasons why I am different in my approach, but she kept insisting to hear for something that she wanted to hear. I realized she had an agenda of what she wanted to hear so I would resonate with her. I told her she has to go with her intuition and her gut, and this way she can never make a wrong choice, but what got in her way is not listening for her intuition, but having an agenda right up front, too rigid, too many expectations, to inflexible hearing what really she needed to hear, and this way she will always have a hard time making the right choice. Afterward I questioned myself? Did I do the best job in explaining things to her ?

So what makes us impress others, what makes us persuasive and have an impact to others?

How can we shift the attitude of another ?

Aristotle over 2300 years ago laid down the groundwork of successful communication.

For him persuasion was an art. He said there are three different types of styles that makes you a persuasive speaker:

Ethos – ethical character and reputation

Pathos – emotional appeal

Logos- logical

The best message blends all three.

Ethos relates to your character through communication. For the message to be believable and trustworthy and sincere.

Pathos relates to the emotions felt by the audience or the listener, it has to stir your emotions.

Logos refers to the actual words used by the speaker, choice of words and use of stories, quotations and facts are important in moving the audience over to your point.

For Aristotle, logos was the primary element, with ethos and pathos as secondary.

Today I feel ethos is number one, followed by pathos and then logos. Think how important the issue of trust (ethos) is. If you don’t have trust, you really have nothing and you can not persuade another person.

Take a look at your style of presenting a viewpoint or argument to your ‘audience’ or client. Do you use all three? Observe other people and how they use the three elements. When you’re dealing with others, note what the dominant element is in their conversations is  e.g. they may use a lot of pathos, then try to match them.

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