Aristotle’s ingredients for persuasion, the so-called appeals, are known by the names of ethos, pathos and logos. It’s frequently stated that to make people take a specific point of view, your communication should include all of the three elements. However, is it necessary so?

Ethos, logos and pathos are your hammer, your screwdriver and your saw for any job

As thought leaders it is important for Ethos to be rooted in our DNA. If your statements are not perceived as credible, they will have no value to the reader/listener.

Logos is your appeal to logical thinking and a way of persuading an audience by reason. In the technology business ROI-models and comparative competitive data are popular means of arguing your business case. If ethos relates to the ”quality” of your message, logos deals with the hard facts and the more measurable element of your statements – but…

Personality goes a long way

The expert may know all there is to know about a certain type of product and he can arguable prove to us that product A is better than product B. But if our best friend tells us that Product B is the best he’s ever had, we will often ditch the expert. Choosing the emotional response over a logical means that we are persuaded by Pathos.

Not surprisingly, the technology world is dominated by ”logos” types of communicators – the “aloud-reading-data-sheets”. And even less surprisingly, this is the type that we find the most boring. They may be nice people, indeed. But honestly, if we want to know the specifications of a solution, we read the fact sheets.

What makes thought leaders stand out is the contradiction of an introvert person urging to express him/herself. Because “thought” is essentially the opposite of “action” and “Leadership” obviously requires action. So the ideal Thought Leader is the knowledgeable (ethos) candidate that can ague (logos) proactively with passion (pathos).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *