The article is worth a read, and I won't try to do it justice here. But the basic gist is something like this:
- Pathos is the emotional connection you make with your audience. It's why what you're talking about matters to them.
- Ethos is like credibility. It's your audience's belief that you know what you're talking about, and it's critical to building trust.
- Logos is the logic behind your arguments. It's the key analytical connection between observable facts and the conclusions that you're drawing.
What struck me about this was how similar it is to another 3-element idea I've seen. Jamie Flinchbaugh with the Lean Learning Center for years has espoused a model for achieving cultural transformation that he expresses as H x V x F > R. I've written about this concept before, but I was struck by how similar it is to the Aristotelian model. Not surprising, though, because bringing about a cultural transformation relies heavily on your ability to convincingly communicate your ideas.
The cultural transformation equation works like this: In order to overcome resistance to change (R) you must have a greater product of:
- (H)atred of the current situation. This is the element of pathos. Your audience has to have an emotional investment in change.
- (V)ision for a better future. This is your ethos. People won't believe in the possibility of your vision unless they have faith in you as a leader.
- (F)irst steps. There must be a clear and logical (logos) path from the current state to the future vision.
All of this just further reinforces the importance of effective communication in leading change, and I think it provides a good recipe for trying to achieve it.