Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Art of Enchanting the Soul

Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Rhetoric is the art of harnessing reason, emotions and authority, through language, with a view to persuade an audience and, by persuading, to convince this audience to act, to pass judgment or to identify with given values. According to Plato, rhetoric is the “Art of enchanting the soul.”

Strings of words, long ones, short ones, ubiquitous ones, obscure ones; words, I love you all. Words are my friends and, sometimes foes.

Everyone, and I mean everyone should take an assertiveness course and a communication course. There is nothing more valuable to humans as language and the ability to use it effectively. Aah, tact and diplomacy how I love thee. Listening, you precious gift, without you my words fall upon deaf ears.

I've been in an uphill, feels like I'm not moving battle with communication in my personal life. It has driven me to become more observant and intrigued by the communication styles of others and it is not at all surprising that few people communicate effectively. The most egregious offense; credibility.

Credibility is defined as 1. the quality or power of inspiring belief 2.capacity for belief.

Okay, so typical argument-and I'll give both the ups and downs of word choice when trying to build a credible case.

Person One: I don't like this _______.(insert anything you wish)
Person Two: You never like anything.

Person One: You should read/see _____(insert film/book) I thought it was funny.
Person Two: You think everything is funny.

The first person states a feeling or opinion which is valid. Always, all the time; you do not have to agree but it is their feeling, opinion, thought to state and they own it rightfully. It needs no justification, it simply is just.

The second person while they may feel this way has worded their reply in such a way that lacks credibility as it is impossible that anyone could dislike everything. In short-you lose!

Instead, try: "Oh no? What did you not like about it"? or "What is it you would you have preferred?" Or even, "I can't seem to figure out what you like, perhaps you should tell me some of the things you do like".

No way this can turn into a battle, if you make a valid credible response and acknowledge the preceding statement.

Same with the second example, how is it possible that everything is funny to anyone, yes?

Now, I have had the honour (I'm being facetious.) of presenting valid albeit unattractive figures in business meetings. Think about this for a moment and comment, let me know if you see how we hear what we want to hear and how the right questions will more often than not, get you the most honest answers:

Speaker: "There have been rumors circulating that we are not doing well this quarter as it compares to those previous. I just want to clear any confusion. This month we have shown exponential growth as compared to last month and expect this trend to continue".

Everyone wipes sweat from their brow and returns to their workstations/offices. What I didn't tell you was that last month we made $2 and this month $4 versus last quarter when in the same period we had made $60. It is true, it is credible but it has nothing to do with the issue in question. And to the actual question asked, "Yeah, we kinda suck! Do the math".

How well do you communicate? Have you been in these situations? Similar situations? Take my poll.

1 comment:

UniqueNurseGranny said...

Love this post.Good work.

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