Life is full of paradoxes that some say require balancing; however accepting an appropriate location on the paradox continuum, when dealing with the paradox conundrum, may be as good as it gets! An example of such a paradox follows:

  • Influence for Personal Outcomes
  • Influence for Other People’s Outcomes

Influence is a large part of our personal and our work lives. It is believed that, on average, 400 attempts are made daily, by each of us, to influence each other. Further it is believed that the majority of us spend 40% of our time trying to influence each other. The focus on understanding influence is not new; in 350BCE Aristotle classified one’s ability to influence into three categories: Ethos (are we credible), Logos (is what we are saying logical), and Pathos (are we creating a strong emotional connection).

We all begin to develop the skill on influencing as babies e.g. who can resist those large eyes and the bright smiles of babies (focus on Pathos). However as we mature we need to develop Ethos and Logos attributes also.

The development of these three attributes: Ethos. Logos and Pathos provides us with keys tools to be effective influencers in life and at work

As an aside, a highly skilled player in the area of Influence is the Psychopath; however at the extreme of this condition there is a complete lack of empathy, with a focus on only achieving outcomes that are good for the Psychopath. We have all met this type of character; either at the extreme end of the psychopathic continuum or somewhere along this continuum, and it is not a pleasant experience. The upside is that these people are eventually discovered for what they are; and either end up being fired or in prison, in extreme cases.

Therein lies a key message – in order to be a successful influencer and a successful person over the long term it is important to have Ethos, Logos and Pathos, but it is equally important to have empathy for other people’s concerns and needs i.e. seek win/win outcomes versus win/loose outcomes.

Finding the right balance on this paradox continuum is not always easy; however it is necessary to accomplish this if one wants to be successful over the long term.

  • Always Strive for Win/Win Outcomes 

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