People say you have great style…and of course, great substance, too. Sometimes you might feel out-of-balance when trying to persuade and influence others. You might feel a bit like Goldilocks – too hot and too cold, too little too much, too much feelings, too little facts, too many facts, too little feeling, too general, too specific. You ask yourself, “How do I balance style with substance?”

Too much of anything is manipulation. Balance is critical when persuading and influencing others.

There are three pillars of proof we must balance to be effective. These are Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Think of these three principles like the legs of a three-legged stool. All three of the legs of the stool need to be the same length to avoid looking crooked. Ethos, Logos, and Pathos need to be the same depth, otherwise you will seem…crooked.

Ethos is your credibility, your trustworthiness, your reputation. You always drag yourself along into the conversation. What do people think when the think of you…Ethos.

Logos is the logic. Does this make sense? Does this add up? Are the ideas well researched and believable?

Pathos is the emotional aspects of the other party, their fears, hopes, reservations, and desires. Take the time to really understand the other party and incorporate their concerns into the conversation.

Your style will shine through during your discussions. The key is to balance your good reputation and status, by investing some time to research thoroughly, and by investing some time and understand others fully. You can balance style and substance.

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