Master conversation skills, advise from Research Digest

Exactly what I always advise the younger executives on brushing up communicating skills:

1. Talk to strangers.
Strike up conversations in elevators, at the cashiers, with the cafe barista. There’s so much to gain, aside from feeling happy.

2. Connect with relationships.
Touching about something personal in the other persons, as well as sharing something personal with your own self, builds trust, and creates a connection. Be genuine, though.

3. Be generous in compliments.
Everyone loves to be complimented. You’ll be amazed how good you feel yourself, when you take the effort to notice something good at the person, and compliment it. Like that beautiful shawl that brings out the colour of her dress, or the smooth way he answered during the Q&A session in the presentation.

Read on the article for more tips.


Use these 4 tips to negotiate successfully with your boss

We all want the perfect workplace.

Positive environment. Good friends.

Great boss.

High pay.

Job satisfaction.

What if one (or more) of this is not meeting our requirements? Find another job? What if it doesn’t work in the new place either?

As career people, we need to determine our worth, and our wants. If we love doing our job, and the boss is good, but the environment is not so healthy, we need to work on that. Finding a new job is not the answer to everything. Fight for what you want.

I once had to negotiate with my former boss about my job scope.

Some of the tasks I was supposed to do, were continuously being done by my Senior Manager, and so I didn’t have the chance to learn how to do it by myself. That made me feel useless, especially since I was already promoted as Manager for quite a while but was still doing Senior Engineer’s jobs.

I decided to have a discussion with my former boss (his boss).

What I did was:

  1. Approached him and tell him verbally that I would like to request some time to talk privately. That should warn him that I have something serious to talk about.
  1. We booked a meeting room and used a time when we are both normally calmer from daily hectic times. Avoid mornings when everyone is busy.
  1. I prepared my points in a bullets, so I can work my story correctly, and don’t leave important parts. I needed to be precise, remove any emotional matters, keep positive, and connect with my suggestions.

These are 4 important tips that you must remember when negotiating something with your boss.

  • He doesn’t have the time to listen to your lengthy complaints, so keep it short.
  • Making an emotional burst (of anger, or tears of sadness, etc) will make you look weak and, well, emotional.
  • Use positive words, avoid negative words (I will touch on that in other posts), because language indicates your mind and attitude.
  • And finally, prepare your suggestions. You’re not there to just say your complaints. Be prepared to answer when your boss asks, “So, what should we do?”. Your proposals can be one or a few, in case he doesn’t agree with them. Don’t worry if he doesn’t, keep negotiating until both parties are happy.
  1. When I talked with him, I showed him what I wrote, even though they were just simple notes. This is to show him that I took the time to think this through, and that I am serious, and that I hope this would work out for both of us – it is not just a complaint and I’m off.

Suffice to say, our discussion worked out well, and I later got what I wanted.

Five Hidden Tasks a Manager Has To Do For an Effective One-to-one Session

As a Manager, I have held one-to-one sessions half-yearly with everyone, to make sure I am able to

  1. Communicate the management’s expectation.
  2. Receive formal feedbacks from my team.

Having these discussions with everyone takes a lot of effort than you may think. Here’s behind the scenes of what managers do for one-to-one sessions.

  1. As preparation, I would list down the issues, questions to ponder. Sometimes I let my team know the points to think about prior to attending the one-to-one sessions, so they can prepare their ideas.

  1. During the session, I needed to stay focused on my customer in front of me. That meant, completing my own tasks before I can attend my sessions. Usually, my sessions took 10-15 minutes per person, so, to complete my team, it took about 2 – 3 days, depending on situations.

  1. I needed to attend sessions emotionally neutral, and unbiased. That is so that I can receive feedbacks as open and positively as possible, and so that we can come up with solutions healthily together. Active listening is very important, because only by asking the right questions, can we point out the root cause of a problem together, and think of a solution correctly together. Key word here is, together, because my job as a manager is not to generate answers and just pass to my team, but to round up a doable solution from them, in order to encourage ownership, and satisfaction.

  1. We also discussed each individual KPIs, and see what’s not on schedule, and why, and if there’s anything I can do to help. I also had to bring about any issues to improve the staff’s performance. Again, here, I needed to listen actively and be open, because there is always a reason why a staff drops in performance. And then again, we come to discuss how together we can improve the situation and set a goal for his/her improvement.

  1. Taking notes is a must. Because the actual job begins after the session. I would summarize the points from everyone. There are many tasks as a manager that I needed to do, in order to help my team, achieve our goals. Sometimes, I needed to find ways to create a better, less quarrelling environment with another department. Sometimes, I needed to discuss with Training team to allocate a budget for a particular training for my whole team. Sometimes, I needed to address a specific team member about his unmanageable attitude. This is where my job as a manager is – to help my customer, my team, and make them happy. All to achieve the organizational goal.

Do you enjoy one-to-one sessions? Tell us in the comments, what was good for you, and what you think needed to improve.

Four points to remember to resolve conflicts like a winner

Everyone will face conflicts in one time or the other.

Many people try to avoid conflicts, not having the energy or skill to manage them.

However, sometimes, conflicts should be taken heads on, because more often than not, conflicts arise from solid reasons.

It is how we react from it that matters. Here are 4 important points one must remember when dealing with conflicts.

Communicate openly and compromise

The key to resolving key is to communicate about it. That means to talk about it, and listen to what the other party has to say for himself. He most likely has a good reason of creating the conflict. It is vital to discuss it with an open mind. Sometimes, you may need to compromise your own beliefs, in order to successfully resolve the conflict and achieve a solution.

Focus on final aim

Managing conflicts is never about winning. It is basically a road to go through, in order to achieve a mutual understanding, and agreeing to proceed with further steps. Sometimes, you may be right, sometimes the other party may be right and not you. Be ready to listen to the other party’s concerns – you might even find a richer solution after considering his thoughts!

Also, sometimes discussions go off track, especially when things get emotional, or upsetting pasts are being brought up. In such cases, steer back to the right direction, ignore irrelevant issues or pasts, and focus the time and energy on how we can accomplish results.

Keep calm and stay positive

Discussions may switch to quarrels, when blaming or anger arises. Remind yourself (and the other person, if you can) to stay calm, and stay positive. Find a good time and place to do your battle (read: discuss). Don’t approach someone when he is busy, or tired, or hungry, even. If the discussion is moving towards a heated direction, call for a break, and come back when you’re both more rational.

Try to empathize

Conflicts arise when two (or more) different parties have different concerns. Each member would feel that their own concern is the more important one. During discussions, listen actively, and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoe. Create a comfortable discussion – listen actively, ask open questions and opinion, and do not interrupt. Find the best way to meet each parties’ concern, if they are valid.

Revealing 3 tips to excel your Influencing Skills

In your daily life, and in work, influencing people is a must-have skill.

Influencing is an art of effecting how others think (and finally act) towards a particular purpose. Influencing can be when you are at home, getting your spouse to agree on a particular purchase, or getting the children to complete their project. At work, influencing is like the number one task – selling products to potential customers, getting the boss to approve that big project of yours, and even negotiating team mates on a favor on a particular task.

Most importantly, influencing is done without authority. That means, you make someone believe that what you are saying is right, hence he should do as you suggest. You are not influencing when you are giving instructions (read: boss, parent, senior in the job).

The most important party to consider when you are planning to influence is – the other party. What YOU think, is not as important as what HE thinks. Because the aim, is to change how HE thinks. Try to look from his point of view, and answer this question “What’s in it for me?”. “Me” here, as in, “him”, of course. Think about what benefits he will get, if he does agree with you. If you can show that to him, influencing can be very easy.

Here I share 3 tips on influencing people.

1. Build relationships.

You want to influence someone without using authority, so the first thing you need to do is, build a good relationship.

Generally, building relationships is easy, when you are interested in someone, and expresses that interest to him. That involves active listening, asking good, open questions, and relating to what he is thinking. When someone feels that you have interest in him, he will be more open, and keener to create a connection with you, ready to hear your thoughts.

Also, use common courtesy. Be polite, sociable and friendly. Smile.

Other ways to build relationships include:

  • Notice positive behaviours or changes in the other person – comment on that
  • Give compliments and praises
  • Read their body language and adapt how you speak

Build rapport and make him feel a connection to you. Do this genuinely, because everyone has his own story to tell, and his side of the story is important too.

2. Social proof.

This is where we use others’ acts to influence people.

“Others” here may mean those familiar to someone, or those he feels similar to him. Or someone he respects.

For example, when seeing an expensive product on your own (alone), you may not feel the urgency to buy it. But if a few respected colleagues, or someone close to you just bought it too, that curiosity to purchase it may grow.

That’s why we see “Other people also likes…” columns while shopping online. These suggestions (exists with the social media algorithm) appear to you, to utilize the power of social proof, and influence your buying.

So, when you want to influence someone, pay attention to what his surrounding people are doing too. You could use that someone’s influence towards him.

3. Credibility and reputation.

As said earlier, influencing does not involve the use of authority.

However, using credibility and reputation is something else. People can be influenced by experts, believing his words and suggestions.

There are many experiments of changing people’s mindsets by experts, influencing their behaviours and ultimately effecting the results. A good example is the placebo effect, where medical patients are given something like a “real” medical treatment — but in actual, does not contain an active substance meant to affect health, like a dummy treatment. Researchers use placebos during studies to help them understand what effect a new drug or some other treatment might have on a particular condition. Around one third of the patients taking a placebo may get better. Believing in experts, it shows even the body’s chemistry can create effects similar to medication. A classic case of mind over matter.

So, as an influencer, having credibility and good reputation is important, too. Where can you find your own credibility? Look at your qualifications, your educational background, expertise, or experience.

So those were 3 tips on influencing people. Different situations will require different methods of influencing. We’ll look at more influencing methods later.

What is your favourite influencing method?

Why listening and watching are the best tools to lead, an advise from Sir Alex Ferguson

A lot of people are so eager to prove they are clever, that they speak more than they listen. This is where extraordinary leaders differ. Leaders listen and watch more than they speak.

Sir Alex Ferguson talks about in the earliest pages of his book, “Leading”. Who doesn’t know Sir Alex Ferguson – the man behind the numerous and continuous wins for the Manchester United team. This man has shown superior leadership, with extremely good results.

He and many other leaders can not emphasize more on the importance of listening and watching. These are two things all must learn and practice, in order to gain more information, connect and excel.


  • Pay attention. In conversations, words comprise only 7% of a message. The rest of the message is conveyed through the tone of voice (38%), while body language accounts a huge 55%. Learn to read body language. Don’t interrupt – when you speak, you stop listening.
  • Pause before responding. Let the other person completely finish. Give time to digest what he just said. Also, pausing indicates to the other person that you do consider what he just said.
  • Ask questions to clarify. Don’t make wrong assumptions, make sure what you heard was understood correctly. If something was misunderstood, questioning can correct it. Questioning also reassures the other person that you are listening.


  • Step away from the hustle, and look at things from a bigger, higher point of view. You may notice the root cause of a particular problem – something that could not be seen when you too focused to the problem in front of you.
  • Watching how people work. or communicate as a whole, can also give hints on how they are doing. There may be signs of a communication breakdown, or an unspoken issue, which can only be interpret through observations.
  • Again, learn at least the basics of body language – what calls for defensive, openness, honesty, angry, lying. Body language tells you a lot about what’s going on.

Kelemahan PdPR dan Cadangan Solusi

20 Januari 2021 merupakan tarikh bersejarah di mana sesi persekolahan bermula, dengan sistem Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran di Rumah (PdPR) diteruskan. Rata-rata ibubapa banyak mengeluh dengan operasi PdPR yang dikatakan lemah, dan tidak berjaya menerapkan pengajaran dan pembelajaran.

            Sekiranya situasi pelajar yang tidak hadir ke sekolah ini berterusan, beberapa potensi masalah bisa timbul. Antaranya ialah:

Pengajaran dan pembelajaran silibus tidak sempurnaKesukaran mengajar dan komunikasi ketika PdPR
Kesukaran mendapat fokus pelajar ketika PdPR
Masalah capaian internet dari sisi pengajar dan pelajar
Masa yang terhad
Bahan pembelajaran tidak mencukupi  
Hilang minat belajarKelemahan sistem pengajaran dan pembelajaran
Tiada unsur galakan, motivasi, saingan, kerana belajar berseorangan di rumah
Tiada pantauan, lebih-lebih lagi ibubapa bekerja, atau tidak mampu menguruskan hal pembelajaran ramai anak dalam suatu masa  
Hilang kemahiran dan keyakinan diri untuk komunikasi dan sosialTiada komunikasi dengan orang luar, terutama dengan rakan-rakan sebaya.
Tiada sistem yang menggalakkan penyuaraan pendapat seperti di sekolah.  
Cenderung tidak mampu mengikut suatu sistem, atau jadualHanya berada di rumah tanpa jadual yang tetap, dan hidup tanpa peraturan.
Tiada pantauan, lebih-lebih lagi ibubapa bekerja, atau tidak mampu menguruskan hal pembelajaran ramai anak dalam suatu masa.  
Lemah jasmaniTiada aktiviti riadah, fizikal, sebaliknya hanya banyak duduk dengan gajet, yang boleh menyebabkan obesiti, dan kerosakan penglihatan.  
Ketagihan gajetTiada aktiviti lain yang mahu dibuat (terutama kerana berseorangan, dan hilang minat untuk melakukan perkara lain).
Sistem PdPR sendiri memerlukan penggunaan gajet, meskipun bagi kanak-kanak sekolah rendah.  
Terpengaruh dengan tabiat negatifTerlalu banyak masa di rumah dan tanpa pantauan menyebabkan banyak masa terluang, banyak tidur, terdedah kepada bahan lucah.
Sistem PdPR sendiri seolah memberi alasan pelajar sentiasa memegang gajet, dan bersendirian di dalam bilik, dengan alasan belajar dan tidak mahu diganggu.  


Namun begitu, sistem persekolahan yang sudah lama kita gunakan selama ini, tidak mungkin dapat kembali dalam masa terdekat, rentetan penularan virus COVID-19. Oleh itu, kita mungkin berdepan (atau mungkin ramai yang sudahpun terkesan) dengan masalah di atas. Lebih membimbangkan lagi ialah, jumlah pelajar yang akan terjejas akibat kelemahan sistem ini, di mana pelajar di seluruh negara, dari Tahun 1 sehingga Tingkatan 5, untuk sekurang-kurangnya 1 tahun sesi persekolahan. Boleh dikatakan satu generasi rakyat Malaysia yang lemah, dek terganggu dengan masalah-masalah di atas, akan muncul menjadi orang dewasa, dan menjadi pemimpin negara kelak.

            Oleh hal yang demikian, semua ibubapa (dan pastinya para guru) mengharapkan solusi dari Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia untuk mencegah penularan masalah-masalah di atas, atau pun untuk mengubati mereka yang sudahpun dilanda kesan-kesan negatif tersebut.

            Di sini saya sebagai seorang waris pelajar, dengan rendah hati, ingin mengemukakan beberapa cadangan untuk mengatasi kelemahan sistem pendidikan yang terjejas akibat penularan virus COVID-19 ini.

            Saya ingin menekankan, kebanyakan masalah di atas dapat dihindar atau diatasi, dengan 3 perkara penting iaitu, menghentikan penggunaan gajet untuk pembelajaran, memastikan pelajar disibukkan dengan perkara berfaedah, dan yang paling penting sekali ialah, menghadirkan kembali pelajar ke sekolah untuk pembelajaran.

            Umum mempunyai kebimbangan akan risiko jangkitan virus COVID-19 beramai-ramai di sekolah akibat kesukaran menjaga penjarakan sosial, atau mengamalkan sanitasi (pelitup muka, membasuh tangan) terutama bagi kanak-kanak. Namun, bahaya intelek dan sosial yang bakal melanda generasi anak-anak ini juga harus diambil serius. Oleh itu, fokus kita sekarang ialah, pertama, untuk mengubah sistem persekolahan agar lebih selamat dari risiko penularan virus COVID-19, dan kedua, bagaimana mengurangkan impak sekiranya berlaku juga situasi jangkitan.

            Di sini saya senaraikan beberapa cadangan rombakan sistem persekolahan untuk mencapai dua sasaran di atas.

  • Tambahkan jumlah kelas dengan jumlah murid yang lebih kecil untuk penjarakan sosial.
  • Maksimakan bilik-bilik yang mungkin tidak digunakan pada masa terdekat, sebagai kelas sementara, seperti Bilik Sumber dan sebagainya.
  • Adakan sesi persekolahan mengikut syif. Murid tidak perlu hadir ke sekolah setiap hari, sebaliknya hadir mengikut syif, juga untuk menepati penjarakan sosial.
  • Untuk mereka yang hadir ke sekolah juga perlu mengikut waktu syif, contohnya berbeza waktu masuk kelas, waktu rehat, waktu pulang, dan sebagainya, untuk mengelakkan pertembungan.
  • Kaji semula topik-topik utama dalam silibus yang perlu diberi penekanan dalam pengajaran dan pembelajaran, dan hanya ajarkan topik-topik ini sahaja. Gunakan buku teks yang sedia ada untuk mengelakkan pembaziran sumber kemanusiaan untuk mengolah silibus lagi dan lagi. Mereka yang ahli dalam setiap subjek perlu sepakat dengan topik-topik yang penting ini, dan cara mengajarnya dengan lebih mudah, dan lebih berfokus.
  • Untuk memberi penekanan kepada topik-topik penting, kemungkinan beberapa subjek yang kurang mustahak perlu diketepikan dahulu untuk memberikan fokus masa pembelajaran dan sumber pengajar yang terhad, kepada yang lebih penting, contohnya subjek Pendidikan Seni.
  • Wujudkan kelas Pendidikan Jasmani sebagai ko-kurikulum (di luar waktu persekolahan), juga dalam bentuk syif. Aktiviti fizikal pelajar tidak wajar dihapuskan, cuma perlu dirombak supaya dilaksanakan dengan penjarakan sosial.
  • Antara waktu risiko penjarakan sosial tinggi ialah ketika pelajar menggunakan tempat dan alat yang dikongsi, seperti kelas, tandas, kantin, penggunaan kerusi meja, pinggan mangkuk kantin, dan sebagainya. Untuk mengurangkan kos sanitasi harian menggunakan bahan sanitasi, saya mencadangkan pembinaan sinki-sinki di laluan pelajar berdekatan kelas, dengan sabun pembasmi kuman. Dengan ini, pelajar-pelajar boleh mencuci tangan, sudu garpu, dan meja selepas makan, dan mencuci meja kerusi masing-masing sebelum pulang. Aktiviti mencuci meja/kerusi beramai-ramai selepas makan dan sebelum pulang ini juga boleh menerapkan tanggungjawab kepada para pelajar.
  • Satu lagi kerisauan ialah berkenaan waktu rehat. Sepertimana yang diamalkan dalam sesi pembelajaran akhir tahun 2020, semua pelajar hendaklah teruskan makan di kelas. Untuk ini, waktu rehat perlu dipanjangkan sedikit untuk memberi masa pembersihan selepas makan. Untuk mereka yang tidak membawa bekalan dan perlu membeli di kantin, saya mencadangkan pihak kantin membuka meja jualan makanan bungkus di setiap tingkat (atau selang satu tingkat), untuk mengurangkan pergerakan pelajar. Atau lebih baik, disediakan troli jualan dari kelas ke kelas. Diingatkan waktu rehat pelajar adalah berselang-seli mengikut kelas, maka perkumpulan di meja penjualan boleh dielakkan.
  • Di sini syif pelajar dan pengajar perlu diatur sebaik-baiknya untuk mengelakkan pertembungan syif. Hal ini penting untuk mengurangkan impak sekiranya jangkitan COVID-19 berlaku juga. Sebaik-baiknya guru yang sama mengajar satu-satu syif sahaja, namun kepakaran guru dalam subjek masing-masing pasti memerlukan guru subjek itu berjumpa pelajar dari syif yang lain, terutama untuk subjek sekolah menengah. Pada pendapat saya, penjarakan sosial pelajar sekolah menengah lebih mudah dikawal, dan kekuatan imuniti pelajar sekolah menengah mungkin lebih baik (hanya pandangan, dan bukan dari sebarang fakta) maka risiko penularan virus COVID-19 menjadi lebih rendah.
  • Bagi anak-anak yang ibubapanya bekerja, yang perlu ke sekolah, mungkin juga perlukan perkhidmatan bas dan transit. Namun dengan mengadakan sesi persekolahan mengikut syif, jumlah pelajar sehari-hari dapat dikurangkan (pelajar yang lain duduk di rumah).

Dalam cadangan ini, tidak berlaku isu kekurangan tenaga pengajar kerana pertambahan kelas, kerana jumlah pelajar yang hadir ke sekolah bukanlah seratus peratus dan hanyalah mengikut syif. Juga ditegaskan di sini, guru-guru belerja di sekolah seperti biasa, hanya pelajar yang masuk mengikut syif untuk mengurangkan jumlah pelajar pada satu-satu masa. Updated.

Continue reading “Kelemahan PdPR dan Cadangan Solusi”

3 interesting reasons why storytelling is a valuable skill

Remember those days back in school where we had storytelling competitions?

You had to stand in front of everyone on the stage, and tell that “Hare and Tortoise” story with those props – a rabbit stuffed doll and a tortoise figure.

Oh how we hated the sickening butterflies fluttering in our stomach. No one said there was going to be so many people in the audience. How we practiced and rehearsed until Mommy too remembers the whole story.

Little did we know that that story telling competition is one of the most crucial skills we need to learn to be a grown up. Here are three reasons why.

Continue reading “3 interesting reasons why storytelling is a valuable skill”

Unlocking the secret drive to success – and revealing the 3 questions to find it


If there is one thing all success stories have in common, it is passion.

When you love what you are doing, you would go through all odds, in order to pursue it. It’s what drives you.

Everyone has heard that Thomas Edison failed at making a thousand light bulbs before succeeding to make one. We have heard failure stories behind every successful man, but it is the strength they have to come back and stand up and face the challenges, that brought them to where they are now.

Why do you need passion to succeed?

In every area, be it in life, or even career, we need 3 things to make it work.

knowledge, hardwork, and simple chance

In order to find that knowledge you need, you must want to learn it.

In order to do the tasks you need, you must want to do it.

And when chances come against our way, you must want to overcome it to stand up again.

There are also a lot of books around that I would highly recommend reading to charge up your passion.


This is a simple book that spells 3 things in order to be fully charged in life:

  1. Meaning – this is finding out the deeper purpose in your life, a stronger reason than cash, to work, and what do you intend to do for the society and the world
  2. Interactions – this is about keeping good relationships
  3. Energy – this is about staying healthy

Rath talks about Meaning, in his book. This is basically passion. One must find out what he wants to do, in order to give his most effort and love, to achieve success.


This is a simple management book that is more than the title suggests. In his book, Peshawaria proposed 3 expectations of workers, which is simply put as RED – role, environment, and development.

In Role, Peshawaria suggests that every leader must understand each staff’s role, get to know what drives his passion, and give him the road to achieve it. If a person’s passion aligns with his job, he will most likely have the vigor to work hard to success.


In Japan, there is something called the ikigai. It is a concept of living a long and happy life, by creating a balance between what you love to do, and what you are good at. Ikigai is finding the optimum point with what you love (your passion), what the world needs (your mission), what you are good at (your vocation), and what you can get paid for (your profession).

All these concepts talk about finding what you love to do (passion) in order to succeed, but how do you find out your passion?

First, you need to sit down and spend some time alone to learn more about yourself. Believe me, it will save you a lifetime of unnecessary dissatisfaction in life, so do take a minute to do this.

Take a pen and paper and think deep. Answer below questions about yourself.

  1. INTEREST – what do you want to do?
  2. NEEDS – what do the society, the world need?
  3. STRENGTHS – what are you good at?

When you answer these questions, you will know what you want to do in life. And you will know how you can contribute to the world, and I know you will agree if I say making other people happy, can be a huge self-satisfaction. About your strength, once you’ve found what you’re good at, invest to make it stronger. It is useless to learn things you were never good at (high likely because you never liked doing it), but investing to become a master in what you’re already good at, to learn more about something you already love doing, can be highly motivational.

I recommend everyone, especially young jobseekers, to sit down and do this self-exploration, before seeking jobs. You will know more about yourself, and find more suitable jobs for yourself. For the experienced, reflect on your past works, and see if you’re going the right direction.

Find a higher calling than cash, make work a purpose, not a place.


If you want to talk to someone about finding your deeper purpose in life, you can contact the author by whatsapp.

How to persuade your ideas – revealing 3 tested secrets

A valuable employee is someone who owns ideas.

And not just own it, but to communicate it well enough to bring those ideas to life.

Persuading others of your notions can be tough.

A lot of people have ideas, but find difficulty to explain, and convincing others. Finally, what may be bright proposals, get ignored, and eventually dismissed. This is a waste of potential, and can dull motivation.

Let’s take a look at an old persuasion secret from the famous philosopher, Aristotle.

Aristotle said there are 3 tested and proven modes to persuade an idea.


This means credibility, trust.

In many occasions, people tend to trust something they already know the value of. Typical examples are the power of brand.

Just by the name of BMW, one can imagine the sheer driving pleasure. BMW is a brand well known for the ultimate driving experience. For a business person, driving a BMW may lend an impression of others that their business is good, which indicates investing with them, or purchasing something from them, may be secure. This is an example of persuasion with ethos.

To use ethos at work, we often see names of experts being quoted to strengthen the case. Here, people’s trust to the expert’s judgement is used to convince that our ideas are strong.

Or, the person himself, has a certain charisma, authority, or credibility that people look up to. Perhaps because of his past experience, or knowledge, or skills, or even integrity. With this advantage, whatever he says seem intelligent, and the audience is convinced easily. This is an example of ethos of oneself.

The next time you have a proposal to share, think how you can relate with something, or someone people trust. Or better, build your own credibility by strengthening your value, and one day, you’ll find anything you say is easily persuasive.



This is the persuasion mode using logic.

It means, to convince people, using facts, numbers, data.

Take below for an example.

You should take your medicine daily to avoid stroke.

compared with

If you skip your medicines, there is 80% likelihood that you will get a stroke and from there, 60% chances of losing your mobility.

This example shows how numbers can strengthen your argument and make your reasoning more persuasive.

At work, we use numbers you validate proposals, especially when it comes to money. No one wants to lose money, so the next time you have a proposal, convert the impact of your ideas into cash – you’ll have higher chances of getting people’s attention.



The last but surely not least mode of persuasion is, emotion.

Most of the time, playing people’s emotions can give them a strong reason to care, and is the stronger mode of persuasion.

Children are natural at persuading with emotions. They cry and make you feel guilty for not buying them that toy the other kids have. They smile ever-so-sweetly when they want that ice cream they love.

At work, sometimes, when ethos and logos don’t seem to work, it is advisable to take out that pathos secret weapon. Hit that person at their most endearing spot, their concerns. If the Production department would not allow downtime for Engineering to perform a certain recipe change, point out the risk of not doing it, towards major machine breakdown and emphasize that it is their own decision and risk to bear by not approving the activity.

Yes, it sounds like blackmail, but it works.

Emotion can be many – happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, pity, respect.

Find a way to use maneuver these emotions of the audience in order to make your mark.

A word of caution – too frequent use of ethos may indicate that you are unprofessional, and have no other strengths, so only use it when necessary.



Commercials are easy practice to distinguish which of the three modes are being used to convince the audience. Some times you may even see all three modes in one advertisement. Watch how persuasion is being carried out in advertisements and practice it in real life. You’ll see how much more persuasive you can be.

This video is a well known example of all three modes being applied. Look for when is ethos, logos and pathos come in, and prepare to be mesmerized. Enjoy!

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